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.

Hush Hefner

Hush Hefner

DJ, Promotor

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 co-promote the Hush Hush and Kleinhouse parties. I DJ and work as a freelance legal (mainly copyright) consultant. As my work is very versatile, I don’t really have a daily routine and the people I work with come from different backgrounds. I might be doing a back2back with a befriended DJ on a Saturday night, work on a legal advice on Monday, and meet with a sound supplier for a new event on Tuesday. The fact that I get to work with a lot of different people makes my average workweek pretty interesting. Everything I do is mainly related to music and nightlife. I’m into a lot of different genres and I feel at home in several music scenes, whether it’s house, disco, funk, soul or hip hop. I think the scene I feel closest to is the “music enthusiasts’ scene,” if there is such 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?

Antwerp is a melting pot – culturally, ethnically, religious, sexually, politically. But the melting process isn’t completely finished though. A certain event, bar or party will attract a certain subculture of people, and does not represent the demographics of Antwerp. While for example in Brussels you can go to a bar downtown where you’ll find tourists and locals, muslims and catholics, gays and straights, higher educated and homeless people all in the same place – I’ve never seen that in Antwerp.

Antwerp embraces creativity in all its forms, whether it’s moderate or over the top.

 

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

Antwerp embraces creativity in all its forms, whether it’s moderate or over the top.

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?

Hush Hefner would not exist if I hadn’t moved to Antwerp. I wouldn’t have been noticed by other promotors and bookers if Antwerp hadn’t embraced Hush Hush and Kleinhouse like it has done. I’m very proud to say that I have played the festivals and clubs that I dreamt of playing at, and I owe a lot to Antwerp for that. On a personal level Antwerp, has given me more experience and wisdom, mainly because of the people I’ve met in Antwerp, who are all extremely interesting, and extremely different at the same time. 

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

Exactly what I mentioned earlier: a place where people from different background get together. Even more cool pop up projects such as the A-Tower, Emma VZW and Plein Publiek.

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?

On Saturdays in springtime I’d take them to a Morrocan butcher in Borgerhout for some spicy merguez, and then I’d get some fried shrimp croquettes and vegetables for the week at the market on “het theaterplein” before going to Park Spoor Noord with some friends to put the sausages on the public barbecues you’ll find there. Then I’d have a beer in “De pallieter” before ending up for a party in Kelly Palmer, Klub Goud (while you still can), Ampere, Café d’Anvers or Club Vaag.

A local legend, neighborhood anecdote or urban myth you like?

Nonkel Guy, Hip Hop legend and the undisputed night mayor of Antwerp.

facebook.com/hushhefnerhush
Interview Laurent James
Photography Miles Fischler