Skip to content

AFROJACK Just ‘Can’t Stop’

The DJ/producer told us all about his new psytrance rave banger 'We Can't Stop' with Timmy Trumpet and Lil Jon
(Credit: Ruud Baan)

AFROJACK had been everywhere—from Europe to Africa to the Middle East—in the weeks before we spoke about his new single “We Can’t Stop,” an energetic, psytrance rave banger with Australian favorite Timmy Trumpet and hip-hop superstar Lil Jon. 

Performing under three different DJ monikers, the Dutch-born uber-producer is in the midst of a globe-trotting, jam-packed tour with dates through most of 2024. “I was in South Africa last weekend, and now I’m here in Miami. I’ve been here a few days, and tomorrow I’m flying to Tomorrowland Winter.”

In AFROJACK’s case, long pauses seem to pay off: It was over a dozen years ago when he first met Lil Jon at a festival. Fast forward to 2024, and the long-time DJ collaborators finally released a dual effort track together—thanks to Timmy Trumpet. 

AFROJACK lives by a non-formulaic ethos, and his alternate DJ handles, NLW and Kapuchon, serve a purpose of broadening the spectrum of music he makes and increasing the number of gigs he can play, even on the same day.

And AFROJACK has gone a step further this year, announcing a new project with longtime friend Steve Aoki: the aptly titled AFROKI. 

A Timmy Trumpet Effort

AFROJACK: It was his idea. He sent me a record that he started working on. He said he wanted to envision a Timmy Trumpet effort. So he started making it and then he sent it to me.

I just started building on top of that. And then we just started sending back and forth. These days, we don’t really have time to get in the studio with each other because we’re all different places. And I think he still lives in Australia with his wife. 

You know, you DJ a lot, and we run around the world all together. We do a lot of festivals together. And then one party said, we should do a collaboration. And then it was like, okay, what would that sound like? Just super high energy with my bleepie stuff.

I always want to be very eclectic. I like to have fun with things. And he’s just super high-energy. So I think that’s how it worked together very well.

Lil Jon, the King of Crunk

That’s how I always say it, but I think a lot of people forgot about it. He’s still like the King of Crunk, with the diamond glass he always carries. His Pimp Cup, back in the day.

I think his energy is just something you can only get from him. And I think for a few years already, he’s been the King of EDM. He has his DJ gigs,  and they’re always very high-energy. 

I think that was about 12, 13, years ago when he started DJing, started getting into house music. I think I met him for the first time with Steve Aoki at EDC Los Angeles back in the day. 

I was working on [the song] with Timmy, and we couldn’t figure out the vocals. What about if we called Jon? So I called Jon, and he jumped on it, and then that’s how the song came to be. Easy classic. It’s super simple. You send him the beat, you have a call, and he records himself, he engineers himself, and you get back a bomb.

Most of the experienced artists like him understand how to engineer themselves, understand how they work. We work with new artists that just got sucked into the fame and everything.

They’re, like, out getting drunk, going to strip clubs, enjoying life, which is, of course, their right. But we’re dealing with more experienced artists [who] have their life in order. They got their family, know how to divide their time, know how to get the product right, get the sound right. 

Lollapalooza, August 6, 2023 in Chicago. (Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Alter Egos

The music industry is a very interesting place. And it’s very much about music and art, but it’s also very much about commerce and business. People start pulling on you for that because that’s what pays their bills. So they want you to make more streaming records. They want you to make more singalong records.

They want you to make more radio records. So it’s very easy to get lost in that, to get addicted to the same attention and fame. It’s the same with streaming numbers.  

And the people around you could enable you to just think that’s the key to everything. Post-COVID, everything started up again. I started getting back into that old cycle, and I was like, okay, no, I’m done. I can’t enjoy it anymore.

So I really started putting emphasis on putting a lot of music out under my alter egos, Kapuchon and NLW. And I mean, I’m even thinking about doing more because I just love making music so much and I’m enjoying it now so much. When there’s no pressure of it needing to be a streaming record, or it needs to be a sing-along record. You can really just do what you feel. 

Next week I’m performing at Ultra under Kapuchon in the daytime, and then in the evening as AFROJACK. So that’s what I’m excited about.

As a DJ, I play a lot of techno, a lot of electronic stuff. I play a lot of trap dubstep nowadays. Since last summer I started playing a lot of drum and bass, even though I never released a drum and bass record. I grew up on it back when I was a kid.


It’s a perfect match. I’m really hands-on when it comes to engineering, and he’s really hands-on when it comes to marketing and executive producing. He gets a lot of vocals in, and he has so many creative ideas.

And I have some creative ideas, but I’m more about, like, getting the kick to sound right or mixing the sub-bass, or doing the laboratory shit basically. 

I think it’s a little bit the old-school combination of my sound and his sound and his energy also and me trying to do some cool tricks. We just want to put the fun back into music. When you listen to it, that’s something interesting, not a sad attempt of garnishing as many streams as possible. 

Do you really need the second drop to be identical to the first one? Or does the first and second chorus really have to be the same? Of course, it needs to have some type of repetition. But I think you can be a lot more experimental these days.

One of my favorite records is “Family Ties” by Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar, it goes in three different directions. And it’s funny, I was talking to my publisher, and he said one of our four producers made that beat, and I actually had to say, “Which one?” To me, that’s inspirational and motivational to see that within one song you can have multiple themes, multiple things going on. And that really allows a song to become more of a story than just a repetitive message.