This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)
I remember seeing house pioneer Orlando Voorn for the first time. He was sitting backstage at Winterwooferland at Paradiso in Amsterdam. I was quite intimidated by his grand posture. When we actually met, a few years later, I found out that Orlando Voorn is one of those rough diamonds with a big heart. In 2015 he told me the story of his first gig: “Johny was literally crying.”
“My first gig was at Flora Palace in Amsterdam. It was a DJ contest that took place during the day. I was only thirteen. I have been going out since I was very young and easily got into clubs like Majestic and Flora Palace.” (laughs)
He was going to win!
“Once I was inside, I saw this dude that I knew from other contests. He was much older than me. I believe his name was Johny. He asked if I was also competing? I said that I hadn’t brought my records. He immediately offered that I could borrow some of his. He was adamant: he was going to win.”
“Flora Palace was filled to the rim. The jury was completely American. Funny enough, I wasn’t nervous at all. When it was my turn, I had fifteen minutes to show them what I could do.”
“Of course, I hadn’t prepared anything, so I just started playing and that went absolutely great. When I stopped, the audience gave me a standing ovation and the jury was smiling from ear to ear. In the end, I won the contest!”
“Johny was literally crying. He was the runner-up. Unfortunately though, due to my young age and Dutch law, they weren’t allowed to air me on tv. For this, they invited Johny. So, something positive came out of it for him as well.”
“I started drumming at a young age. From the drums I switched to the turntables. I practiced my balls of on those things. When I started, I used to work with a lot of rappers, but as time passed I started looking for possibilities to make music without needing someone else. This defined my path towards house music. A path that I’m still on till this very day.”
Interested in observing Orlando Voorn while he’s producing a track? Check out the Dutch documentary below to see this legendary artist in action. The interview with Orlando starts at 32 minutes and a bit.