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.

Lieven De Ridder

Lieven De Ridder

Label owner

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 dedicate most of my time to music, releasing records on my label Walhalla Records, and hosting the Wave Frequencies radio show every Thursday evening from 20u30-21u30 on Radio Centraal. Next to that I organize wave parties and concerts in Antwerp and I’ve been a DJ for 30 years. While I live in Hamme, a small city in East Flanders, I nonetheless spend most of my time in Antwerp. My friends and others who support the label live in Antwerp. I feel the closest to the new wave scene in all its forms, from new and cold wave to gothic, dark, industrial and experimental synth pop. Nevertheless I’m an avid record collector and all round DJ, so I have vinyl back home that covers all musical styles.

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 equals culture, architecture, fashion, music and shopping. If it’s sights and attractions (the harbour, the zoo, the old city centre with the Cathedral and the Grand Place), shopping and fashion you’re after, Antwerp won’t disappoint. Next to that, there’s a vibrant nightlife scene with trendy clubs as well as small music cafes. Its citizens are generally very open-minded, with a big heart for culture.

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?

It all started with my record shop, Walhalla Records. I only ran it for 2 years but it’s where the label Walhalla Records was conceived. My first compilation “Underground Belgian Wave” was a direct hit and with 5 volumes out since 2010, they quickly became essential for many minimal synth addicts.

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

I’d love to see more collaboration between the many people organizing wave parties here.

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 would take them to the old city centre, with the cathedral and the grand place, the most beautiful square in Antwerp in my opinion. At night when the buildings are lit up they become even more breathtaking.
Photography Miles Fischler