Exclusive Interview With DJs From Mars and Tomcraft on 2023’s new version of “Loneliness”

DJs From Mars, Tomcraft, Hardwell - Loneliness
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Prepare for the revival of a dance music classic! Dutch superstar Hardwell, DJs From Mars, and legendary producer Tomcraft have joined forces to reimagine Tomcraft’s iconic 2002 hit, ‘Loneliness.’

Released via NITRON, Sony Music Germany’s electronic label, on November 3rd, this collaboration brings fresh life to the timeless track. In 2002, ‘Loneliness’ captivated dance music fans worldwide, topping charts in multiple countries with its powerful bassline and captivating melody, incorporating a sample from Andrea Martin’s ‘Share the Love.’

Now, the trio aims to transport fans back to electronic dance music’s heyday with a 2023 version promising a seamless blend of Hardwell’s mainstage sound, DJs From Mars’ electro energy, and Tomcraft’s high-octane grooves that defined the original hit.

What inspired the collaboration between DJs From Mars, Tomcraft, and Hardwell to reimagine the iconic hit ‘Loneliness’ in 2023, two decades after its original release?

Tomcraft:

I met the DJs from Mars at a festival in Estonia and we’ve been in contact ever since. They asked me if they could play a Loneliness mash-up. I don’t even remember what they mixed, but it was an idea of the currently released version. When the Mars boys then played with Hardwell at Tomorrowland, the third act in the group was bagged – and then it took its course.

DJs From Mars:

We met Tomcraft some years ago at a festival and we discussed about possible collaborations. So we sent the demo to Hardwell cause we felt it was really matching with his new sound, and he loved it! So he worked on the final version and it was amazing! We’re really happy with the result, everything was really easy and smooth!

Could you share some insights into the creative process behind the reimagined version of ‘Loneliness’? How did you approach blending the original essence with contemporary energy?

TC:

When it was clear that we were working together on Loneliness, I gave the DJFM free hand. It’s never easy to be involved in a big success yourself. So I gave the original samples to the Mars boys. The result was very, very cool. When Hardwell then made his contribution, I was very pleased.

DJFM:

Actually everything was really easy. Tomcraft was really nice to give us the permission to use the original parts of his song. We worked on the demo in a couple of weeks, we tested it in our sets and it sounded really good. Then the final version by Hardwell was literally perfect!

So we didn’t have to face different points of view, everyone was really happy at every step of the production process. That happens when the main idea is good, you don’t need to overproduce cause the main thing is already there.

Given the distinctive styles of Hardwell, DJs From Mars, and Tomcraft, how did you ensure that each artist’s unique sound was seamlessly integrated into the reimagined track? 

TC:

For me, the most important thing was that this new version is close to the original, but transported to the year 2023. The DJFM produced this incredibly well with the first demo! Hardwell then used his talent as a producer and years of festival experience to put the finishing touches to the final banger.

DJFM:

It’s really a mixture of styles! We wanted to keep the original vibe by Tomcraft, but we wanted to add our electro touch. The lead synths, the bass, all those elements that we always love to use in our productions.

And then, Hardwell added his master touch on the final version, he’s definitely one of the best producers on Earth, his sound quality is so powerful but clean and defined, we love how he was able to make it sound. So it was really a team work, but keeping the original vibe alive, cause we all love the original, so it doesn’t sound like a patchwork.

The original ‘Loneliness’ became a global anthem in 2002. How did you feel the pressure to live up to the legacy of the track while putting a new spin on it?

TC:

To be honest, I felt very safe with my collaboration partners. Both acts are currently fantastic and perfect in terms of sound right now. So I didn’t feel any pressure, but knew from the start that it would certainly be a lot of fun and that’s exactly how it should be!

All the ingredients were there – a good track – a good idea and finally the right partners with extreme know how 🙂

DJFM:

We think that giving new life to a track is part of every DJ’s creative process!

So hopefully we’ve done a good job with the track that can be played by anyone who loved Loneliness in the past.

Can you elaborate on the specific contributions of each artist to the reimagined version? What elements from the original track did you decide to preserve, and what did you choose to innovate?

TC:

Being close to the original was very important to me. But that’s easier said than done. This new version is a very good example of not producing a track to death. Simplicity is always crucial in music. We managed to do that very well, each act added their own ingredient – just as much as necessary.

Everything that is distracting or too much has to go. So it worked perfectly to work with full professionals and that’s what I love about this release!

DJFM:

We started from the original by Tomcraft – he gave us the permission to use the original stems so we already started from some amazing material!

We worked on the demo trying to give it a modern 2023 techno twist – working on a song structure that could work in today’s sets….shortened some parts, adding some uplifting build-ups and a drop that sounds more 2023… But we mainly kept the original vibe.

Then, Hardwell worked on the final version adding his magic touch. He’s truly a mix and mastering wizard so the final result is really powerful but s5ll very clean and defined – we really love how everyone gave his own touch to the final track, it was really a team work and we are super happy with the final result!

In the current electronic music landscape, how do you think the reimagined ‘Loneliness’ will resonate with both longtime fans of the original and new listeners who might be discovering the track for the first time?

TC:

I am convinced that this new version is ideal to present this track to the next generation. Many of today’s generation don’t know the original. So we’ve done the job – I’m very proud of this project and very grateful for a great collaboration!

DJFM:

We tried to maintain the original vibe and flavor of the track so old fans (like us ? ) will not be disappointed. But also – since techno is very popular today, we think that the new genera5ons can appreciate the song even if they don’t know the original.

New techno is very similar to 90’s style – we used to call it “progressive techno” back then – so the operation was a bit tricky and we needed to be careful. We didn’t want to “over produce” it, but still we didn’t want to keep the same track…so we worked in a direction that could match today’s and yesterday’s taste.

And we think we made it! But time will tell the truth ahha!

Could you talk about any challenges or surprises you encountered during the collaboration process? How did you overcome them to create a cohesive and compelling reimagined version of the track?

TC:

I really have the DJs from Mars and Hardwell to thank for that. I was the one who delivered the original with the aim of staying close to it. What can I say, the guys completely mastered it with their “secret weapons” and skills in the studio – I can only be grateful that it worked out so sensationally at the first attempt – with success 🙂

DJFM:

Basically, Serum is the instrument that we used for almost every synth sound. The bass, the lead synth, the pads, it’s all Serum. We used to produce with a lot of different VST instruments but lately we found out that Serum is basically all we need, it’s the best and most versatile instrument at the moment. Of course, we also used some audio samples, all the drums are brand new.

We were lucky to use the original vocals so we didn’t have to work too much on vocal processing since it was already perfect and we didn’t want to change the original vibe. That’s what we did for the first demo. Then Hardwell worked on it and we don’t know his “secret weapons” but the final mix is really incredible!

Given the success of the original ‘Loneliness’ in various international charts, what are your expectations for the reception of the reimagined version? How do you envision it impacting the global dance music scene in 2023 and beyond?

TC:

Everything is open and possible. The music industry today has become so incredibly fast- moving that such forecasts are difficult. The important thing is that we have set an important milestone and can look forward to it at festivals and clubs around the world – let’s celebrate it together and have a good time!

DJFM:

Expectations are high, but we know very well that the music industry is unpredictable so we can’t go too far!

Thank you so much for the insight and your time!

Stream Loneliness:

Connect to Tomcraft:

Instagram | Facebook | Spotify

Connect to Djs From Mars:

Instagram | Facebook | Spotify

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