Give it a few weeks and we will once again reach the end of another academic term. For some of us, there will be exams, for others, like me, a hideous amount of essays. But if there is one thing we have in common, it is gleefully preparing for our summer holidays; which, for many, will mean a trip to the Netherlands. Or, if we are being honestly specific, Amsterdam. So, whilst you are busy pre-ordering your iamsterdam cards, getting childishly excited over the prospect of legal weed, or (hopefully) stocking up on your Nederlands phrases to impress the locals; I have prepared for you a short introduction into the music of the lowlanders, so that you can stock up those Spotify playlists and bless the gates of Schiphol airport the right way.
A term invented in the 70s to describe a new wave of popular pop-rock Dutch hits, Nederpop includes a varied range of English and Dutch language tracks, some of which you are bound to recognise. There’s Venus by Shocking Blue, Radar Love by Golden Earring and Hocus Pocus by Focus; or, if you are fancying some psychedelic native-language hits, try the hyperactive Sinds 1 Dag Of 2 by Doe Maar, the famous Nederpop revivalists, or some classic electronic pop with Belgie … (Is Er Leven Op Pluto …) by Het Goede Doel. Finally, grab some tunes by BLØF, such as Zoutelande, if you are looking for something hitting the charts today. However, just like the alternative pop and rock of the UK, Nederpop has been heavily overrun by the influence of trap and hip-hop from the U.S of A, giving birth to our next genre:
Easily the most popular genre to hit the charts in the Netherlands, Nederhop encompasses the entirety of Dutch-born hip-hop, which, quite unlike the world of pop, consists almost entirely of native-language tracks. But, very much like the English-speaking world, follows some particular trends of old school vs new.
The current, more famous artists take obvious influence from trap beats. The new Fan and NORI by Ronnie Flex are obvious, and also very enjoyable examples of this. There’s also Catch Up by Josylvio, or the potentially hilarious Traag by Bizzy, which have remained very popular chart hits. Though I don’t think either of them top Ronnie, who is my personal favourite and whose albums I think are definitely worth checking out. If they are not up to your tastes; however, try Krantenwijk by Lil Kleine or the more experimental hits of De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, like Gemist or Makkelijk (Voor Ons).
If you are like me, and you enjoy the old school as much (or maybe more) as the new, then try Origineel Amsterdams by Osdorp Posse, or Spraakwater by Extince.
Is Dat Alles?
No, of course not. Honestly, there is barely enough time to get into it all, and there is plenty more. Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Afrojack and a host of other famous EDM and electronica artists are all Dutch. You can find some infamous punk rock in the form of Tedje & De Flikkers, calm indie rock with Bettie Serveert, or tough, Viking-inspired metal with Heidevolk. Whatever you are in to, it is out there. So do your research, bang some Dutch tracks into your holiday playlist, and get into the low-landish, clog-wearing, gezelligheid mood.