Photography by Tessa van Nuland

Eelke Kleijn: Molding the Music Industry, One Beat at a Time

Jun 9, 2023

Photo of Michela Iosipov

Michela Iosipov

3 min read

In the vibrant city of Rotterdam, Eelke Kleijn emerged, whose fingers danced nimbly on piano keys, eliciting compliments from his teachers. Even though he was new to the instrument, his talent was undeniable. The sounds that emanated from that piano echoed the rhythms of his heart, marking the beginning of a lifelong love affair with music.

As the years rolled on, Eelke's journey took an unexpected turn. Around the age of 15, he stepped into a pulsating nightclub and was instantly mesmerized by a DJ scratching and spinning vinyl. In that fleeting moment, the melodies from his piano intertwined with the throbbing sounds of the club, developing an electric fusion in his mind. There was a clarity in that chaos – he wanted to begin his DJing and production career.

Driven by this newfound passion, Eelke dove headfirst into the world of electronic music. He filled his space with synthesizers and started experimenting, making his own tunes, imbuing every beat with the melodic essence nurtured during his piano years. Soon enough, at just 20 years old, his first record was released. The harmonies that he had been carefully crafting found a rhythm in the vast ocean of dance music, and there was no turning back.

Photography by Maxime Chermat

His classical training formed the backbone of his unique sound in the music landscape. He had an uncanny ability to weave melody into every track, no matter how groovy or house-driven it might be. The melding of deep basslines with the ethereal flow of melodies became his signature, the fingerprint of Eelke Kleijn etched in every record he produced.

By the age of 21, Eelke realized he could carve out a living from his tunes. Yet, there was a lingering doubt in the back of his mind – was this sustainable? Could he rely on his music to carry him through life? However, the clouds of doubt started to dissipate around 2014, with the release of “Ein tag am strand”. The track climbed into the top 40 and garnered worldwide support, assuring him that he could indeed continue down this path, whether as a performer or a composer.

When it came to mastering beats, Eelke's approach was refreshingly fluid. Whether remixing tracks for other artists or creating his original mixes, he sought out elements that excited him. Yet, while making original mixes often led to bouts of second-guessing, remixes provided him a foundation, making it slightly easier. It was as if remixing was like jazz improvisation – taking an existing tune and weaving a new narrative around it, while producing originals was like composing a symphony from scratch.

Photography by Nicolas Clausen

Eelke Kleijn's progression, from mastering the piano at a young age to attaining international fame as a DJ and producer, is not only a narrative of musical transformation but also a demonstration of his resolute commitment and relentless drive. With every day that goes by, he continues to motivate numerous emerging artists, making a lasting impact in the industry.

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