There’s a verse in the song "Living," by Dutch DJ and producer Bakermat, that goes, "If you got the gift, you should use it/Opportunity, don't want to lose it/Climb over the walls, break down all the doors/When your future calls.”
And sometimes when the future calls, it tells you to drop out of school.
That’s precisely what Lodewijk Fluttert did before embarking on his career as Bakermat. Not a terrible decision considering the former Utrecht University psychology student is a rising star on the international dance scene.
During Miami Music Week, Fluttert brings his Good Vibe Tribe North American tour to South Florida. New Times spoke with him before his upcoming set at the Heldeep Pool Party at Delano Beach Club this Thursday, March 23, alongside Alok and Oliver Heldens. Although he won’t be accompanied by his live band, Bakermat is sure to incorporate the festive circus vibe for which he’s become well known.
New Times: This will be your ninth time in the city. How has Miami treated you in the past?
Bakermat: I think partying-wise, this city is one of the best there is. There are so many options.
What did you grow up listening to, considering you incorporate disco, gospel, and soul in your music? (And “Baby” contains lyrics from 1977’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston.)
Mostly classical and soul. I started loving everything from jazz to blues at a very young age because of my dad. He had quite a collection, and since I took it over, I sample a lot from it. My mother was an opera singer, so I saw and heard a lot of opera at a very young age. I want to put more classical elements in my music in the future.
Do you think you’ll ever go back to school?
I studied for three years, and in my final year, I had a breakthrough hit in Europe out of nowhere. I went 100 percent for the music and dropped out. It’s kind of a waste of all those years studying, but I guess I did learn some stuff. I’m never going back to school, because I want to stay in the music business for the rest of my life.
Because I had an assignment to write about it when I was still studying. I listened to it a couple of times, and I noticed the speech is a piece of music on its own. It contains crescendos, note changes, and MLK’s voice is very dynamic. I wrote that in the assignment, about the musicality of the speech. Later came the idea of "remixing" this "piece of music." I built "Vandaag" around the speech. Because of the message in the speech, I decided to make the music around it hopeful and uplifting.
Do you consider yourself political?
I personally am. But as Bakermat, I wouldn’t quickly give my political opinion about something. My job is to entertain people, give them the night of their life. I really do keep a strict line between who I am onstage and who I am at home. Bakermat is the entertainer with feel-good music and a 24/7-celebrate-life attitude. Lodewijk is a different person.
How would you describe the "circus"?
I have an amazing production team that always decorates the room as if you are in an actual circus tent. This environment, combined with the feel-good, happy music onstage, creates a vibe of total freedom. I don’t see myself as a DJ that night; I see myself as the guy who is partying with the crowd who happens to be behind the decks controlling the music that night.
You’ve worked with Alex Clare and Shirley Caesar. Who’s next, or who’s on the wish list?
I would really love to work with Selah Sue and Kwabs, great soulful vocalists who are also excellent writers. I would always want to work with someone with a bit of a soul/gospel/jazz/blues/funk background.
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Any plans for a full-length album this year?
I don’t think so — I’m not really an album kind of guy. I just make whatever I feel like at that moment and tell my label to release it. For an album to be good, you really need to stay consistent in sound and tell a story throughout.
What would you like people to know about you that no one ever asks?
I really, really love dogs, and I really, really hate cats — 10,000 percent dog person.