Carol Forsloff — American music has made its way around the globe, and one of the vehicles has been blues music, a genre specific to the United States with its roots in African American expressions and songs. A musician in Denmark is an example of how the blues has made an impact everywhere.
Remco Heemskerk is a guitar player with a difference. He can produce many of the rips and twinkles of master guitarists, reminiscent in many ways of the great James Burton, who had been the guitarist for Elvis Presley for most of the entertainer’s music career. But Heemskerk does not set out to emulate anyone. He is his own person on his instrument, and he can make the listener pay attention to his melodies by the strong and sensitive style he uses to convey the sounds. That is especially true with his blues style.
The motivating factor for Heemskerk in his music offerings came from very early experiences. He began like many young people do, with a school band. A friend taught him a few chords, and later Heemskerk learned more on his own. Peter Frampton was very popular at the time and Heemskerk tells us he became an admirer of Frampton’s music.
But blues isn’t Heemskerk’s only interest. He explains, “I don’t have a favorite genre of music; it depends on the day and how I feel; I can listen to almost every genre of music. But there was always that little extra in me to especially like the Blues.
The following interview provides more insights from a musician who brings entertainment to many people on a site called Fandalism as well as places within his own country and on other websites.
Q: You play the guitar. Why did you select the guitar as your instrument? How long have you played this instrument?
A: I had a lot of records that time and there were records from the Ventures and they had electric guitars, I thought that would be cool to play, I have played the guitar now almost 35 years.
Q: Recently you sang in one of your videos. What type of singing do you most enjoy?
A: The one I did last on the video cover of the Beatles, I like to sing a lot of Beatle songs and Paul McCartney as well, also like to sing a few Eagles songs, but I’m not really a singer so I like singing the backing harmonies more.
Q: What opportunities are there for musicians in your country? What are the limitations?
A: I think in my country there are enough opportunities, there are a lot of contests just like in other countries. I can’t think of any limitations for musicians.
Q: What type of music is most popular where you live?
A: Well there is not really one type of music which is most popular, since there was MTV, other music programs and especially internet people could follow music from all over the world, and also the type of music which is popular at the time depends on the season also.
Q: What do you believe is the future of the music industry? What do you see as barriers for up and coming musicians?
A: The future of the music industry is totally different from what we had when there were EP’s and LP’s. It changed a bit when we had the beginning of the CD and now with all the MP3′s I think it is totally different, also with YouTube now there are too many uploads I think and people will be saturated at one moment.
Q: What do you want for your own future in music? How can sites like Fandalism help the growth of new musicians?
A: 25 years ago I wanted to be famous but now I’m almost 51 and just play music for a hobby and I still like it. I think Fandalism is a very good start to see if your music is accepted by a special group or audience, Fandalism is I think very early and will be better all the time, so I think the site will help the growth of musicians young and old.
Q: How do you personally benefit from interaction with other musicians?
A: Well I like the comments they give me and some also via private email, and it’s always nice to interact with other musicians, especially when they come from another country, we can learn a lot from each other. I sometimes see other guitarists on Fandalism play and think, hmmm… how is he doing that!!
Q: What suggestions would you give some young person just starting out with the guitar?
A: Just start with a simple cheap guitar. After you find one you like, learn a lot of chords and scales and don’t try to play too long on one day at the time. I have also had times that I didn’t touch my guitar for weeks or even months, but blood is thicker than water so……. I picked it up after a while…
Music is “in the blood” for Heemskerk, as it is with many musicians. He is part of that world of music that makes good entertainment for the rest of us. And whether it is the blues or some other genre, Heemskerk remains one of those folks who offers his best in a universe of music that continues to grow and flourish.