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June 10 2020

Staff selection – Sabine Kok

When compiling this list, she tried unsuccessfully to categorize the songs by genres. It turned out to be an impossible job: her taste in music goes in all directions. If she had to pinpoint a common denominator, then every song in the list contains a link to a special memory, meaning that she sometimes does not even really like a song in this list in a musical sense, but that she has a cherished memory attached to it. 

Listen to the playlist here

Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No (I Got Life)
The number that my mother played regularly when she was ironing the mountain that was called our family laundry pile, haha. Nowadays, it is the song I play after I’ve had a rough day: it puts my own little problems into perspective.

Stromae – Formidable
To me, Stromae is one of the most legendary artists of the past years. His musicality, his sound, his appearance, his branding: everything is right, down to the last detail. I found the accompanying video clip of ‘Formidable’ a relief between all the clips of perfect women with ditto curves. I got to see Stromae live during my first Lowlands edition. I well remember waiting in line with my group of friends waiting to enter the Golden Circle at Alpha. My organs were put to the test in this ultimate tribulation, but the reward was great once Stromae hit the stage. It was just incredible to see him play so well and to enjoy it together with my best friends and our hungover heads.

Opgezwolle – Rustug
This song is inextricably linked to the city where I studied Journalism (Zwolle) and my first real love who lived there. He lived in the same neighborhood in Zwolle as the two members of Opgezwolle and he and his friends were a big fan of this rap duo. It is nice that Opgezwolle makes so many references to life and specific places in Zwolle: when I listen to it, I think about those fun and carefree days back then.

Dermot Kennedy – An Evening I Will Not Forget
Because I listened to Ben Howard a lot on Spotify, Spotify regularly gave me notifications of new releases of Dermot Kennedy. In terms of sound, the two singer-songwriters are similar, but the live performances of Dermot Kennedy are significantly better than those of Ben Howard (sorry, buddy Ben). I have listened to this particular song countless times and it still does not bore me. Dermot Kennedy is the only singer that I have seen 3 times performing live. The great thing is that he invariably sings this song during all his performances, but always sings it in a new way. 

Queen – The Show Must Go On
Back in the days when I was a child, Sunday used to be the day at home when music was listened to and board games were played. During this song of Queen I always stepped away from the Rummikub table to sing it very loud phonetically. Unfortunately, this situation is not nearly as rock ‘n roll as Freddy Mercury himself though 😉

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Can’t Hold Us
I love going to concerts and luckily I have seen many artists live, from Taylor Swift to Skrillex and just about everything in between #noshame. The best concerts are those of artists who are not necessarily able to hit all the notes, but who manage to create a great atmosphere. I remember well with this song: the concert of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis took place on a Tuesday evening in the AFAS. A dreary evening on a Tuesday and certainly not my favorite concert location, but the entire audience went crazy when they played this song.

Billie Eilish & Khalid – Lovely
I think Billie Eilish is a breath of fresh air within the current music scene. Musicality doesn’t always reign these days and weak lyrics and autotune hits are all too common… This song came out before her legendary album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO was launched, but I find it typical of her unique and refreshing style.

Major Lazer – Get Free
The first song I played when I bought my worn-out second-hand convertible and zoomed over the highway with my open roof. Unfortunately, I crashed that car just a year later, but still reminds me of the ultimate freedom I felt at the time.

Clean Bandit, Zara larsson – Symphony
Unfortunately I am not 20 years old anymore and I have already had some broken romantic relationships along the way. Somehow I always got off to an explosive start in relationships, but the flame would slowly extinguish near the end. When I met my current boyfriend over three years ago, everything was different. And luckily it still is. We’re still going strong. This song may be as emotionally gooey as this sentence, but my boyfriend once said that its lyrics make him think of us. Him saying that still makes me get tears in my eyes when I hear the first notes of this song 🙂

JDX – Live The Moment
The two years that I worked at the hardstyle event organization Q-dance were a huge roller coaster. The events industry is hard working and most of the time not as sexy as everyone thinks (read: experiencing a week of the festival Defqon.1 backstage in a cabin with a weak air conditioning in 35 degrees and tapping behind a laptop for 14 hours straight a day is not exactly exciting). Q-dance only employs people with a huge passion for what they do: the end result has cost blood, sweat and tears. The reward is therefore great – read: there is a lot of crying and cuddling – when we were enjoying a tightly directed show with colleagues in the front of house. I wasn’t exactly the typical hardstyle enthusiastic before I came to work here, but Q-dance has changed this. If you watch this show, you may understand a little better why that is.

Sabine Kok