Music & Me with … Maaike Siegerist- 01 Jun 2019 -
Maaike Siegerist, Dutch jazz and dark folk artist (photo Jonni Slater)
When were you first introduced to music?
My Dad is a big music fan, so we always had a diverse selection of records in the house while I was growing up. I especially loved the albums by Annie Lennox, Queen, Sergio Mendes, Maggie Reilly and En Vogue in his collection.
Tell me about your favourite teachers
I had quite a few singing teachers, but the teacher that has made the biggest impact on me is my guitar teacher John aan de Wiel. He taught me the basics and we played quite a bit of classical guitar. But more than that, we played jazz standards from the Great American Songbook – old Broadway tunes that had become bigger than the musicals they came from. The melodies are gorgeous and the chords have so many colours. Just listen to songs like ‘In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning’ and ‘Nature Boy’. The American Songbook is a big influence on my songwriting today.
What are your fondest musical memories?
The highlight so far must be my album launch in Rotterdam in 2017. I had hired an atmospheric wooden church – the Norwegian Sailor’s Church. So many people who are important to me were there – musical friends from the Netherlands and the UK performed with me on the stage; and family, friends and fans were in the audience. It was really special.
What is your favourite TV theme tune and film soundtrack?
As a kid, I was really into the TV series Jem, about two rival girl bands. That’s probably part of the reason I wanted to be a singer! There are lots of songs in all the episodes, and I had the dolls, which came with cassettes. The lead singer of the good (as in, not-evil) band Jem and the Holograms also ran her own record label. Looking back, Jem and the Holograms were excellent role models. And very pink! There can be only one film soundtrack! Highlander by Queen. I love the sheer energy and aggression of ‘Gimme the Prize’, and how magical and epic ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ sounds! The soundtrack outdid the movie there…
What was the last music download/ CD you bought?
Guillem Mitchel’s Foliage. He’s a Catalan artist who writes and plays beautifully. We met in Bath, where we both studied songwriting. I’m always amazed by the sophistication of his guitar playing. Check it out! Start with ‘Orenetes Song’.
Imagine you’ve been given EUR 300.00 to spend on equipment, downloads, vinyl, CDs, DVDs or concert tickets. How will you spend it?
Sadly, that still wouldn’t be enough to buy the AKG-414 microphone I’ve been talking about for years. I’m not usually so much into gear, but I do love good microphones! I might buy Soundtoys’ Crystallizer plugin. The studio where I recorded my album had it, and I used it on my song ‘Keep It in the Dark’. It sounds like stardust! Then I’d still have about €165 left. Can I spend it on session musicians and mastering instead?
How do you balance music with your other obligations?
I guess I’ve minimised my other obligations. I have a part-time office job to pay the bills.
Happiness is … using your talents to make what you love, together with the people you love.
Album Cover (Artwork Catherine Rudie)