“I SANG LONG BEFORE I COULD WALK”
Photo by Robin Ramos
That is kind of how my life started, if I should belief my mother. I sang all day, every day. And even though most children choruses had the rule you could only enter at the age of 4, my mum got me in a small village chorus at the age of 3, because they loved my enthusiastic participation. After that, I tried playing the violin for a short time, but I chose voice lessons over the violin at the Music school in our village. This was a big disappointment for my violin teacher, because she thought I was talented at the violin as well. Anyway, I stayed with my voice teacher almost 10 years with a lot of fun. Never did I miss a lesson if I could help it. At the age of 12 I entered the first episode of The Voice kids competition. That was the start of me getting really serious about a future in music. Because I was getting more serious, I changed schools and auditioned at the school for young talent in The Hague. They accepted me. That was kind of a new beginning for me.
In 3 years, I moved halfway across the world and changed schools 3 times. All because of my interest in music, and because of the job of my stepdad.
If you asked me at the age of 14, what Jazz meant, I would have said: no idea! I always dreamt of going to a conservatory, but never actually looked into it. Because I did not feel at home at my high school we started looking around. Then we found out about a precollege in The Hague (The Netherlands). Immediately I knew I wanted to go there. After I got accepted, a whole new world of music opened like a book full of stories. This pre college at The Royal Conservatory in The Hague was the first place where I learned about what it means to be a musician.
Photo by Francesca Sacco
Because we moved to New York I only studied in The Hague for 1 year. The move to New York was a very big change and a challenge. But I have always liked a challenge. When people tell me they think I am not able to do something, I will try to prove them wrong. To be honest, if I could not have pursued my music studies after moving, I would not have come with my family to New York. But in New York I first got accepted at Manhattan school of Music pre college and the year after I got accepted at Mannes prep. At MSM I only studied classical voice training, but at Mannes they offered me a new Jazz program. Although Jazz was my first choice, I learned a lot in Classical and the vocal training has strengthened my voice a lot. Both my pre college programs were on Saturday, so after a normal 5-day school week I still go to pre-college another day. That is what I call Passion for Music! Especially after moving halfway across the world and changing schools. At High school I studied a very rigorous program, the full IB diploma program, which is a big challenge for me as well.
Throughout my last three years of High school where I attended 3 pre colleges for music education, I developed a much greater interest in music over all. Not per se a certain genre. I always knew that I would love to be a vocal performer, but I learned that I would also love to be a composer or producer, or maybe film scorer. Most important thing for me is to work with music. And giving the world today, I think as a musician you need this greater interest and wider view. It gets harder and harder to earn a living as a musician or artist. Which is kind of my definition of being successful in today’s music scene. That would be my goal in life, to work and live with and of my music. If that would mean I would have to teach, or write music, or even produce, I would do anything to make it work and live off my love and passion for music.
About my personal life outside music, I can tell you this. My parents got divorced when I was still very young, so I have never known a life with both my parents in 1 house. I moved with my mother to Heiloo near Alkmaar at the age of 1,5 because my stepdad works at the Navy in Den Helder. I grew up in Heiloo, and visited my father in Limburg frequently. At the age of 15, I changed schools and went to The Hague to the School of Young talent. So, I travelled to The Hague daily by train. But after 1 year in The Hague, my stepdad got a job in New York for the United Nations, so we moved to New York.