INTERVIEW: Amsterdam based duo, Secret Rendezvous
Amsterdam based duo Secret Rendezvous consists of singer/songwriter Sietske Morsch and producer/guitarist Remi Lauw. So far they gained support from Pharrell Williams on Beats 1, Jamz Supernova on BBC 1Xtra, MTV, 3FM and NPO Radio 2 and they have done tours in Holland, UK, Belgium, and France. In 2017 they released their 2nd album “For Real.” that reached over 1 million streams. In 2018 their songs “What About Us” and “Better Than She Can” were featured on Love Island Australia. In the spring and summer of 2018 they toured in Europe and played on festivals like The Great Escape Festival, Mundial and Delft Jazz.
- Sietske how did you get into music?
Sietske : Well, I grew up in a very musical family.
My dad is a musician, my brother played bass as a hobby and my mom booked bands in a local cafe so there was always music in my house growing up. I started writing when I was 15 years old. After highschool I went to study music theatre first and after two years switched to the conservatory to study pop music and that’s when I started working in bands as a singer as well.
- Remi how did you get into music?
Remi : I was on highschool and listening a lot to punk, indie rock & metal music. Friends were forming a punk band and they needed a guitar player. I didn’t have any experience with playing a musical instrument but an uncle of me had a guitar which I could borrow from him. I taught myself some chords and stuff (too bad Youtube didn’t exist yet). After that, I took guitar lessons, messed around with tape recorders and Cubase (music recording software), did a study in electronics and then went to the Conservatory to study guitar. I did a lot of session work as a guitar player, but I always had more interest in the sound and production of a song I had to perform. So I went slowly to more of the production side.
- How did you two meet and know it was music magic?
Sietske : We met at the conservatory actually and since we were the only two from our year that liked neo-soul we bonded and started to jam. From that point on we formed a school band and gradually learned to write and produce songs together.
4. You consider your sound ‘Indie Rnb. What is that exactly in your terms?
Remi : Well the basis is R&B but with indie guitar and synth influences and since we started out independently and now are signed to indie label Boogie Angst we kept it.
5. Your music is so soulful. What interests you about soul music?
Sietske : It’s hard to describe, I guess we want to hear and create music that really moves you. When you listen to Stevie Wonder, Prince or modern artists like H.E.R and Snoh Aalegra you can really feel their emotion. That’s something we feel is missing from a lot of the music topping the charts right now.
6. How did it feel to gain support from an artist like Pharrell?
Remi : That’s amazing and humbling. It was with a song that radio in Holland wouldn’t play so to have it being picked out by Pharrell and his team on the radio felt like a huge compliment.
In 2019 they signed a record deal with Boogie Angst and on November 1st they released their new single Back In The Day.
Sietske : Very organically actually. Holland has such a small music scene. We had a remix done by one of their artist’s Moods a while ago so we knew about Boogie Angst already. The label is run by Kraak & Smaak and they asked us to do their support show last year. After that, we started to talk about our plans and stayed in contact. When we sent them our new music they loved it and signed us quickly after that.
8. Do you prefer being independent or backed by a label?
Remi : Well, we’ve only been signed for 6 months so it’s all-new, but it does feel good to have people to brainstorm with and to have a bigger team behind us. When we were independent it was just us two and sometimes we were busier with business stuff than actually making music so to have a label now that can help us be more creative is great!
9. What advice do you have for new artists? Remi : Work on your craft and just put yourself out there. You gotta build your own community first and that means hard work and dedication but if you’ve got the skills people will definitely find you.
10. What’s next for you guys?
Sietske : We’ve got an EP coming up in a few weeks, so that’s exciting! And we’re going back on tour with Kraak & Smaak. Hopefully we can do some more shows in the summer and we’ll also be going back to the studio to write again.