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.
I currently work as a manager – although you could also call it partner, uncle or nephew – for different musicians: Liesa Van der Aa, Hiele, STUFF., Granvat and Amatorski. I run buteo buteo, a small music label. The most recent releases were STUFF’s nameless debut album and a best of selection from Ryuchi Sakamoto. Upcoming is a re-release of the work of Antwerp-based band Wizards of Ooze. And, when I’m not doing that, I co-organise Deep in the Woods festival, which I also co-founded with a group of friends back in 2010. Obviously my daily routine involves lots of mails, phone calls, meetings and concerts.
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?
I’ve always liked living in Antwerp, most of my family and friends live here or close by. That’s what connects me the most to the city. Geographically, Antwerp is a good hub with easy connections to Brussels, Ghent and the main Dutch cities. We have lots of art galleries and I always enjoy visiting places such as deSingel, M HKA, KMSKA, Het Bos, Extra City, De Roma and record stores like Fat Kat and Tune Up. As for the music scene, when comparing it to other cities, I have the feeling the city doesn’t have (enough) small venues and bars where you can enjoy music by a selector/DJ or see live bands.
How would you say has Antwerp contributed to making you who you are today? What role has the city played in shaping your outlook and career?
I’ve met a lot of interesting and inspiring people here. Special shout out to record shop owners Kenny from Fried Chicken and Hans from Stereophonics (both out of business), Staf from Fat Kat records and Carlo from Tune Up for helping me out.
On a personal level, what would you like to see more of in the city?
Vegan restaurants, and further (smart!) development on both sides of the riverbank.
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?
I’d fix them some bikes for a ride next to the River Scheldt. Then I’d take them to see a show at Het Bos or deSingel, catch an exhibition at M HKA or KMSKA, have a coffee and go for some record shopping in the city centre.buteosquare.com