Friends, we would like to introduce you to Richard and Linder, two wonderful humans and rising forces within Rotterdam nightlife who will be officially programming MONO club nights starting this month.
Interview by Laurence Henriquez
Photo by Fatima Jabor
Get Me is making a new move. We are taking over our favourite venue in Rotterdam called MONO. A unpretentious café that by night transforms into a vibrant and inclusive space for cutting-egde avant-garde music. Last summer MONO founder Mark decided to put his beloved venue up for sale. He needed a change. We needed a home. Now we have our own venue, we decided its time to create a foundation called (A)WAKE to make more volume and flirtatious move between the fields of art and politics. So Get Me / (A)WAKE in MONO — existing as distinct entities, they complement with one another as three pillars of a single movement.
New people are joining the family and we would like to start with introducing you with our latests assets: Richard and Linder. two wonderful humans and rising forces within Rotterdam nightlife who will be officially programming MONO club nights starting this month.
Who are you?
Richard: I am Richard Nazier, aka Mo Jakob. I grew up in Rotterdam-Zuid and have been DJing for five years now. I started playing at local venues like 26 and Bird. For the past three years, I’ve been playing every Thursday at a BAR party called CHIPS. That’s where I developed myself musically. Two years ago, I started my own club night called Concentric Circles. Genre-wise, I try to play as broad as possible.
Linder: My name is Linder Purperhart. I have been DJing as Lin Tonic for 3 years and programming music and hosting parties for almost four years now. I started at Hoboken, programming every Wednesday. Then it closed down and it was quiet for a bit for me until I linked up with Cengiz (former MONO music programmer) to do a party called L’afrique Discothèque, which blew up last year quite big!
What are your thoughts on Rotterdam nightlife?
Richard: I think there is space for people to have their own voice, be yourself and play what you want to play. I was able to develop my own sound because of that space.
Linder: There are many more genre specific collectives coming up now. Like Richard’s Concentric Circles, Submit, and L’afrique Discothèque, etc.
Richard: We are trying to create a scene that represents our generation.
Linder: But, somehow, we’ve experienced some pushback from the government. The city council is pushing back against the nightlife.
Richard: The vision we have is not shared with the city council. We don’t have the same ideas. I think it’s because there isn’t someone there working on our behalf.
What do you think they are trying to do with the city?
Richard: They are trying to attract tourist man…the culture economy is growing.
Linder: they are giving permits for random buildings that nobody actually needs. They try to make it appealing to tourists. But if you look at a city like Berlin tourism is almost purely based on nightlife. How do we attract tourists here? We build a skyline. The people who run the city council…I don’t even think they live in the city centre. They don’t know what’s going on.
Richard: And, most importantly, they don’t talk to us. The dialogue isn’t there. I think it’s important to have a conversation with people like us who are creating the nightlife.
In the Netherlands, municipal governments are gatekeepers who fundamentally decide how the city will evolve. Rotterdam has the most immigrants of any city in the country. But, at the same time, maybe those communities just keep to themselves or aren’t so politically engaged.
Linder: There is a kind of segregation in the city. There are black areas, Turkish areas, and Moroccan areas.
Richard: There are some very multicultural neighborhoods but at the same time It’s very monocultural depending on where you are in the city. There is a need for, I think, a kind of cultural development. Turkish and Moroccan youth have their own spaces, like Shisha bars, but what about those kids who want something more? A place where there are scenes they haven’t discovered yet.
Now that MONO is entering a new era, what are you as programmers trying to bring to the table?
Richard: For Ramadan, for example, we are hosting Young Mocro, a talented female DJ from Belgium. During Ramadan, you usually only eat around 22:00 PM and then again at 3:00 AM. So, for the rest of the time, what are you going to do? With this event we want to create a space for Muslim youth that represents their culture and their music.
Linder: When I started Cengiz gave me some loose guidelines to follow because he actually built MONO’s reputation in the last few years. I am trying to continue this spirit and take it to the next level.
Richard: That is what I like about MONO. I’ve played two Bollywood nights here before. If I wanted to do a niche dancehall night to bring the Caribbean communities from the Kruiskade here, why not? In every neighborhood, people are searching for that niche that they are into. Cause now lots of kids are just throwing house parties because they can’t find the vibe they’re looking for in the city.
Why are their two programmers instead of one and how are you experiencing it so far?
Richard: Two is better than one (laughs)! I like Lin’s musical taste. He inspires me actually. I think it is good that MONO works with two programmers to have more variety soundwise. While Lin and I like the same things we will definitely program differently and strive for quality.
Now that Get Me/(A)WAKE has taken over MONO, how do you feel the two are related?
Linder: I think it’s cool to make MONO a more dynamic venue with Get Me/(A)WAKE hosted panel talks and workshops about important social and political topics. There is a subtle kind of link with the music programming because we try to be inclusive as well. MONO should be a space where we not only have fun but also educate and inspire the community.
Richard: I would like to see MONO grow and develop in such a way where we can deliver an experience throughout the whole week hosted by Get Me/(A)WAKE Instead of only being a club I think MONO should be a cultural hub where people can come and feel at home, have talks, eat, relax. For example, on Sundays, we will programme a family get together where people can come and enjoy good music and vibes, some food, play games, you know, family stuff. The same goes for Saturday where we eat together, maybe discuss some important political or cultural topics and after that dance.
Get Me/(A)WAKE wants MONO to be a place where art and politics merge. How is the club a place for counterculture, creating interaction and dialogue between different communities?
Linder: MONO was always the place where counterculture and creatives mets each other. I think we will continue that vibe but add an extra layer of nuance. You can’t force people from radically different backgrounds to hang out, but we want MONO to break down those defences and be a place that is comfortable for everyone.
What does inclusivity mean to you and how is this reflected in the music program?
Linder: If you look at our bookings so far it’s mostly female. We have some men as well but its not even like we are trying to bring more women we are just finding a lot of talented women who maybe didn’t get chance before.
To celebrate we’ve got our new programmers Linder Purperhart, Richard Nazier leading the decks with the support of the infectious grooves of Fatima Ferrari and Clone’s Hermit. Free entrance – join us!