The 22-year-old multi-talented artist Enrico Meijer never stops working, since his work is his passion and his passion his work. From early age on he was already a creative chap. Always creating and looking for innovation. His interest was widely ranged, and had always difficulties with ‘the system’. ‘Why can’t I do all the things I love doing?’.
Eventually he chose to study at ArtEZ Bachelor of Dance to become a professional dancer. Besides that, he kept investing in his skills as a musician and filmmaker. Working in collaboration with artists from various disciplines taught him how to communicate in the many languages that the different art forms speak.
His specialty is having the knowledge to bring the arts forms even closer together. Creating a new form of art that does not go under the name music, dance nor film. Multidisciplinary is old, according to Enrico Meijer, what EM Productions does is much more than that. Next to EM Productions, Enrico Meijer made an alias called MONKÉ. MONKÉ is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer and is influenced by many genres like R&B, Soul, Funk, Rock, Pop, Techno and basically everything that produces sound.
From early age he knew that music was all it needs to bring people together, a universal language that anyone could understand. He started giving interest to the piano, when a friend of his showed him a song called ‘Für Elise’ from the great composer Beethoven. It took not long before also he could play half of the song just by hearing it once. And so, his parents gave him the opportunity for piano classes.
However… After 4 years of playing only classical pieces he felt stuck. Stuck in a system of rules. With love for sound he went on learning how to play guitar, sing and produce his own tracks. Now after a very long time of hard work his first album release is finally in sight. Feeling ready as ever to give music a whole new wave with his unique sound. And let everybody join him on this exhilarating journey.
What gives you your drive in your profession?
If we are talking about what drives me to create art my answer would be; ‘I don’t really know… I guess it is just a feeling… If I don’t make music, move or translate my emotions and ideas into any art form. Then what I am supposed to do with it? It would drive me insane. After finishing for example a song about a personal experience, I feel that I have learned so much about myself.
Experiencing these emotions while listening to this finished product become even more vivid, then when I just keep them in my mind.
However, the most beautiful thing about making art is when I create something with my whole heart and someone tells me that he or she felt connected to my story. And perhaps could deal with his or her personal issues better after hearing or seeing this creation.
Who or what is you major source of inspiration?
The only inspiration source I have is life itself and the emotional connections that come with it. I do not like specifying where I get my inspiration since that is ever changing, might be during cooking that just a random idea pops into my head.
What is your vision of entrepreneurship in the arts?
Life struggles with many issues, whether it is political or emotional. Through the Arts people can talk openly about these issues and give room for thought. Entrepreneurs with a vision on Art can take these ideas to a whole new level, and give it the opportunity for a change.
Social media is a very important medium when you talk about expanding your network. The working field and your pay check has most to do with your connections. Therefore you need to be on top of everything, knowing what is happening when and where. Show your face every now and then.
When you do this, getting funded is a lot easier when you have people supporting your vision. It will also help to have a professional website and a good support on social media.
But most important is you have to keep showing your passion and drive. Make people excited about your vision. When you have a clear goal, it will be easier.
How did you start your company?
EM Productions founded officially in 2017 in Arnhem, The Netherlands. The international company works in close relation with artists based in The Netherlands, Russia, Israel, Sweden, Denmark, Germany etc. It’s character is
defined by its diversity and professionalism. Combining film, music and dance, and treating it as one and the same, shows a next level of multidisciplinary work.
EM Productions is a platform for collaborations in any Art form whatsoever. The goal of the company is giving space for all forms of art, and showcasing this to a broader audience then just ‘the art-lovers’. So that the ‘big public’ could be able to see connections through their emotions.
What difficulties did you encounter and how did you resolve them?
The difficulties of starting something up is that nobody knows you or your name. So, for the first long period, you will need to invest everything into this project. I learned that you should always start with the people you already know, and that turns out to be very useful.
However, money is the biggest issue I encountered, since I do not have just one art-form to focus on. I need professional equipment for music and film. Luckily for dance the expenses are not in the materials, they are however in getting a workspace to create a choreography.
To make all of this possible I take on every little project I can, and see how I can benefit from this. Is this a job that will guaranty a good income for the coming month, or is this an investment for the future? Perhaps I need to ask for funding of some projects, and maybe I do need to take that little job on the side. But important is that this job will still be beneficial for your long term.
Either in connections or your working experience. Everything you do from now on has a reason and will get you closer to your goal. Nevertheless, your first period will be hard, but just keep it going and someday you’ll be where you want to be. How do you envision your future? Where do you want to be within five years?
In the future, I will have my own company that is used as a platform for any creative artist. The company will have people working from every discipline and from every continent. The artist will come to our company with ideas and we will help to make this idea reality. It will have big movie releases, a record label with great musicians, a theater, various ateliers etc. Too much to say, and there will always be space for innovation.
Next to this company, I will be a music artist known in many countries under the name MONKÉ. I will do many collaborations and have my own brand called ‘The Monké Tree’.
Call me a big dreamer, but I always say without dreams reality would not exist.
What is a real ‘Must Have, Do or See’ for every artist?
The only thing you need as an artist is knowing what you want to become and do anything to achieve that. Let nobody tell you that you can’t do it all, and show them they were wrong. But don’t expect a change overnight, it comes in little steps. Have patience and persistence.
And might I suggest some daily meditation, it really helps to clear your mind!
Follow Enrico on: