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 #25, we caught up with Menno aka mennojunior to talk about his passion for vinyl records, morning moods, and inspirations behind his DJ name.
Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Menno Klinkenberg Jr., I am 33 years old and I work as a creative copywriter. I’m also a record collector and motorcycle enthusiast.
How did you come up with your DJ name, and how did you decide that you were going to be one?
I consider myself a selector, not really a DJ. But I go under the name mennojunior. I have the same name as my dad, so early on I was often called either Menno, Junior, or both. So mennojunior was an easy choice.
I've been doing a monthly radio show called ‘Morning Medicine’ on Operator for almost a year now. In February it will be a full year, to be exact. Doing a radio show was an idea I already had in my head for a while. Also, many of my friends work in the club scene and/or do their own shows, so they basically helped me in making the necessary step by just doing it.
What do you spin, exactly?
Jazz or better said: anything jazz-infused that comes with a relaxing vibe will be played at the show. '50s Jazz by Miles Davis, Beats by J Dilla, R&B by Robert Glasper, Fusion by Bob James, a bit of Brazilian Jazz by Azymuth, some Afro-Cuban stuff by Mongo Santamaria, even some House or Drum & Bass joints. But whatever the genre or style, there’s Jazz to be found. I also hardly ever play just a part of a song, I want to play the full experience.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
I’m definitely not a morning person, so I can tell you what a typical morning looks like. I always cure my morning temper by getting myself a good cappuccino while listening to some relaxing, jazz-infused music. That routine was my inspiration for the ‘Morning Medicine’ radio show.
Where are we currently, and what does this spot mean to you?
We are now at Demonfuzz Records, a record store at the Nieuwe Binnenweg. I've been coming here for a long time and I’ve spent quite a lot of money here. They have a lot of Jazz and Funk, so for me, it’s one of my favorite places to expand my record collection and find new music. I also like to chat with the owners of the store, because whenever we talk about music I feel like I'm still at kindergarten level compared to them. I’ve learned a lot here.
"I like to chat with the owners of the store because whenever we talk about music I feel like I'm still at kindergarten level compared to them"
What does Rotterdam, as a city, mean to you?
I grew up on an actual ship during my childhood, so I’ve spent a lot of time in other harbor cities in Europe. What I've learned about these cities is that it has a much rougher crowd compared to other cities. And even though Rotterdam is not a capital city, it’s still a big international breeding ground and meeting place for creatives and artists. Combining that with its rawness and go-getters mentality, makes Rotterdam really one of a kind.
What are your favorite spots/activities in Rotterdam?
- Demonfuzz is one of my favorite places to search and buy new music.
- Søcial at the Meent has great coffee and is a good place to hang with people.
- The Wilhelmina Pier is a nice spot to find some quiet in the city.
- But my absolute number one: Home.
When did you realize music was going to be a big part of your life?
I realized it when I noticed how much money I was eventually spending on music. Vinyl can be surprisingly expensive, especially since its increasing popularity in the past 10 years. I mean, if you’re spending €200 on a batshit crazy 70s Japanese Fusion record as I did, then I suppose music is not just a ‘thing’ anymore…
What was your first performance? And how was it?
I wasn’t focused on playing records outside my radio show. But not long after I started doing my show, I was asked to play Jazz for two days at Solar Weekend Festival 2022. All of a sudden I had a gig at one of the biggest festivals in the Netherlands. It was a cool experience and I’m still very thankful for it.
Digital or Vinyl?
Vinyl of course, but I do see myself using digital more and more as time goes on. So, if there’s a song I want to play during my show and I don't have in my physical collection, I don’t mind using digital.
How do you select your music?
There's no steady routine to it. It’s more like: “Am I still in a grumpy mood after listening to this? If not, that’ll do.” However, I do try to make the different styles fit well together in one package.
"If you’re spending €200 on a batshit crazy 70s Japanese Fusion record as I did, then I suppose music is not just a ‘thing’ anymore…"
Do you currently have a favorite song you’d like to share with the audience?
Caribbean Nights – Bob James.
What is an essential record that everyone should have in their collection?
‘Voodoo’ by D'Angelo. It's an amazing mix of Jazz, Funk, R&B, Soul, and Hip-Hop. They merged so many musicians, styles, influences, and insane layers on that album and it worked so well. It’s a must-have.
Is there something on your planning you want/can share?
I’m playing some Jazz records on January 27 during the after-party of IFFR at Theater Rotterdam, from 22:00 'till 00:00. I also played at 'At The Muse' at Time Is The New Space and will do so during future events as well.
Any last words?
Tune in during the next episode of the Morning Medicine on February 8 from 10:00 - 11:00 on operator-radio.com!