You can't think of the saxophone without thinking of Bakermat!
Known for his groovy, expressive sounds and trademarked blue circus jacket the Dutch producer Bakermat encompasses more than just music with his movement.
Not only is this talented artist creating unique staples with his soul-infused house music but his honesty and inventiveness breaks past his originals and remixes. We sat down to chat with him about his influences, current obsessions and future plans.
Note: The interview was conducted very shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 16th, 2015, where Bakermat was supposed to perform a week later.
In wake of recent events, and due to your show that was suppose to be happening next week in Paris – what can you say to your fans who are there right now? What kind of positive messages can you send their way in a time like this?
I'm trying to make this a positive thing, it's not very easy. It does a lot to me emotionally, I just landed here and when I got out of the plane I got all the messages. A lot of my friends are in Paris right now, exactly where it happened, and if I'm gunna play I don't like faking shit and what I'm going to play I'm going to play real I'm not going to have a smile on my face and pretend nothing's going on because shit's going on. You know what, the attack is obviously by ISIS and they kind of hate people who dance, smile, – you can't laugh, dance or smile – that's all forbidden! So I was like okay I can give this a twist by fucking them and having a good time I'm all about the opposite and all about having a good time, dancing, and partying.
That's good to hear your response. We're happy to know that your family and friends are okay and that you are doing well at this point. We know that your background is heavily rooted in Europe and in Paris, particularly. Speaking of your background, when did you first discover your love for music?
I got that initial feeling of love for music when I was about six when I listened to a James Brown record, “I Feel Good” and I was like FUCK music is awesome and then I started collecting music records. I've been doing that since I was 18 and then I studied psychology and didn't really do anything with music and then I took a semester off my third year because I wanted to see what other type of stuff I could do. So I tried stand-up comedy, and also music, and that's when I made several records and put them online and they went viral!
That's awesome! You can't think of Bakermat without thinking of jazz, obviously, talk about some of your biggest influences.
Number 1 is Coleman Hawkins, he plays simple melodies – so not very complex… simple shit! And every note is on point. He is my main, main inspiration and after that is Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, the regulars.
You know I was reading previous interviews where a lot of people ask the redundant question, “what's your genre” and you usually answer, “I don't really have one” and you believe that melodies are the most important component of music. What are some other concepts you believe are up there with melody as an essential piece?
Yeah, FUCK GENRES! Melody and rhythm, but personally I do not like the Latin American rhythm, it's just a personal thing…
Hmm… any particular reason behind that?
I just don't like the sound, genres are not important – it's rhythm and melody. But I will say that I do like Spanish music in general..
So, everyone these days are trying to blend in live music with electronic as you know. How do you make that unique to your brand? It seems like artist are just doing it to do it… what do you think?
Can I be honest? I started playing with a live saxophonist spontaneously since 2012 and that was really awesome but, at the moment I cannot say it's really unique because a thousand other people are doing that right now and it's not very original. So now I am trying to find other ways to express myself, music is something that everyone will copy and it will always be that way. You can't be original all the time…
Is that something that matters to you the most?
Yeah I mean I make all my shit myself so it's really important to me.
Do you think that having a background in classical music puts you at an advantage when it comes to making those original sounds rather than a producer who doesn't?
Yes, that's a good question. But yes, I do think that! But electronic is just one kind of genres for me I like many, like metal is another one of my favorites. I even like this Dutch music called “Schlager” it's very emotional music and comes from the gypsies. It's very cheesy, but I love it!