Buddy Suwijn (NL): “Rum-coke on the side and I was on!”

Buddy and Marceline 2018
Buddy Suwijn was a latebloomer in music, but when he returned to his old love in 2012, there was no stopping him. I've seen his career take off and develop and I'm happy for him, because besides his talent Buddy has a heart of gold. In 2015 we talked about his first gig. "I was the only DJ. Huh?!"

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Buddy Suwijn is not only talented but also has a heart of gold. He's always there for a person in need. In 2015 we talked about his first gig. "I played at a New Year’s party in a castle in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen."

“My first gig? Hmm, I am a late bloomer when it comes to performing. I bought my first hiphop and elektro vinyls in 1982 at record store Attalos, situated on the Amstelveense Weg in Amsterdam. I had no money for Technics turntables in those days. Even then, they cost a monthly salary. Fortunately, one of my neighbors owned two Technics. They probably ‘fell off a truck’ but managed to stay in mint condition.” (laughs)

Buddy Suwijn foto 2 - Buddy Suwijn (NL): "Rum-coke on the side and I was on!"

Focus on photography

“When I moved a few years later, I had all these records. Because my love for music was still big, I gave all of those 12”’s away to befriended DJs, who were really happy with them. I chose to focus on my other love, photography. In those days I was partying a lot in the legendary Amsterdam clubs RoXY, iT and MaZZo and I had been helping out there as well. On top of that, I had done my bit for Eddy De Clercq’s Testlab in club Escape. So, after a while, when I lost interest in the photography, I was ready for something new. It was time to return to the music. By then, I had the money, so I purchased a nice Denon CD 3500-S set and started playing again. First mostly at home or at birthday parties.”

Friends4Friends

“From 2004 till 2012 I initiated my own Friends4Friends-parties. Together with six old RoXY-friends, we organized those events at several locations, for example in the Catacombs in Amsterdam. They were always theme nights and always sold-out. The Incrowd’s DJ Paolo started out with us in those days.”

Castle

“Six years ago, I finally had the gig that I consider to be my real first gig. I was 43 by then and people started approaching me in Dutch with a formal ‘you’!” (laughs) “Anyway, I played at a New Year’s Eve party in a castle in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (The Netherlands). Wooferland-organizers Lars and Manon had lent me an amplifier and some speakers. My set started at 8 PM.”

Diehards

“I was quite nervous, because the audience was experienced and they were all diehards in the party scene. Of course, I had prepared myself well at home, so I arrived with a whole bunch of CDs. Also, I had made a folder with my favorites. I started off well and apart from a few mistakes – no, I’m not blaming the rum-cokes – I succeeded in creating a nice set. Until 15 minutes before midnight.”

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Memorable

“During the fireworks, I asked who was going to play after me. ‘Ehhh, what do you mean, another DJ?’, the organizer stumbled. I was the only DJ. Huh?! ‘Okay, then we’re going to finish it as well’, I thought by myself. Rum-coke on the side and I was on! At a half past midnight I picked up where I left off until, at 5.30 AM, I thought I’d done enough. It had been a long and memorable night. Fortunately, I had brought enough tracks to keep everyone dancing.”

Michel Becks

“After that, I changed to Traktor. My career really took off after a performance at a party organized by Michel Becks in de Lichtfabriek in Haarlem. I was immediately invited by Jan Fab to play at New Year’s Eve in his club RLGC44. Since then, I’ve been playing regularly in Amsterdam at Club NL, Club Lite, Club Arena and club RLGC44.”

Honorable task

“By now, the nerves have been replaced by pure joy, from the first second when I start playing. I’m super happy that I picked up the music again. I like to be the opening-DJ because I think that this is the hardest and the most fun. It’s challenging to make the crowd feel at ease in a club and to get them to dance before the next DJ makes his or her entrance. I consider it an honorable task.”

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Prime time

“On top of that, as an opening-dj you can party later on, when your set is done. This doesn’t mean though, that I don’t like to play prime time or be the closing DJ. On August 28th I will play together with Guy Mantzur in RLGC44. Just another one of my heroes alongside whom I can play. Eelke Kleijn is next on our own party The Promised Land. And during ADE I will be the closing act in club RLGC44.”

“My DJ-heroes and big examples are Eddy De Clercq, because of his fabulous choice of records, Dimitri with his inimitable mixes and last but not least, Hernan Cattaneo, because of the musical journey he always takes you on.”

This interview was originally published on DJMag.nl on August 13th 2015.

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