For me Hardstyle is about the nights that turned into mornings; the strangers that turned into life long friends; the endless plane, train, bus, and car rides all across the globe; the feeling you get when you relive those blurry phone videos at the end of the night; and of course the moments of trying to explain all of this to your family.

Although I cannot pinpoint the exact moment where I fell in love with Hardstyle it is no secret that it has truly made a meaningful impact on my life. Although I have gone through phases of many different genres, the Harder Styles have always been paramount. In May 2014 I saw Headhunterz for the first time at Electric Daisy Carnival in New York with my younger brother and it was the first time I saw Hardstyle live and it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

Following that, I studied abroad for a month in the Netherlands that same summer and it changed my life for the better. Upon returning to the United States I got involved with East Coast Hard Dance. It was through this organization that I met my closest friends and discovered my passion for organizing events. Then a few years later I moved to the Netherlands and started my own company Drop Bass Not Bombs where I organize electronic music events for charity, and of course, our first event was a Hard Dance party the night before Defqon.

Without Hardstyle, I would not have met the majority of my friends, my rave family, or my boyfriend. Its cliché but Hardstyle knows no boundaries, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what language you speak it something that can transcend the borders of time, distance, and conflict.