The Antwerp Hundreds

Portraits of a city's people, today

To mark the release of our Warriors edition, we've teamed up with This is Antwerp to bring you 100 Antwerp Warriors, a 100-strong selection of local movers and shakers setting the tone for the neighbourhood of tomorrow. From design and architecture to contemporary art and politics, these are the creatives shaping the narrative of the future.

Coco Haram

Coco Haram

Producer duo

Can you describe what you do? Where you are based, the neighbourhood you live in, your daily routine, the people you work with, the scene you feel the closest to.

We make music that’s as danceable as it is emotional. Right now half of the band (Gavin) moved to Brussels, while the other half (Jonas) still lives in Antwerp’s Zuid neighbourhood. We used to go to the Delhaize at the Museum of Schone Kunsten every morning together to buy a baguette with two balls of mozzarella cheese to make music on a full stomach. We don’t really feel connected to a lot of people. I don’t think we are part of a local scene. We’re mainly booked by artistic institutions so maybe we are part of the ‘artistic scene’, if that’s even a thing.

How do you perceive Antwerp? In your view, what kind of city is it? Its people, its cultural landscape, its vibe? How does it compare to other, similarly-sized cities?

It’s a clean city. The streets are clean. For its size there’s surely a lot going on in Antwerp. There are a lot of medium-sized clubs.  

Antwerp raised taxes for nightshops and brothels – they were found ‘image-lowering’ by the city government – and as a result we ended up supporting our local nightshop (love you Klefki) a lot.

What would you say is Antwerp’s main appeal for creatives? What gives the city its edge?

If you are Dutch-speaking, we’re sure there isn’t a better city to be in Belgium than Antwerp. Mostly because of its people. There certainly are a lot of bad things to say about Antwerp’s way of dealing with things politically right now. But we are stubborn people, and that reflects on our cultural scene.

How would you say Antwerp contributed to making you who you are today? What role has the city played in shaping your outlook and career?

Antwerp raised taxes for nightshops and brothels – they were found ‘image-lowering’ by the city government – and as a result we ended up supporting our local nightshop (love you Klefki) a lot. The influence of alcohol and crappy snacks on our late night production process is not negligible.

On a personal level, what would you like to see more of in the city?

We would like to see more places without police and soldiers.

To you, what is the best way to spend a weekend in Antwerp? If you had to take out-of-towners to one place that truly symbolises the city, what would it be?

Go to the zoo, eat at Snack Rapido, go watch a concert. In summer you definitely need to try swimming in the fountain at the end of our street.  If you skate, we know a lot of good spots so hit us up.

A local legend, neighbourhood anecdote or urban myth?

Jimmy Calais… He swam across the River Scheldt with his synthesizer strapped onto his back. It seems there are more opportunities for musicians on the other side. He found it rough to make a living here. But ever since arriving on the other side, we receive a postcard from him every Christian holiday, urging us to join him.  

Photography Miles Fischler