From Music, Journalism, and Advocacy, An Interview with Renske van Kollenburg

November 23, 2020
Authored by:
Richard Lau
Featuring:

Tell us about yourself and how your journey brought you to where you are now.

I've basically always followed my passion. Even when I was also working in other areas besides the music industry like marketing and advertisement. I did that to pay the bills but I was always involved and active in the music industry. It brought me to many places, do many things like interviewing, hosting and DJing. All these things showed up on my path organically as I am so passionate about it and because I never let other things come in between. After my burnout, I became even more focused on my work in the industry but it got more depth as now I'm also purpose-driven; to de-stigmatize mental health issues in my beloved music industry and create more awareness around this topic.

Was there someone or something that inspired you?

I've basically always followed my passion. Even when I was also working in other areas besides the music industry like marketing and advertisement. I did that to pay the bills but I was always involved and active in the music industry. It brought me to many places, do many things like interviewing, hosting and DJing. All these things showed up on my path organically as I am so passionate about it and because I never let other things come in between. After my burnout, I became even more focused on my work in the industry but it got more depth as now I'm also purpose-driven; to de-stigmatize mental health issues in my beloved music industry and create more awareness around this topic.

How did you create your brand name, and logo?

I have a deep fascination for mermaids, ever since I was a little child. All my brand names are related to this. Splash MusicMedia is a referral to the 80's movie Splash. My artist name Sairen refers to 'siren' and Sound Waves is the name of my brand new podcast.

Tell us about your first experience in the industry.

I have in involved in the electronic music industry for over 2 decades but my first job was interviewing artists for a Dutch local tv channel in 2009 - with no experience in front of a camera at all! They just asked me and I dove in (like a mermaid ;) ) ! That was the start of my professional career in music.

What is your work structure like and what does the average workday look like for you?

I like to start my day at my own pace, have a 5 km walk with my dog and/or gym and then start focussing on my projects. I can work focussed for quite some hours and then I need to unwind.

What philosophies do you integrate into your workflow most often and what philosophy inspires you in your work?

Staying present really helps when feeling overwhelmed: one thing at a time. Also, becoming aware of your own self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours (which are mostly subconscious!). Self-reflection is key to grow to levels where you can actually also show up for your clients at your best.

Also, do yóu. Don't push yourself to limits doing things that you are not aligned with. If it doesn't feel good and it drains you then you should not do them. For example; there are so many business advisors on the internet now, especially during Covid, who shout you have to follow certain rules and take action all the time, wake up at 5 am to be productive etc. My rule is: if this doesn't feel good for you, don't do it! Find your own flow but... be aware of your own self-sabotaging behaviours ;)

What do you think you do that drives your success?

Passion and purpose. I believe that when you didn't figure out your "why' yet you eventually either burnout (happened to me) or start questioning everything you have been doing in your life at one point. Having a clear vision and knowing what you do and WHY you do it gives you the focus and strength to keep moving.

How do you engage with your clients and build your following?

I use Instagram mostly and am launching a brand new podcast Sound Waves, which will be on podcast platforms and my YouTube channel as well. I will be creating way more video content.

How do you use social media and what recommendations do you have?

As a true mental health advocate, I try not to be on social media actually but I believe Instagram can be a useful way of expressing your brand values, story and interact with your audience.

Is there an event or situation that you can point to that was life-changing for you that you can share with us?

A severe burnout and the suicide of a great artist I've worked with over the years (Avicii). This led me to rethink and reshape everything that I was doing in life and educate myself and others about this process of dealing and healing with burnout but mostly; how to prevent it. How to take really care of yourself while working in a fast-moving environment like the industry I work in myself for many years; the electronic music industry.

What has been the most memorable or inspiring interaction with a client or customer?

So many! But interviewing Nile Rodgers and meeting Giorgio Moroder was quite special but I've definitely learned that everybody is special and everybody has an amazing story inside of them!

Where is your favourite place in the world?

Anywhere where my dog is ;) I have a special connection with Aruba - a tiny island n the Caribbean - though as I've stayed there for months while healing and transforming during the hardest time of my life. I have been going there for many years as well as I have many friends there. I call it my second home.

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Renske Van Kollenburg

Renske Van Kollenburg

Renske van Kollenburg’s multi-platform media company Splash MusicMedia assists clients with concept development, constancy and media productions for online /offline media and events. Renske worked with clients like Amsterdam Dance Event, Ultra Music Festival, IMS Ibiza, DJ Mag, Awakenings, Pacha, ID&T, Beatport etc. Renske van Kollenburg is known for her journalistic work in the music industry, where she worked with leading artists such as Richie Hawtin, Armin van Buuren, Nile Rodgers, Will.i.Am, Tiësto, Boy George and Avicii. She has worked as a film producer, event moderator and award show host in venues like the Amsterdam Arena and Heineken Music Hall with audiences up to 35k people. Since 2011 she DJ's internationally under her techno moniker Sairen. As a public speaker, Renske shares her story in the fast and hectic music industry and the importance of learning to set your boundaries in order to avoid excessive stress, fatigue and burnout. She is passionate about having meaningful conversations with leading and ambitious change makers that have incredible stories to share, inspire and educate us on the effects excessive ambition can have on our mental health.

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