Highlighting talent from the North
Hit the North is a unique collaboration between festivals and educative institutions from the north of the Netherlands. Hit the North is established to stimulate professional talent development in Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe. Northern pop culture is unique, but often artists experience many difficulties that hold them back from really breaking through.
Over a period of one year twelve participating acts are offered knowledge, facilities and network. The goal? To enhance their professional music career. Hit the North is focused on practical experience. Participants will participate in several bootcamps and get a chance to play on a stage during ESNS in January. The Hit the North-programme is necessary for new and upcoming artists, because the making it in and understanding the music industry has proven to be difficult. Especially, knowledge of the field and the artistic development need extra attention and improvement.
The goal of Hit the North is to provide twelve talented artists from the north of the Netherlands with a project focused on coaching and professionalism. This project is meant to improve both the artistic and the business skills of the artists in order to achieve a significant development in their future career.
Hit the North 2022
Benwal creates sets full of energy by combining (hard)trance, rave and (hard)house. The act from Groningen is heavily influenced by oldschool sounds, resulting in a 90’s vibe with a 20’s twist. Previously they played at KopjeK, Wibar, Zeven and Zomerreces.
The 25 year old Dylan started writing poems at a very early age. Resulting in a fascination for language, puns and metaphors, which led him to the world of rap. Under his artistname Dylamic, he releases American rap/hiphop in variated styles. His debut EP ‘Blueprints’, that was released in December 2020, was picked up by urban blogs in the Netherlands and abroad and he won the hip-hop competition Own Zone Music.
Fred Goverde received lots of positive feedback on his debut EP ‘goovurduh’ at the beginning of 2021. In his homecity Groningen his singles ‘Bijna Weer Verliefd’ and ‘3 Kwartier’ got played a lot on the local radio, but nationally he also got some played by Frits Spits from national outlet NPO2, who was pleased with his playful lyrics. In 2021 Fred managed to play almost 20 shows with his band. Next on his agenda is releasing his next EP ‘goovurduh 2’ including numbers that were created on stage and were recorded last November.
Sleepless nights make for the most vibrant creations. Joris Boerma proves this as Historian, a garage and alternative rock project that breathes vintage and nostalgia. Texts about desire, youth, dreams and insomnia populate Boerma’s stories. On Historian’s first EP, fully played by the Leeuwarden musician, you can hear influences from Shocking Blue, Jefferson Airplane and Cream to The White Stripes and The Deaf.
Johnny Loves Me
Swinging back and forth between self-mockery and self-loathing, awareness and ignorance are extremes that concern Johnny Loves Me. The 23-year-old rapper/singer from Enschede does not recognize himself in the world of short successes and quick money. His narrative way of rapping, his versatile voice and exuberant personality make him a strange but very interesting one. Debut EP ‘Swavy Baby’ was released in 2019 and he impressed in Popronde and Grote Prijs van Nederland.
Moonloops is the brain of 21-year-old singer-songwriter Sarah Dekker from Leeuwarden. With an old guitar and a head full of stories, she makes harmonious bedroom pop and tells about dreams, wishes and hopes. Moonloops, however, has outgrown the bedroom and is now ready to share the real stories in her head through folky songs, face to face with the world and the people who inspire her so much.
From his studio in Haren, Rik van den Heuvel a.k.a. Phole produces abstract beats with melancholic synths and layered, percussive, jazzy grooves. Recording most instruments live gives the electronic music a natural and organic sound. In April 2020 he released his latest EP ‘The Waiting Game’, the prelude to more new music in 2022. Phole plays live with a group of thoroughbred musicians who translate the productions into an energetic set.
Renco de Vries aka Renceau was born into a musical family, and grew up musically in various bands and collectives. Today, the young man from Leeuwarden is active as a producer and sound engineer at Zuen Records, and as a DJ and solo act Renceau. After his first EP ‘SAD HOUSE SIDE B’ he is now busy with darker work.
Seb Zukini is a band that not only makes you rock, but also makes you think. The group from Drenthe was formed in May 2021 and in the songs focuses on the inner struggle with the choices we have to make, both socially and personally. The band from Emmen reinforces their message with driving rhythms, ripping guitars and harmonious vocals.
Steeby (real name Jesse Kortenschijl) is a Groningen-based rapper, singer and producer. In August 202 his debut solo EP ‘Betere Dagen’ was released, including a video for each track. Steeb’s love for music translated into an 8-piece band at the end of 2020. Expect a fusion of hip-hop, jazz and funk, with lyrics about life lessons, the strength of humans and the combination of philosophy and Groningen sobriety.
Traversus moves in the border area between hard rock and metal with a tight, heavy sound and female vocals. The progressive metal band from Emmen draws inspiration from examples such as Dream Theater, Trivium, Alter Bridge and Gojira. Singer-guitarist Madelief de Groot writes sharp lyrics about human behavior and her own emotions. The band has two singles out and is working hard on more songs.
The Groningen DJ Verity grew up in England, Germany, Japan and America and that is reflected in her versatile music selection. In her rousing sets she stays away from the limitations of genres and brings positive energy by mixing sounds like UK bass, driving techno, brittle breakbeat and ‘bootylicious’ ghetto tech and electro.
Hit the North 2021
Particpating acts in 2021 were: Blondeau, christopher 404, Cloudsurfers, CYNN, DANYTHA, Faske, Hiigo, Jadi D, Jonathan Rhodes, T A M A R, Them Dirty Dimes and Timo de Jong. They performed at the digital version of ESNS.
Hit the North 2020
Hit the North 2019
Participating acts in 2019 were: Woe Blind Birds, Lester Blackfield, YVI, Daisy Bellis, Mary Confurius, Nadua, Small Town Bandits, Cirrus Minor and Meadowlake. They performed at NOORD in Oost during ESNS in nightclub OOST.
Hit the North 2018
The first edition (2017-2018) of Hit the North was a great success. The four organized bootcamps took place in Neushoorn (Friesland), Eurosonic Noorderslag (Groningen), De Muziekcoöperatie (Drenthe) and at Vlieland before Into The Great Wide Open (Friesland). All were received very well by the participants. Besides the bootcamp days there was also room for individual coaching. During ESNS18 Brouwerij Martinus in Groningen was renamed “House of the North”. It was the place were the talent of the north could meet each other. During the day there was room for workshops, discussions and presentations. In the afternoon and evening there were drinks and performances of artists from the North, including the Hit the North-participants.
Participating acts in 2017-2018 were: The Heck, Sorry John, Saint Martinez, Boyz in the Woods, FENN, Hollow Men, Katie Koss, Esther de Jong and Pendants.