Photographer:Fotograaf: Max Kieffer
MAASTRICHT. When he was 16, singer-songwriter Joshua Oudendijk (19), first-year student of European Studies, performed in the Rockhal in the city of Luxemburg, one of the most important pop podiums there. A year later, he was at the Luxemburg festival Sonic Visions, where bands like The Lumineers and Alex Vargas also played.
“That is the advantage of growing up in Luxemburg,” says Oudendijk, who plays folk-pop in the style of John Mayer and Damien Rice. “It is a comfortable bubble where everyone knows each other, but a bubble in which you shouldn't stay too long. I started studying in Maastricht in September. I didn't know anyone here.”
That is when Oudendijk got the idea of playing in living rooms. He posted some photographs on the Maastricht Facebook site Sharing is Caring and has had five concerts since then. There will be two more next week. “I have no idea where, I only know that it is at the house of someone called Maddalena, and at Tonnie's. I was inspired by the Amsterdam singer-songwriter Dotan, who also played in living rooms before he become famous.”
Oudendijk likes the intimate setting. “I try to win over the audience with my music within an hour. You can also try out new songs in a setting like that, or tell a story, background stories to the songs for example. About the Kalahari Desert in Namibia, which I visited, or about a Parisian street musician. I did that too once, in Luxemburg. But that is not really my thing.”
Recently, he was the supporting act for Low Land Home at the Muziekgieterij, a solo project by Belgian Jo Geboers (a former band member of Bearskin). Through friends, Oudendijk knows a sound technician in a Parisian music studio in Montmartre. That is where he regularly records songs, in the dead of night. He now has six.
He already has a CD, but that was recorded in the basement of his parents’ house. “If you listen carefully, you can hear my mother in the background, setting the table in the living room, with the rattling of plates et cetera.”