Bart is a singer and songwriter who strongly believes in the power of music. With his songs, he wants to communicate what he has experienced in the past and he (fairly) thinks that details make the difference. They take the listener to another dimension.
Hello Bart, nice to meet you! How and when did your “story” with music start?
Music has always been part of my life, my dad and older brother used to be drummers, so we had a drum kit at home that always fascinated me. I got my first guitar lessons at the age of 5 and started singing lessons as a teenager. I played in bands all through high school and college, until I started writing music as Postcards From Mars on my own in 2011.
Why did you choose “Postcards from Mars” as your stage name?
I like that it resembles the fact that my songs are like postcards that I am sending into the universe, from the planet of my mind. Music is something mysterious, just like creativity it floats around like an invisible force into space. I’ve always been into space stuff, and I liked the spacey feeling of the name, so the it just felt good.
Listening to your songs is like flying away in another dimension due to the sounds you use. What are you looking for when working on a new song?
Thank you so much! I like that it makes you feel that way. It is definitely something that I look for when I write songs, and it’s also why I feel each song is a postcard on its own. I like to come up with otherworldly details in every song, something that moves you like a daydream. I don't like to use traditional song structures that much, I'm more trying to make every song an adventure by starting small and ending with a larger finale at the end. Although small and intimate songs can be nice, too – it just depends on the song I guess.
“Music has always been part of my life”
Are the songs you wrote based on something in particular? For example, some experiences you had?
Most of my songs are pretty much about things I’ve experienced, thought and reminisced, about lessons I learnt in life and philosophies I have about it. I don't like to write songs in third person, I'm not really good at it. I use the “I” form every time. It becomes quite personal, but to me it’s the best way to express myself in my lyrics.
What can you tell us about your song “Swallow”? And how did you come up with it?
“Swallow” is a song that didn’t need much time from start to finish. The demo with lyrics was made quickly on my iPhone voice recorder. It’s a song about anxiety, how I sometimes swallow words when I really think I should speak up to get what I want. I brought this demo to my friend and producer Roy van Rosendaal to give it a different perspective, he had a nice vision on how to produce it as the intimate song it was, and we finished it in a day or two. This is an exception though – most of my songs take months to finish.
“…my songs are like postcards that I am sending into the universe, from the planet of my mind…”
Your songs take me to the “universe” of indie folk genre. Do you feel you belong to it?
I don’t really care about which genre I belong to, I just like to create something that I’d listen to myself, and I listen to a lot of different genres. But I think indie folk is a good description. I release everything independently without a record label, so it’s definitely indie in the true sense of the word. It is folk, too, although my new songs move away a bit from classic folk like Bob Dylan or Neil Young, and towards more modern stuff.
Are you working on new songs at the moment?
Definitely! I’m actually very close to wrapping up my new songs and recordings. I’m taking my time, which can be a problem when you release music independently and don't have to set deadlines, but a new album will come very soon.
Where would you like to get to with your music?
I am quite happy with where it brought me so far. All I want is for a lot of people to get to know and feel my songs. And I feel like that is happening already. People from all over the world send me beautiful messages like how my music helps them with depression, anxiety or bad moments in life, and that is very special to me. It really motivates me to finish my new songs and I can’t wait to share them with the universe soon. And next to that, creating Postcards From Mars is such a nice, personal, creative space for me to do what I want. I hope it stays like that for a very long time.
“Most of my songs are pretty much about things I’ve experienced, thought and reminisced about, about lessons I learnt in life and philosophies I have about it”