It Is I, The Dutch Guy
bio written by Adam Bernard
Before he was heard internationally on radio stations in the United States, Ireland, and his home country of The Netherlands, before he launched a successful indie music blog read by tens of thousands of music lovers, before artists were sending him signed and smooched albums, The Dutch Guy had an audience of one, and it was an unwilling audience, at that.
The audience was his little brother, who was upset that The Dutch Guy’s initial foray into pirate radio was broadcasting over the Bugs Bunny cartoons on the family’s TV. The year was 1992, and The Dutch Guy, already involved in the pirate radio station Freewave Radio, had purchased his own transmitter. This, he explains, is something he had to do if he was going to pursue a career in radio. “Back then commercial radio wasn’t allowed yet in The Netherlands, so we only had a few public radio stations … the only thing left to do, to get on-air time, was get a transmitter and do it yourself. Pirate radio!”
The Dutch Guy’s radio career parallels with the beginnings of his popular indie music blog, as both are prime examples that it takes a lot of time, and effort, to build something special.
In radio, he went from accidentally broadcasting over his home’s TV signal, to reaching a few blocks worth of people, to developing a huge following spinning dance music on Freewave Radio. This led to a multitude of major gigs, including holding down an overnight shift at an oldies station in Texas, which is where he was given the moniker The Dutch Guy. “The program director at the oldies station figured he had to explain my silly Dutch accent somehow, and that’s how I became The Dutch Guy in 2005.”
Following his time at the oldies station, The Dutch Guy had a stint at a Top 40 station in Ireland, where he hosted a weekend shift (these shows, as well as the shows for the oldies station, were pre-recorded in his home studio). This led to him landing at Cool FM in The Netherlands, where he was given control of the playlist.
Being a supporter of indie artists, The Dutch Guy began to sprinkle in some of his indie favorites amid all the Top 40 records. The audience loved it, and in 2012 The Dutch Guy decided to fully embrace his love of indie artists by launching his first music blog, which has since become kickassindiejams.com.
“(I) figured I would devote my time to those who actually deserve to be heard, but are struggling because they don’t have the backup of a major label,” he explains, “It’s us against them. It’s me being a renegade again, fighting against the mainstream order.”
The Dutch Guy’s support of indie artists has been fervent, and the artists have shown their appreciation. This is how his tradition of “signed and smooched” albums came to be.
“An artist wanted to send me her album as an appreciation gift for featuring her,” he remembers, “so I simply asked if she could smooch it as well, and she did! I thought it was funny, so I started to ask for signed and smooched items. These days I really don’t have to ask anymore, as it somehow became a standard … I usually show off those signed and smooched items on my social media feeds.”
Hearing new music accidentally broadcast over Bugs Bunny cartoons, is, thankfully, no longer the only way people can check out what The Dutch Guy has in rotation. That said, having the global reach of actual Bugs Bunny cartoons is something The Dutch Guy is working towards, and he’s doing it for his love of indie music.