From Piano Prodigy to Pioneer: Unraveling the Unconventional Journey of Eelke Kleijn
May 15, 2023
GA Editorial Team
3 min read
From his early years immersed in piano studies, to his evolution into a multi-instrumentalist and innovative live electronic performer, Eelke Kleijn has continually exhibited a profound love for music. His journey, distinguished by his gratitude for traditional musicality and his perpetual pursuit of new sounds, has led to a distinctive style that is rich in harmonic complexities and melodic nuances. Eelke's unconventional practices, such as performing barefoot to feel the music's vibrations, and his successful ventures into Hollywood film scoring, all play a role in his innate persona in the music world. This portrait of an artist going beyond the bounds of his craft sets the stage for a deep dive into the life and work of Eelke Kleijn.
The Early Years of Eelke Kleijn
As a child, Eelke Kleijn exhibited a deep passion for music. At the tender age of 12, he began learning the piano. This foundation in traditional musicality would later prove invaluable, forming the bedrock of his distinctive style as an electronic music producer. Instead of solely relying on synthetic sounds, Eelke's tracks are often richly layered with the melodic nuances and harmonic complexities that his early piano training afforded him.
The Multi-Instrumentalist Journey
Eelke’s thirst for music mastery didn't stop with the piano. As his career progressed, he found himself wanting to incorporate more natural instruments into his work. To achieve this, he decided to learn guitar. Picking up a new instrument at an older age was challenging, but Eelke’s dedication to his craft saw him through. Today, the subtle strums and distinctive timbre of the guitar often find their way into his productions, adding an extra layer of depth and originality.
A DJ Without Shoes
One quirky fact about Eelke is his preference for playing barefoot during his DJ sets. No matter where he performs, he always ditches his shoes, preferring to feel the vibrations of the music through the soles of his feet. Despite occasional mishaps with spilled drinks and glass shards, Eelke has stuck to this ritual, which he believes helps him connect more deeply with the music.
Scoring for Hollywood
Eelke Kleijn has not confined his talents to the club and festival scenes. He has also made a name for himself in Hollywood, composing scores for various movie trailers, television series, and adverts. This includes major projects like "Rush," "Parker," and "This Means War." Working in film scoring requires a different mindset and skill set, and Eelke enjoys the challenge of shifting between these two worlds.
Innovating Live Electronic Performance
Eelke has a unique approach to live performances that sets him apart from many other DJs. In an effort to combine the best elements of live and DJ setups, he developed a hybrid show. This performance setup includes two Pioneer DJS 1000 samplers and two keyboards, allowing him to trigger sounds on the spot and even improvise entire tracks. This innovative setup underscores Eelke's commitment to pushing the boundaries of electronic music performance.