After my set I put my earplugs in right away

Quinten 909

He is world famous in Amsterdam and is slowly conquering the world. Quinten 909 certainly knows how to party with his varied method of spinning records. As a visitor he prefers to do it safely, with earplugs in and a crystal clear sound!

by: Daisy Heyer

It is going incredibly well with your career lately. What performance are you most thankful for?
‘For my very first performances. The men of GirlsLoveDJs believed in me and the music for which I stand for from very early on. At the time they took me to all kinds of shows. For example, thanks to them I have played shows like Solar Festival and Amsterdam Open Air. In addition, the Amsterdam club AIR has been of great assistance. When I first came for a look they also saw potential in me, which is why I quickly turned into a fixed resident on their weekly Thursday evening. Now, three years later, I still get booked regularly in the AIR. For example, a while ago I closed the Thursday at a sold-out evening for which Tchami was the headliner.’

You have got a motley collection of performances on your name. For example, you were at the opening of Labyrinth Club in Antwerp together with Solomun, but also on nights with Oliver Heldens and Pete Tong. How would you best describe your own style?
‘I create and spin house music with various flavours. This way I can go more into the direction of disco or more in the direction of techno, but I can easily throw in a hip hop vocal for a change. I try to keep it accessible for the audience, without turning it cheesy. As long as there is a good feeling in it and as long as it swings, I am there. Because I can switch between so many styles, without stepping away from what I like myself, I can easily be booked in different line-ups.’

Time for an own Quinten 909 evening?
‘It already exists! Every two months I organise BLOCKPARTY in the Chicago Social Club in Amsterdam. There I book (foreign) artists that I look up to, but I also try to provide local talent with an opportunity and of course I also play myself every edition. With this evening I try to add a mix of disco and deep house to the Amsterdam musical spectrum. So far, this is going very well. We are full every time.’

To what extent are you involved with the sound on such a night?
‘You are, as in so many clubs, dependent on the system which is there in the club. In the Chicago Social Club there is a very strong sound system which I am very pleased with. It is powerful in volume and bass, but still remains clear.’

While we are on the subject; do you wear any hearing protection while spinning records?
‘Not during the set itself. I want to feel what the audience feels as well at that moment. Right after my set I put them in immediately.’

So you do wear hearing protection when you are going out?
‘Yeah, when I am not playing I always wear hearing protection since a few years and I can recommend it to everyone. I noticed that my hearing was deteriorating, because I was unable to have a conversation with anyone in the club, while others were still able to. Since I have been wearing earplugs I hear elements in the music that I wasn’t hearing before. Whereas vocals and guitars turned into a kind of blur of high notes I can now hear them perfectly.’

How do you think the situation is in the Netherlands when it comes to sound in clubs in comparison to the rest of the world?
‘In the clubs I think it is generally good. Both in the Netherlands and abroad. In places like party cafes the situation is much worse in my opinion. If I am there, for God knows what kind of reason, I would always wear my hearing protection. On rickety sound systems they always try to put the sound as loud as possible, which really makes it damaging. In addition, it turns into a blur of sound that way.’

What is the most annoying thing you have experienced when it comes to sound or hearing?
‘Mainly that the sound was too soft or tuned incorrectly. A few times I turned the monitors towards the venue so that the audience still had some volume. I have also witnessed one time that a band started sound checking during my set. Ridiculous! Put up some kind of background music and do not make me look like a fool on stage.’

By the way, you have a whole arsenal of own tracks. Which of your own tracks do you think is the best?
‘I am very happy with my track ‘Get Low’, which has now been released for some time through LouLou Records. It portrays my different styles well within one single track: there is a whiff of hip hop, but also house and disco groove. In the charts it did fine and it is still played regularly on Dance Radio.’

What else can we expect from you in the upcoming period?
‘A lot of cool music and a bunch of great bookings. I am far from done with working!’

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