MvDJ: “Tom Harding is a hero”

MvDJ and Tom Harding
Initially, MvDJ, recalled the same event as Charly did in 2014 for his first gig story. Therefore, MvDJ shares his first significant gig: "I seized the opportunity."

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

Initially, Martijn van der Jagt, a.k.a. MvDJ, recalled the same event as Charly (of Charly & Nazzz) did in 2014 for his first gig story. Therefore, MvDJ shares his first significant gig with us: "I seized the opportunity with both turntables."

“On Thursday, April 28, Charly played the leading role in the feature My First Gig. He tells the story of the I Love Hardhouse Talent Night. It was a memorable night in 2004 that also symbolizes the start of a great musical adventure and some beautiful friendships for me. But if I also tell the story of this night, we have almost the same story. That’s why I’d like to talk about My First Big Gig: CB Bookings presents Tom Harding, on November 5th, 2005, at the Patronaat in Haarlem.”

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“Emerging DJ talent could submit a demo for this evening to have a chance at the warming-up set. I seized this opportunity with both turntables because Tom Harding is a hero to me. The monthly High Quality parties were like a second home to me. Tom’s energetic way of performing greatly inspired me. Moreover, I have great admiration for the fact that he helped put a relatively unknown music genre (UK hardhouse) on the map in the Netherlands.”


“Because I could envision what Tom’s four-hour set at the Patronaat would look like, I created a demo that would build up to his set. It was a bullseye. I won the contest and got to perform for almost two hours at the Patronaat, warming up for my idol! I have rarely experienced more euphoria than the moment Tom’s manager, Ed Karney, called me with the good news.”

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“A month later, the time had come. An hour before the start, I arrived at the Patronaat with some of my best friends. I was 22 and had only been DJing for a few years. Just a year and nine months after the I Love Hardhouse Talent Night, I got to do my first big performance. Wow, those were suddenly some big steps forward. Even the entrance was special: it was through the artist entrance. After that, I was escorted to a semi-private room where I could eat and drink unlimited and relax on a large lounge sofa. If I had star aspirations, blue M&M’s might have been possible.” (laughs)

Nervous Excitement

“Winning the contest was a big boost to my self-confidence. But of course, nerves were still running through my body. Claudia from CB Bookings took me under her wing and could see that I was nervous. She suggested playing a few records as a soundcheck so I could get a feel for the booth and the crowd. ‘The party doesn’t start for another half hour,’ she said. A perfect idea!”

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Let's do this!

“There I was, on a huge stage, with monitor speakers that usually provided a party full of decibels. The turntables were perfectly set up, the sound was fantastic, everything felt right. Let’s do this!”

Defining Moment

“The first hour was an interesting combination of trembling hands and enjoying a fantastic experience. I had prepared for that hour about ninety percent. As the mixes flowed smoothly, my confidence grew, and I could feel the energy in the increasingly crowded venue. I quickly abandoned my initial plan. The audience happily went along with a crossover of solid house, tech house, and uplifting trance. From DK8 (Murder was the Bass) to a classic by Green Velvet (Flash – Danny Tenaglia’s Mix), to Alex M.O.R.P.H. (Unification), and a fantastic bootleg of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. It was a diverse set with a common thread and a gradual build-up to the headline act of the evening.”

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“About twenty minutes before the end of my set, I had an ultimate defining moment. The venue was packed, and the atmosphere was electric. My friends were there for support. Tom Harding came to greet me and was visibly satisfied with the warm-up. MC Da Silva further hyped up the crowd during a climax in a track, and all hands went up. The performance I had always imagined while practicing in my attic was playing out live at that moment. It was magical!”


“At 11:45 pm, Tom Harding started his set. As the venue exploded in ecstasy, I sat down super proud on that lounge sofa. Then we blew up balloons for someone I had met a year and nine months ago and had since become a good friend: Charly (of Nazzz) had his birthday two days earlier.”

Kim Verspui photography - MvDJ: "Tom Harding is a hero"


“This party significantly fueled my ambition to make a living from a DJ career. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. But now, almost eleven years later, I am grateful that I can look back on a wonderful time filled with highlights: performances across the country, at Dance Valley, in London, making and releasing music on my own label. My son will be born in five weeks, and one day I will proudly tell him about my DJ adventure.”

“Every now and then, the whole gang from back then comes together again. For example, at Tom Harding & JP Present in the Melkweg. Or to spin a record, like on May 27th during DDOD – Come With Me at VLLA Amsterdam. Come and see!”

This interview was originally published in May 2014 on

Photo credit black-and-white picture: Kim Verspui

Who is MvDJ?

Martijn van der Jagt, a.k.a. MvDJ, was born on March 11, 1983. He is a DJ/Producer, co-founder of ExpandDigital, a graduate in MIM, an administrator, editor, and Dog Talk Ambassador.

MvDJ has a wide repertoire and plays various genres: classics, club, early hardstyle, electro, hard dance, hard trance, hard house, hardstyle, progressive trance, psy trance, tech house, tech trance, and techno trance.

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