Maxim Meyer-Horn

31 Oct

Eefje De Vissers Takes Us To The Bittersweet World of ‘Bitterzoet’

Usually, we aren’t a big fan of Dutch music, but Eefje De Visser made us think twice. The Ghent-based Dutch singer-songwriter launched her career in 2009 by winning one of the most prestigious music awards of the Benelux. Since then, the 33-year-old artist released three albums and played magnificent shows that overwhelm you from start to finish. Now her fourth album is set to be released, we visited Eefje De Visser on the set of the music video for the lead single “Bitterzoet“.


The fourth album is coming our way and is introduced to us with the magnificent lead single “Bitterzoet” (translated: bittersweet). The song follows the previous released singles “Lange Vinnen” & “Zwarte Zon” and is about being blindly in love and the threatening feeling that comes with love, because being in love can be scary sometimes. Love can go wrong and fail. “The song is about a romantic evening where there’s a anxious feeling.” Eefje says about the story. Not adding too much of a context, she wants people to fill in the story themselves.

Poetic music

Writing music that makes an impact is something every artist desires, but is a special craftmanship. Not everyone has the talent to write beautiful texts, but De Visser clearly has. “I listen to a lot of English music and I have a feeling that they use a lot of poetry without labelling it as poems. We don’t label, for example, Radiohead or Madonna as poets, but they sometimes have these abstract elements that make it come across as poems. I don’t see myself as a poet, but I think that it’s more natural to write texts in that format. It’s not necessarily my goal to write something poetic, it just happens.’.

Poetic visuals

“I’ve been searching a lot and we’ve experimenting a lot with the visual aspect of my music.” she explains. In 2019, it’s definitely not enough to make creative music because fans want to see spectacular music videos that enforce the beauty of the song, but that’s not the case for Eefje. Inspired by the acts like Robyn, Kate Bush or Björk, she loves making visual art (including dance) that goes hand in hand with music to create a new universe/world. In the beginning of her career, directors or creatives approached her for music videos but now, it’s vice versa.

For this music video, Eefje was inspired by a special genre of group dance that focusses on making patterns in a very organic way. “I asked Tobi if he wanted to create something that involved the choreographies that synchronized swimmers do before they dive in the pool.” The artistic connection between Eefje and Tobi is strong, because it isn’t the first time the two have worked together for a project. Three years ago, Tobi already made the video for her song “Staan”.

Telling us that she’s amazed by the way Johnson worked out the concept of the video, she said: “I love the concept, the styling and the dances. I really feel a strong connection with the music video and am very proud of it.” In one of the scenes, they went for the backdrop she used this summer during her festival tour as decor. The reflections with the water give it all a very cinematic feel.

The dark side of the human being

“The story is about a synchronized swimmers group that invited me to sing for a competition. The charisma of the dancers is very artificial and everything is perfect down to the smallest detail. In Tobi’s story, I stand for the more dark side of the human being, the part we try to hide when we present ourselves to the world. I think the story is very well layered. Tobi interprets it as me as a singer standing out in the group, but behind the scenes trying to make contact and wanting to get close to the girls. In the end, because I’m not part of the group and don’t feel accepted by them, I finally kill three girls. I see it as the demons that people can have, and is in some way also an extreme enlargement of reality. I think everyone has the desire to be accepted and loved by others, but when you feel that you don’t succeed in that, you feel lost.”

When listening to the song, you won’t associate the meaning of the video with the song at first, but De Visser thinks there’s an important overlay between the song and the video. “Both the song and the video talk about the urge to be loved and the fear of not being loved.” And if we love something, it’s her new video and the way the story has been translated into visuals. A very promising first impression of her fourth album Bitterzoet, that will see the day of light this January.

Photos by Dries Vriesacker for Enfnts Terribles

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