Discover Benelux | Cover Interview | Wouter Hamel
globe. Does he have a favourite place to take to the stage? “It’s difficult to decide,” he muses, admitting that his legions of fans in South Korea are hard to top. “Everything happened so fast there, like a dream come true. It’s not about how big the venue is, but knowing that the music is really appreciated - just having a whole stadium of people singing your songs.”
“But I really feel like I’ve got nothing to worry about. I’ve got some experience, that feels good,” he grins. “I’ve got this!” Hamel used not to feel so comfortable under the gaze of the audience, or with the media attention that success brings, but focusing on the music and remembering the reason why he pursued a career in the limelight always helps.
In a good place
“I remember watching Bette Davis in an old interview on YouTube from the 1970s. She said it shouldn’t be about limousines or red carpets or adoring fans, it should be about the actual work. You have to do interviews, you have to have people looking at you all the time,” explains Hamel.
“Of course, you always have some tension in your body. I believe you even look different before a show: your eyes are a little bit more wide open because you know what’s going to come.
“I learned that lesson a couple of years ago but now it’s really sunk in. I focus on my work. I’m really comfortable with this and I hope to hold on to that self-security.”
Having suffered from stage fright in the past, Hamel admits that after 17 years in the game he no longer worries ahead of a big show.
38 | Issue 41 | May 2017
A happy soul With five successful albums under his belt and a newfound inner peace, where does Hamel see himself in the next ten years? “I used to be so afraid of that question. It makes me really happy that I’m not anymore,” he replies. “I just want to be happy. That’s all it’s about.” Of course, Hamel still has ambition and drive - he mentions a desire to write a musical, as well as the dream of living in Brazil for a couple of years and recording a Portuguese album. “But, actually, for the first time I really realise what I have already and how special that is,” smiles the star. “I’m really living life to the fullest and if I’m doing the same thing in ten years, that’s gonna be fine.”
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