To sit here and give you a drawn out recreation of who the Bingo Players are and how they came to be, would be offensive in my opinion. Being one of EDM’s biggest and most prominent players in the industry, headlining all of the major festivals across the globe, running the successful Hysteria Records, and continuously surprising their fan base with new and creative sounds, Bingo Players are no stranger to anyone in this industry.
A partnership in music is like a brotherhood. Everything you produce is going under both of your names, your image is dictated by both of your actions, and the decisions you make are collectively a whole. Paul Bäumer and Maarten Hoogstraten were partners in this industry and they were at the top of their game when tragedy struck the duo. In July 2013, fans were notified that Paul had been diagnosed with cancer and that Maarten would be taking the road solo. During this time, Paul stayed back to work in the studio, ran Hysteria, and received the medical treatment he needed. Later that year hearts across the globe were broken with news of Paul’s passing on December 17, 2013.
After taking some time off, Maarten returned to social media to release a statement clarifying that he would continue the Bingo Players career with the name forever remaining plural. Shortly after that, he released their single “Knock You Out” which became the duo’s first number one on the US Dance chart.
Continuing a career in music is hard enough when you’re on your own, but having to carry it on for your partner who can no longer be there to help is even more challenging. Now with production, touring/festivals, and a successful record label all to tackle himself, we had a chance to talk with Maarten about some of the challenges he faces both in music, and in his personal life.
Growing up in a small town in the Netherlands made young Maarten feel like his dreams of being involved in music would remain just that; a dream. Far away from any kind of venue or anything you’d really call a music scene, Paul and Maarten found themselves driving around the country from venue to venue playing up to four gigs per night. To these two this wasn’t a struggle, and this wasn’t something they rejected, it was something they knew needed to happen to get to where they wanted. Since day one, Bingo Players have understood that hard work and dedication are the tools you need to create the successful future you want. They knew where they were going and how to get there, and never gave up.
Losing his partner to an illness has not stopped Maarten from producing as if Paul were still around. He said, “I will never be a one-man producer.” When he’s creating a new track he will always think about what Paul would have thought of the record and what his input would be. According to Maarten, Paul had one of the best ears around, and he wants to continue to honor his talent with everything that the Bingo Players do.
A little more difficult, was the transition to playing solo live, without his best friend next to him. Maarten explains that the major thing that has helped him through this transition has been their fans. Without them this would have seemed impossible, and with their constant support he never feels alone in what he does.
He wants to continue to connect with his fans, that’s what this is all really about. If he can write a song that causes a moment of reflection then that is amazing and he feels his job is complete. As an artist your job is to simply do what you love and in return, hope that people fall in love with what it is you’re doing, and support it. After all it’s the fans who make the final call on most of the music. You find a balance in what you want to create and what your fans want you to create by paying attention to how your fans react live, and then blending that with inspirations and musical references. If an audience doesn’t like what you’re playing, they will let you know! If you get a good reaction, then a balance has been made. Sort of like what rock bands used to do back in the day before the Internet – play a bunch of shows, test out your material, and make tweaks based on reactions.
These reactions have led Maarten to the Bingo Players’ next release, entitled “Nothing To Say”. With the same style of catchy hook that has imbued all of their releases, this track resides perfectly in the intimidating index of Bingo Players’ hits and surely has kicked off 2015 with a bang for Hysteria Records. Maarten is currently taking time in the studio to work on new material and develop sounds that Paul and him worked on together. Paul may have left us physically, but Maarten will make sure his spirit and memory live on as long as the Bingo Players name remains existent.