Bingo Players’ Maarten Hoogstraten on keeping Paul’s legacy alive as a solo act [Interview]
Bingo Players’ 10 Year Anniversary Tour is set to kick off this November. In preparation for the upcoming shows, we sat Maarten Hoogstraten down to discuss how he has moved forward as a solo act while continuing to honor the influence and legacy of his late partner Paul Baümer, who passed away in 2013 after battling cancer.
For many, dance music represents a unique celebration of life, and this celebration could not have been more evident than at Miami Music Week 2014. During the conference, Bingo Players’ Maarten Hoogstraten headlined the Remembrance Festival, a show in memory of his late friend and partner Paul Baümer. A roster of Bingo Players’ most-esteemed peers, including Tommy Trash and Dada Life, joined Maarten to celebrate the late life of one of EDM’s most iconic stars.
In the months before Remembrance, Hoogstraten faced one of the hardest decisions of his life: whether or not to continue Bingo Players as a solo project. “When Paul passed away, I took some time off,” Maarten said. “I needed some time to think about it, if I wanted to continue.” In the end, with the support of friends, fans, and encouragement from Paul himself, Hoogstraten decided to continue on as Bingo Players:
“I’m glad I decided to move on because we worked so hard for everything and all of the fans were really supportive. I’m glad I made the move and continued our career to keep Paul’s legacy alive.”
Photo by Skyler Greene.
Determined to keep the Bingo Players name, Maarten’s next step entailed figuring out how to establish himself as a solo act, while honoring his partner’s legacy. In the words of Hoogstraten himself, “Bingo Players will always be plural.” Though Paul is gone, the late DJ’s influence will always be a part of the project. Maarten explained how, in many ways, Paul remains with him both in the studio and on stage:
“I try to keep in mind what Paul would have done, not only with producing music but also with performing. It’s like I have a little voice inside my head telling me what to do and what not to do.”
While it’s been a priority for Maarten to keep Paul’s vision in mind, the rapidly changing industry has not made this easy: “The industry has changed so much the last couple of years, it’s almost impossible to think what [Paul] would think right now because the sound has changed and the whole industry has changed a little bit.”
With the transitional nature of the electronic music industry as a major influence, Maarten has evolved as an artist using a vision that balances both past and present. Evidenced by his solo-produced releases, such as “Nothing to Say” and “Curiosity,” Maarten continues to incorporate Paul’s influence and style while growing to stay relevant with the industry’s trends.
Hoogstraten will bring this vision to the stage for Bingo Players’ upcoming 10 Year Anniversary Tour. In commemoration of the project’s tenth year, we asked Maarten to describe how Bingo Players first got started. Friends with Paul’s younger brother, one day Maarten came across the late DJ making music and the two became instant friends. However, it was not until several years later that they decided to start making music together.
Reminiscently, Maarten described Nocturnal Wonderland 2011 as one of the group’s most significant moments: “It was the first time we were doing a really big festival. We were used to playing small clubs and stuff. We were driven to the stage… and we were like What?! This stage?! It was so huge and people went wild.”
Since 2011, Maarten has garnered several years of these types of experiences, playing for countless sold-out festivals around the world. When asked how he plans to expand upon Bingo Players’ signature extravagance during the upcoming 10 Year Anniversary Tour, Hoogstraten explained how he isn’t a fan of micromanaging his performances:
“I like things to evolve naturally. I try to bring as much new music that I can to every show and do something different than other people do. But I don’t really like planning like we got to do this next time or that, I just like to go on.”
Photo by OHDAGYO Photography.
Maarten added that the upcoming show will include new visuals.
As the tour celebrates the anniversary of an endeavor he started with Paul, Maarten said that partnering with a cancer organization was always a priority. He explained that Fuck Cancer, a non-profit dedicated to raising cancer awareness, reached out just as they were planning the tour:
“It seemed like a perfect fit to celebrate Paul and also raise money for a great cause.”
So what can fans expect from Bingo Players in the upcoming months? Spending quality time in the studio as of late, Maarten will be releasing two new tracks in 2016. For the rest of this year and into next, Maarten will continue to do what he does best: tour and make music.
Having lived through a tragic experience that still impacts him both personally and professionally, Maarten continues to move Bingo Players forward with a unique drive and intuition. Through his experiences, Hoogstraten has found a way to celebrate profound influences from his past while at the same time embracing his natural evolution as an artist. It seems safe to say that the seamless balance which Maarten has created will only further solidify the relevancy and success of Bingo Players for years to come.
Bingo Players’ 10 Year Anniversary Tour will begin on November 3 at LIV Nightclub in Miami. Tickets are available to purchase here.