It is certainly a dream come true, but sadly not meant to be for everyone: Anique van Büseck is one of the very lucky few who got discovered on instagram after only a few posts and is now signed to spark records (universal music) from Ilse DeLange. Not without reason of course, cause with her 17 years old she is a singing prodigy and musical multi-talent.
What was your first musical memory?
None specific memory comes to mind. I was really young when I started showing interest in music… I do know that I loved performing ever since I was a little girl. When my friends came over, we would put together these little shows. Standing on the bed, with our toy microphones, we would sing along with 'K3' and 'Kinderen voor Kinderen'. Off course…after some practice…we would perform our concert in front of our parents…the best audience ever! So yeah…performing and singing has always been a part of me.
How did you evolve musically since then?
When I just turned seven a friend of my mom introduced me to the violin. I fell in love with the instrument instantly and longed to play it myself. Fortunately, my parents allowed me to take lessons and I still do to this day. When I was eleven, I started to teach myself how to play piano by searching up chords on the internet. My parents knew I just loved experimenting with instruments, so when I turned twelve, I got a marvelous birthday present: a ukulele. Again, I started to teach myself cords by searching the internet, imitating and playing along with popular songs…at some point you’ve done that so many times that your hands develop a pattern and playing becomes automatic. That is a real reward after putting in all those practicing hours.
Of course, as soon I was able to play the ukulele, I could not stop myself from longing for its bigger friend, a guitar. I started saving up some money and as soon as I could afford it I bought my guitar. That same afternoon I was able to play my first songs using the four base cords. The following years I spend hours every day experimenting. That is how I learned how to play…and now create my own music. I just try…if it sounds good, I continue…if it sucks, I start again or try approaching it from a different angle. It takes a lot of dedication to learn how to play an instrument, it’s like a second language, but if you love what you do, you will learn way faster than you think.
When did you start writing your own songs?
As a little girl I already wrote some things…but If I listen to that now…well, let’s say it wasn’t my best work and keep it at that. I started writing seriously when I was thirteen. I was following singing lessons at the time, and my teacher asked me to bring a song of my own. I did have a little scare at first: If I wanted to impress my teacher, I definitely could not bring my “previous work”. So that evening I sat down and challenged myself into writing something new. The song came to me so naturally and I really surprised myself with this ability. So, I decided to give songwriting a shot. Again, I just started to try stuff out, trial and error. Luckily there aren’t any strict guidelines when it comes to composing a song. You have a lot of creative freedom and I loved exploring that side of myself. It is quite crazy…but that one assignment from that teacher, planted the seed for
where I am today.
What inspires you into writing a lyric?
Sometimes I take a personal experience as the base of the song, like with my first single “There with you”. To do so, you have to put your feelings under a microscope and really work through it…but then again, I am only seventeen and there is so much of the world I haven’t seen…so many experiences I have yet to encounter in my life…So a lot of the times I make up a story outside of my own world of experiences as the subject of the song. Movies and books are also awesome to draw inspiration from. Sometimes other people’s stories can leave a mark on you, can trigger you into thinking about life from a different angle.
Since I am getting professional coaching from my excellent team of producers and co-writers, I must say I have really improved my writing and production…I just try to learn as much from them as possible. “There with you” was the first song I wrote after signing my publishing deal. The song practically wrote itself, but I remember being so anxious going to the studio. One moment I was just a girl playing guitar and singing in her bedroom…the next I was sitting among these great writers, like the co-writer of Maan, Maxine…who is amazing! Going to school the next day, I was on cloud nine: “Guys, I worked with the co-writer of Maan!”. You know, in the beginning everything is so new and wow…the feelings just come at once and when it hits it is overwhelming…I was overwhelmed with joy! Now these kinds of collaborations are part of my daily life and they start to feel a little more “normal”but I am still eternally grateful.
How did you end up at Spark Records, the record label of Ilse the Lange?
Around five years ago I opened an Instagram account to post some covers from songs I learned to play. In 2021, while being stuck at home during Covid, I posted a cover I did from a song of Hannah Mae, who is published under Spark Records. Hannah reposted my version and Ilse saw it on her stories. She looked up my page and contacted my asking If I could send some of my own work. When I read that message, I was like “what is happing….? I mean, it is ILSE DE LANGE we are talking about here…Luckily, she was impressed with my songs and not long after that we were talking on the phone. She said she was glad to say she wanted to offer me a universal music record deal. It is crazy to think how lucky I was that she saw that video…it is truly a dream come true for me.
How do you balance your career and still being able to be a teen?
Sure, it is a lot of work. Nearly every evening and weekend is planned full with activities for work…but also for personal stuff like sports. Luckily, I am that kind of person who hates sitting still and loves a good challenge. What I am incredibly grateful for is that my school supports my musical dreams to the fullest extent. They give me opportunities to go to the studio during class when needed and possible, and the communication between universal and them is clear and helpful. Also, my classmates are super supporting…although at first many where surprised and were like “why would someone ever choose a career in music…” So that change of heart is kinda hilarious…but without kidding, my school is amazing. And off course I can’t forget my family, who support me every step of the way.
How do you cope with the stresses that come with a musical career?
I am still quite nervous before I go on stage…but it isn’t as nerve-wrecking as it used to be. Just a healthy amount five minutes before I go on…but as soon as the beat drops the adrenaline kicks in and I just enjoy the show.
The studio had luckily always been a safe place for me. The atmosphere is positive and I feel free to share my story and start an honest conversation with the co-writer about the topics we want to portray. Lately I have been throwing myself in the deep on purpose…I think you can only grow from that. I mean, I’ve already grown so so much. This whole rollercoaster of experiences have led to enormous personal growth. I am able to communicate my needs a lot better now: when I need something done when we are doing a soundcheck, or I don’t like a particular result of some studio-work or something…I now dare to just say what I would like done instead of just thinking “just let it go…I don’t want to draw attention or annoy people”. Being able to speak your mind, defend yourself and give feedback to others is an important skill in life and I am glad I was able to grow in that ability during this amazing journey.
What was the most memorable experience in your career so far?
One of the most amazing things I have ever done was singing on the RTL4 show ‘Renze’. My first live performance on TV! Just two days before I received a phone call from Ilse saying “I have set up an opportunity for you to play on live television…would you like to? Off course I said “YES”, but man I was so nervous! I had to learn a shortened version of my song, which was just released a few days prior, in record time. So that was quite the challenge. Thankfully, with the help of some stress…I managed it and was ready to go. It was a successful performance and after the broadcast my phone and Instagram had exploded, with over 1000 new followers…it was crazy! But what was even more fun is going to school the next day and my classmates being confused: “I was just watching some tele, and suddenly you were there…” Those reactions were just really funny to hear!
What was also amazing were my three performances alongside Ilse and as the support act of Hannah Mae. Those nights really confirmed my passion and belief that I am walking the right path and that it is best for everyone that I am not thinking of studying economy or something. My favorite studio memories were made in Stockholm, set up by Universal. The people there were amazing and it was really pop-heaven or something, I felt so in place. I recently also organized a writing session in Brighton…because in the music business you can’t and must not take anything for granted. You have to work hard, stay on top of things and create opportunities yourself where possible…and what follows could be amazing. That is also something I’ve learned during the last two years.
What are your dreams for the (near) future?
I hope I am able to play and enjoy music for a very long time to come with the people I adore and admire. I hope it will continue giving me this wonderful fulfillment and that is won’t become something “I have to do” and I hope to keep developing as an artist and a writer. That is also the reason why I am eager to start a musical study at Codarts in Rotterdam. That school just sounds like music to my ears, and I look forward to working with and learning alongside other motivated and talented students my age, who have the same fire and passion for the business and the musical arts as myself. They do have a very strict selection process, so I just hope I get in... fingers crossed…and then maybe someday I will release my own album and hopefully get to perform on the big pop stages in the Netherlands with my own headline show. I would absolutely love that! Some people might say that it is wishful thinking, but if you never try you will never know and I am going to try…experiment and work hard…without losing sight of enjoying the ride.
This interview took place on the 10th of May 2023
Written by: Sophie Schakelaar - Owner Artistic Recordstore