Arthur Vierboom – Songwriting Course student
Arthur Vierboom, songwriter at DISTRIKT21
(and following the Module Creative Songwriting at Wisseloord Academy)
‘Wisseloord Academy is different. It’s not about mastering an instrument primarily, but about mastering a professional attitude.’ Malik Berrabah, director from Wisseloord Studio and Wisseloord Academy told us directly at our first lesson: ‘If you’re serious about making music I consider you’re part of the music industry from this moment on.’ And he really did. ‘When I wrote ‘Herfst in April’ (with producer Daniel Wullems and singer Daimy Hoogeveen) in the first month at the Academy, the song was sent to A&R people from several labels and considered seriously.’
‘For me that was a very promising start. Wisseloord Academy was exactly what I needed.’ The Academy is a very ‘generous and stimulating environment’. During the songwriting classes or the music production classes you’ll ‘meet all kind of experienced professionals’. As guests, as teachers, as visitors of the legendary studio’s and of course the other students, which all bring something to the table. I learned that the Academy is for ‘yes-sayers and initiative-takers’. Not so much for people that are not sure if this is what they want. ‘The Academy takes ambition and the musician behind it very serious’.
DRAKE AND DANNY VERA
Lessons are very result-oriented. One time were challenged to write a song for Drake and Danny Vera. And we were told this pitch had to be ready within two hours. ‘It caused a lot of pressure among students and within collaborations, but a lot of us succeeded getting a pitch ready’. We were commented – even professionally criticized when you slipped – by our teachers, who really want you to progress.
A DAY WITH RONNIE FLEX
Another eventful lesson was the day that we could write for Ronnie Flex at the studio. In the evening Ronnie Flex himself listened and reflected on the songs we wrote for him. He just finished his own record ‘Altijd Samen’ and was very open about his dilemma’s, his struggles during the making of it and how he saw his future. Learned a lot about the business and discipline that day. It is amazing that we get the opportunity to work with an artist like Ronnie, but also Glen Faria, Waylon, or many more. There is no other music education in The Netherlands that has this kind of connection with a artists and the industry.
THE ROLE OF BASS
Jamie is a studio-musician, who knows bass well. I’m not a bass player but she started playing immediately and taught us about the instrument itself and its role in a song. How bass can add crucial parts to a song. All kind of examples were given (live by Jamie or illustrated by YouTube-video’s). She also taught us how to use her pedals. As homework we had to reconstruct bass parts from other musicians and had to ‘instruct’ Jamie professionally how to reproduce ‘the sound of that artist’ with her pedals. Bass will never be the same for me again.
Wisseloord Academy is more than a music and music production education. It is also about meeting new people, learning from their approaches to lyrics and music. It’s also about growing your network and get grip on the way the business works. All the music management courses are eye opening. Of course, you have to do it yourself. And Wisseloord Academy won’t tell you something else, but they can help you get there and they even can make it look easy. Thank you, Malik & friends.