Pure Passion, Nothing Else
With his 30 years as a DJ, producer and label boss, Funkerman (Ardie van Beek, 1975) refuses to count himself as ’the old guard’. Nevertheless, all his achievements cannot be ignored: multiple chart positions, at the top of the club charts with singles such as ‘Rule the Night’ and ‘The One’, sold-out venues at home and abroad, the hit ‘Speed Up’ on his own label Flamingo Recordings (established in 2004) and the many successful collaborations that followed. Funkerman has been traveling the world continuously for many years.
Despite the fact that House Music is the lifeblood of Funkerman’s career, his roots lie in Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop from the late eighties and early nineties is what brought out the musicality in him. Hip-Hop is also what made him first move to the turntables, but it was House Music that made Funkerman find his true calling.
Like other greats from Breda, club Spock was the cradle of the success that would follow.
His Own View
The magic of spinning, the unpredictability of a gig, or the exact moment in the studio when a new track comes together, that is what’s most important to Funkerman. “Not the hits.” Call him controversial or headstrong, but Funkerman has his own view of the fast changing world in which he moves. This is essential for his existence as a creative person: “I have been participating for a while, but the real art consists of continuing to participate. And that requires authentic strength. Know what you can do and keep discovering it.”
Discovering ‘in the moment’ is one of those things that make being a DJ so special to Funkerman. No performance is the same. No crowd is the same. And that’s what it’s all about. That elusive connection with his visitors, that’s what he feels intuitively. This is how he flawlessly picks up what a room needs; which can take a crowd to the next level. Feeling is central to Funkerman’s story. That feeling of him and his audience together. He knows that following the latest musical trends and hits is an easy recipe for a successful performance, but he demands more of himself. “I am at an age now where I only do what I believe in and identify with. And that is seldom the choice for an easy recipe. Capturing my audience with careful musical choices based on feelings in the moment… when that works, it feels like winning. No chart can beat that. “
This is how Funkerman operates. Being a DJ is taking part in a competition. The rules have been written and have to be respected, but Funkerman claims that space between the rules with great pleasure. Averse to the beaten track, but all with passion. That’s where Funkerman lives. Without that burning fire inside, everything falls apart. He makes musical choices based on intuition and what his heart tells him. “Having fun, getting beautiful music heard and making others feel good. That’s my passion. The rest is secondary.”