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 episode #36 of WOEI FM, we met with the co-founders of Rotterdam-based collective Bound45, for a special edition of our monthly show that we broadcast over at Operator in Rotterdam. 



Can you please introduce yourselves?

Hi, we’re Koen, Bobby, and Joost.

All co-founders of Bound45 and music enthusiasts.

How did you guys meet?

Koen & Joost are actually brothers, so they’ve known each other for quite a while haha. I met them through a mutual friend, we shared similar interests and became part of the same friend group, which also holds most of the Bound45 members.

How long have you been spinning individually?

Bobby: I think Koen started the earliest, like 9/10 years ago already. At that time, I also had a place to practice, which started around 6/7 years ago.

Joost: For me, it’s been 4/5 years. Koen was the instigator, back then he was already playing at several club nights, where a lot of our friends came together. I already enjoyed music a lot but never thought about DJing before this point.



You've been making quite some noise with Bound45 in the city for some years now, where did it all start?

We spent a lot of time together hanging out at Koen’s house with our friend group. He had CDJs and a record player and we’ve spent many nights playing music together and having a good time. This way we’ve kept learning more about music and each other’s tastes and started discussing the plans for organizing something ourselves.

Koen already did some own productions but that was on hold for a bit, and with the nightlife going in a direction that we didn’t particularly like, we started thinking about what we were missing and if we could fill this gap.

It's undeniable that Rotterdam's nightlife has suffered a lot in recent years. How would you describe this new era of clubbing? 

Koen: It’s a bit more spread out than before. I feel like before, people would often just go to a club and find out what’s playing. But nowadays, it’s more about the different types of DJs or promotors that bring their crowd to a certain location.

Bobby: I agree with Koen. I also believe that in current times a lot more young people tend to favour faster, harder music with easy drops and highlights which creates hype. That’s also what we try to do differently since it’s important to us to create a more organic club night with different types of sounds throughout the night. 

Joost: I feel like it’s also a good thing that it feels more community-based rather than just booking ‘big’ DJ names without any form of connection to your visitors. But having all these separations also means that it sometimes feels like there are a lot of small islands within the community.




"...we’ve spent many nights playing music together and having a good time. This way we kept learning more about music and each other's tastes and started discussing the plans for organizing something ourselves."

What does Rotterdam, as a city, mean to you?

Joost: Rotterdam has always been the city that feels like home.

Bobby: I was originally from Maassluis, but basically all my social life has been in Rotterdam, and it’s the most comfortable city in the world. I always enjoy coming back here after a trip.

Koen: Same for me. We just came back from Nijmegen and we saw someone smoking crack in front of the Oriental, so I told Bobby it feels good to be back.

How did you land your first collective gig, and how did it go?

Our first event was at WORM, and it was all quite funny. We started planning it as an actual club night, but then Covid happened. Since we just wanted to share the music, we turned it into a sit-down listening session, which was allowed at the time. There were 2 sessions, one with Koen (Luce Bree) and Arp Frique, and we instantly knew we wanted to do more of this. Arp Frique shared a beautiful selection of his own unreleased creations combined with rare Cape Verdean music, and in the end the session was shut down earlier by WORM because people couldn’t stop dancing.

Clubs or Festivals?

Clubs, Clubs, Clubs!

We’re currently at KINO Rotterdam, what does this place mean to you?

We love KINO and its great selection of movies. We’ve also been to - and played at - some parties here, which are all great memories. It’s just a great place we like to visit often to watch a movie and relax!




Where do you see Bound45 5 years from now? 

Joost: If we can keep organizing intimate events where we can keep improving our quality regarding sound, lights and the experience for visitors, and people will keep showing up, I would be very happy. It doesn’t have to get much bigger, but we always want to improve the quality and love to introduce people to the music we love.

Bob: I would like to be more affiliated to one location, which I also think Rotterdam could really use. Either from ourselves or by working with other people who created something that we resonate with. I also agree with Joost in the sense that it doesn’t have always have to get bigger, but it could always be better. More good music with more fun people!

Koen: I agree with both. It feels very good to be able to do this with our friends and we’re very grateful that people keep showing up. We like the fact that it’s not too massive, but I always want to reach new people and introduce them to new music.

Are there any artists you'd still like to feature for a set/event?

There are too many! We’ve made so many friends along the way with fantastic music tastes, and it’s just too hard to make decisions for each event. We’ve always had a list of bigger DJs that we would love to have, but an even longer list with local DJs and friends who play fantastic music.

Vinyl or Digital?

Bob: Mmmm. Both!

Koen: Vinyl! I love the feeling of successfully mixing a physical record.

Joost: I admire both! Digital makes a lot possible, but vinyl is a very fine craft.




"It doesn’t have to get much bigger, but we always want to improve the quality and love to introduce people to the music we love."


You've conquered clubs, festivals, cinemas, BBQ's and cafés. What's next?

We want to dive back into clubbing, and hope that soon there’ll be some developments that make that possible!

Describe Bound45 in one song!

Koen: Acendo O Farol by Tim Maia. A killer Brazilian song from 1978 that soundtracked our clubbing experiences together and we’ve also played at Bound45 many times. So good!

Bob: Drifting Star by Adrian Gurvitz. An amazing production with emotional lyrics, perfect to end the night with!

Joost: Carnaval Soca (Antal Edit) by Daniel Dimbas. I lost count of how many times I’ve seen clubs lit on fire because of this song.

Top 3 parties of all time?

Koen: the party where I enjoyed playing the most was hosted by Operator (shout out to them!) in BAR on a random Sunday night back in 2019. It was one of the first times playing in BAR which was a big thing for me, and I was playing b2b with Peter Groovin. We didn’t expect that much people, but the room was packed with friends and I loved our set!

Bob: Once I played with Koen in Arkaoda in Istanbul, that was definitely a great night. Our last Bound45 event at BIT I was playing the graveyard slot from 04:00-06:00. When I started playing there were 50 people and we ended with 25 people which were mainly friends, that was so much fun! The party where I didn’t play myself but had an amazing time was at Contact in Tokyo, where Theo Parrish and Marcellus Pittman were playing b2b all night.

Joost: My favourite time playing was closing one of our first events at MONO in 2022. I had 4 hours of sleep but felt on top of the world, seeing so much people dance to the music I love and closing it off with Drifting Star by Adrian Gurvitz with Bobby is a very precious memory. Also, I’ve recently played in Tokyo with my girlfriend Kate at Bar Tangle, a small bar with big speakers and an amazing place, where the owner was so sweet and was even cooking us pasta on a small stove before the gig. For parties where I haven’t played myself I have so many fond memories, but the all-nighters in De School by Theo Parrish and Antal/Hunee are definitely up there.




Can we get a sneak peek into the Bound45 agenda?

We’re working on several events for the first few months of 2024. They’re all in new locations that we haven’t explored before with some of our own productions, so that’ll be very exciting.

What can we expect from your Operator set?

A little bit of everything! Music that we play at home and music that you could hear at Bound45 events.

Any last words for the readers?

Shout out to everyone who puts effort into the culture and nightlife of Rotterdam! All the people working in and around the clubs, the promotors, security, collectives, toilet attendants, record stores, bars, our visitors, musicians, dancers, diggers, you name it. We appreciate all of them. And of course, shout out to you Senna! Thank you for having us.



Can't get enough of WOEI FM? Check out WOEI FM #35 with Ferré!