Across the planet, fans of hardstyle electronic dance music were pleased to learn that two modern masters of the genre have officially released their newest track of 2021. Known across the world as Showtek, Dutch DJ duo Wouter and Sjoerd Janssen are returning to the electronic dance music spotlight with their brand new release “What is Love,” featuring Theresa Rex on vocals.
“What is Love” features uplifting, light synth work. The pop music softness of the track is a bit of a hard turn from the more hardstyle sound Showtek fans know the duo for. While hardstyle has a more rapid fire beat to beat breakdown, the beat work and bass in “What is Love” are on a noticeably slower tempo for a Showtek banger.
However, this is complemented swimmingly by Rex’s exploratorily darker vocal prowess, painting the more club-centric beat in a more ominous, reflective light. From there, the melodic piano work and tropical house-reminiscent synth accompany Rex’s smooth vocals nicely. Light synth is a constant in “What is Love” blossoming into an exuberant techno-centric chorus.
While the rhythm is more grounded in modern EDM and the pop elements that have become associated with the genre, Rex’s soaring vocals cement the track’s dance club sensibilities. With these highs and lows hand in hand with one of the most alluring rhythms one could ask for in an electronic song, the broad appeal of “What is Love” certainly cannot be denied.
“What is Love” frequently explores themes of love and relationships, often emphasizing the struggles of interpersonal relationships. Rex’s vocals serve as the focal point in conveying this message, resonating in the chorus most powerfully. The lyrics, penned by Canadian singer and songwriter Jessie Reyez, come through Rex’s unique vocal talent effortlessly.
"What is love. A philosopher's favorite question. For musicians like us it’s a great way to express how we feel,” Showtek commented about their new release. “The 90's house music style is a big part of our lives and inspiration personally, and a perfect way to lay that sentiment down into a track. We wrote this one with Jessie Reyez and love how Theresa Rex performed her vocals on this. Both great artists we loved working with.”
Showtek has been actively producing and making their unique brand of sound since 2001. The brothers once dominated the underground hardstyle scene before garnering attention from their breakout hits “FTS,” “The Colours of the Harder Style,” and “Black” just to name a few of their early bangers. Showtek currently has two studio albums out, a number of EPs, and more singles than any one page could list.
The duo quickly began selling out shows alongside the onset of the EDM boom. In 2012, the group achieved international fame with their collaboration “How We Do” with EDM icon Hardwell. The hits just continued on and on in 2013 with “Get Loose,” “Cannonball,” “Booyah,” and “We Like to Party.” The following year in 2014, Showtek went platinum with their “Bad” collaboration with David Guetta and VASSY and saw even more success with their track “Bouncer.”
Currently sitting at almost one billion views across all of their tracks combined on Youtube, the DJ duo shows no signs of slowing down. In the last three years alone, they have also collaborated with Major Lazer, Moby, and Wyclef Jean. The titans of electronic dance have also opened their own record imprint, Skink Records, gathering support from fellow EDM powerhouses like Calvin Harris, Skrillex, and Tiesto, just to name a few of the supporting artists.
Showtek has also graced the stages of some of the most iconic music festivals in the world, including Manchester’s “Don’t Let Daddy Know,” The Netherlands’ “Mysteryland,” Ibiza’s “Pacha,” Las Vegas’ “Electric Daisy Carnival,” Singapore’s “Zouk,” Miami’s “Ultra Music Festival,” and Germany’s “Parookaville.”
Now two decades into their journey, Showtek continues to branch out into the full range of EDM genres, creatively pursuing new endeavors regularly. In addition to “What is Love,” Showtek has also released the songs “Pum Pum” featuring Sevenn and “Someone Like Me” featuring Lxandra thus far in 2021.
"I just love this song, I love the lyrics, the vibe, the whole thing. I am so glad it is finally out for the world to hear,” said Theresa Rex of the new release. “Working with Showtek has been so easy, I feel like we had the same vision for the song and I hope it shines through."
Danish singer Theresa Rex is best known for her work on Martin Jensen’s hit song “Solo Dance.” The story behind her inclusion on that track is a constant source of inspiration in and of itself. One day, while playing jazz in a local town square, Rex’s voice talent caught the attention of a passing music producer and songwriter team combo. Allured by her expressive voice, the duo brought Rex on to record on Jensen’s “Solo Dance” track, which turned into the 650 million view hit it is today.
Following her massive success with “Solo Dance,” Rex has gained fans from around the world and went on to feature on multiple international music releases. She has received over 250 million views for her chart-topping collaboration with Jonas Blue on “What I Like About You,” receiving gold plaques for the achievement in the United Kingdom and Italy.
In January of 2021, Rex and Canadian DJ Frank Walker released their cover of Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me,” which has since reached over six million views across multiple streaming platforms. More recently, Rex’s recent single “Sex” with Alle Farben has been rapidly approaching one million views on Spotify in less than one month.
Rex notes her vocal inspirations to be Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, and Donna Summer, all artists whom she has adored from an early age. Rex’s ongoing solo project currently has more than twenty million streams and has currently been remixed by several DJs, including Rowen Reeks, Nightcall, and Wankelmut.
“What is Love” is out now via Universal Music and is currently available on all major streaming platforms.