At a very young age I already had the impression that music and sound would play an important role in my life. But it took me fifteen years to really discover it. My family wasn’t very musical. Except for my grandfather who played piano in a big band, but I was never told much about it. As for myself, when I was young I was playing around with sound, recording and listening to music, my voice and so on.
When I was eight years old, I was recording little dubs with my twin tapedeck, trying to edit and mix tracks together. for my tenth birthday, my parents gave me a Commodore 64 computer (which had that very cool 8 bit digital sound as I would discover much later). Eventually I added a sampling card to it, so I was able to record 2,7 seconds
When it comes to music, my parents had this great vinyl Motown compilation set and soul music was something I really liked. Later on in elementary school a friend of mine gave me a copy of Five Star, which I played for ages. My first vinyl I bought was Madonna’s Lucky Star (I think this was her second single if I am not mistaken) soon followed by Janet Jackson’s When I think of You. I never became a true record collector though.
In that time there wasn’t any dance music the way we know it now, but there was breakdance, electric boogie and hiphop. And of course Michael Jackson, Prince and so on. I was never a fan of rock music back then.
When I was fourteen and in high school, I went to my first concert. As my friends birthday party we went to see MC Hammer. It was very impressive, but most of all very loud!
A few years later The Prodigy came along. Their music sounded so cool, combining rock, hip hop and electronics. As far as electronic music goes, they were my heroes and big inspiration to me. I started trying to mimic the style. Another friend of mine had this small synthesizer and we would play it from time to time, which I just loved. I just had to have one of my own. And so I saved all my money earned delivering papers for more than a year and bought my first synthesizer, a Korg M1. It was so advanced at that time that it would take me a good few years to discover all of it’s functionality.
Master of Science
During my study in electronic engineering at the Technical University in Delft, everything became more serious. My academic counselor advised me to get some external motivation when I was struggling a bit. And so I started focussing more on music. My parents stressed the importance of finishing my study and so I did. And so I have a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. And although I don’t actually do anything in that direction, taking the education was very beneficial to me as it has helped me in developing my way of thinking and overseeing the big picture in projects.
Besides Music I have always been interested in photography, film and 3D graphics and animation. I think this has to do with the fact that I see a lot of duality between the matter. And from there you can be inspired again. And technology in general has always intrigued me.
My First Production
My first record I produced in 1996. It was released through Mid-Town records under the name of Full Fillers. It was followed up by a remix of The Beat is Flow by DJ Rob. After that I did create a second production, but it was never released. I think I was to far ahead of my time.
A series of important remixes I started doing when Tiësto came along. I met him somewhere during the summer of 1998. A business partner who worked in a music store introduced us and I did sort of a pilot remix project called Balearic Bill. My work passed the test and he played the remix during his 1998 Innercity set. Soon after that I was doing a lot of production work for him.
In 2001 we produced the first Tiësto album. and we have worked together for a long time since then doing productions and compositions. There was a whole team of people that made everything happen, but together with him I was singlehandedly responsible for the productions.
The music we put out was always labeled as Trance music, but I don’t think that is justified. If you take a listen to various tracks, you will recognize influences of trance, techno, rock, classical and pop music.
I love all kinds of music and wish to make them too. So that is what I will be pursuing! Whether it will be making music for artists, brands, events, film, games, commercials, as long as I move and inspires people!