Since opening its doors to the public for the first time in 2007, Woei has left its mark on the international sneaker and streetwear community with several collaborations including Asics, Patta, and Stüssy along the way.

But the interests and passions of the Woei crew reach far beyond just shoes and apparel. Besides providing the streets with the latest from Nike, Adidas, and Co., music has always been at the heart of the store. Considering the highly curated playlists and mixes that can be heard in the store and hosting some of Rotterdam's most notorious parties, the belief that music unites is deeply ingrained in the Woei DNA. 

Based on this deep connection, we want to shine a spotlight on some of our favorite local musicians to talk about what sparked their passion for music and hear their take on common dilemmas in the music industry.  


For WOEI FM episode #28, we caught up with Ilja Ottink and Bemarcus, to talk about busy schedules, mutual love for vinyl, and evolving music tastes.





Can you please introduce yourselves?  

B - My name is Boet Marcus, I’m 22 years old and was born in Lekkerkerk, a village located next to Rotterdam. I’ve been living in Rotterdam-West for three years now. Right before I moved to Rotterdam I started spinning, and thankfully got a lot of bookings right on. It started with illegal raves during covid, and that was so well received that I started throwing more commercial parties together with Ilja.

I - I’m Ilja, I’m 23 years old and live in Barendrecht, but I was born in the south of Rotterdam. I’ve been spinning in Rotterdam and surroundings for about four years now. I also throw parties with my buddy Boet. 

How did you come up with your DJ names?

B - I discussed it with my dad in the beginning, asking his advice; At first I came up with 'B Marcus', but he suggested I turned that into Bemarcus, as in ‘to be Marcus’.

I - It was a pretty simple decision for me. I had thought of using a different name for a while but seeing that my name isn’t as common, I figured that I’d still use my own name. 

What do you guys spin, exactly?

BWe started out with more tech house sounds, but it’s only natural that you develop that initial sound into something else. The both of us started leaning away from the more commercial sounds and more into the 90’s house/hype sounds.

I - That's true. 

B - Ilja plays more funky sounds than I do, and I really go into the harder stuff, which I think can be a great combo. 

What does a typical day in your life look like?

B -I wake up and take the train to Amsterdam for my graduation internship. After I finish up there around 5, I return home and continue working on planning events.

I -Aside from all this I have a job in the fishing industry. Fishing is also one of my favorite things to do as a hobby. If I’m not producing or spinning, you’ll probably find me fishing.

After work, I either make new music or listen to music, anything relating to music, really.

We're currently at Toffler, what does this spot mean to you?

I -This spot means a lot to us. We started here 4 years ago when Boet and I met each other at Hogeschool Rotterdam. We actually managed to get our first booking here in quite a strange way.

B -It’s absurd to have Toffler as our first booking because it’s the most iconic club in Rotterdam for House, in my opinion. Ilja knew the son of someone who was throwing a party here with upcoming artists, and over 200 people came to see us that night.

I -We kind of bluffed our way in by saying we were more experienced than we actually were, but we did meet the expectations that we had set, so that was a really special night for us.




"After work, I either make new music or listen to music, anything relating to music, really."


What are your favorite spots in Rotterdam?

BFor food: Bun at de Nieuwe Binnenweg is my top choice. I really enjoy Biergarten and Weelde as going out spots, and Bokaal and Steijn for a nice beer.

I - Biergarten and Annabel. Annabel is a spot where I experienced some great House parties when I first started getting into the scene.

When did you realize music would be a big part of your life?

B - From a very early point in my life. I always used to listen to music at home together with my parents, they had a diverse musical palette; Jazz, and rock, my dad listened to a lot of English Scalo, Reggae, etc. I still like to go to dinner with my parents and just enjoy music. The same goes for my grandparents, they always used to visit jazz café’s here in Rotterdam. Their influences also inspire me to this day.

I - The same goes for me, I’ve listened to music as early as I can remember, also being exposed to a diverse music palette from an early age. Think of Michael Jackson, Bill Withers, Otis Redding... a lot of soul sounds. When I started high school, I got introduced to house and EDM, and from that point my appreciation has only been developing more and more.

B - It's really an interesting journey. At some point, you start to dwell away from the more commercial sounds, which can be negative for bookings, but it eventually brings more joy. 

Continuing off of that, when did you decide to be a DJ, and how did you start out?

BAt one point we were at so many afterparties that we both agreed that we just needed a DJ deck, so I bought one and we just started spinning afterparties. This was a while before covid hit. 

I - I started out by experimenting with producing music until we got that offer to play here at Toffler, which would be the first time that I would be spinning, so I bought a deck and started practicing.



Digital or Vinyl?

BI’ll have to say Digital since it’s the only thing I can spin, but I love vinyl and am currently learning how to spin it, so hopefully I can one day do a full vinyl set.

I - Also Digital, but like Boet, I love vinyl. I’ve been building my collection and listen to my music at home on mostly vinyl. Playing entire sets is not a point that I’ve reached yet, but it is something that I’m working towards. Especially because it’s a sound that we’re both leaning towards.

A lot of tunes are either only on vinyl, or they're so old that they never got a digital release, so that would be nice to be able to eventually play.

How do you select your music for upcoming gigs/mixes?

I - We like to discuss the vibe we’re going for beforehand. We both save songs to use in the future, but we don’t make whole playlists. We like to look at the gig itself and think of what to play on the spot. If you’re playing together for the first time, you’ll want to have something as a base to work off but once you’ve done multiple gigs together it comes naturally.

Do you have certain routines you follow before spinning that you’ve taught yourself?

B -A couple of beers. That’s it, man!

Club nights or Festivals?

B - I’ll say club nights because we haven’t really gotten good spots at festivals so far. I like spinning in clubs more, but festivals are more fun to attend.

I - I really like the atmosphere of club nights; indoor festivals could also be cool. I like spinning more if it’s darker in the room, it feels more intimate, so to say.

Is there a place/spot where you’d like to spin again?

B - I definitely want to play at Shelter Amsterdam, if we’re talking about spots in the Netherlands.

We’ve played at WAV in Liverpool before, which was really cool.

I -; Great venue, very underground and not too far off what we’re used to here in Rotterdam. Especially compared to Toffler.

Personally, I think it would be cool to play in Ibiza or somewhere in Italy. The scene there, around the area of Venice, is really growing. I see a lot of Dutch DJs playing there.

Would you say the crowd outside the NL is very different compared to here?

B - The English especially are very different compared to here. They go absolutely nuts.

I - We can confirm from what we’ve seen in Liverpool. I do have to say that we went with an extremely large group of Dutch people so that was an interesting mix of crowds.

In a partying crowd, I’d say the Scousers are a lot like Rotterdammers, it’s great to see.





"Playing entire (vinyl) sets is not a point that I’ve reached yet, but it is something that I’m working towards. Especially because it’s a sound that we’re both leaning towards."


Opening or Closing set?

Both: Prime Time!

Is there something on your planning you want/can share?

B -We have a lot to share; we’re organizing a series of private boat parties this summer in Rotterdam, going from Delfshaven to Delft and back.

I - We also have a lot of bookings! We’re playing at Munch on May 19, Maas Open Air on June 3rd and you can also find us at Crazy Sexy Cool Festival, to name a few…

Do you have a favorite song that you would like to share with the readers?

I - Todd Terry - Baby can you reach (Acetate version)

B - Karizma ft. DJ Spen - 4 the Love (The Main Vocal Club Mix) 



What can we expect from your set at Operator? 

B - It’s not going to be a club set. It’s mainly going to be tunes that we always think are cool, but not stuff that you’d play in the club.

I - All the gems that we had to put aside from the past times will now finally be highlighted.

You guys are still very young, Is there something specific you want to achieve as a DJ, or personally?

B Learning to spin vinyl and playing a full set is a big goal.  I also want to play more gigs outside of Rotterdam and build up a bigger audience throughout the country.

I - I want to put more focus on production. I’ve done a lot of producing over the years, but I want to make it a standalone factor for receiving bookings as well.

Any last words?

I - Come check us out! All of our gigs are shared on our socials, and we love meeting new people!






Can't get enough of WOEI FM? Check out WOEI FM #27 with Suze Ijó!