10 Questions with ... Cees Van Der Zwan
May 10, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Facebook: /cees.spin Twitter: @ceesspin Instragram: @ceesspin Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/SpinninRec
1) You are from Amsterdam. Is Cees a popular name or a famous Dutch name?
Yes, it's a famous Dutch name. It's already well known for four or five hundred years. Even before the United States was founded.
2) How long have you been at Spinnin' and what did you do prior to Spinnin'?
I've been at Spinnin' since 2007, when we still exploited vinyl and CD singles ;-) prior to Spinnin' I worked at another Dance independent, Digidance
3) Spinnin' puts out a lot of music ... how do you determine what songs you're going to take to Radio, either back home, or over around the world?
We release music, which is not released anywhere else. We start really from the bottom. Basically, what we do is promote it with the DJs. When the DJs play it at bigger venues, bigger clubs, bigger festivals, we already have an audience for that. But it's not always radio music. So, when the big hits come up we try it on radio, but some music isn't for Radio; it's for the Clubs; then it's a gut feeling basically, and so when we think it's a nice record for radio, we try it.
4) Of the latest Spinnin' releases, which are some of the ones that you are most excited about when it comes to Radio and the Clubs?
DVBBS "La La Land" and R3hab & Quintino "Freak"
5) Has there been a song recently at Spinnin' that surprised you?
Well, in the U.S., I think not because we focused on the radio singles. I guess it's been a year or two where the big records became radio hits. Market has been changing, kind of. So, the big club records don't make it to cross over to radio, or even to Dance radio, at the moment.
6) Recently when you were in Miami for Miami Music Week you had the Spinnin' Sessions going on. Did you have the whole roster here?
We had the whole roster there, for five days of fun at the Spinnin' Hotel. It was open the Tuesday through the Sunday and featured the different artists and their labels that we distribute on Spinnin'.
7) How did you find the time to be everywhere, see everyone and make all the meetings that you set up?
In Miami, it was just make no appointments and see what's happening and that's it basically. It's so easy. LOL
8) You had so many artists that performed during Miami Music Week, was there one that you were really looking forward to seeing of yours? Or is that unfair?
Of course it's not fair, you know that! Certain guys I don't want to see ... No, just kidding! LOL I looked forward to seeing all the young and emerging artists. I wanted to see how much their sets evolved. A few I had seen them four or five months ago perform, so I wanted to see them doing their stuff and check out what their style of play is. One new guy I especially want to mention is Mike Williams. I saw him playing in the Netherlands a few weeks ago and he did well. We had him visit a few stations while he was in Miami.
9) I had the pleasure back in October when I went to Amsterdam, for the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), to visit Dutch radio with you. I found it fascinating because you had a music box with you. Is that what you call it? Is it how you present your music to them?
Our music box uses the term 'plugging,' so we call it the 'Pluggers Box'! LOL And in all there are like 20-25 promoters and they all put in on the table and when after five minutes of meeting, they present their CDs from the box and then next week again. It's all done face to face.
10) What's the biggest difference between Dutch Radio and American Radio?
Dutch Radio we have Top 40 music, but they also play Dance music, Hip-Hop, and they play Country music, even though it's not that big in the Netherlands, the different musical styles and in one station. Here I see, Top 40 stations, Hip-Hop, Dance, all those genres I see as the difference between the Netherlands and the U.S.
John Parker and I took a cab out to your office when we were in town for ADE. Usually I'm just in Amsterdam itself, but we got to see the countryside and see everything. What should people know about the Netherlands?
People should know the Netherlands is not just Amsterdam. Like the U.S. it is not just New York or LA. It's a totally different country when you're outside of the city. It's a population of hard working people just like everywhere. They love what they do and they're open-minded in the Netherlands, outside cities.
You are driving home from the Spinnin' office, what are you listening to?
Sometimes I don't listen to music at all. Sometimes there's a station in the Netherlands called Sublime, and they play Jazzy, cool, Disco, Funky stuff and it's very relaxing to me in the car.
We're in Amsterdam, where are we going to get something to eat?
For good food you need to go for Italian, or a Dutch restaurant for the pancakes.