'Zwolle has become an incredibly nice city'

Hans Stroeve is a Zwolle native

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Few Zwolle residents have never danced to a record Hans Stroeve has picked. He has been spinning singles, LPs, CDs and Spotify lists on all occasions in his hometown for forty years. "Which record comes to mind when I think of Zwolle, pfoeh...," supports the deejay. In thirty seconds, he scours the record cabinets in his head, but he doesn't dig up an appropriate title. "Old Town by Phil Lynott maybe, but no idea if the lyrics are appropriate," the purebred Assendorper finally says. In that neighborhood, his musical story begins.

Photo: Special Pixels

"At the end of the 1970s, I asked the mayor with some friends if we could hold a disco in the bandstand on Assendorperplein. At that time there was very little to do in Zwolle. It wasn't allowed, but he did put us in touch with De Enk. With agricultural plastic in front of the window we tried to darken that space so it looked like a real disco. We are now more than forty years on and I still regularly play in De Enk. Bizarre really. I used to think you couldn't be a deejay after the age of thirty....

Don't make any money

You can't make any money with that...', my father used to say. He himself was an upholsterer. On a Saturday night I earned more than he did on a working day. When I told him that once, he never mentioned it again. I remember one time I had to present the Liberation Festival downtown. That was the first time I stood in front of ten thousand people. I was terribly nervous, but I remember very well that among all those people I saw my father with his bicycle. He wanted to see what his son was doing. A wonderful memory.

Trained painter

I myself am a trained painter. I never thought I would work as a deejay for so long. But it kept growing and apparently I am doing something right. For a long time I played at De Docter in the Voorstraat and later at Sally o' Briens. Meanwhile I work all over the country and sometimes abroad. Recently I provided the music at a wedding in Italy. Those are naturally great experiences. A few years ago I also started a booking agency for deejays. I also find out the music for top restaurants, including De Librije and Jaffa Jaffa in Zwolle. Different music suits each location. My advantage being that I'm at home in everything between classical and jazz and AC/DC.

Just like playing soccer

For deejays, the same applies as soccer players: you are as good as your last match. You have to give people a nice or special evening. For that, I always prepare well. I pick the music days in advance. If I play at a public venue, I also ask on social media what I should play. For example, if I'm at Milligers, or like on November 13 at Naughty Cafe at Mister Jan's. That's an afternoon where people learn to flirt again. We seem to have lost that a bit in this digital age. On Facebook I have already received 126 requests. That connection is great fun, but the best part is still the party itself. Nothing beats the buzz of a full house. That is the most beautiful sound there is.

Diverse hospitality industry

You can't compare Zwolle to the seventies anymore. It is now an incredibly nice city where there is plenty to do. Nice acquisitions are the Dublin House and Jaffa Jaffa. I think these are businesses with Randstad allure. I like the fact that the catering industry is also very diverse. You can go to all kinds of restaurants and pubs in Zwolle. I don't go there much myself because I am always on the road for work on weekends. On Mondays and Tuesdays, however, I like to solve the world's problems in a café. For example at Café Zuydt in Zwolle-Zuid.

Zwolle music

Zwolle is always open to good music. Formerly with Herman Brood and the guys from Sweet d' Buster and later The Rumble Cats, of which I was the first manager. And still later those guys from Opgezwolle and Typhoon, who really exploded. You also used to have deejays like Rens Pols and Bert Vaatstra. Those were the founding fathers in Zwolle. Just like childhood heroes like Ben Liebrand and Jeroen van Inkel, they were examples for me. Again, there are many young deejays from Zwolle, some of whom I book. They also play all over the country. Zwolle is really a city where you can develop yourself musically, but actually on all fronts. Talking about music, the record that reminds me of Zwolle comes to mind. Far East by Opgezwolle of course!"

The Top 3 by Hans Stroeve

  • "I keep a special feeling for the bandstand on the Assendorperplein. That's where my existence as a deejay actually started. Still bands or musicians perform there every month."
  • "The Marsbos in Zwolle-Zuid is a favorite hiking spot. I like to walk the dog there. You can walk a beautiful route there."
  • "For some reason I have developed a fascination for bats. Together with friend Pauluz, I often go out with my detector near the Kerkbrugje. That really is the Schiphol of bats...."

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