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“I’m not too concerned with knowing all that much.
For I already know how little we really know.
I just care to know my song,
Like the baker knows his dough,
Like the dancer knows his body,
Like the ocean knows its depths.”
[from “Where the wind blows”- 2003.]
For as long as I can remember, I’ve written, be it stories, diaries, or poetry. My first experience with songwriting was in broken English, at the age of eleven, to a background track of elementary school musical songs.
Growing up in Holland, in the outskirts of Rotterdam, music was never an active part of my life. I started listening to music around the age of fourteen or so, a funny combination of Madonna, Joy Division, Kim Wilde and the Doors, along with some New Age/Electronic music my father loved. After High School I studied French in university, but after two months I decided I’d much rather go to Paris.
I modeled there for a living, but after about six months I felt it was time to move on.
I moved to Sydney, Australia, working and living there for another six months.
By this time I had written journals and journals full of ramblings, but never quite yet ventured into the musical realm. I played with the idea and decided to go pursue it in Los Angeles.
So, at twenty, I moved to L.A. with only two suitcases. After spending the first few months just surviving, going through as many “singer wanted” ads and auditions as I could, I decided to take a little more control of things. I bought myself a guitar, learned two chords and wrote two songs. The time had come to perform and this happened at an open mike in Hollywood’s Highland Grounds. I was number 40, this gave much time to drink my nerves away. Since I had never sang into a mike and was finger picking the two chords I knew, I was looking down at my guitar. Needless to say, my forehead was where my mouth should be, until I decided to lift my head up and just sing my heart out.
This head-banging first performance caught the attention of Martin Motola, with whom a long musical partnership started just a few nights later. We wrote several songs on our first meeting and started performing them on a weekly basis at The Kibbitz Room in Hollywood. That’s where I discovered my love for performing.
I stayed in LA for nearly six years, and went through different stages of musical discovery, playing with several bands and producers. But my most honest work always seemed to be working with Martin, or writing on my own. I played in places like Ghengis Cohen, The Kat Klub, Lush, The Crooked Bar, etc. After countless demo’s we put together my first album “Shades”. It was done at home, with both me and Martin producing.
The journey continued to Amsterdam, where I stayed for a year, playing many shows at venues like The Winston and Paradiso. I also played at the “Kashmir Klub” and the “Acoustic Trip” in London and the “Lizard Lounge” in Paris. Most of these shows were done acoustically, but some were done with a sampler or with a full band. In that same year I co-wrote and performed a song for a European movie, and received some airplay in Europe and on college stations in the U.S.
I am now based in Nashville and have been playing at clubs like the Mercy Lounge, Jackson’s, 12th and Porter, the Radio Café, etc. I am exploring new musical influences such as cello and mandolin. Currently, I am working on my next album.
Over the years, I’ve always listened with great joy to my all-time favourites like Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, PJ Harvey, Jeff Buckley, Enigma, Heather Nova, and many others. From my earliest days, listening to my fathers new age, to the here and now, music has always been a great big magical love and influence that I can’t possibly describe in words.