Local Rockstars: Raaf's Amsterdam dream

Local Rockstars: Raaf’s Amsterdam dream

Nov 20, 2012 |  by  |  Music
About the author
Hi, I'm Sharron (26). Characterized as curious, easily bored and afraid to miss out. So always looking for a new adventure.

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.

The American dream is happening right here in Amsterdam. Fortune and fame seems to be in becoming a DJ nowadays, and it is everybody’s new passion. But how to distinguish yourself? What makes you a proper DJ? And who decides that? But most of all, what is the road like to get there in the first place? For all my questions I met up with Raven Verhoef. Known as DJ Raaf, a 22 year old Amsterdam based DJ who was mentioned in an interview before with Milan Meyberg as ‘one to watch’. What’s there about him besides his sets and baby blue eyes? And how is he planning his ‘Amsterdam dream’?

Oke, so tell me Raaf. You’ve been in this DJ thing since you were seventeen. How did it all start?
“Well, it first started with some DJ lessons back then, just for fun. I got the opportunity to learn a lot about making music. It really started when I went going out at the Studio80. I heard music there that I really fell in love with. It was the deeper, minimal sound. So that’s where I found more of my own style I guess.”

So is this what you have always wanted since you were seventeen?
“No, not really. I just always really enjoyed making music. It all started just for fun, but it got more serious along the way. I never have a special goal in mind. I just got that special feeling when in a club, listening to good music and that was the feeling that I wanted to bring to others myself. I’m the kind of person that has to be totally committed to what I’m doing before I go on and share it with other people.”

And what inspired you as a DJ, to be who you are now?
“It’s not like I had my influence from one kind of artist or that I had it all figured out at the point where it all started. I didn’t emerged out of one style. I had more than a few CD maps worn out before I really felt like I had find my own style. I think I mostly got inspired by the club thing here in Amsterdam.”

In my sets I play selections of house, deep-house and techno, laced with poppy hooks and with heavy emphasis on groove. And what I try, is to keep my sets a little female friendly.

And what are you planning for the future?
“Well I’ve got a few big plans. I want to continue my residency at Milan Meyberg’s Black Box party in Studio 80. Raaf & Absurd is a new project I’ve started together with a friend and we have clear plans on conquering the world. I’m also busy organizing a party at AIR Amsterdam with a few friends and colleagues. I can’t tell you much about it yet, but it’s going to be an awesome party with a line up you surely won’t want to miss. Something else I’m really looking forward to is the new party Windmill by Prunk in AIR Amsterdam. That’s where I will be playing with Absurd.”

Tell me about that Absurd friend of yours.
“Well, we met 3 years ago during a DJ contest. But we decided to team up after meeting at an after party. We felt our sounds really connected. From that day on we decided to do something with it. The fun thing about playing together is that you get triggered a lot more than when playing by yourself.”

And your ultimate future place to have a gig?
“That would be at the Panoramabar in Berlin. The last hours when the sun comes up…”

OK, and now a little less hard to accomplish… Summer plans maybe?
“Festivals of course! And I would really like to play at WTTF festival. But winter first!”

You can listen to the mixtape Raaf made for Overdose.am together with Absurd. Raaf will be up next at the Studio 80 on Black Box, November 21th. Together with Absurd he will play at Windmill the 14th of December.

Wind Mill

Feature image by Raisa Kingsma

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