On the radio, in the pub and on TV: we can no longer ignore Mart Hoogkamer | Music

The name Mart Hoogkamer said almost no one a few years ago. Now everyone issinging I am going to swim loudly. Within a short period of time, the24-year-old from Leiden has grown into one of the most famous singers in theNetherlands. How did he manage that so quickly?

By Danja Koeleman

“It may sound arrogant, but I always thought that the Netherlands would knowme one day,” Hoogkamer said in an interview with de Volkskrant.

This year his dream has come true. I am going to swim has since beenstreamed 39 million times. Walk into any party bar and the song blares out ofthe speakers. But even outside the cafe you can hardly ignore Hoogkamer. Hewill be in the theater from Tuesday, will make his debut as a presenter atAVROTROS next week and can also be seen in I Want Your Song on SBS6.

It starts in 2016 when the then eighteen-year-old Hoogkamer participates in_Holland ‘s Got Talent_. He ends up in the final and comes in second, whichearns him a contract with Sony Music. His first singles are released,including a duet with Willeke Alberti. Hoogkamer is now growing into a well-known name in the folk singer circuit, but a real monster hit is notforthcoming.

He attracts the attention of documentary maker Arjen Sinninghe Damsté. “I cameacross an audition at a talent show where he broke halfway through andcontinued singing with a lump in his throat,” says the director. “That thesong made him so emotional was an indication to me of someone who understandsthe song of life, or at least someone who takes music very seriously.”

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Lange Frans co-wrote hit

In August 2020, the Hoogkamer hype is on the eve when his manager shares anonline video of the singer. In the video, the performer on the beach,accompanied by karaoke music, sings a cover of the Elvis Presley hit_Unchained Melody_.

In no time, the video is viewed millions of times. Hoogkamer’s cover alsostands out outside the Dutch borders. For example, positive reactions aregiven from Brazil and the United States, among others. As a follow-up to thissuccess, a single version is being released. It ends up in first place in theiTunes Top 100.

At that time I am going to swim already written. Hoogkamer has planned awriting session at the beginning of 2020 together with some other artists,including Lange Frans. The singer is looking for a real party song, à la_live_ by André Hazes. “I hear in the background I ‘m serious by AndréHazes,” says Hoogkamer in de Volkskrant. “The refrigerator is open and I seea half-empty bottle of Bacardi Lemon from the night before. The producer makesa melody and I sing to him, ‘I’m going for a swim, in Bacardi Lemon.'”

The resident of Leiden smells a hit and writes the text in half an hour.Ultimately, the single will be released in the summer of 2021 and ends up infirst place. The song also flies through the charts in Belgium. Hoogkamer’sagenda is filling up: everyone wants to book the singer.

Hoogkamer scored the big hit Bieber van de Kroeg with rapper Donnie.

Photo: BrunoPress

He prefers to be at home

Success also has a bitter side. All the attention and appearances lead tooverstrain. Hoogkamer gets double pneumonia and has to take a rest. “I feelall the time that people expect a lot from me, which is actually because ofthe success I have,” the singer says in conversation with New Revue.”Because I perform so well, others think I can perform even better.”

After the forced short break, Hoogkamer’s agenda is now overcrowded again. Hewill be in theaters with his tour until the end of this year. And from nextweek, the singer will also have his own television program. In it he tries towrite an après-ski hit with well-known colleagues.