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Exploring the journey of Sander Kleinenberg: Music, memories, and inspiration

Sander Kleinenberg, a pioneering DJ and producer from the Netherlands, has been shaping the electronic music scene for over two decades. His journey reflects a constant exploration of sound, blending his Dutch roots with influences from worldwide to create music that connects with audiences everywhere.

From his early days spinning records to his current role as a visionary producer, Kleinenberg has always pushed the boundaries of what electronic music can be. His extensive catalog reflects his creativity, featuring remixes and original tracks that have captured the hearts of fans worldwide.

Beyond his musical pursuits, the Dutch artist has also made his mark as an entrepreneur, founding and managing successful ventures that have helped shape the industry.

In a recent interview with EG, Sander Kleinenberg shared insights into his creative process, thoughts on the world of electronic music, and his hopes for its future.

EG: Hi, Sander! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you right now?

Sander Kleinenberg: Hi! I have been good. I took a few years on the sideline to reconfigure my life and rest up. 25 years of touring took much of my time away from family and friends, and Covid gave me a good excuse to reset some of my ideas and values. I am currently in Amsterdam, where I live.

EG: You’re kicking off your tour in Lima, Peru! South America is known for its vibrant music scene. Are there any local artists or genres you’re interested in exploring while you’re there? How does travel inspire your DJ sets?

Sander Kleinenberg: I have not been back to Lima in a really long time, the one thing that I’m looking mostly forward to is the crowds and the food! From the first time I went to Peru, the food and the people were the two most inspiring things. The way music plays a role in everyday life in South America is much more profound than in many other places worldwide.

EG: Your tour continues to Miami and Tampa,  with rich electronic music scenes. What are some of your favorite clubs or hidden musical gems you’ve found in these cities over the years?

Sander Kleinenberg: The Florida nightlife and music culture has always been such a great mixture of cultures and inspiration; I feel the mix between South American influences and American hospitality and technology makes up for a great mixture of both worlds, resulting in some of the best nightlife on the planet. Needless to say, some of my greatest DJ memories come from Florida, and I cannot wait to be back.

EG: Now, let’s go back in time… You started DJing at 15, influenced by the late ’80s club scene. Which DJs or producers from that era had the biggest impact on your style?

Sander Kleinenberg: I have to say people like John “Jellybean” Benitez, Shep Pettibone, Junior Vasquez, Grand Master Flash, and many, many more. Names that some may have forgotten but are the foundations of DJ culture and music in so many ways.

EG: How has the scene’s evolution impacted you as an artist? Looking back at your journey, is there anything you wish you would have done differently?

Sander Kleinenberg: When I started on this journey there was no way of predicting the astronomical success that DJ culture and electronic music has had on the music world. I am only grateful and honored to be a part of it. Some things that come with success are hard to manage, emotionally and physically. The only thing I regret looking back is being a little more at peace with myself; the rise and success came with a lot of anxiety about maintaining a certain status. What I mean by that is that the scene and the success became bigger than I could imagine, and therefore, I felt out of control. Looking back I would have said to myself. Relax, it will all be ok.

“Clubs are where my first love is and always will be. I love the club. The festivals are a beast where I am not that comfortable; it’s often too big and not catered for nuance and details in the music that I love so much.”

EG: How do you navigate the ever-changing landscape of the music industry, particularly with the rise of social media and its impact on artists’ careers? What are your thoughts on the current clubbing landscape?

Sander Kleinenberg: You have to believe in your own capacities and ability to navigate through that by making choices with your heart, playing, and creating music that you love and cherish. Social media is simply a great way of becoming your own champion, embrace it, don’t force it. Use it to make your mark. Make your point. It’s just like playing the right record at the right time. Clubs are where my first love is and always will be. I love the club. The festivals are a beast where I am not that comfortable, it’s often too big and not catered for nuance and details in music that I love so much.

EG: Looking back at your extensive discography, which tracks are you most proud of or hold a special place for you, and why?

Sander Kleinenberg: It’s like asking a father for his favorite child; every record has brought me a step closer to another record that had bigger commercial success. Not one record I made didn’t teach me an important lesson, for example, the lesson that it wasn’t such a good idea after all. Those lessons may be even more important than the confirmation of the right choices. Sure they bring more reward, but success doesn’t teach you much, failure teaches you much more.

EG: While labels aren’t your current focus, are there any new remixes or edits you’re working on to add to your sets?

Sander Kleinenberg: I like what is going on around what Keinemusic is doing; it is going back to some of the sounds from earlier in my career but with a little more style and elegance. My friend Helsloot is doing some amazing stuff at the moment.

EG: This tour seems like a return to clubs and reconnecting with fans. What are you most excited about for the rest of 2024, both on the dance floor and beyond? What can we expect from Sander Kleinenberg in the coming months?

Sander Kleinenberg: I am working hard on new music, a kind of marriage of old and new. Super exciting, I’m inspired and hope to pick up more inspiration from these club dates.

“Success doesn’t teach you much, failure teaches you much more”

EG: Lastly, can you share with our readers something they probably don’t know?

Sander Kleinenberg: The best is yet to come if you did not already know that.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Sander! We wish you all the best for the future. Take care!

Sander Kleinenberg: Thank you for having me!

Follow Sander: Soundcloud | Instagram | Facebook

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