Music producer at MassiveMusic Amsterdam talks long walks, boogying on the dancefloor, and her new project ‘Mirror War’
MassiveMusic Amsterdam’s Isabelle Hauschildt is certainly an interesting character. A young artist, writer and musician, she started writing poems on the back of her family’s photograph collection when she was a kid. This practice obviously paid off, as this would lead her to truly appreciate the combination of image and music, culminating in the upcoming launch of her musical arthouse film Mirror War.
An up-and-coming music producer, Isabelle has been working on music production for the likes of KLM iFly magazine and commercials for KPN Groen and Audi Vision. LBB’s Liam Smith caught up with Isabelle to chat about her time at MassiveMusic and her latest project Mirror War.
LBB> Let’s get to know you. Where did you grow up and what kind of kid were you?
IH> I grew up in Amsterdam and moved to the countryside when I was seven, together with my mum. I was a pretty shy kid, probably as a result of changing schools and leaving my best friends and safe haven behind. I also travelled a lot to visit my dad, who didn’t live in the Netherlands.
Yet I could be very extroverted, but only when surrounded by people I trusted. I would play countless leading roles in musicals and then go back to my fantasy world.
LBB> Where did you learn your craft?
IH> I have to thank my mum: she’s always been very creative. Painting, drawing, writing. Her friends used to host lots of art shows and theatre performances and she always brought me along with her. She also had an art gallery herself. I started taking singing classes at the age of 11 and studied at different music schools such as the Dutch School of Pop Music. I’m about to graduate at the Minerva Academie voor Popcultuur in Leeuwarden.
You know, at the end of the day I guess you learn your craft by looking up to whoever inspired you in the first place.
LBB> Where does your passion for music come from?
IH> It’s a passion and a necessity. When my feelings and emotions are too intense to explain, writing lyrics and melodies really helps me understand and put everything into perspective. It calms me, it comforts me. I also really, really love to dance. And hey, you need good music for that, don’t you?
Besides that, music has always helped me understand better both myself and others. People tend to be more honest when they translate their feelings into music or any other art form. I know that I have a special connection to honest people because I seem to be more open-minded and less judgemental when I listen to them telling their story through songs.
LBB> Your most recent project is Mirror War by ELEVEN, a musical arthouse film you directed. Can you tell us a bit about that project? What inspired it?
IH> The project is called Mirror War and my stage name is ELEVEN. It’s an autobiographical narrative. The music came first, but I felt that something was missing. I tend to be quite cinematic when it comes to my music so, when I had to translate what I perceived to my music producer, Rijnmar de Goede (aka Rico Dean), I noticed that I used a lot of imagery. That’s how I realised that music needed a friend, that it needed a moving picture.
It’s quite an ambitious project as I’ve never done something like this before. But I am stubborn and committed: I loved writing, experimenting, editing, acting and art-directing it. It’s a homemade production, a one-woman show. Yet, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my friends. They really took it to the next level.
The movie is about getting really deep into the core of your actions and reactions to the people and the world in general. It’s about finding answers within yourself, it’s about growing up. Letting go of your childhood and embracing it at the same time.
LBB> What drew you to join MassiveMusic Amsterdam?
IH> I think we’re not going too far from my previous answer: it’s all about the combination of image and music. I love when two or more disciplines start working together to compliment each other, all in favour of the story that wants to be told.
LBB> And what does your typical day as a music producer look like?
IH> When it’s really busy it always starts with my phone, the moment I wake up. I live in Amsterdam so I cycle a lot. Most of the time my commuting to work is the best moment to listen to the demos I just received in my inbox.
Experimenting is the main keyword for this job. When it comes to finding or composing the perfect track for a specific commercial, you try and edit and try again. You’re always in contact with the agency who is behind the project, you try your best to get your head around the needs of the client. The creative process is my favourite part though: working with other composers and thinking about the sound or song structure is an absolute delight. Often I also sing and record or write some additional lines myself.
LBB> What projects that you’ve worked on are you most proud of?
IH> I’m really proud of the Audi Vision commercial. I had a blast co-writing this one and I really like the style of the track and the commercial. And don’t get me started on the KLM iFly tracks... They’re very special to me. A lot of them have my vocal lines and voice too. And if you don’t know the iFly Magazine you should check it out online. So many inspirational stories: it’s like travelling around the world while sitting behind your screen.
LBB> Who and what are your inspirations?
IH> This is probably the most difficult question of this interview: my inspirations keep changing all the time! But I guess it’s normal, right? We’re always evolving. Give me something dramatic, dark and romantic at the same time and I will fall in love with it. Lana Del Rey, Suuns, Nothing But Thieves, Tove Lo, Last Shadow Puppets, Radiohead just to name a few. And Leonard Cohen, Crowded House, Muse and Norah Jones are among my childhood favourites.
Mostly I get inspired by my own experiences and thoughts. My friends’ stories inspire me as well. I don’t believe in the so-called writer’s block. I just believe that if you have a ‘block’ it means you first have to step back from whatever you’re creating and look for the answers outside. You can’t create what you don’t know yet.
LBB> When you’re not working, what do you like to do with your downtime?
IH> Not working? What’s that? If creating means working then I am always working. When I have some extra time I hang out with my friends or I hit the dancefloor. I also have a penchant for long walks.
LBB> What does the rest of 2017, and early 2018, hold for you?
IH> My movie Mirror War will premiere on the 11th of November at Casco, in Amsterdam Noord. Needless to say, if you happen to be in the Netherlands, you’re all invited.
I’m so excited to be back on stage as the movie will be accompanied by a live performance. And, more in general, if I could have the opportunity to play live with my new band ELEVEN in 2018, that would be lovely. I would also like to dig up my new song ideas and probably start a new art project – but that’s a different story.
For the time being, my main focus is the movie, my graduation and hopefully some more downtime. Maybe ask me that question again on November 12th?