About four years ago I ran into alternative pop band Blupaint who had been raising expectations through their up beat pop and through winning the prestigious Dutch award ‘De Grote Prijs van Nederland’. Their catchy hit ‘Save Me’ got a lot of attention on national Dutch radio and international blog outlets such as CLASH Magazine, VEVO US, Niche Music in Japan, Fame Magazine based in the UK and Is This Bliss, a Thailand-based music-outlet. Lucky enough for me, I kept my eyes and ears on the musicians that formed Blupaint even after their break up. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sebastiaan van Ravenhorst got up and released his solo project.
Van Common creates mesmerising dream pop of high quality, something that did not surprise me personally after what I had heard from the young lad in the past. What I heard was progress and van Ravenhorst growing into his own skin and sound. Debut EP ‘Time Is A Dream’ was released in March last year and is exactly as I described Van Ravenhorst’s solo-project before; a mesmerising dream. After writing and producing each track while also playing every instrument, the EP is a pure and thought-through product of Van Ravenhorst’s creative brain. Since the release of ‘Time Is A Dream’, the twenty-something singer songwriter played Eurosonic Noorderslag, Europe’s biggest showcase festival and Van Common was named 12 of 3voor12. I hear you wondering what that last vague term means, I’ll explain; it’s the annual Top 12 of breakout artists curated by Dutch music and media culture outlet 3voor12. This EP even got Van Common a deal with NYC indie label Sleep Well Records, whose select roster of artists have amassed a collective 10 million streams on Spotify.
Interested in supporting your favourite artists? Van Ravenhorst might have some tips for you to achieve just that, the versatile singer songwriter toured with Feng Suave, The Temper Trap, Sunset Sons and Wet… It’s quite the list. Talking about crossing boundaries, Sebastiaan did not only obtain his undergraduate degree from the Conservatory of Amsterdam’s pop music program but also spent a summer long at Berklee College of Music in Los Angeles to participate in an intensive songwriting course after winning their scholarship competition. There he studied under Bonnie Hayes who wrote lyrics for Cher and David Crosby amongst many others.
Even if you missed out on either Blupaint or Van Common the past couple of years, you can still read all praising words on van Ravenhorst and his musical career on outlets such as CLASH, VEVO, 3VOOR12, Niche Music, Fame Magazine, The Daily Indie, Aupium, Is This Bliss, The Vinyl District, Destroy//Exist and many others. My tip of the week? Give ‘Time Is A Dream’ a listen and be quick, because soon enough you won’t be able to say “I was one of his first fans” anymore!