"I think a lot of guys are going for quantity lately, not quality. For me, music is about spreading a personal message, and I don't see that a lot anymore."
Dutch producer Lodewijk Fluttert, known as Bakermat, is not a name mainstream audiences would necessarily recognize, but they should.
The soft-spoken 27-year-old is one of melodic house's forefathers, and everyone from Kygo to Lost Frequencies and Klingande have credited the DJ as an inspiration. Bakermat paved the way for tropical house artists and is still one of the sub-genres most consistent creatives, but frankly, the sounds growing popularity concerns him. "I haven't been very optimistic lately about the direction melodic house is taking," Bakermat told Popdust. "I think a lot of guys are going for quantity lately, not quality. For me, music is about spreading a personal message, and I don't see that a lot anymore."
The DJ's new song, "Learn to Lose," premiering exclusively on Popdust, is strong evidence that Bakermat cares more about crafting compelling ideas than radio hits. "All the songs now are about love, but there's so much more to write about than just heartbreak." The single, featuring Alex Clare, describes the pressures of a hectic career and offers advice for those looking for guidance. "In order to succeed, you have to learn to lose," Bakersmat said of the track. "I hope this song helps people who are working hard to achieve something. I hope it will push people to go for it, no matter what."
We sat down with the DJ to talk about his new single, its quirky animated music video, and the future of melodic house music.
Tell me about the new single. What was the creative process like, and how did you connect with Alex Clare? How is this single different from your past work?
Well, I was looking for a good song and got sent "Learn To Lose" by Rhys Lewis. I immediately fell in love with the message of the song and thought it would be perfect in combination with my production. I think I made the track in a day because I knew exactly what I wanted. After that, it was a no brainer who the singer would be, because I've worked with Alex before, on 'Living,' and this song has a similar vibe and message.
The music video is adorable! How did the idea for it come about, and why did you feel stylistically this was the way to go?
Since I don't really feel comfortable being in front of a camera, I wanted to find a way to make my videos personal without appearing myself. That's when I came up with the idea to have an animated version of my dog star in them. I approached Studio Plumeau (an animation company in Utrecht, NL) with the idea and I fell in love with the first sketch they made. From there on we started coming up with storylines.
What are your plans for 2019?
I have some very exciting new music that I've been working on for a long time now. It's completely different than what I usually make, and I was afraid to release it for a long time. But now I'm confident enough to release it and show it to the world. Will probably be after the summer!
As a prominent figure in melodic house music, where do you see the genre going? Who do you see as being torchbearers of the genre?
I think the most important element of melodic house music is combining genres. It used to be a combination of jazz and house, then it kind of moved to a combo of disco, blues, soul, and house. In order for this genre to remain fresh, producers will have to keep experimenting by mixing genres together. The idea behind melodic house is that melody is key, whatever style you're going for. Torchbearers for me are guys like Lost Frequencies, Klingande, and Ofenbach, who try to remain unique and bring fresh original music.
Get more information about BakerMat's latest tour here
Mackenzie Cummings-Grady is a creative writer who resides in the Brooklyn area. Mackenzie's work has previously appeared in The Boston Globe, Billboard, and Metropolis Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @mjcummingsgrady.
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