OOG Radio DJ continues after 23 years at Simone FM: “I think I’m a late bloomer”

Over the past 23 years he presented various programs on OOG Radio. From now on, however, DJ Henri Haan can be heard at Simone FM.

Hi Henry! How did you end up with Simone?
“I have always found Simone FM a very nice station. A while ago I took the plunge and started a conversation with Simone’s boss. I then let it be known that I thought it would be a good idea to make a program for it. It was said that is good. But first a four-week trial. Those four weeks are now over, and from now on I can be heard permanently on Saturdays. I am really very happy!”

Making radio. It’s always been in your DNA, hasn’t it?
“Yes, it has always been there. I grew up in the Drenthe countryside. When I came home after a day at school, I went to my room. I made radio programs with cassette tapes and a double-barrelled cassette deck. Just for myself. I didn’t want my parents to know about this. It was really my thing. In 1996 I entered a radio studio for the first time. That was Radio 101, which was the radio station for Delfzijl and Appingedam at that time. Every Friday I traveled up and down to Delfzijl to work in the editorial office there.”

And then came EYE Radio…
“That was in 1999. I think I was 24 years old then. I was then active for a while for a radio program on Friday evenings. Mark Bakker, who currently works for RTV Oost, was a reporter for the program and went through the city with a live channel to make reports. I was allowed to go with him once. And that was when the reporter in me was born. It was a period when I learned a lot.”

What was the first program you presented on OOG Radio?
“That was the Working Titles programme. I presented that for years. Gertjan van Stralen presented that, and at a certain point I took over. First every working day between 09:00 and 12:00, later I presented only on Fridays. After that I made and presented a lot of other programs, during which I made ‘Going with Haan’ in recent years.”

What’s so great about making radio?
“First of all because of the music. To introduce people who listen to music that is cool. And it’s radio, so you don’t have a picture with it. You can stimulate the imagination in people. You can amaze listeners. You can actually compare it to a radio play. That you can really take someone into a world that you sketch. It’s very magical. I think that’s wonderful.”

Then you must have a problem with all those cameras that hang in radio studios these days?
“Haha no. I also just stay who I am. When music is played, I just sing and dance along. Also because music gives me a lot of energy. The presence of cameras does not affect my behavior. Frankly, I also think it can be a reinforcing factor. For example, on my radio program ‘Gaan met Haan’ I always had a guest in the studio. It’s nice to see a guest, to see the interaction. So it doesn’t have to be bad. And after all, you are in charge of whether you are watching through the camera.”

And now after 23 years you leave OOG Radio…
“Well, before people panic. I will remain connected to OOG Radio. OOG Radio is, and will always be, in my heart because it is a great broadcaster that shows Groningen in a beautiful way like no other. That is why I also said to the program manager of OOG Radio, if a special is made around Eurosonic/Noorderslag or the Liberation Festival, I want to be there. There is no discussion about that.”

People might think you’re a late bloomer…
“I am 47 years old. I’ve seen everything that can be bought in life. And now I’m throwing myself to the lions. Do you know. At OOG Radio I see 18-year-old boys who are very busy with talent, with further growth. I don’t have all that anymore. I just want to do what I like. In a way that suits me. Behind the mixing console or with microphone on location. Simone gave me a chance, and I’m going to really enjoy it.”

Now a lot is said and written in the Netherlands. About 3FM for example and their new programming. Now that you work at a larger station, do you worry about that too?
“No, not a second. You are indeed right, a lot is said in this country. People type about someone they don’t know. It’s also so easy to tear something down. I am a positive person. I think it would be very good if we all started to approach it a bit more positively, and not immediately look at something with negative glasses.”

What do you hope to achieve in the near future?
“I hope to be able to make radio with great pleasure, and that people will enjoy listening to the radio. That listeners have a nice Saturday afternoon. And what I might also find important is to show that with 47 years old you can still take steps. It’s never too late to take on a new challenge in your life. That should be on everyone’s mind. We all lead our own lives. One is a bit faster than the other. But it is never too late to chase a dream.”

Henri’s radio program can be heard every Saturday afternoon between 3 and 6 pm on Simone FM.

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