One of the nicest people you will ever meet in this industry is Willem van der Ploeg, a.k.a. Will Oirson. An early memory in Will’s and SEKOIA’s relationship is when we invited him to our streaming party in September last year. He couldn’t attend, so he had someone deliver French fries to us. Not just to us running the party, but enough for everybody in attendance. And fuck, do we love fries?!
Another example: just before this interview he found time in his busy schedule to give DJ lessons to a friend. “She’s part of a group of my international friends here in Amsterdam. She’s from Barbados and she’s going back. She has a bucket list of things she wants to do before heading home. One of those things is learning how to DJ, so I made time to help her out.”
From Cursed P to Will Oirson
That friend is quite lucky, because Will has loads of experience. He started playing as Cursed P in 1999 and has since weaved his way from techno through elektro to house. Recently he has said fairwell to his Cursed P moniker and renamed himself Will Oirson. “I’ve been considering that for a long time. The name Cursed P was sounding more ugly as time went by. The name is way too negative. It would be a great name for metal, dubstep or hardcore, but it’s not what I want to stand for professionally or personally. Moreover, it was something I created when I was a kid, so it started to feel childish. Thus, I thought of something more personal, something that could be a real name and a name. For a brief moment I considered using my real name Willem van der Ploeg, but that’s not a name for an artist.”
Changing your moniker after such a long time could mean that one loses recognisability. “I’m not afraid of that. In the beginning I was worried that people wouldn’t pick up on it, but a lot of people already did. For instance: when I changed the name of my Facebook page, 1400 people received a message. Many of those people sent me great feedback, most of them saying that this name suits me much better.”
This change won’t affect Willem’s way of doing business though. “It’s more of a continuation into the next phase than it is a turnaround. I will continue producing, my monthly show on Red Light Radio will continue and my gigs will all occur. It’s just that my new bookings will all be as Will Oirson.
On to the new stuff
Willem’s musical style will not change drastically. In fact, he has been producing steadily for the last 1,5 years. “Yes, I spend every free moment in my studio. My first ‘new’ track will probably see daylight in November, appearing in a music video. I prefer to just drop things without notice, because I don’t want to cultivate expectations. I never know beforehand who will enjoy my music. But something is coming.”
A prime example of Will dropping his music out of the blue is evident in his podcast. “One of the tracks I’ve used is a previously unreleased track of my own. Nobody has noticed it yet and to me, that’s a good sign. It means that it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb, which automatically means that it has a place somewhere. That’s great to know.”
His podcast for SEKOIA also has a clear message. “If you take the beginning and the end, there’s a big difference. A podcast – for me – is a good way to show my entire range. It’s a way for me to say that if I’m on a poster somewhere, the range I show in this mix is roughly what you could expect.”
With this mix, Will becomes just the third artist to record multiple mixes for SEKOIA. This one in the main podcast series, and the first one (still as Cursed P) as a recording of his and Florinsz Janvier’s set in Boston at the Together Festival. “That was an amazing night. It was great how the Americans reacted to our music, which resulted in an interesting night, musically. I mean, let’s be honest: there’s always a chance that such a night fails miserably and that would have meant we’d have travelled around the world for nothing. Luckily we had a week that was – to use their words – amazerbeams, because of their hospitality, but our goal was to host a fun night. If that would have failed, our primary goal would have fallen through.
I have to say, I wasn’t sure about playing on a Wednesday at 8 PM. We’re used to night life being in the AM’s, but Massachusetts’ Blue Laws restricts bars from being open after 1AM during weekdays. People have adapted in a great way and to be honest: it’s a fantastic solution. People can go out after work, party all evening, be in bed at a decent time and still show up for work the next day after a relatively comfortable night’s rest. As much as I love the nightlife, during the week this system is quite perfect.”