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Eelke Kleijn, the Dutch modern composer launches his new album on September 25th.

Today we have the pleasure of having among us one of the youngest and most talented producers and composers of the electronic scene, owner of the Days like Nights label.


Exclusively interviewed , Eelke Kleijn announces the release of his latest  album Oscillations ,  coming September 25th.

Welcome Eelke, tell us all novelties and curiosities to be closer to you and to your music. 

1.- IBR.- You started very, very young, it was difficult for you to enter a world that is relatively airtight?


Eelke Kleijn : I had my first release in 2003 when I was twenty. I think it was after 2 or 3 years of trying to make music. I was actually surprised that I got the hang of it relatively quickly. After my first release many followed between ‘03 and ‘06, especially for side projects and other acts. I don’t think it was any harder to break into the industry then as it is now, in the end it all comes down to writing good music.

Eelke Kleijn [by Kirsten van Santen].JPG

2.- IBR.- We know that you love to compose also for TV, Videogames, if you could choose between making music for the dance floor and for the TV, which would you choose?


Eelke Kleijn :  That is a very tough decision. After writing dance floor material for a while, I can get kind of bored with it. Doing another kind of assignment is great to shake things up.

The problem with writing for TV or ads is that you’re always writing for someone else. So I can feel like I wrote the best car-commercial tune there is to write, but if the car company doesn’t feel it I still need to change my music. In the end I really like both, but if I had to choose one it would be the dancefloor, simply because I am the only one that decides when something is finished and ready for release.


3.- IBR.-Did you study music, composition, harmony, which instruments do you play?


Eelke Kleijn : I applied for music school Conservatory  after high school, but I never made the cut. I then decided to work for a while and try again, but that last bit never happened.

I have had piano lessons since I was 12 though, and more recently taught myself to play guitar and bass, although I’m best on piano. I would love to take up drums as well at some point, but currently I just don’t have the space for a full drum kit!


4.- IBR.-You are giving tutorials on how you make music,  What made you make this decision?


Eelke Kleijn :  I first did a few tutorials for fairs such as Dance Fair, and the feedback was pretty good. I think we recorded one or two as well and that got me thinking about growing my own YouTube channel. I’m mostly aiming at deconstructions of my own music, so people can see what tricks and techniques I use. But lately I’ve done a few videos on more general production tips as well.

5.- IBR.-This year of 2020 is being a very prolific and creative year for you,  tell us about your latest releases and especially about the one that is about to come out ?


Eelke Kleijn : Yeah it’s been one hell of a weird year for sure. When Covid happened earlier this year I was already working on my next album, Oscillations. I had kept April and May relatively quiet so I could work on the album a bit more. But then everything world-wide was cancelled, and I had all the time in the world to finish it. It was a bit of a blessing in disguise I guess.


So between March and July, I have pretty much worked on the album non stop.

The releases from that period The Magician, The Hierophant, Woodstock  are all a part of it. Now that the release date September 25th  is coming closer, I’m getting really excited. It’s like showing your child to the world for the first time, I’m extremely proud of it, but you always have to wait and see how everyone will respond.


6.- IBR.- Tell us if you have any favourite track ( Yours) and the one which has a special story ?


Eelke Kleijn : There are many favourites on the album, but I think my number one track on it is Woodstock. I wrote the idea for that track on a plane and I finished it at home when I just got my brand new Moog One synthesizer.

Lots of sounds and melodies from Woodstock were created on the Moog. I had always wanted to do a sort of ode to Woodstock ‘69 in Bloemendaal, our famous Dutch beach club which is one of the best venues in the world in my opinion. When I played Woodstock there for the first time as a closer, everything just seemed to fit.


7.- IBR.- What do you think has been your best performance throughout your career?


Eelke Kleijn :  I’m not sure if it was the best, but one performance I was extremely proud of was my first ever liveset at DGTL Festival last year. I had worked so hard on that liveset, and seeing it all come together at the festival was just amazing. I’ve never been so nervous for a gig as well, even though I play piano quite well I wasn’t used to playing for an audience. So playing some of my melodies live for such a huge crowd was the most frightening thing I’ve ever done on a stage I think!


8.- IBR.-When creating, where do you get your inspiration from?

Eelke Kleijn : Usually from the music itself. It’s a matter of layering and trying out ideas. One element will lead you to another, and to another. It’s all experimentation for me, some ideas work out, others don’t. Sometimes you go so far away from what you started with that it turns out as something completely different. But that is the beauty of it as well. A great track to me is something that I could have never thought up beforehand, but you still arrive there through improvisation and trying new things.


9.-IBR.- What are your influences, talking about artists and styles of music. 

Eelke Kleijn :  I try not to let myself be influenced too much, and at the same time I always pay attention to what is happening in the scene. I really pride myself in having a unique sound. When I was younger I sometimes thought ‘I wish I was more like artist x or artist y’, but nowadays I realise the one thing that can make you stand out is not sounding like another artist.


At the same time you don’t want to sound so different from everyone that it makes it hard to actually sell your music. There’s a couple of people I really admire for pushing the music scene forward. Artists such as Maceo Plex or Joris Voorn, they’ve had a profound impact on how electronic music sounds. When I am at home not writing music, I usually listen to other styles though. Bands like Editors, Muse, Rage Against The Machine. I get a lot of inspiration from them as well, though it might not seem obvious when you listen to my work.

Eelke Kleijn [by Walter Paz].JPG

10.- IBR.- In the process of creation of a track, since you create it, you shape it, you mix it, you master it, etc... In which of those processes you enjoy more or you feel more identified?

Eelke Kleijn :  The part I like the most is the moment that you realise you have something really good, and the track sort of writes itself. Some ideas are amazing, but still take tremendous work to finish. But every now and then an idea comes along that feels so natural that you’re wondering why nobody has done it before. That is my favourite moment, you can write a track like that in one or two days. Okay, to be fair I usually need weeks more to really work out the details, but that original idea comes together so quickly and that is the most fun.


11.- IBR.-What would you recommend to people who do not know how to enjoy music without using drugs?.


Eelke Kleijn :  In principle I don’t have anything against listening to music on drugs. But if you are not enjoying music without them, you should be asking yourself the question whether you’re listening to the right type of music. When I write tracks, one of my main tools is whether the music is giving me goosebumps. If so, I know I am on the right track. And I feel proud to say that even after hundreds or maybe thousands of listens, some of my own tracks still give me goosebumps. If you’re not getting any of that, maybe you’re not listening to the right music?


We wish you great successes. Deserved. 

Please continue giving us joy with your sets , your lives, your performances and your tracks. 


You know you can count on us ALWAYS. 

Interviewed by Paul Ross

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