The radio shows are a way to express my love for music and storytelling

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The May/June issue gives way to a new 20-something list, featuring visual artists, photographers, art collectives, dancers, musicians and much more. Twenty people who are a representation of young society in Belgium, a generation ready to rule our world. Let us introduce you to the faces you didn’t realise you wanted to meet!

Mathilde Luijten  

promotor, Antwerp, 24  

Photos by Florian Meersman and Mathilde

How would you describe what you do?

Supporting young Belgian artists. By day, I work for VI.BE. By night, I'm curator, organiser, radio host and seeker of fresh talent. OVERLAST arose from the urge to create a safe space for young musicians to experiment and find their audience and for audiences to discover new music in a playful way. Also to blur the lines between the classic concert format and nightlife/parties. As part of the We Are Various team, the online radio station, I try to give young DJ’s, artists and hosts a platform to curate and create as well. The radio shows are also a way for me to express my love for music and storytelling.

What are you currently busy with?

I started working full time at VI.BE in November, which was a big change for me. I’m still trying to find a way to combine everything I’m doing in a healthy way. So I’m busy with getting my life in order, basically. 

Anything planned for the future?

It’s difficult to plan these days, but I’m hoping to be able to organise a new edition of OVERLAST in OLT before the summer. Besides that I am very much searching for ways in which OVERLAST can grow as a festival, as a community, as an organisation. What can I do when live events are not an option? How can I help and support artists to the fullest? And when live events are possible, how can I create meaningful, memorable and uniting experiences for both artist and public? 


Nickname(s) people have given you?

I feel like nicknames are so personal and weird when you take them out of context. So I’m going to keep those to myself :) 

Latest déjà vu?

I have a lot of déjà vus but I can never remember them! I think I was very forgetful in my past life. 

Any new habits?

Making coffee and taking a walk around the block; going to the library to get 20 DVDs every week; trying to cook all the Belgian classics and going to the market every Saturday. This past year has taught me to enjoy the little things in life. 


What’s your daily routine like?

Wake up at seven thirty; wash up; get dressed and make coffee. I open my laptop to see if I have any urgent emails. If not, I take the time to make breakfast. I start working at eight thirty. At twelve thirty we prepare lunch and sit in the sun. Work till five thirty, then take a walk and start working/brainstorming for OVERLAST and We Are Various. I like to take the time to cook a great meal. Watch a movie (yes, every night; I’m a film freak).

Weirdest dream you’ve had?

As a kid I used to have recurring dreams about Vikings, which is weird because I wasn’t even interested in Vikings. Nowadays I mostly dream about huge buildings with many hallways and stairs. I strongly believe in the meaning of dreams. I think my dreams mostly come from stress, anxiety and overthinking. And baby fever. 

What artists are you listening to?

I’m listening to a lot of NTS radio, but I never check the tracklist… Besides that: movie soundtracks, JFDR, Keaton Henson, Aphex Twin, Floating Points, Nicolas Jaar, Jon Hopkins, Oneohtrix Point Never, De Nooit Moede, Harry Styles, Juana Molina, Soap&Skin, Joachim Badenhorst, Sylvan Esso, Brad Mehldau, any Spotify playlist made by Dries Laheye…

I think I was very forgetful in my past life

Favourite memory?

I’m five years old, crying in the lobby of Cinema Cartoons while Libertango by Grace Jones is playing. I just watched Spirited Away and am scarred for life. 

What advice would you give your younger/older self?

Younger self: you are cool and everything you do is cool, stop trying to fit other people’s idea of coolness. Older self: stay kind, open and wide-eyed. 


Favourite emoji?


Cutest desire you have?

I have a vision of a house by the lake with a big library full of beautiful books. A light summer breeze, self-made pasta, and the laughter of all my friends around the table. I’m a cliché, I know. 

I think my biggest personal change is realizing what I want to be when I grow up

Love of your life?

The man who is by my side every day, supporting every crazy idea I have, the most beautiful, smart, talented, funny, and kind creature on the planet. 

Biggest personal change since last year?

I feel like I’ve grown a lot this past year. There have been a lot of obstacles, but also a lot of new opportunities and experiences. I think my biggest personal change is realizing what I want to be when I grow up. And also that it’s okay to not be there yet. Every step towards that goal is valuable in itself. 

How did last year change your perspective?

Because a lot of things fell into place this past year, this created space in my head to look outside of myself towards the world. I try to educate myself on topics that I think are important in today’s world and use the platform I have, small as it is, to reach others and maybe educate them along the way. So I guess this last year made me less self-absorbed and more outspoken, compassionate and activist. 


Are you a nostalgic person?  

Very much so. Sometimes I get nostalgic in the moment, knowing it will be over soon. As long as it doesn’t keep you from living in the moment, I think it’s a beautiful feeling. A kind of soft sadness. 



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