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Eefje rose to fame after winning the 2009 GPVN, which didn't only made her an act to watch but also a really popular one. The folk acoustic singer, mainly known for her soft and sweet vocals, often accompanied with a slow guitar melody, then went to release her debut album, "De Koek" on January 7, 2011, which charted #35 and lasted 12 weeks on the charts. With great catchy sounds and a cool lyrical style, Eefje stands out from your typical singer/songwriters and that's why I like her! She's not about making a deep confusing song, she's all catchy fun and well written tunes. And I can't help loving such a feel good artist! Eefje recently answered some questions for me and you know the result is amazing.

Interview and videos after the JUMP ...

Buy "De Koek" HERE (NL) or HERE (US, singles)

*How would you define yourself as an artist?
I see myself as a musician more than an artist. Making music, being creative and working with kind and talented people is what matters to me in the first place. Having success as an artist was never really my ambition in the first place, thought I'm very very happy to see that my music makes other people happy. Of course that means a lot to me, it makes being an artist very fulfilling and it motivates me to go on performing my own songs. But most important, I come from a musical family, so singing and writing songs is a very natural thing for me to do. Even if no one would listen to me I'd still do that.

*What can you tell me about your style?
I have a soft and feminine sound to my voice and way of performing I think. In my songs I try to do something innovative and non-traditional, but without being too experimental. I love songs with rich and unexpected melodic lines. I sing about everything that's in my head, so my lyrics are often personal and also a bit abstract.

*Who would you name as your biggest influence?/What is your dream collaboration?
Fiona Apple, because she is such a good and especially unique songwriter. I'm inspired by the weird and unexpected changes in the melody and rhythm of her songs.

*I know you come from a family of musicians, How has them affected your music? Did they make you want to be a singer?
No one in my family ever pushed me to start making music, but at family gatherings everyone used to sing together and play guitar, so I listened and later sang along. Without knowing I must've learned a lot from that. When I was about 12 my uncle gave me his old guitar en taught me some chords and fingerpicking. That was very useful. My brother had a little home-studio where we recorded my songs, that's where I learned to sing better. All of that helped me a lot, but of course I also have a musical talent because of our shared musical genes.

*You studied at the Tilburg Rockacademie, why did you made that decision?

I hoped to learn more about songwriting, because I wanted to write for other people and in assignment at that time. Studying there gave me the chance to spend all my time on making music, which was great.

*So you met your current boyfriend there, Skiggy Rapz, who's also a singer, how is it to live with another musician?
Yes, he is a rapper and producer. We understand each other well, because we can talk about making music, which through the years became our work and craft, besides of course our big passion. Obviously it's one of our favorite subjects of conversation. I learned a lot about producing from him, because we produced my album De Koek together.

*How was it working with him?
It was very relaxed, because we weren't afraid to be completely honest with each other. We didn't have many conflicts eather. He focussed on recording, mixing and drum-programming, I focussed on arrangements, sounds and finding the right musicians.

*Do you consider that some of your songs are influenced by him or his music?
Yes, we actually often have a different taste in music, but I love the energy he puts in his songs. My music became A little more catchy maybe and my lyrics and melody's got a different flow now sometimes.

*You won the Grote Prijs van Nederland in 2009, how does it feel to achieve that?
That of course was a very special experience. To get so much acknowledgment for what you do is overwhelming and very flaturing. Because of the Grote Prijs I became more self-confident and because of that more ambitious.

*How has it affected your carrer? Are you more popular now?
Yes, it totally affected my career. Before winning the Grote Prijs no one ever heard of me, after that a lot of people did. Also, before no one had any expectation. At first I was a bit frightened by the idea people were expecting things from me. I knew I had to take my chance and record an album, find musicians and the right people to work with. It wasn't that easy at first because I was used to being dreamy and very chaotic. The year after winning de Grote Prijs I learned how to work hard en make clear decisions. I also met my manager Jacco right after winning the Grote Prijs. He helped me with every non musical decision and plan I had to make. Working with him made a very big difference in my career.

*You released your debut, De koek, back in January, what can you tell me about it?
De koek in English means The Cookie, it is a song on the album. I see my album as a cookie I baked for the people, it's what I put on their plate. The song De koek is about my boyfriend tempting me to stay with him by baking cookies for me. I thought it was a funny and a catchy title.

*What is the story behind the album and singles cover?
On the cover of De koek you can see birds flying towards something that lies on the ground. If you look better you see there is a cookie on the ground the all want to pick from. It's a colorful and strong image in my opinion. The illustrations are also a bit dreamy, almost like in children books. I think that corresponds well with my soft voice and sound.

*Do you believe they have an important part in your music's style?
Not necessarily, though I think it is important that it is done well and it fits with the music's atmosphere.

*Where do you usually take inspiration from when writing?
Everything that's in my head, usually personal things. My style is often thoughtful, dreamy and abstract, though sometimes I just sing about things I did or people around me.

*When writing, do you try to accurately express what you're feeling or do you try to create a catchy sound?
I don't want the lyrics to catch too much attention. Melody's often mean more to me within a song, so I want the words to flow with that. Usually the words and music come out together, that goes very naturally. And all I write about is personal, so while writing I'm always expressing feelings and thoughts, musically and lyrically.

*Would you name a highlight song from the album?
"Verdriet", it is the last song on the album. It's probably not the most catchy song on the album, it's actually very slow and mellow, but it means a lot to me because of the subject.

*What can you tell me about the song "Genoeg"?
Genoeg means Enough. Lyricly it's one of the most abstract songs on the album. I'm singing about confusion, temptation, passion and doubt within love.

*You released a music video of it, how was it filmed? Who came up with that idea?
That video was part of the price package when I won de Grote Prijs. The people of Spread Motion Design made it and came up with the whole idea. The subject they took was temptation and confusion. I wake up in a place and can't remember how I got there. In the rest of the video you see flashbacks of me getting where I am at the beginning. They wanted to make a surrealistic Alice in Wonderland-like atmosphere. It was filmed before a greenscreen, the surroundings are all computer-animated.

*And about "Afdwaalt"?
The video of Afdwaalt is a little joke really, just a cheap video with stupid and funny dance-moves anyone can imitate. The guy dancing next to me is Marcel Tegelaar/Skiggy Rapz. I always have to laugh when he dances, because it looks so rediculous.

*I really like your song "Kantlijn", what else can you tell me about it?
It's one of the first songs I wrote in dutch and I wrote it at a time I was very nostalgic about childhood and I wanted to be carefree and lead a simple life. In the first place it was meant to be a song for children, but it became to philosophical for that. I think at the time I wrote Kantlijn I found it hard to grow up and deal with responsibility's, I see that now. I lost feeling with that song a bit, because I've changed a lot the last few years and I think about things almost completely different now.

*Are you already working on new material?
Yes, I'm always working on songs.

*What can we expect from you in the coming months?/What are your plans from now on?
We are just starting this summers festival-season with the whole band at the moment, so we are going to play all through the Netherlands. Also we are preparing the release of De koek in Belgium, that will find place in October this year. This autumn we are going to do another clubtour in the Netherlands.

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