Track & Trace: a new series about love for music
Music is magical. The ability to create something out of nothing is the work of wizards. The fact a musician is able to tell a unique story for everyone with a song never ceases to amaze me. There are hardly any moments in my life when I don’t listen to music. – Maurice Paans
My musical taste is very diverse, thanks to growing up with my dad’s record collection. It ranges from the Bee Gees (my parents named me after Maurice Gibb) and The Beatles to The Concert for Bangladesh. My brother Jacco, who’s six years older than me, also had a big impact on the development of my musical taste. Thanks to him I discovered Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Sonic Youth, but also U2, Beastie Boys, and Osdorp Posse.
That’s how I got into Hip Hop and discovered the power of storytelling. Nas is a fine example of an artist I love. The way he raps from the perspective of a gun in ‘I Gave You Power’… by using elements from storytelling he instantly grabs me and pulls me into his music and makes me want to keep on listening. The lyrics in the cd-booklet and the use of samples from old records gave me reasons to dive into the meaning of lyrics and trace the originals of the samples they used in the tracks. That way I got into the music Bill Withers, Syl Johnson, and Thelonious Monk. Older music, but new to my teenage ears.
My first big concert was under the wings of my brother. He was living on his own in Rotterdam and asked me along to a concert in Ahoy’ of Beastie Boys, during the Hello Nasty tour. They performed in the middle of the venue on a rotating stage. It made a long-lasting impact on me, as I had only been to small gigs before this show. Together we went to see more big shows by the likes of Depeche Mode, Counting Crows, and Pearl Jam. We’ve seen the latter five times at least. Every time they go on tour we go to see them together. We’ve also been to the concert of Bruce Springsteen in Den Haag. Concert? Make that a happening. Watching him up on stage brought back memories of myself as a six-year-old, standing on the dinner table of my grandparents, playbacking ‘Born in the USA’. His song Dancing in the Dark holds a special meaning to me. According to his biography, he wrote this song about the darker periods in his life. Performing on stage and making music for hours on end is his way of dealing with his inner demons. The fact that this song is seen as a happy song, even being a staple at weddings despite this deeper layer, is proof of good songwriting and storytelling.
In the music industry, it’s not done to ask for a picture with artists. However, I’ve got to make an exception for Bruce Springsteen and JAY-Z. The latter is someone who has always inspired me. ‘Young Forever’ may not be his best song, but it perfectly embodies his mindset: “May the best of your today’s be the worst of your tomorrow’s”. It’s something I try to use in my work at Amp.Amsterdam. Be better in what you do every day, one step at a time. I am grateful to be an active part of an environment where people make magic happen by creating stories with music and film.”
Listen to all Maurice’s favorite tracks:
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