Maarten Hoogstraten, also known as Bingo Players, wasn’t like other kids his age. He swapped playing with toys for playing with vinyl and CDs, dedicating all his time and money on music. It was only a matter of time before Maarten and Paul Baumer’s tracks started to resonate with EDM crowds in America and abroad. Their songs featured buzzing and bouncing synthesizers, crunchy guitar-like riffs, and powerful, driving beats.
As I comfortably sat with the producer behind the hit EDM act, Bingo Players, he expressed just how much his passion for music has evolved, and he definitely showed it through his set at Marquee New York later that night. I caught up with Bingo Players right before the show; he revealed upcoming music, influences and discussed supporting Fuck Cancer in honor of Paul.
Can you tell us a little bit about you, and what sparked you to want to get into music?
I started to get in touch with electronic dance music when I was 12 years old. I was hearing these kinds of tunes all over on Dutch radio, and I was just like, ‘What is this kind of music? Where does it come from?’ Because it was really unique and it was nowhere else in the world. So I was listening to Prodigy, and I was like ‘What is this music?’ And I learned they made it with computers, synthesizers and drum machines, but I couldn’t afford it of course. So a couple years later, finally, I was able to buy sound cards and stuff like that and start making music on the computer. I started to experiment with that and then I met Paul, and he was also making music on the computer and that’s when we started Bingo Players. We started recording and in 2006 we were just like, ‘Okay, we have to have an act name,’ and thought of Bingo Players, then started releasing demos and releasing them to record labels under that name, and then all this stuff started.
How did you come up with the name Bingo Players?
We were really charmed by acts with names like Audio Police because it has to be like an act name like DJ whatever, you know, and we wanted to have a funny name. So one of our friends had an MSN messenger screen name, same as AIM Messenger, that had Bingo Players in it, and we were like, “Oh that’s a cool name!” And we asked our friend if we can use it, and he said “It’s cool,” but then after a couple of months, we were like, “What did we do, man? Now we can’t go back.” So now it stuck.
You’ve been in the music scene for a long time, over 10 years. You’ve had a lot of accomplishments, but if you had to pick one, which achievement are you most proud of?
Our song “Rattle” hitting No. 1 in England. The last act to hit No.1 in the UK was in 1991, so to be the next Dutch act to hit No. 1 in the UK 22 years later, was a big deal for us. We were all over the news, so we were super proud that we hit No. 1 as a Dutch act. It was so weird because I was on holiday that day, and I got calls saying, “It’s between you and Britney Spears right now.” And we got a call from BBC Radio, saying that we were No. 1. I was in St. Marten at the time, so to hear that, it was so surreal. I was sitting on the beach and I was like, “Okay lets order some champagne or something.”
Who are some of your biggest influences? Someone you look up to as an artist?
Yeah! They’re actually playing right now! Daft Punk with Pharrell [Williams]. I was making like drum music and stuff, but when I heard Daft Punk, I was like, ‘Wow, this is something so unique and different than what’s out there right now.’ So I’m still looking up to them. They’re such innovators.
Just a few weeks ago, you dropped your first single of 2017, “Bust This.” Can you tell us a little bit more about the track and the creative process behind it?
I see a lot of people release Trap and Future Bass music now, so I was like, ‘I need club music! Where’s the club music?’ I felt like it was time to do something like that again, bring it back to old school sound. I had this idea in my head, and it was a real quick process, I think it was done in like 2 or 3 days, and that’s fast for me because usually it takes me three weeks. It really depends on which vibe you’re in, sometimes you can take 2-3 weeks just to fiddle around with sounds, but this track went really quick and I felt like this was a cool track, a good club record, so that’s what motivated me to create the track.
You have a special partnership with Fuck Cancer, all proceeds from your last tour went to the charity, in honor of Paul’s passing. Are you planning any other projects with them currently or in the future?
Maybe! We haven’t thought about it yet, possibly, yeah, why not! It’s a great cause, and I think it’s a great thing that I can contribute to raise money for Cancer research because it’s really close to my heart because of what happened to Paul.”
How can fans contribute to Fuck Cancer now?
They can always go to the Fuck Cancer site and donate money. There’s a lot of organizations in the U.S. that support cancer research. For me, it doesn’t matter where it goes, as long as it goes to a good cause.
What are you currently working on that fans can look forward to?
I just released ‘No. 1 Disco’ on Hysteria Records. I wrapped up a new collaboration that’s I’m excited for that will be out soon, and I’ll be releasing a new song in June as well. So a lot of new songs this year and end of the year and I’m planning to do an EP with three tracks, they’re gonna be more Future House, Disco stuff. So a lot of new music this year and different stuff I’ll see where it leads to. More music than the last two years because last year I only did like three songs, and I wanna do more this year.
Tell us 5 things we don’t know about you.
1. My favorite thing is playing video games, like old SEGA.
2. I have a really weird thing with ‘80s music, cheesy ‘80s music.
3. I’m a pretty basic guy. I don’t know shit about cars, I don’t care about cars.
4. I don’t read books. Rarely I read books. I’ve probably read like 2 or 3 books in the past 5 years. One was about Pablo Escobar, the other one is from Phil Knight, the guy from Nike, and one book about Michael J. Fox.
5. When I have time off, when I’m not making dance music, I make classical music, or like movie music. It’s too laid back to incorporate it in a set.
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