We sat together with Jarri Van der Haegen, a young and inspiring person who has an exquisite taste in music. Known as the founder of the music blog Disco Naïveté, Jarri’s a programmer at Pukkelpop as well. He’s always looking for hidden talent that can become the headliners of tomorrow, and providing them with a chance to become bigger. He wants to make the festival one where you feel surprised and get to discover new things everytime you walk into a random festival tent. We talked about how it all started for him and which acts we certainly can’t miss at Pukkelpop 2018!
Interview by Laura-Andréa Callewaert
What do you do in life?
You can say I do a lot of different things in the music industry. Most of the time I’m the manager for Tsar B, Sylvie Kreusch and WWWater. Besides this I work at Pukkelpop where I take care of their social media and I help programming the line-up. For Poppunt I write some articles once in a while and I give workshops there as well, often about social media. Next to all that, I curate playlists for different restaurants and hair salons. In my spare time, I’m always focussing on music-related things as well. So, it’s pretty clear that music is my passion (laughs).
Most of the time I’m the manager for Tsar B, Sylvie Kreusch and WWWater
What do you specifically do at Pukkelpop?
I’m part of the programming team. I don’t take care of the actual bookings but I’m more like an advisor who tries to convince the decision makers which artists are interesting for the festival. I’m focussing more on the alternative, innovative side of the line-up; I want to give a chance to artists who aren’t that famous yet but who have a lot of potential. For example, we had Sigrid at the festival last year when she wasn’t that big yet and this year she’s a headliner at Rock Werchter. I’m also part of the social media team, where we try to come up with the most creative social media strategies.
How did this all start?
It started out with my music blog called Disco Naïveté in 2009. It was something I did for fun during my studies. I talked about new music releases, things I liked, concerts and the cultural sector in Belgium. Because our cultural sector is so small it is easy to get to know a lot of important people. That’s how I got in touch with Chokri and Eppo; you can call them the big guys from Pukkelpop. They were fans of my blog and then we randomly met at a concert, we got talking and then it all started from there. But at that time, I had just finished my Law degree, so I started working as a lawyer for two years. But I came to the conclusion that music was more important for me so I quit being a lawyer and focussed fully on my passion. I sat together with Chokri and Eppo and that’s how the ball got rolling.
I’m focussing more on the alternative, innovative side of the line-up
Why should we all come to Pukkelpop this year?
Because of the variety of the artists. This year there are a lot of different genres and new artists to discover. It goes from classical music to punk to dance to hip-hop, and everything in between. There’s something for everyone and I find that the most interesting asset of our festival.
Cool that you picked four girls in your selection. Is putting enough women on stage something you pay attention to when you put together the line-up?
We don’t work with quota and all that, we just look for talent. And honestly, all the women in the industry are doing pretty interesting stuff at the moment.
You can describe her music as depressed indie music with a lot of guitar. Very soft, but dark at the same time.
She’s been pretty active lately. It’s cool to see how all the influences of her underground period and the poppy side come together as one in her album.
She plays the violin with an African touch and she combines this with raw electronics and her gentle voice.
You should look them up because it’s very hard to describe what they do. The only thing I can say is that this French electronic duo is very ahead of its time.
This might be a bit prejudiced because I’m her manager but I can’t wait to see her play at the festival. She’s so good and you should check her out too!