Do you want to make an EP with the baby name Lima expect from Big2, the man we also know as Twan van Steenhoven The Opposites? Eight or ten years ago, when they ‘hipped’ the whole of Holland as a successful duo, it probably wasn’t. But yesterday he was really there: An EP that should make his daughter Lima (1) particularly happy. On Friday there was already the single baby lima.
Twan van Steenhoven (37) has already had a career from here to Tokyo, but continues with a firm and passionate attitude. With his partner Willem de Bruin, it was one big hit party from 2004 to 2014 as The Opposites. He has been working solo as Big 2 for years now and he has his own label DreamTeam. And he often works together with his ‘protégé’ Antoon, the young North Dutchman who has really surpassed him in record time. The latter is not a bad thing, it was just a goal.
‘Big2 a little later, Lima can’t sleep’
“You can make video calls with Twan at 1:30 p.m.,” emailed Hansje, PR lady for label Cloud9 (which DreamTeam falls under) earlier this week. “Then his daughter sleeps.” Wonderful email of course about someone who sells out of every pop place and still does so regularly. The Opposites returned this year, three times at the Gashouder in Amsterdam, at the Lowlands festival and the previous month in Curaçao.
Friday (yesterday), 1:30 p.m. “Twan is a little later. Lima can’t sleep. He’ll come as soon as possible.” Nice isn’t it? Finally, Big2 is in the picture via his smartphone, that day Lima appeared. The EP contains six songs. baby lima naturally (‘Baby Lima, everything is fine, I always forget my worries when I look at you‘). The previously released single Lonely night is on it (4 million streams), like Echo which he did with Antoon. Three songs are brand new. Lima is the sequel to the album New life from 2021.
‘Lima is a happy egg’
Lima – Teun’s sister, who will be 3 in January – didn’t want to sleep, but there was anything but a crying fit. Big2 about his daughter, who was born last August: “It’s going very well. The record actually suits her very well, because she is super cheerful. It’s just a happy egg. She was also happy right now, she just thinks it’s super cozy with dad. Finally, the happy egg fell asleep.”
Why did Lima actually get there? Twan van Steenhoven laughing and witty: “Like a child? Or as an EP?” The latter: “When Lima was born, I spent two months at home looking after my girlfriend and the children. After that, I started making some music again, and I put Lima on the kitchen table, in such a way. I had a feel-good playlist of all fun, happy songs Lambada until This charming man from The Smiths, you name it. Lima is very responsive to music and makes it happy. Then I’m happy too, and that’s how I started making equally happy music with the boys in the studio. Five of the six songs aren’t about her, but she is the inspirer been.”
Big2 on the ‘poppy side’
Of Lima Big2 has gone on the ‘poppy side’. Twan van Steenhoven agrees. “A lot of poppy. I have been working with Antoon for a few years now. I’m inspired by his sound that we make. Usually our joint songs go to Antoon, now a few have gone to me. So it’s definitely pop, yeah. I put them on in the car to see if my kids reacted to them. Only the last number Let it blow, is hip hop. I thought there should also be a song for the real Big2 fans, a song in the style they are used to from me.”
If you read the press release about the EP, the rapper “made it with the idea that it will make his daughter happy later when she listens to this music”. Was that the main goal? Big 2: “The only goal with me is always that I think: I have to make an EP. The second goal is that I really like it myself. Now I was happy when I saw my daughter. Then I say in the studio’fuck it, today it will be uptempo’. I just do things and then I break the rules. After making it I’ll see if we can release it and if it’s great or not. I try to have as much fun as possible when I want to get rid of my egg.”
‘Corona was also good’
Teun was born when corona just entered our lives. In that respect, the world was turned upside down for the artist. As an artist, he really thought it was terrible, but it came to Big2, he admits, also good: “Corona came two months later. I was then able to buy this house where I am now. Then there was no one, who would make an offer or dare to come to a showing. I decided to take the chance and it worked for a good price. My boyfriend, Teun and I then moved from Heiloo to Eemnes. Besides, I had extremely much time for our first child. “
It seems pretty special to talk to a man from The Opposites about children. Was it in his own head? “I knew it would happen, yes. But I always pushed it as far as possible. In my group of friends all the children are 6 or 7, ours 1 and almost 3. So I’m way behind and at first I didn’t understand any of it. You won’t know until you have your own kids. Then it dawned on me, ‘ah, this is what was going on with those guys’.
Big 2 has tropical years but is happy
“I think parenthood is the most beautiful thing there is, but also the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. Heavy, no long ride can compete with it. With a child, you immediately know what you are doing it all for. Seriously, if you haven’t slept in two months, but your baby gets up to go for the first time, it doesn’t matter that you haven’t slept in a long time. Having said that: yesterday morning Teun approached me at 5 in the morning. You always hope that the children wake up at 7… at At 6 my son started screaming that he had been lying next to dad long enough. Then I’ll count to ten. It is heavy and the most beautiful thing there is. But hey, they’re both still young. So we are still in the tropics for a while.”
Lima streaming now. Has he done anything to Teun before as well? Big2 stands up, turns the camera and drops his album New life to see. Twan van Steenhoven walks on the cover with a boy in the forest. Teun of course.
2022 a wonderful year with Lowlands
2022 has been a special year for Big2, with the return of The Opposites at Lowlands an incredible highlight. The festival’s Alpha tent kind of exploded Domp, Lomp & Famous-party. “I think the field around the tent was closed at some point. After corona, it became a huge discharge. During the lockdowns, I also longed for a performance at Lowlands (it was supposed to happen in August 2021, but the festival was canceled again, ed.). I noticed then that people need something like a festival. Sometimes you just have to let go.”
The name Antoon fell before, the man whose star has risen like a comet. Subway visited Twan van Steenhoven’s friend and colleague in the spring (you can read that interview here) and found gold plates all along the walls of his house. Often not hung up. Big2 laughs: “Not normal, huh? It’s already like Antoon says: don’t do the gold records. I want it when it’s platinum. I couldn’t imagine that a year ago.” Antoon has now outgrown Big2 in terms of numbers. Van Steenhoven: “That was the intention. That Goal was that I had 1 million monthly listeners and he had 2 million. Well, it worked.” Antoon will be at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on December 17th and 19th. Will he be there? Big2: “Of course.”
This gives Twan van Steenhoven something wonderful to look forward to. But it also ends the video call. The little one is waiting.
Lima can be streamed through the DreamTeam label. The Opposites can be seen on 31 December in both Paradiso Amsterdam and 013 in Tilburg.
2022 with new album and Ziggo Dome a good year for Maan, but she now also enjoys an evening on the sofa
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