Jaap Mol Interview on Nagamag


What are the genres that describe better your music style?

Jaap Mol:
My main genre is neo classical. But I tend to expand it to ambient electronic music with some beats where I feel they add something to the music.

Few words about your musical background and career?

Jaap Mol:
I started taking classical piano lessons when I was about 6 years old. I don't exactly remember why it were piano lessons and not another instrument, but I kept playing for years. I even played church organ for while, but discovered I'm way more inspired by a piano.
When I was around 15 years old, I discovered punk bands and that was all I wanted to play from that point on. So I bought a bass guitar, started a band and quit my piano lessons when I was 18. Since then I played in all kinds of bands, mostly pop punk, but also bands inspired on those really cool emo core bands from the zeros which I still love.

But when I finished my study, that musical environment dried up and so did the bands. I went back to my keys, sang in a a capella group and worked on some music on my own but never really got back to it; life happened and I got a job as a teacher. Back then I thought I'd never do any serious music at all ever again.

But then a friend of mine started a band and needed someone to play keys and that's how I got back into music. It worked out really well and I started playing in bands again, but this time no punk and bass guitars, but keys in pop, pop-rock and electro pop bands.

Meanwhile I discovered that my love for pop music and my interest in quiet piano and string music could be mixed pretty good and I started experimenting with what turned out to be the neo classical ambient music I create now. But I am always tempted to try new styles and experiment with other genres. Right now, for example, I worked on a live show for which I remixed all my tracks into an ambient electronic hybrid DJ-set.

That's what I love about music the most; I get bored quite easily, but never with music. It's an endless source of inspiration.

Do you remember your first connection of love to music that was the right impact to be a music artist now?

Jaap Mol:
I think, funnily enough, that first feeling when I heard a punk track on the radio has been one of the most important moments to spark my music career. I waited for weeks, glued to the radio, to record that one song to tape, because I never heard anything like it. That was a really important moment, because that was when I realised that it was actually possible to create something myself.

What inspires you to create new music?

Jaap Mol:
Everything I create in music always starts with a sound I love. That can be the sound of a beautiful old piano, something I come up with when tweaking a synth, or just a sample from a plugin in my DAW.
I'm not a very technical player, and at first I saw that as a limitation. But I learned that to be really creative, you have to set boundaries and limitations, and mine forces me to really dive into a sound I love, and create something beautiful from that. I'm embracing that now, and I'm really happy with how it turns out.

What does your creative process look like?

Jaap Mol:
I like to do a lot by myself. I'm kind of a control freak, so when I didn't find what I wanted to create elsewhere, I wanted to master the whole process. I compose and produce while writing, just like pop records.
Sometimes I ask other studios for help because they have better equipment, but most parts I record at my own place. I like to do the mixing myself as wel, because a lot of mixing happens during the production.

I like to work with concepts for my music, so that's why I prefer to do al the artwork, photography and video's myself as well. To master all theses parts of the creative process takes a long learning curve, but I like to be curious and just love discovering new things to improve. It's an infinite playground.

Most artists have a favorite song from a different music genre than the one they are producing music for... Which is yours?

Jaap Mol:
Sufjan Stevens "A Little Lost"

Of Course Nagamag would love to listen also which track from a similar artist you admire?

Jaap Mol:
Jon Hopkins "Echo Dissolve"

Discover & Listen to Jaap Mol

Jaap Mol on Spotify

Jaap Mol's Signature Track

Jaap Mol on Social Media

Jaap Mol's Website

Interviewed by Nagamag on
March 27, 2021

* NOTICE: You can listen to full tracks through Nagamag’s embedded Spotify player if you have already logged in at Spotify’s website. If you are not logged in, you can still use it to listen a preview of the tracks.