As I continue to approach strangers and ask them for a few minutes of their time (and so far no punches or slaps), I met up with a local musician at Amsterdam's classic Cafe de Jaren, a sprawling two-level bar/restaurant with a canal-side terrace that is packed on summer evenings. This being November, however, we opted to stay in.
Some brief background info here:
This Amsterdammer was downsized from his sales job at Monster last year. He's been singing for years on the side, made the leap fully late in 2010, and in just under a year has landed the title song for a Reebok campaign (beating out OutKast, among others) and connecting with some big music industry movers in Holland and Los Angeles.
His first album is due in 2011. Check out his YouTube channel here. Check out his site (and cheeky Reebok ad) here.
Name: Steffen Morrison
How long have you lived in Amsterdam?
I arrived from Suriname on Oct. 4, 1992 in Amsterdam. Which makes it eighteen years for me.
List three quick words to describe the city, the first things that come to mind.
Diverse, Vibrant, A Living Postcard (Ed. note - it looks like five words after the Euro~Dollar exchange rate).
What are some of your favourite things about living here?
I love the canals in Amsterdam. These truly give the city its own unique character and identity. One of the other conveniences of this city is that you are literally 15 to 30 minutes away from everything by bike. Also, there is so much to be discovered about this city in general in terms of its history. Even for us who live in Amsterdam, at times we feel like a tourist because you discover so much daily.
Nightlife-wise, Paradiso and Sugar Factory are great for special shows.
What do you like the least about living here?
People on the bike tend to be pretty impatient. (Ed. - Er, yes. I just clobbered someone yesterday on the bike... more later). The fact there isn't much room for more tolerance in that area is something I would want to change about this city.
If you weren't living here, where would you want to live?
I would want to live in Los Angeles if I wasn't living in Amsterdam.