(Original Photo By: Carin Verbruggen)
Two is better than one the saying goes. In a musical partnership or artistic endeavor it can lead to more diverse ideas and opinions going into the creative process. Combine two individuals with a deep passion for music and an equally shared passion for living life to the fullest, and amazing things can happen. Such is the case of Dutchmen Tim Smulders and Jurre van Doeselaar, better known as Firebeatz. Tim and Jurre have been producing together since 2008 when they met at art school in Tilburg, Holland.
Jurre: “It was a very small class, like only five people. In one of the first weeks we were assigned to work together so we decided to create a song. It worked out great and the teacher loved it! He (our teacher) was working with Fedde Le Grand at the time. He sent it to Fedde, Fedde ended up releasing it through his label, and we’re like…yeah we need to go on with this, and that’s where Firebeatz started.”
Tim and Jurre are both very easy going guys, neither of them had any idea they would be doing music for a career. However, they both had a passion for music and despite not knowing where to go with it, they eventually found each other. They both consider themselves very fortunate to be able to do what they love as a career. No doubt, they have amazing lives and families, however, even they have had tough decisions to make. For Tim, telling his dad that he was going to focus on music full time was a difficult challenge he faced. At first, his father was pretty angry, but with time he started supporting the decision. For Jurre, like many young lads in Holland, he grew up playing soccer and dreamed of doing that full time as well. However, for Jurre, the choice was clear…music.
It’s clear that these two thrive on each other. The laughs were abundant and the two were literally finishing each other’s sentences at times during our interview. Tim and Jurre described how they keep each other fresh in the studio, and how they draw inspiration through their desire to collaborate with other artists.
Jurre: “Actually, we’re pretty lucky that we’re always creative. There has only been one time where we really struggled to finish a song. We had like two or three days to finish a new single and we only had a few sketches/ideas for the longest time.”
Tim: “I mean, it comes and goes. It’s like a waveform – sometimes it happens sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t think we’ve ever had severe writer’s block or anything, though.”
Jurre: “Cause we’re together (in the studio).”
As great of friends as Tim and Jurre are, even they don’t see eye to eye on everything. Like all great creative partnerships, there are differences. Thanks to having known each other and worked together for the better part of a decade, the guys can easily discuss any issue they have. Again, Tim and Jurre are never without a sense of humor. Here’s what they said when I asked if there were ever differences.
Jurre: “Always. Not always, but it happens.”
Tim: “We go three rounds of two minutes.”
Despite any differences, the guys’ passion for music and people shines through. Tim and Jurre are well aware of the impact their music can have on people and they love interacting with fans. They’re constantly meeting fans that tell them about the impact Firebeatz music has had on their lives. Tim and Jurre told this touching story of a fan who was brought to tears when they gave him their headphones.
Jurre: “One of our fans came backstage at our show in Budapest because he won a meet and greet. We could see in his eyes just how happy he was, and he was almost crying.”
Tim: “Actually, he was crying. It was beautiful.”
Jurre: “He told us that he listens to our music a lot and that it helps him to feel happy. Then he said that he had Sander van Doorn’s headphones. He left, and then we were like, fuck, we should give him our headphones. So we called him back and gave him the headphones, which is what had him in tears. He had the day of his life. If you can bring that with your music that’s beautiful.”
It’s been a long journey for the guys from Tilburg. They continue to be one of the most diverse acts in the game with big room bangers like “Go”, “Home”, and “Sky High”, progressive jams like “Ghostchild” and their irresistible remix of the 90s R&B classic “The Party”. Firebeatz’ advice, whether it comes to music and life is simple…stay open-minded and have fun!