Saturday, July 17, 2010

Niels Feijen

THANKS in large part to their now celebrated soccer team’s Cinderella runner-up finish in the recently concluded World Cup, the Netherlands are making waves again. Well, their national soccer team actually are not the only pride of this otherwise low-profile European nation.

Back in 2007, I had the chance to interview Niels Fiejen, one of the best pool players in the world who only recently placed second in this year’s WPA World Eight-Ball Championship. Three years ago, Fiejen was in town not as a professional pool player but as a DJ who headlined a series of gigs not surprisingly called The Cue Sessions.

And here’s how my 2007 encounter with this multi-talented guy turned out as documented by an article I wrote for the Manila Bulletin back then.


ONE way or another, Niels Fiejen knows how to kick butt.

Well, anyone who goes by the moniker The Terminator should know a thing or two about blowing whatever competition comes his way. As a pool player, this incredible Dutchman is simply one of the world’s best, being a member of the same Mosconi team that consists of the best European billiards champion. He is also one of the very few who could lay claim to beating our very own Efren “Bata” Reyes in his own game. As a matter of fact, it was that particular feat that pretty much made his “Terminator” reputation.

“I’ve always been a pool player first and foremost,” he declares. “This game has taught me so much about my personality, my weaknesses and my strengths.”

But Niels admits that his lifelong passion for this particular sport also started at the same time his love for music started. “I was 17 when I started playing pool and it was right about the same time when I bought my first record.”

By 18, Niels was already a DJ “on the side.” “My dad had a CD player with pitch control and a turntable with pitch control by coincidence,” he recalls. “A friend of mine had an old mixer at home which I could have and that was it, I was hooked.”

Niels was a resident DJ in a club called “de Kleine Kunst” in his native Holland for a year and a half (“but only when he’s not playing pool,” he insists) and thrilled patrons there that would number as many as 400 in virtually the same way he dazzled pool fans with his signature moves. As recent as two years ago, Niels was a featured attraction in another hot club called “One Four” in his hometown, The Hague. Here, he will be headlining a series of parties called The Cue Sessions, obviously as a double reference to both his passion for DJ’ing and his background as a pool player.

“As my style kept on developing through the years, I found the ones that I like the most in progressive-house, tech-house, deep-house, house and a little techno,” he reveals. Unlike his celebrated compatriot, Armin van Buuren who was actually in town just a few weeks ago, Niels is not a big on trance. “Everything but trance,” he stresses.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this guy’s DJ’ing style is that there is nothing complex about it. The guy just keeps everything simple. “Whether it is a pumping beat or nice vocals, whatever makes me move, I got to buy and spin,” he exclaims. With a spinning speed that “lies between 126 to 136 beats per minute,” his sets have a way of telling everyone to “just shut up and dance.” His own mixes (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter ’06 and “07) that anyone can personally download can attest to this.

It also shows in his candor. Niels is not the type of DJ who tries to impress people with a supposedly vast knowledge of music and genres. He doesn’t dazzle interviewers by mentioning musical influences that no one’s ever heard of. He admits to listening to “regular hit music, slower music, Top 40, reggae, house, the 80’s, Maroon 5, Keane, Coldplay, Blues Traveler, you know, everything really.”

This is probably what makes him just as adept at the turntable as he is with a cue stick. One way or another, Niels Feijens does really know how to kick butt.

For more information, visit his official website at

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