Posted On 23 Mar 2018
Get to know the powerhouse female producer, artist and business woman, Femke Weidema! Femke is a native of the Netherlands and a current resident of Nashville. She has a studio in Nashville at Liz Rose Music (of Taylor Swift fame and Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” among others), who she frequently collaborates with.
She has won the ASCAP Harold Adamson award, studied with Lin Manual Miranda for a short summer at Chicago’s North Western University with the Johnny Mercer Foundation, worked for Richard Gibbs and Don Grusin while also working at Hans Zimmer’s Prestigious Remote Control studios in Los Angeles, and is the recipient of a Latin Grammy.
As a musician she sang with Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus on the soundtrack for Fired Up, played accordion on several indie movies, played guitar and programmed on ABC’s 10 Things I Hate About You and scored a season of Disney’s Binny Under Geist.
She was recently the subject of the Dutch Documentary series “Don’t Dream, Do!” about her success as a producer in Nashville and in the fall of 2017 she decided to create a platform for the artists she thinks the world needs to hear and she started her label LV Music. She designed the label to have a very collective and family feel to what they do and the deals are all structure to be very artist friendly. The label releases tracks every 6 weeks or so. The artists currently on the roster include Nashville’s LIEZA, Scotland’s Dancing on Tables and the UK’s Belle Mt , who collectively had accumulated millions of streams over the short six month period since the label started.
In addition to all of that, Femke recently released her own song called “4 Letter Words.”
Connect With Femke Weidema Here:
Learn more about Femke Weidema in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
It actually finds me on a Saturday night at 9PM, I just finished teaching a masterclass and I’m now heading back into the studio to work on a few projects that we’ll release soon!
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? What is one big goal you have for 2018?
2017 was an amazing year, I finally saw my dream of having a label come to life and got to release the music and artists I’ve been working with for the last few years. I think it definitely was a year of change and growth but it also made me realize how much work there still is to do. I’m really excited to grow the team of LV Music and add a few more artists to our roster. One of my big goals for 2018 is to create some solid partnerships with a few companies that will give more resources to the artists for their music to be heard.
Growing up, did you ever think that this would be the kind of life that you would have? Has music always been a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
I remember my first musical experience really well, I was at my uncle’s house and he had a piano in the living room. I just sat at it and started playing this classical music that my parents would always listen to. My mom asked how I knew how to play it, and I said that I’ve always known; I just knew where my fingers were supposed to go. Weird…I know….but that’s kind of my experience with music and songs, they just happen and each time my career goes somewhere, it takes me somewhere else.
I knew I would have a life in music from that moment on, and just kind of followed it wherever it would take me.
Why do you think you ultimately settled on living in Nashville? How do you think that that city has influenced not only your music but how you work and operate?
Nashville was another musical experience that happened. I lived in LA and was doing music for film and somehow I met a publisher who said, you should come to Nashville some time. So I visited 3 times and the 3rd time I got offered a publishing deal, so I moved. I never heard a country song in my life before that, being from Holland and having a classical background, that certainly wasn’t what we listened to, but I love Americana and Roots music and Nashville really opened up my senses for that. I think it gave me the perfect environment to experiment with sounds.
Nashville allowed me to work with amazing musicians and people and go deep into songwriting, and apart from that, it’s much easier to live a life in Nashville than it was in Los Angeles. I think it slowly made me also incorporate having a life into my hectic work schedule.
After reading through your extensive resume, I am curious to know what project that you have been involved with has given you the most satisfaction and truly prepared you for your current endeavor, your own label, LV Music?
I think it’s a mix of everything, it’s being a composer assistant and working 100 hour weeks, It’s sitting in rooms with people you’d never dreamed you’d meet and seeing them work, it’s been locking myself up in a studio for days on end learning how to record your own songs and it’s been writing with writers that wrote the songs I knew from the radio. Nothing really prepared me for the work a label would be, but the thing that really inspired me is all the people who mentor me along the way, Don Grusin, Wally Wilson, Liz Rose and many more . Seeing them re-invent themselves all the time has been such an inspiration to start LV Music.
Speaking of LV Music, can you talk about forming this company and what it has been like being a part of something from the very beginning? What has it been like finding the artists to be part of it all? What are a couple musicians on the label that you are particularly excited about now?
LV Music formed around the artists I was already working with. Belle Mt. and I worked together for 2 years before his first song came out as the first song on LV Music. I heard his music on Soundcloud in 2015 and reached out to him, and ever since then we’ve been working on this project. Dancing on Tables found me and we ended up traveling back and forth between Nashville and Scotland to create this first EP and LIEZA was my intern for 3 years before I asked her to be part of the label. I think the label started around these artists that I really believed in, and it’s growing with them as they are growing into their new careers. I’m excited about all of them and I’m excited about what’s coming next with some new artists that we are adding on.
Let’s talk about your own music that you recently released called “4 Letter Words.” What was the inspiration for this track? Do you hope to put out more new music soon and a full album of brand new songs?
As an artist myself, I have kind of let go of the idea of having a career but I still have these songs that just mean a lot to me. 4 Letter Words is one of those songs. I had just moved to Nashville and was living in a basement and I had no idea what I was doing. So somehow this song just fell out of me and it’s always been one of my favorites. I might make an album, but for now, I’m mostly working on the other artists on the label.
Do you find that it’s easier to understand what an artist needs and expects from a label since you happen to be one as well? Is there a lot more understanding because of that connection?
Yes there is, I always wanted to be the person I wish I met when I was 21. I think that’s what I get to be now. I understand what it’s like to be an artist, and understand artistic freedom, but I also understand the business.
We are living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that music is going to reflect these challenging times?
Music gives hope, music tells a story, and music touches hearts. Being able to express yourself through music is an amazing feeling, but being able to give that to people and share stories and opinions and create a community is so important these days. I think music is one of the few things we can all agree on.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I’m a massive Paul Simon fan, so that would be the craziest thing to work with him, but I think he is going on his last tour this year. Honestly, I’m most excited with working with the people that I don’t know, the developing artists and musicians and being part of their dream.