Dutch Musician MR. PROBZ Discusses His Newest Single “Space For Two” and More!
Posted On 11 Jul 2018
Mr. Probz became a global sensation with his song ‘Waves’, which earned him a #1 hit in countless countries around the world and a Grammy nomination in the U.S.
“Space For Two,” is the first single from his forthcoming EP, set for release later this year. The song is a collaboration with Justin Gray (John Legend, Mariah Carey) and Johnny Black (Jessie J, Daughtry). “Space For Two” has been added to over 400 major Spotify playlists and is climbing towards 30 million streams on this platform to date.
“I think people can relate to the lyrics in “Space For Two” and I guess a lot of people can relate to being in a really intense relationship – whether it be too positive or somewhat negative, or even both at the same time. That is what “Space For Two” is about for me and I hope that people will have their own interpretation when they hear the song, that’s the reason making music is so special to me,” comments Mr. Probz.
“Space For Two” lands alongside a beautifully shot music video that has received over 1.4 million views to date. “When Meji Alabi sent me the concept for the video, I immediately loved it, “ says Mr. Probz. “I think it is a really playful visualisation of the song and gives it an extra layer. We shot the video in London during the holidays and I absolutely loved working with his team. We had a great time even though it was polar bear weather but I’m happy with the results.”
View The Video For Mr. Probz “SPACE FOR TWO” Here:
Dennis Princewell Stehr, better known under the name Mr. Probz, grew up in the city of Zoetermeer in the Netherlands. Mr. Probz started his career with well-received collaborations in the Dutch and later, the American Hip-Hop scene. With a strong voice and a superb ear for melody, he made a strong impact, ultimately resulting in a solo career as a rapper, singer-songwriter and producer following his multi-platinum success with his international smash hit ‘Waves’.
From a young age, Mr. Probz centered his lifestyle around creativity and the development of a unique talent that has been championed by his peers for many years. He started out using graffiti and painting as a creative outlet and used his daily experiences as inspiration, as he does nowadays with his music, with tracks that are intimate and personal but also powerful and universal.
It was a long road to stardom for Mr. Probz, a rocky road, characterized by many dramatic life-changing events. In 2010, he was shot in the stomach in Amsterdam after being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” as he would call it. His fans, the media and his colleagues showed an outburst of support in this tough period, underlining his special role within the Dutch Hip hop scene way before he became a worldwide household name. Mr. Probz was able to make a speedy recovery and within a half year, he entered the FunX hip-hop chart at #1 with the song ‘Meisje Luister’ together with Kleine Viezerik.
Mr. Probz gained significant recognition after his featuring on ‘Sukkel voor de Liefde’ by Dutch hip-hop act The Opposites. Shortly following this release, Mr. Probz decided to independently release his song ‘Waves’ online. It immediately put him on the map as an artist to watch. The song made it into the iTunes Top 10 in The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Bulgaria, Jordan, Egypt, Dominican Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lebanon, Austria, Slovakia, Moldova, Grenada, Oman, Bahrain, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Belgium.
In 2013, Probz was once again confronted with a life threatening disaster. He woke up to find his entire house engulfed in flames, which left him no choice but to jump out of his window in order to escape. After the entire house burned down, all he had left were his pants, one pair of shoes and, fortunately, his laptop, which contained most of his records. One day after the disaster Mr. Probz performed “WAVES” live on prime-time national TV and the song would grow on to become one of the biggest Dutch hit songs in history.
Learn more about Mr. Probz in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today!
My pleasure! Thanks for having me.
Where does this interview find you now? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
I’m currently sitting on my sofa, trying to wind down after a long but interesting day. Did some intense work in the back yard on the side too so I’ll probably wake up extra chiselled tomorrow!
Overall, how do you think 2018 has been treating you and your music career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it?
Being free! I have nothing to complain about but if I had to pick one thing it’s definitely that. It took me a couple of years but by the time someone besides yourself is reading this I’m finally in the end zone celebrating. That might sound a bit abstract to some, but it will all make sense once I start releasing what’s been burning a hole through my desktop for a long time now.
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
I wouldn’t say it was a really big part at first because growing up we didn’t really have the budget to buy records (and later on CD’s) that much. That being said I started getting into Hip Hop at a young age and when I started experimenting it opened a whole new world to me. The whole process of digging through the crates and finding samples kind of introduced me to a new dimension, that unknowingly passed me by when I was a kid. I always say there’s a place and a time for everything.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? Has there been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I think going from an underground Hip Hop artist to a full-fledged ballad singer with a fedora hat and countless listeners all over the world was not something I could’ve prepared for. I love challenges, but I think it’s safe to say I’ve received more than a little help from up above at the right moments.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today? What is the music scene like there these days? If you don’t think that it has affected you at all, why is that?
Your surroundings and circles always influence what you do. Even if you’re living in the woods with nothing but trees for days. I currently live in Amsterdam but literally lost everything I had more than once, so I don’t really link that much emotion to a specific location. Every person I’ve met and every experience I’ve had lead up to something and even though I always try to stay on the road less travelled, it’s hard to say what it is exactly that affects me. It’s never the same thing and it all depends on the state of mind that I’m in. When it comes to music I’m allergic to trends and I’m not known for picking the easy routes.
I find it interesting that sometimes musicians choose to go by something other than their own name so how did you come up with your name and how why do you think it describes who you are as an artist?
It’s funny you’d ask because I’m thinking the same thing looking back right now but who knows? I might change it one day haha. Let’s say I got a couple of long pages in my book that could fully explain the name but when I first started writing it was more like therapy to me. I would write it all on paper and it would clear my head.
How do you think that you have continued to grow and develop as an artist over the years and since you began writing music? What about since releasing your hit song “Waves”?
The growth was more on a personal level and it translated into the music. It gave me something to hold on to when the rest of the world tried to convince me I had no future. When I released “Waves” it was a giant leap of faith and even though my rap career didn’t fully go as planned, I’m still happy I followed my intuition.
Let’s talk about your brand-new track “Space For Two.” What was the inspiration for that song?
We’ve all been in that situation where the lines between love and hate are so thin they’re almost invisible. I would suggest the readers to go watch the video on YouTube. It paints the picture a little bit better than words, we have just released the remix by R3HAB which is also up on YouTube and Spotify. Big ups to Justin Gray and Johnny Black for helping me with the song and Meji Alabi for the amazing visual translation.
How creatively involved were you the making of the music video for “Space For Two”? What was it like making it?
If I’m not involved, it’s not me and if it’s not me it might as well be someone else, right? But that’s just my opinion. Music is always very personal to me.
What was it like going back into the studio to record your next collection of music? How differently did you approach the whole process?
It felt amazing! Well, it all depended on the vibes and what I felt like making when I woke up that day. Sometimes you’re like a fax machine (if those still exist) and the songs just come flying in but sometimes it’s a long process. That’s the beauty of it! It’s never the same and there are no rules.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far? Do you have any upcoming shows this summer?
Any show where there’s people listening or maybe even singing along is pretty much ideal to me. I’ve had so many euphoric experiences on stage in countries I never thought I would see in my lifetime so that’s a long list. Currently I’m trying to cut down on shows a little after a couple of years of touring and trying to be everywhere at the same time. I’m hoping to get in the studio more to create new music and we’ll see what happens after that.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
I always try to make music that is timeless so whatever happens in the future doesn’t change it. There are a lot of artists that jump around and change their opinion and agendas every day, but I try to stay away from all of that. I’m sure music will always keep evolving and changing its direction.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all?
It has its ups and downs. People keep telling me I should be out there more, but it sometimes makes me worried about losing sight of what’s most important to me. The more you focus on one thing, the more you lose focus somewhere else.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
When it comes to my favorite artists I think I can honestly say that I have the most random playlists of anyone out there! It goes from Pink Floyd to Sean Price, Imagine Dragons to Nirvana so I couldn’t make a top 5 even if my life depended on it haha. If you ask me who I would want to work with I would say that it all comes down to the vibes I get off of people when I meet them. I’ve met plenty of musicians that I respect when it comes to their work but didn’t really share the same frequency with. All about the vibes!
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
My guitar, so I can finally put in more (much needed) practice hours.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
Some of my songs have been featured in movies, 50 Cent and I released a single called Twisted which was featured on the first season of his TV show, Power – that was pretty cool. I’m always open for suggestions though! Call me 🤙
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I think that’s totally up to whoever’s listening! I’m just a messenger and I’m grateful regardless.
Photography Provided By MVP Entertainment