With a strongly melodic style and an ease of production, Dutch artist duo LARRYKOEK are set to go far. Having just released another awesome tune on Dirty Soul Music, they spoke to us about how they work together as a pair, and what inspires them.
First things first, please tell us a little about you… who are you both and where are you currently based?
Hi! Thanks for inviting us! LarryKoek is formed by the two of us, Mark and Lars, both born and raised in The Hague, The Netherlands and still living in this awesome city! We went to the same high school, but we never met at the time. After high school, Lars studied Educational Sciences and Mark studied Leisure Management. We’re both into sports and when we can, we grab a beer together with friends.
How long have you been making music as a duo? What made you first start working together?
Mark was already making music music during high-school, but never shared his stuff with others. He kept on developing as a producer after high-school and also learned to mix vinyls. Student dorms aren’t the usual catalyst for great musical achievements, but this is where we met first, around the age of 18. Gradually we became good friends. In this period, Lars was playing as a resident DJ in a club in The Hague. Next to playing in the club, Lars started to play as DJ LarryKoek, building an online following by posting mixtapes regularly.
When we discovered our mutual interest in music we started to work together more and more. At first, Mark was ghost-producing music for LarryKoek. But soon we decided to combine forces and the duo LarryKoek was formed in August 2014. Looking back on that period it’s funny how these things work out in the end.
What do you enjoy most about having music as your careers?
The feeling you get when we see people dancing to our music, when you know they’ve never heard it before. You can really contribute to making people feel good by sharing your music with them. That’s important to us. We also like the travel, seeing new places we would’ve never seen otherwise. And the challenge and diversity of having a career in music really fuels us to work and keep on going
Where do you mostly draw your inspiration? How would you describe your trademark sound to those who haven’t heard it yet?
We don’t really label our music, that’s something we leave to our listeners. LarryKoek's music actually has many influences integrated in it. I take elements or samples I like, and turn them into something new. I do this in an unrestricted way, it has to feel good. Some say our music has a laid-back vibe, which I think comes because we’ve lived near the beach our whole lives, which also is a big part of my inspiration. I draw inspiration from all things I encounter in life.
You’ve just released “Don’t Go” through Dirty Soul and it’s a stunning track! How long did you all work on it for? Are you happy with the final result?
Wicked! Thats really nice to hear. We’ve been working on “Don’t Go’’ for quite a while, I think it was about three or four months. When I got the vocal sent over by Mike James I was really happy. The first draft was made in a couple of weeks, but we spend a lot of time fine-tuning and mixing this record. We were experimenting with new sounds, some of that never made the cut, others really added to the track. Our label (Be Yourself Music) hooked us up with some nice people who helped us mixing the track, which was pretty educative too! In the end, we are really happy with the track and it’s probably one of our best sounding tracks so far.
Your success in Europe particularly has been wicked – do you have plans to target the rest of the world?
Yeah we do! Recently we played a gig in Abu Dhabi and it was a big surprise. What an amazing country! For us, the fun of traveling outside Europe is the difference in culture, we find it both really interesting to see how people live, speak, eat and party all over the world. In Europe people tend to be more same minded. We’re thrilled to meet all amazing people on different places in the world.
If you could work with any artist (alive or dead) on a track, who would you choose and why?
I hate this question, there’s so many…
Jay Kay (Jamiroquai), his funky rhythm and chords are awesome and have been a great influence for me. Or Sister Sledge, we love soul music and their voices are so good. But there’s also real talented guys poppin up like Cooperated Souls - this guy is only 19 but knows how to bring groove. Or the band MY BABY, they have a unique sound that really carries you away. Or maybe a rock ‘n roll/blues hero like Jimmy Cash or Elvis Presley. Anyway, too hard to choose one, haha.
What do you have coming up next in 2017? Are there any more releases in the pipeline you can share with us yet?
We love to experiment with different styles and sounds. We have to. We did a remix for a band called Pinata - they’re friends from the Hague and asked us to make our own version of one of their tracks. We wanted to support them and the result turned out great. The release date is May 7th. After that there will be new originals coming, I can’t say much about the date yet, but I think it will happily surprise you...