Highlighting talent from the North
Hit the North is a unique collaboration between festivals, media, venues 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 nine 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 Eurosonic Noorderslag 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 nine talented pop 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 2021
Particpating acts in 2021 are from Friesland: Blondeau, Faske, Timo de Jong and Cloudsurfers. From Drenthe: christopher404, HiiGo, DANYTHA en T A M A R. And from Groningen: Jonathan Rhodes, Jadi D, CYNN and Them Dirty Dimes. They are chosen out of many enrollments and will start their yearlong programme at ESNS21.
Hit the North 2020
Participating acts in 2020 are: Cashmyra, Delore, Isa Zwart, Moonradio, Same Old, Seewolf, The Desmonds, The Resurrection & The Vices.
Cashmyra is a Dutch post-punk duo from Groningen that features absurd lyricism, minimalistic guitar riffs and pounding drums. The variety between noise and spoken-word will keep the public on their toes throughout the show. Ever heard someone sing about a ‘broodje kaassoufflé’ or your organs? Welcome to their murky and bizarre world.
With melancholic songs, Dutch band Delore offer listeners a glimpse into their soul. The human mind, special places and relationships are the main ingredients for their fresh and dreamy songs. Front woman Liza Bloem delivers personal stories with soft vocals, framed by crystal clear guitar parts, flowing drums and deep synthesisers.
Isa Zwart is a young singer-songwriter from Emmen, The Netherlands, inspired by John Mayer, Gavin James and Billie Eilish. She writes about the joy of travelling but also about everyday life. Through her songs Isa wants to connect, captivate, give goosebumps, bring a tear to your eye or put a smile on your face.
Moonradio is steaming-hot rock with its feet in the mud of the Northern Netherlands. Sometimes rough and obtuse, sometimes unassuming, but always with an energetic live show. With Danish bands Saybia and Kashmir, and their distinctive sounds, they play guitar driven indie rock with a great diversity. ‘Be like the Moon, reflect the Sun!’
Modern outlaw country with a touch of folk. With two dynamic voices, intricate guitar melodies and interesting stories, Same Old captivate their audience during their highly engaging shows. The Dutch band shares a love for country, blues and storytelling.
Seewolf creates atmospheric pop rock with hints of modern psychedelia, music that sounds simultaneously introverted and extroverted. Coming from Friesland, their music captures the vibes of a stark, isolated winter in the north of the Dutch countryside. This is skilfully contrasted and complimented by the analogue warmth of their studio sound.
Nothing creates an impact in small venues better than brazen and well-delivered garage rock. Featuring catchy vocal hooks pushed by driving guitars, The Desmonds don’t know it any other way. Founder Rob Schoenmakers got some close friends together and, with a clever mix of surf, 90s Britpop and post-punk, quickly made them an unmistakable staple in the Groningen music scene.
The Resurrection makes ‘body music’ and goes on relentlessly, until it’s too hot to move. The band takes cues from early techno, rave and industrial music, combining synths and electronics with live drums, guitar and blasts of distorted saxophone. The music on their forthcoming EP Eden Olympia sways from harsh and physical to dark and burnt out, soundtracking the most broiling summer imaginable.
The Vices hit the ground running in 2019. After shows with Yungblud, they appeared at ESNS and then embarked on a UK tour. Their mix of surf rock, indie pop and garage sounds like the love child of The Growlers and Cage the Elephants. Debut EP Life Grows earned them lots of live work, including with Feeder, alongside support from Dutch national radio.
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 en 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.