We meet with the young and very talented Lodewijk Fluttert – the Psychology undergraduate student turned deep house DJ/producer, Bakermat – whose harmonious alloy of natural talent, fruitful procrastination and social networking, has served as a catalyst to get him to the big leagues.
In the short space of a year, his melodic happy-go-lucky sounds and positive messages, have filled the souls of his listeners, and, like a chemical reaction, have taken him to a transcendental level. Following the release of his first EP Vandaag & Zomer, Bakermat has reached number 1 in Holland, France, Luxemburg, Belgium and Switzerland.
His beautifully sampled soul-infused tracks are the ideal match for a sunset party on a white sandy beach. As night falls, the moon begins to shine, and the music starts to play, a little bit of magic “Fluttert’s” in the air. With a humble and gracious tenor, Bakermat opens up to tell us what it’s like to have seen his life take a breathtaking and unexpected turn…
How did you manage to get so many followers in such a short period of time?
It happened pretty randomly actually. I never really did a big promo campaign or anything. I think the main reason for the quick growth is the music. It’s a new kind of sound that the current generation digs.
To what extent do you think that social networking is vital to the success of an artist?
I think it’s really important. I created a career out of it. I started with nothing, didn’t even know what a label was. I just put my tracks on SoundCloud and through the power of sharing it went viral. Communication via Facebook and Twitter is a very easy way to connect with your fans. Media is really useful in spreading new music to people that wouldn’t normally listen to your kind of music.
How did you and Koodbloe get together?
I signed with Koodbloe last year. They saw my big growth on the Internet and contacted me. I really didn’t know what to do with all the booking requests that I got in my mailbox, so they helped me with it. Eventually, I signed for a full management contract with them. They are one of the best things that happened to me.
Your first EP releases, “Vandaag” and “Zomer”, were at Delicious Records, a French label. You’ve developed a strong relationship with the French… What’s the story behind that?
I really don’t know. (Haha!). I think my specific sound is exactly what the French like. It’s very melodic and contains a lot of classical instruments. I can’t really find another reason actually!
How does it feel to have seen your EP reach the iTunes electronic music top 10 in Europe, becoming no1 in Holland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland?
It’s really crazy to see that. I still can’t really believe it’s that popular. I made the tracks in my student room, with no idea what I was doing whatsoever. I made them for myself because I was bored of cleaning up my room. My roommates came in and told me to put them online. One thing led to another and now I’m suddenly in the charts! It’s a weird, but beautiful feeling.
What inspired you to incorporate Martin Luther King’s powerful “I have a dream” speech in your track “Vandaag”?
I think it’s the best speech ever written and narrated. The speech is music itself. I thought it would be nice to ‘remix’ it and so, I started the track “Vandaag” from scratch, with only the speech to draw inspiration from. I made the chords and built stuff up around it. Martin Luther King remains one of the best speechmakers ever.
How did you first come about fusing jazz and blues elements to your deep house beats?
I always loved jazz, blues and soul. They are my great inspirations. I have almost 200.000 jazz/blues/soul records in my collection. I started collecting them when I was 13, and I’ve never stopped collecting them. At a certain point (I guess when I turned 16) I started listening to electronic music too. The idea of fusing the two emerged when I was studying in my room. I had a deep house track playing in the background, and suddenly I realized the genres were a good match.
Do you play any of the instruments featured on your tracks yourself? How do you come up with such catchy “feel-good” instrumental riffs?
I play the piano, and I used to play the saxophone. But in my tracks I use a lot of samples. I cut them up into a certain sequence that I like, or I just use the original ones. I think sampling is an art of it’s own. You have to find or create that perfect riff out of a bunch of samples or tracks, and have to come up with a good chord progression that fits.
What do you prefer – the creative process behind the music or the live interaction with the crowd?
I like being in the studio better than performing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like performing. Performing can give me goose bumps and can make me really happy if I have a great crowd. But there’s nothing that can beat the feeling of being in the studio and coming up with a musical idea. That moment, the moment when you finally have it just the way you like it, it’s magic.
What do you think is the biggest element that contributed to your success?
Having a new sound – I wanted to create a fresh, specific and unique sound. I think that’s the only way to gather a great amount of loyal fans. It’s the basic element to being a musician/producer/DJ.
You have some upcoming shows alongside Goldfish. How does it feel to play with such talented artists?
The guys from Goldfish are still my big example. They have massive tunes and are one of the best live acts I know. I’m honoured to be on the same stage with them, and I try to learn a lot from them. They have been in the business a lot longer than I have, so they can teach me a few things. (Haha!). I’ve played with them a couple of times and we’ve become friends, so it’s always fun to have gigs with them.
It’s only the beginning for you… What has been the most exciting moment so far?
I’ve had too many to just pick one! I’ve been on stages playing for more than 50,000 people; I’ve played in countries I never thought I would visit in my life. It feels like it’s all just one big dream and I could wake up at any moment and find myself back in my messy student room.
Who are you working with on your album at the moment? Will there be any surprises?
Well, I’m currently experimenting with a lot of new instruments like guitars and violins. I’ve also really dug into old American folk music, soul and blues. I try to draw inspiration from these genres and I sometimes use samples from some of these old songs in my new tracks. There will definitely be some surprises. One track I just finished doesn’t contain a beat…
Bakermat’s artful use of suspense and intrigue, with an element of surprise, always leaves us wanting more. One thing is for sure – Bakermat won’t be waking up from his dream anytime soon.
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