One of the Belgian newcomers of 2012, electronic music producer Adriaan Van de Velde a.k.a. Pomrad has raised quite a ruckus with his debut EP ‘Vlotjes’, released this May. His eclectic, genre-crossing style blends everything from electro to funk, hip-hop and R&B. At Dour we caught up with the rising star and chatted about his past in the conservatory, his first festival season and little kiddies’ stories.
So you are from Antwerp. Are you part of a particular music scene there?
There is a scene… but I started by myself, sitting alone in my room and making music, making beats.
At what point in your life did you start making music?
I’ve always played piano, already when I was a kid, classical piano a little bit and a lot of jazz. My father played piano and got me into it, then I went to music school and I recently graduated from the conservatory for jazz music. So piano is really my instrument.
It’s a long way from there to what you do as Pomrad, no?
That’s an interesting question, but it’s hard to answer. Yes, it’s different. But electronic music is also a part of what I’ve always listened to. I’ve never been limited to a specific style or genre. I listen to all kinds of music… jazz, classical, rock, pop… everything. It’s very eclectic and when I play piano or make music, it’s just as eclectic. Pomrad, of course, goes more in the direction of electronic music, beats, hip hop, R&B.
Was there a moment where you decided ‘I want to make electronic music now’?
It wasn’t a decision or anything like that. It’s hard to explain creative processes, creative expressions. Your computer is there, the synthesiser is there, and you just start to record something and the end result turns out to be electronic music. But you don’t tell yourself before: I’ll make some electronic music now. But yes, with Pomrad I make a lot of electronic music and don’t really play instruments.
What does the name Pomrad actually mean? Where does it come from?
When I was a kid I used to write stories during school lessons. Very absurd stories with weird characters. Pomrad was one of the characters who appeared in the stories.
And what kind of character was Pomrad?
Pomrad’s the boy, or man, who always makes sure that in the end everything’s okay. All kinds of things happen, everything goes wrong, but Pomrad always makes everything right again.
Do you still write stories?
No, it was just something I did as a child.
You’ve released your first EP, where did you write and record it?
I basically did everything in my bedroom, just like all the bedroom producers. I have everything in my room, instruments, effects … and that’s also where I record.
The EP was out in May and now you’re already at Dour. That’s pretty cool!
Yes, indeed. I’m surrounded by a great team of people, friends, who are of great help. And my manager did a lot for me.
Are you playing a lot of festivals?
12 in total, spread out over Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg.
Do you prefer to play in clubs or at festivals?
The most important things are to have a nice stage and a good sound. Then it doesn’t really matter if it’s in a club or at a festival. Althought Pomrad probably works best in clubs.
Which gig have you enjoyed the most so far?
What I really loved was when, in the very beginning, I played at a party at my house in Antwerp. We had a huge living room and there were a lot of people and I played my songs for all my friends and people were crowdsurfing and singing along to all the songs. It was really fantastic and went on till 3 in the morning.
Do you have time to see some other bands at the festivals? Any discoveries?
Well, there’s not really enough time. We’ll leave after this interview and tomorrow I have to play somewhere in the north of the Netherlands. I’d love to hang out here. First I thought, wow, festivals, but now I’ve realised that it’s rather stressful and you just go there, play, and move on to the next one.
Our next issue is the pink issue – what’s pink music for you?
I’ve always been interested in synesthesia. But I don’t think that any of the music I have in my head is pink. If I had to choose something, my association would be something that’s not related to music. Well, some ambient music goes to purple or pink in my head, maybe. Tim Hecker for example or Taylor Deupree.
You are working with Oh Wee in Antwerp, what exactly do they do for you?
They’re a label that wants to be a platform for musicians in Antwerp that do electronic, funky bass music. It’s basically friends of mine, that’s how I met them.
What are your plans for the future, for after the festival season?
I want to make a lot of new tracks, new music. Maybe I’ll release another EP in the Spring or earlier. And I want to explore my live sets a little bit more.facebook.com/pomrad