Eelke Kleijn Interview
Three albums into a well established, yet still rapidly ascending career, Kleijn is an artist very much in his element.
In the grand scheme of things, he’s an underground artist, but one who has effortlessly made the jump into the wider world when the time and opportunity have felt right.
As he prepares to release his fourth album later this year, we caught up with Eelke to learn more about this album, and what fans can expect from it.
T.H.E – Hi Eelke! Welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials. What have you been up to, especially during the lockdown?
Eelke Kleijn – Thanks, guys! It’s been pretty relaxed so far, to be honest. I have my studio set up at home so I’ve mostly been writing music. The only real difference with before the lockdown is that I am not travelling and playing on the weekends. But I find it quite relaxing to be able to work on music for such a long period without being interrupted. Apart from music, my wife and daughter have been at home as well. So we’re spending more time as a family and especially my daughter really likes to play Nintendo with me!
T.H.E – We really enjoyed your new single, “The Magician”, and honestly, it’s only gone and increased our anticipation for your upcoming album. How different is it going to be from “Moments Of Clarity”?
Eelke Kleijn – Thank you! If you compare the two albums to each other, Moments Of Clarity was based more in organic sounds and real instruments. I recorded quite a bit of piano and bass & guitar for that one. For my new album, I would say it leans stronger on synthesizers, it has more of an 80s and electronica vibe to it. I was tired of some of the tried and tested sounds out there, so I am experimenting more with different scales and slightly off-key tuned instruments. Overall it is a different album, but you will instantly recognize it as mine.
T.H.E – The process of creating the album, did you think about it before you went into production, or did it happen while you were producing some tracks and it made sense to compile those in an album?
Eelke Kleijn – I usually don’t really think up a concept before I start. Sometimes the album isn’t really even born until I am halfway finished. I started writing tracks just after I had released Moments Of Clarity at the end of 2018. At one point I had 5 or 6 tracks that fit together really well. And then you start to think about possibilities. I like the chemistry that music can have together, it makes you think about things like ‘what if I add a track like this?’ or ‘maybe it’s missing something like that’. I started filling in the gaps with songs and ideas that I felt needed to be one there. Eventually you reach a selection of tracks that just feel like they belong together. I really like working on albums like that. Also because some of the tunes will be in development for almost 2 years, and they grow on me during that time as well. I want the tracks to be somewhat timeless, so if I am not excited a few months down the line they usually won’t make the cut.
T.H.E – What can fans expect from the album?
Eelke Kleijn – As with my previous albums, it has a nice balance of dancefloor tunes and tracks that you would listen to at home. That is something I always strive for with my albums. I also believe the music on this fourth album is some of the best I’ve done to date. If I didn’t believe that I would not release it, I really feel the need to release music that brings something new to the table, something that I haven’t done before. Music is a very personal thing and tastes can differ, but personally I’m extremely excited about this one and I hope my fans will be as well !
T.H.E – The album will be released in September, and we are sure a few more singles will be released, between now and then. How do you go about choosing which songs to make available before the full album release?
Eelke Kleijn – I select the tracks together with my manager, record label and a couple of people whose opinion I hold in high regard. Often it turns out that the first singles will be tracks that I finished first, because they have been in production longest and they feel as the fundament of the album. They have also seen the most plays at my shows and so with trial and error those are always the tracks I am most confident with. But at the same time we can always choose something else later on, for example, we have not yet decided on single 4 at this time. And I could definitely see a situation with Covid-19 leading to a different choice, a down tempo one instead of a dance track for instance.
T.H.E – Lastly, what can you tell us about the rest of your plans for 2020?
Eelke Kleijn – It seems that this will be an extremely hard year to plan. I guess it all depends on how the world deals with Covid-19 and how quickly we can return to normal. If the second half of this year has opportunities for large events, I look forward to playing some gigs again and touring my new album live. But if the 2020 season has already ended prematurely, I will just have to lock myself up in the studio a little bit longer. I would probably start working on a fifth album right away if that is the case. We’ll just have to wait and see!
Stream Eelke Kleijn’s “The Magician” here.