Anneke Van Hooff: “If you are a singer in Flanders you can not live from singing alone, only if you get really famous abroad”
August 28, 2012. Anneke you inaugurate this new section of interviews to my artists preferred in Europe’s electronic music. I am grateful to you sincerely for your words and am grateful for your support to this humble blog of musical spreading.
Pep1000: Anneke when you felt that the music would form a part of your life?
Anneke: I have always been surrounded by music. My mother says I was born singing 🙂 We always had children songs playing when I was young. Later I started singing in a children’s choir with my sister. My sister played the piano. I started playing the violin when I was 9 and later I started with oboe. We both played in a symphonic youth orchestra and did many music camps in the summer. Later I discovered “musical theatre” and started taking singing lessons. I studied classical music at the conservatory in Antwerp for 2 years but although opera can be really nice I preferred to sing pop songs. So I went to Holland to study musicaltheatre because that has a lot of different styles in it. After that I recorded my first single: como te quiero.So music had always been in my life.
Pep1000: What does happen in Flanders that it has so many musical groups Trance/Dance? Do not be if it will be innate but… this musical style has in this territory and Holland the Europe’s best places for this musical style!. Probably it would be the northern countries or Sweden your more nearby competition in this style of music.
Anneke: A lot of dj’s and producers in Belgium that make dance music are from “Limburg “That is the eastern part of Belgium. Because there is not a lot to do there, people stay inside and make music! The same with Sweden: People are mostly líving inside because the weather is so cold and then famílies sing by the piano. So Swedish people grow up with music.
Pep1000: How was it TLD’s step to your own career as “Anneke Van Hooff”? How was this done? Regi Penxten was returning to be in your songs…
Anneke: TLD was signed by Warner but they stopped doing Belgian artists because they couldn’t make enough money with that. So I singned with NEWS. Biggest dance label in Belgium. They asked Regi to keep producing my songs. NEWS wanted an other name. I wanted a rzally cool artist name but they preferred my real name. Which I think was the dumbest decision ever 🙂 After Lie to me I never heard of Regi again.
Pep1000: I have never heard a song as “Lie to me”: A sad song, a personal drama sung with a powerful voice and a magnificent and energetic melody Trance… the only and striking mixture! In addition perfectly accompanied by a video clip with a brutal force. An European mega hit! In charts number 1 in Spain, 17 in Belgium… What do you think about this song?
Anneke: It is an amazing song and I am really happy Regi gave it to me. I think it is one of his best ever. A part from “walk on water”.
Pep1000: But this song that has given you so many reputation and good moments… probably you do not like that always they remember you for this hit. Your professional life is much more complex and deep…
Anneke: Don’t mind people remembering me for this song. It’s an amazing song and a beautiful vídeo. But of course I do other things. I played in a soap series in Flanders for 5 years, I acted in a lot of other series, I sing for children in a band, I do commercials on tv, I play the theatre etc. If you are a singer in Flanders you can not live from singing alone, only if you get really famous abroad. If you want to make a líving you have tot do a lot of things because Flanders is so small. We only have 6 million people líving here.
Pep1000: You say in your facebook that you did a single under your own name… and the song “Give”? And connecting with this question: Why did you do only these songs? What did happen later?
Anneke: That is a good question 🙂 Not many people know this. After “give” ,that was only released on vinyl, my record label didn’t find any good new songs for me. So I waited and waited and waited and had a really crappy manager that didn’t do anything for me. Because I didn’t want to wait anymore I started to look around to sign somewhere else. I found a smaller record label that had a lot of Dutch (Flemmish) singing artists and was really powerfull in Belgium. I thought singing in Dutch would be nice as well so their legal department helped me to quit my record deal with NEWS. They told me exacly how to cancell it so I did that. But unfortunately, just after I cancelled my contract with NEWS, the other label (ARS) made a fusion with Universal Belgium and they had too many artists all of a sudden! So they told me: sorry, we have too many artists, we cannot sign you anymore. So I cancelled my record contract with NEWS for nothing… There I was, with no label.
Pep1000: What did be for you to do of secretary “Shirley” in the popular series “Familie”? I am hoping that they export this series to my country …. already!
Anneke: 🙂 Before I did the character of Shirley in the soap series I had my first job in the musical, Tintin.
Pep1000: In the latter years you have been very versatile (musicals, series, movies, model, announcements, presenter…) Do you believe that this has separated you from the record world?
Anneke: Maybe. But what no one knows is that I had a lot of contacts with producers and record companies but nothing ever worked out. Some really good dance producers phoned me and said: we want to work with you but it will take a while and then after 3 years there still was nothing. So 3 years went by. Then another record label asked me to sign with them and after a few conversations they never talked to me again. As if I was air! I hate people who think they are better than other people. I had to hear from a friend that my project was not going on. But they never told me! That is how it goes in Belgium. Then I had contact with an amazing Producer. He came to my house 2 times to talk about my career and we had lovely conversations. Then he asked me to send him some melodies and texts. So I wrote a few songs and sent them to him. After emailing him a few times and phoning him, I never heard from him again!. A few years later I met him and asked him why he never replied my mails and he said he never got my mails. So I always have bad luck. And I can tell you a few more stories. Luck is NOT on my side 🙂
Pep1000: Many artists do duets with important DJ (the majority of they are Dutch!) creating magnificent songs Dance… Have you thought about some collaboration of this type to return in the first positions of the music in Europe?
Anneke: I would love to do that but without a label is is not possible to get in contact with these Dj’s.
Pep1000: Nowadays the social networks are a way to be announced to the fans of the whole world. Do you like to have this more direct contact with your fans? Or you believe that it is so public communication it can reduce her intimacy?
Anneke: I think it is good to be in contact with you fans sometimes. I have a Belgian fanpage where I put on what I am doing. But because my International career is nothing at this moment I think it is no use to put a lot on my facebookpage.
Pep1000: Do you know in your country some web platform of “Crowdfunding”? It is to say a web place that by means of donations the public can finance albums or artists’ tours. Do you believe that this method is a good idea? This can facilitate many singers to doing an album.
Anneke: I think that is a perfect way! Another story: Aboout 1 month ago I phoned one of the labels that works that way. I asked them if they were interested in working with me. The man on the phone was really enthousiastic and told me he would phone me back a week later. Now I have not heard from him a whole month. I am sick and tired of running after people so I will not phone him again. If he wants to work with me? Then he has to phone me back. I let him know I would love to work with them so he knows. I am not going to begg.
Pep1000: A very important part of my channel is dedicated to the Estonian pop/trance music. This small country has artists with very much talent but little known. Every year in the “Eesti laul” the final national phase for Eurovision many artists trust in this contest to be made to know in Europe. You think that it is necessary to be known in Europe it is important? Will we see you some day in the final Belgian phase for Eurovision?
Anneke: Haha! No you will probably never see me in the finals of the eurovision song contest in Belgium because I know I will not be picked out. Only really famous Belgian people get to participate or really unknown artists. And the last 2 years they just picked someone without having a national contest. I don’t think it is important to be known in Europe. I don’t even think it is important to be known at all. But of course if you are a little bit famous you can go and sing in other countries and on big stages. And THAT is important for an artist. Beïng known has nothing to do with that.
Pep1000: Finally I would like you to say something to someone who does not know you still and wants to know your work. Thanks for your words and your time!. We hope news with great interest!
Anneke: Music is something very personal. You either like a song or you don’t like it. You can only know that by listening. If you don’t like my songs, just never listen to them again 😀
You can have more information of this artist in the page on “Facebook” created by a few fans (in Dutch) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anneke-van-Hooff-Officiële-fanpagina/183466817693
Return to Anneke Van Hooff’s page in Pep1000 channel