This week I met with Ian, a full-time law student and a part-time music producer who goes by the name of Alken. Although originally from the Netherlands, Ian has been visiting New York all his life because of family ties. Ian was recounting his opinions on the Dutch music scene and where his music fits, or how it does not fit, in that scene.

What I found refreshing about Ian was that he feels that he has not finished his time in the Netherlands yet, even after living there for eighteen years – his whole life. He spent most of his life living in Almere and even as a college student in The Hague University of Applied Sciences he still commutes home all the time. His connection to the Netherlands has helped him develop roots in its music too.

Alken produces music in various genres such as trap, Latin, and electronic. The main platform for his music is Soundcloud. One of his songs “Pocardi Sweat” is a tribute to trap artist Cardi B. In it, he “flips a sound” which is using an acapella track and turning it into a different song than the original. This is a technique that is part of the SoundCloud culture. It is a way to prove your creativity and skills as a producer, and a way of making a name for yourself on Soundcloud. Listen to “Pocardi Sweat” and more on Alken’s Soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/alkensounds/pocardi-sweat


Ian thinks that Dutch musicians like himself “most definetly not” get enough attention from their art. The music that gets the most recognition is the music of the English speaking Dutch artists, which compose a small population and that don’t always make quality music. He thinks that the Dutch music that should reach the masses is the underground scene. Ian is in the most contact with this scene. With his music, Ian wants to combat the mainstream music exports by flooding the market with his own stuff. One way he plans to take the problematic out of music now-a-days is by taking out misogynist references. Ian thinks that getting mad at bad taste music means getting mad at the consumer. Instead of getting mad, Ian says, pushing the consumer in the other direction and giving him/her more and more exposure to quality music will change the culture.

Ian’s next step as a producer is to attack the market from different sides. He wants to be able to write, mix, and master his own songs. Overall he wants to become more independent with his art. In order to do so, Ian admitted that he needs to improve his work ethic, which right now is dependent on external factors such as law school.

Will we being hearing more from Alken? We hope so!

Words: Katherine Marciniak

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