How do you view the past year for music?
“It was very nice for me personally. Everything was much more intense, at festivals too. I was finally able to perform many new acts that had been on the radio for a long time. Personally, I haven’t had so many concerts in one year. It was festive.” And very special.
Any new verb that pleasantly surprised you? I didn’t get to see much, because I had a baby last year. But of course you’ve noticed that Goldband has exploded tremendously. I wanted to see S10 and Froukje live. They have performed at a number of festivals where I have also been.
I think Froukje and S10 are amazing talents.
Could you be jealous of colleagues: why didn’t I do this or that, and they did?
No, in fact, on the contrary. It’s funny to see that I was one of the few Dutch actors to begin with. I probably shouldn’t be talking about this myself, but I’ve always been on a corner with Ro Glosbeef and Spinvis. In recent years many new works in Dutch have been added and it feels like something has broken. I think it’s almost hard to break through as an English speaking business right now. I would love to see that rather than be jealous of someone. I hope that we are seen above all as independent verbs with their own voice, and that we are not always put in the same heap in the media, just because of language.
Have you become a salonfähig to sing in Dutch?
“I don’t know, but it’s not what it used to be. Certain paths have already been taken, especially in the cabaret corner and Nederpop vocal. You had Acda, De Munnik, Bløf, Van Dik Hout, but there’s still a lot that’s missing. When Thinking back, I can’t come up with a single Dutch Poppy work from the past. There weren’t a lot of alternative works either. Spinvis was probably the first, I think. And then very few came for a long time.
Your son comes with you to all of your performances. How do you like the mix of music and motherhood?
When we just started touring, I had given birth over five months early. It was very difficult, because the nights were still very difficult. At that time I was sick and worn out all the time. During live performances, I would cough so much that at the beginning of the show I would say to the audience: “It’s because I didn’t sleep.” I was so obsessed with falling asleep and thinking of my son and playing that day’s show, I couldn’t do more. When my son was seven months old, my sleepless nights suddenly ended and things got better. At one point it really became a party and then he went backstage and sat on the laps of all the band members. I’m also fortunate enough to be able to bring a nanny with me while touring. this is wonderul.’
Do you feel a lot of nervousness before going on stage?
I recently did a mini-tour of Germany and Switzerland, with separate shows. I did it solo, because I’m still very young there. I was nervous about it, because it was something new to me. But usually I don’t mind. We’ve done so much with the band and we’ve been so good with each other that I always look forward to it. It’s kind of like a gig on stage. Not that I make party music, but there is a lively atmosphere. With the band itself, but also among the audience. This has something to do with all these Corona years, but maybe also because my music invites you to dance a little more these days. I myself am also looser than ever on stage and in the current formation we have two backing singers dancing, which also excites more in the audience. I noticed that not only did they no longer look at me in a good way, but they really got involved and gave me something back.
You are one of the most successful names in the world of music. Can you understand how big it all is in a short time?
I’ve been at it for a long time, so I don’t feel like I’ve made much progress. I also think it’s hard to be so prosperous at the beginning of your career, because then you have to maintain it somehow. I never got that, I didn’t suddenly shoot up in the air. I started out relatively small and then kept going to places that were a bit bigger. with another record Sweet and bitter This momentum, with a lot of attention from the media, gained the biggest festival stages. I can understand that because everything was going steadily and it didn’t just come out of nowhere. In fact, I’ve always had the idea that there’s a lot more to it than that. Before releasing my fourth album, I also made big changes in my team: different management, different label. Everything is different. It was good for me to feel that with the fourth album I could still make a fresh start and not mature in what I was doing. In terms of music, content and live, I wanted to take a big step, but I must say: I did not expect it to be such a success. At the same time, my life is still very normal.
To have a family, to be home with my son. I really need that, I think. I always have to stand with one foot in a very ordinary life, because that is also what drives me to write. I don’t literally write about this home and motherhood, but about the people around me, what our relationships are like, the pain as well as the happiness in ordinary life. I’m also not someone who really gravitates towards the big things in entertainment. If it weren’t for the music, I’d be quick to dismiss something.
You’re not one to go hard on the red carpet and champagne for the first time. “I sometimes go to award shows, but I usually get nominated for something. When I won all the awards in 2020, they weren’t there because of Corona alone. It was a shame, because it made me miss all the parties I used to love to go to. I like it, but I’m not attracted to it.” right to him.
You said in another interview that you come from a very middle-class, almost working-class family. Little money, parents divorced, mother on welfare. Little was expected of you, and now it’s a completely reversed situation. How do you deal with that?
I’m a little sorry about these statements, as they can give the wrong impression. Almost there was some sort of Tokkie-esque vibe to my childhood, but that wasn’t the case at all. What I meant by folk is that I spent a good part of my childhood with my grandparents who came from Moervik. It was very casual in a way and maybe a bit unassuming – no fancy dinner parties with etiquette, but chaotic gatherings with cooking and music all together – which I’ve always loved. I was still very young when I started composing and recording songs, and it’s something a lot of parents sit on: Oh, she can do this well, and she should do something with that! My parents never pushed or required me to do anything with my musical talent. That’s what I meant by not expecting too much from me, which is actually very positive. My parents let me figure everything out at my own pace, and especially my mother was always very honest. If she liked a song, she said so, but she also told us if she didn’t like the song. I’ve always carried a mirror of reality. That has been very helpful to me.
What do you think of parents who cheer their kids on all the time, even if they just made an ugly piece of toilet paper?
“I don’t think it’s right to praise your child all the time. It also gives a certain pressure to perform, something I haven’t felt much myself. I’ve noticed that I still don’t have that with my music. People expect everything from me because I have a certain degree of success. But I I don’t take it as a burden on my shoulders.
I’m sure there are many artists out there who would like to know how this is possible…
I really dont know. I just want to make something new each time and start the next chapter. For me, this is bigger than my need for acknowledgment. I have this too, just to be clear. But what I’ve achieved now with my fourth album is as good as it gets. You don’t have to go over that on the next record. Greater commercial success is not an end in itself. I want to keep doing what I’m doing now, but I want every record to be a step forward. For me personally, at least. This means that each record must have its own type of adventure. I shouldn’t feel like I’m scoring too fast or repeating myself.
I am very keen on that.
There is hope in your music, but there is also a lot of sadness and melancholy. Where does that come from?
My life is not grey, let’s put it this way. There is a lot of happiness and a lot of positive vibes but also melancholy and sadness. That’s not a bad thing, I guess. If you can embrace melancholy and sadness, you will have a warmer life in return. This is also what you hear in my music, I think.
Does blues go hand in hand with blues or maybe depression for you? I must say I have a very dark side. People close to me know that too. I struggled with that for years. It was kind of a shadow over my life, but also a huge motivator for making music. It was another way of expressing myself and getting to know my feelings. This has always been very helpful to me, but I am also in much better shape now, especially since our baby was born.
Curious about the rest of the interview? I read it in the latest Revu.