1. We know you from your famous Music Show “Guido’s Lounge Cafe” which gained its popularity on Mixcloud, and today is imitated on many radio stations around the world, followed by thousands of listeners. Special series of “Guido’s Lounge Café” albums are published as well worldwide, Volume 8 just came out 10th of March, so your fans can stream or buy your very special music selections. How was the “Guido’s Lounge Cafe” story born?
I’m going to tell you a little story of the background behind how I first started to get into & discovering Lounge music, I’m going to be honest and frank.
It all started 2007, I fell ill.. And I really needed some time off. The job was disappointing, or better I was disappointed in myself. Call it what you want, I was not doing good. I was stressed-out, and needed a break from it all. So I did. No, WE did, my wife (Astrid) and I. So you must know, my wife is I think the most understanding wife in the universe, she knew just the way I felt, and she wanted me to get better again. So we took a big step and put our house up for sale.
We had long talks about what we wanted to do & we knew right away that we wanted to make a fresh start on the island of Bali (Indonesia). So we started to make practical plans for taking some time (on a sabbatical etc). So when the house was sold, I quit my job, we sold our cars & started to empty the house. We only kept 14 boxes of personal belongings like pictures and stuff. Everything takes it’s time, so when everything was ready we left the Netherlands in July 2008 and went to Bali…
When we landed we took a deep breath & I myself got very emotional as I was not sure why but I felt like I had come home after years…First we went to a friend’s place to stay but we wanted to be alone, to have peace of mind so after one night, we took off and went to a little place I found on the internet called Rumah Roda.
It still exists today but has been upgraded now. We got the pre-upgrade version and we loved it. It was so basic, so simple, so much love… The room was so simple; it had a double-bed, a closet to put some stuff in, a fan, electricity & an outside shower and toilet. We also had our own porch with a bamboo two-seater but that’s it! But together we experienced so much peace and quiet; it was like heaven to us. I slept for 3 weeks… I’m not joking, I slept and I slept, and when I was ready to sleep, I slept some more, I was so tired…
We had with us a little laptop that was filled with relaxing music, jazzy-tunes, lounge, & chill out. That laptop played day & night and sometimes, I woke up in the middle of the night and I heard my friend (the laptop) playing a relaxing tune. I’d listen to it but before the next tune started, I was sleeping again…this went on for about 3 weeks. Those 3 weeks of sleep I needed very much as I was so tired of all that had happened in the last 6 months. I really needed & started to recover in Bali. Music was a healing factor for me, like it always was. After 3 weeks of isolation, I slowly came out of my safe-zone & I really felt better every day & wanted to go out again… and to meet the people!!
So, we did. 😉
In those 3 weeks I breathed, slept and ate relaxing music. I called it relaxing music because that was what it was. The next couple of weeks I got active again, often woke up at night and started to write about things I wanted to do, Ideas that I had. I hadn’t felt that creative in years!! Because I felt good…No, I felt great! people started to notice, that circle of people became bigger and bigger & I made a few friends for life. One morning Astrid & I were strolling the streets of Ubud. We walked into a little restaurant called ‘Warung Kopi Ubud’.
The restaurant at this moment is 4 times as big but the owner and his wife are still the friendliest people I ever met, and we became friends for life. I helped Gus with improving his little restaurant and he and I went together in a little business deal that grew & exploded into even more friendship and trust. We also liked to go out for dinner so we had our regular places that we visited for good food and company. At one time I had a CD with me that I had burned on my little laptop with some very nice relaxing tracks so I asked the waiter if they could play it. So they did, when we went home I forgot about the CD and left it there. After a few weeks I came back to the restaurant and the owner asked me if I could burn CD’s like that on a regular basis..So I did, for a free meal.
We didn’t always stay in the same place. We also liked to travel around Bali and one of our favorite places was ‘Pondok Bambu Bungalows Candidasa’ where once more, the owner became a good friend to us & at that place we found relaxation and peace. Fantastic location, close to the sea, beautiful people work there, also, it was the kind of place where you feel more like family and a friend rather than simply a customer. Often when we were there, I liked to wake up early and go to the Ocean. I’d sit there watching the sun rise and listening to my little friend “the laptop” with his relaxing tunes. There I slowly started to think about a lounge café…
We did a lot of shopping before we went back & I bought a lot of chill-out albums, because that was my new line of music that I adored. Back in the Netherlands, I tried to hang on that Bali feeling as much as possible, always in the back of my head the idea about a lounge café… So when back in the Netherlands, the Lounge café I wanted that was meant for Bali, but why not started a Lounge café over here in the Netherlands? Well, I liked the idea, but didn’t have the finances for that. So I started to do lounge mixes instead. This was mainly to amuse myself & a few others on the MixCloud and SoundCloud sites. I also started my Facebook group “Guido’s Lounge Cafe”. By doing that I got more involved in the Lounge scene, met a lot of people like myself, people who were just as in love with Lounge music as I was. I then started to create a weekly mix called “Guido’s Lounge Café Broadcast” which is now broadcast on several web-radio stations.
With that my network really started to grow with both artists and record labels. Very soon the Group was too big and we could not make it an open group anymore, so we had to create a new & equivalent group that is now called “Guido’s Lounge Café to Chill & Relax”, this is the group as it is today.
2. You have won several 1st prizes from Mixcloud for best Chillout & Lounge Radio show. How do you feel about this achievement?
To be honest, of course I’m proud of this, but the achievement awards are more because of the fantastic music the labels and artists provide me with, without this, there would not be a Guido’s Lounge Cafe. It’s the music and the listeners who make GLC great.. I’m very grateful to them, and could not thank them enough!
3. Why is Chillout and Lounge music your favorite music genre that you support in your music shows?
I think the story told above in the first question says that all. But the music relaxes me, makes me travel to places I have never been before. Also I’m a bad sleeper, and when not sleeping, I’m working my music.
4. You often visit BALI and mention it as your favorite piece of the Earth. What is the reason behind this Bali-Love?
The people of the island of Bali are very close to my heart, there is a certain something in the air, it’s like magic.. It’s the island of the Gods. I believe Bali saved my life and whenever I go back there I feel the warmth of the island and its people, Bali is the place I hope to visit as long as I can, maybe even die there.
5. You recently became the music director of the well-known Spanish Radio Costa del Mar. How do you cope with all the musical obligations and responsibilities?
Yes Costa Del Mar Chillout Radio, I believe it’s one of the best radio stations in the world for Chillout. I was listening before to the station, on the job I’m playing it as well at home.. and my BBQ’s are always with the music of the station as well. I hope I’m doing a good job, and keep the quality of the station on top! I knew before I loved listening to the music on there, as I do now, but now there are a lot of tracks coming from my personal view on chillout. But I ‘m checked out as well by my boss Vincent Pochy and by Tonio Sanchez, they are the people behind Costa Del Mar Radio. For me it’s a lot of work sometimes, but it also provides me with a lot of joy when people come up to me and tell me they love the station. I think something to be proud of as well 🙂
6. How did the Covid-pandemic affect you in everyday life and mentally?
It’s not easy on all of us, I’m a lucky guy, we both my wife Astrid and I have a job that is not affected by the Pandemic a great deal. We don’t complain. But for the creativity of the artists in the music business, they come up with the best ideas. But I know how hard it is for them, not playing their giggs, and all they have to do to provide for their income now. My Mental state was bad before and is still bad, I’m a bad sleeper… but I’m also most creative at night.. I just hope (for all of us) that this pandemic will be over and we can start building up again. We people, we need people.. we are not used to being alone for a long time.. it’s not good to be locked up in their homes, we need to go out.. and meet again.
7. We know that you have been involved in music for many years, your passion is immeasurable, that is why all those successes are.
But what is Guido by profession?
I was always in the furniture business, but after Bali, I started to work for a completely different profession, I work now for the city as an archive assistant for the municipality of Sittard-Geleen (I had to look up those words). It’s an interesting job.
8. What do you usually do in your spare time? Any other hobbies?
I like to do long walks, enjoy my roof terrace, read a little.. but music is always key.
9. When I mention “LOVE”, what is your closest association?
Astrid my wife … and music 🙂
10. We are living in a strange phase of existence at the moment. Global pandemic, locked up at home, restricted freedom of movement, of living, some are struggling with financial problems, some are finding new paths, new goals and realizations. What would you wish for others? What is your message at this time, now?
So true, a strange place it is.. I hope for everyone who reads this, that they will find a way to get back on the horse. I know, this is for a lot of you very difficult, but when there is a will there’s a way. When we came back from Bali, we fell in a big hole over here, we had no income but we had each other, Please don’t stay home depressed, we humans are flexible we can overcome it all. And if it does not kill us, it makes us stronger. Don’t let this Pandemic get us under.
Also for those who lost friends and family… I’m sorry my friends, I lost my mom and dad a few years ago, my heart goes out to you..