Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.
I was eight years old when I stepped on to a stage for the first time, and I’ve loved it ever since. I studied video, light and sound art at the Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema and Sound in Brussels. After my graduation, I worked as a lighting technician for the singer Raymond van het Groenewoud.
How has where you come from shaped who you are?
It all started back in 1995, when I organised my first Kozzmozz event. It was originally a purely techno-oriented concept, but it gradually evolved into other genres too, like techno, drum and bass and house. I’m also currently the managing director of Nasty Mondays, the family brand of renowned events in Ghent, alongside Tijs Vandenbroucke.
More specifically, can you talk to us about your home base’s nightlife scene? What makes it special, who are its main players?
What makes Ghent’s nightlife so special is our passionate people with a love for music, clubs and parties. The scene boasts a healthy mix of new artists and renegades from the 80s and 90s, and a constantly evolving Belgian landscape around established spots like Fuse, La Rocca and Café d’Anvers.
“We proved them wrong and it only encouraged us to carry on.”
In your opinion, what is missing in Belgium in terms of nightlife?
Small and cosy clubs.
What can politicians do to better support the homegrown scene/nightlife? For instance, what do you make of Amsterdam having a nightlife mayor?
A nightlife mayor is a great initiative, and I believe politicians should also make more effort to ensure safe and healthy nightlife environments.
In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a good night?
Good music, good sound and a good light technician.
If you had to pick three essential Belgian house music releases, what would they be and why?
Ramon Tapia – Yellow Submarine (2016)
Released under the massive Toolroom Records. It was played at all the big events during the summer of 2016, which only proves that Belgian house DJs are key players worldwide.
Red D – Chez (2016)
Red D is another artist that helped to put Belgian house on the global map. His highly successful We Play House Recordings label shows that house music is still very alive in Belgium.
DJ Mystique ft. TLP – Miami is Not Ibiza (Raoul Besmans remix) (2009)
Raoul Belmans introduced Belgian house music to a larger audience by hosting the radio show Switch on Studio Brussel. He’s also a great DJ and producer in his own right, with releases like this DJ Mystique remix.
Talk to us about a memorable night out, good or bad.
I can still vividly remember the very first Kozzmozz party back in 1995: electronic music was still very underground at the time, and many were sceptical about the success of party. But we proved them wrong and it only encouraged us to carry on. Other memorable parties were Kozzmozz editions in London’s The End and Ibiza.
What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?
Loads of events are lined up, like The Ark – an electronic music event on one of the biggest cruise ships in the world –, Cirque Magique, Voltage Festival and Kozzmozz parties.