Local Rockstars: Sandrien about pulling all-nighters and her rocking Barbies

Local Rockstars: Sandrien about pulling all-nighters and her rocking Barbies

Feb 23, 2012 |  by  |  Music
About the author
Caroline (25) is a writer, an expat enjoying life at its fullest in Amsterdam and a girl born to party. She makes her Friday night plans no later than Monday morning and enjoys drinking verse muntthee just as much as hot-people-watching in the city.

Whether you went out last weekend to check out an uber-geeky beat magician or a depressingly awesome indie rock band, we all know there’s always some serious musical talents rocking around the Dam. You might not recognize them all yet, but don’t worry, you will soon. In this series of interviews we talk to remarkable artists about their music and their inspirations.

Whether it’s Sonar in Barcelona, Berghain in Berlin or Awakenings in the Netherlands, Sandrien and her eclectic techno sets have already made the crowds go wild within and across the borders. She’s been turning tables as one of Amsterdam’s regulars in the scene for 13 years now, alone and in a duo with Carlos Valdes. Sandrien told us how she survives six hour sets like the upcoming Imprint at Trouw, what it means to be a female DJ and why she thinks that being famous is actually overrated.

Let’s start off with a very cliché question. Did you play with Barbies or with turntables when you were a little girl?
Sandrien (laughs): “I actually had both! When I was five years old I had a Barbie, a Ken and a little turntable. I was setting up parties for them and pretended they were dancing in my club.”

Do you get annoyed if people make a big deal out of you being a female DJ?
“For me that’s actually not an issue and I don’t care about people asking that anymore. My aim is to make the crowds happy with my music regardless of being female. I also think people have a wrong image of female DJs competing against each other. It’s not like the model world which is known for constant cat fights. It’s really nice when I meet like-minded girls who like to turn tables.”

What inspired you to become a DJ?
“Before I started playing I went to clubs like Chemistry and Escape where I got inspired by their hosts, Dimitri and Angelo. I was listening to electronic music at home all the time and started collecting vinyl when I was very young. I still love going to record stores and browse through their collections. It’s kind of nostalgic, but for me record stores are the real thing.”

You’re playing a six hour set at IMPRINT@Trouw this weekend. How do you do prepare for such a night-long marathon?
“I already started going through my huge pile of records two weeks before and the closer that day comes, the smaller the collection gets. I usually have dinner at Trouw and then I start the show. Besides that I’m really into sports and good food these days. If you want to continue playing gigs like this, you have to look after your health as well. Being a DJ is my profession, it’s what I love doing. But it’s not all about living a crazy and unhealthy party life.”

What’s your next big project in Amsterdam?
“I still play a lot with Carlos Valdes, we’ll do an EP together in the Red Bull Studio in Amsterdam.  I like living here because I think the city is a great environment to be creative. You have all the possibilities.”

Do you get recognized on the streets here?
“Yes, sometimes I do actually! To be honest, it’s not that important to me. It means way more to me when people show me their recognition in a club, while I’m playing a set that makes them enjoy the night. I think it’s the best reward you can get.”

Go check out Sandrien all night at Imprint this Saturday! Support from Girls Like Us.

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