Harry Kappen is a Dutch producer, musician and music therapist. His latest full album ‘Escape‘ (Spring 2022) contains songs about escaping reality, escaping violence, even life, escaping into love, dreams or art. It became a personal journey with personal lyrics. ‘Barefoot in the Dew‘ was the only single from this album.

In the beginning of 2022, Russia attacked Ukraine and the atmosphere in Europe changed completely. During the summer, Harry realized that there were no protest songs in the Dutch charts. In general, you could say that musicians do not speak out against abuses and threats, while there is reason enough to protest, you would think. (Ukrainian war, climate change, fake news, ignorance, etc.) How different it was in the 60s and 70s during the Vietnam War. So, Harry made this new song about this subject and released the single ‘Wargames’.

In November 2022, ‘The Freedom Inside‘ was released. Instead of complaining and grumbling about the state of the world around you, it may be better to feel the freedom inside to change yourself and thus make a constructive contribution.

Then came June 2023, “Not All of us Agreed”, another separate single release. This song is an indictment of the rapid development of new technologies, particularly Artificial Intelligence, and the many questions it raises for human beings.

Harry played in many bands in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. He composed his first song when he was 10 years old. He played with his sister Hanneke in Kapsonic and released an album with her called ‘Kapsonic’.

Harry is an admirer of David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Prince, Radiohead, Scandinavian pop music by Björk and Motorpsycho. Sometimes their music reflects in Harry’s eclectic music.

Harry is a multi-instrumentalist. His work as a Music Therapist requires him to be able to play a variety of instruments, including voice, in order to connect with his clients in different ways. This is necessary both in the treatment of individual clients and in system therapy (for example, in dysfunctional families).

GO BANG! Magazine: What was life like for you growing up in the Netherlands?

Harry Kappen: I was born in Groningen, a city in the north of the Netherlands. I had a carefree childhood. Music has been very important to me since primary school, first miming in front of the class, later followed by playing in many bands. My sister played the guitar and I soon couldn’t contain my curiosity and started to discover the guitar myself.

GO BANG! Magazine: How did you get an interest in music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it professionally?

Harry Kappen: Groningen has a lively music scene and there are many opportunities to perform in the city. Making music and composing songs was second nature to me. It became a part of me that I never stopped doing. I have really written a lot of songs and pieces of music. I continued in music without really thinking about it; recording in studios, recording other bands as a producer, making music for occasions, for radio and Dutch TV.

GO BANG! Magazine: For those that may not be familiar with you, you are a multi-instrumentalist. What instruments do you play and which are your favorites?

Harry Kappen: I mainly play guitar and bass, but gradually I learned to play the drums and understand how the piano/keyboards works. Through a lot of recording and producing, I have been able to gain a lot of experience over the years.

I don’t have one instrument that is my favorite, I like arranging a whole, a unity. I don’t see myself as an excellent instrumentalist, but more of a generalist.

GO BANG! Magazine: Who are some of the people that inspire you as a singer, songwriter and musician?

Harry Kappen: The musicians who are inspiring to me are and were Paul McCartney, John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck, Prince, Radiohead and many more. Often it was also individual songs that inspired me; I mention ‘Wichita Lineman’, ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’, ‘Smoke on the Water’, ‘Creed’, etc. It is often an atmosphere that grabs me.

GO BANG! Magazine: One of your recent songs titled “Wargames” was written as a response and protest to Russia attacking Ukraine. Can you please explain this single to our worldwide readers?

Harry Kappen: A lot changed in Europe in 2022, because of this Russian attack on Ukraine. A war with a lot of casualties, refugees all over Europe, and a Russian leader who threatened Europe and NATO with a nuclear attack. While this was happening, I looked at the Dutch music-charts, the top 40 or 50, and saw there were no “protest-songs” on it. How different that was in the 60s and 70s during the Vietnam-war. During this period, the protest-song was invented (there was Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Billy Joel, John Lennon (“Give Peace a Chance) and a lot more. But now? Maybe some independent artists have protest-songs, but in the mainstream charts there were none. So, I felt I had to make this little contribution by releasing “Wargames.” During the solo, you might discover a musical reference to Jimi Hendrix, who played the US anthem in Woodstock and reflected on the Vietnam war. I really liked that idea.

GO BANG! Magazine: Then your single “The Freedom Inside” was released, which is an urge for people to look inside of themselves. What inspired you to write this song?

Harry Kappen: ‘The Freedom Inside’ is also critical, but has a more positive vibe. ‘Don’t try to change the world, but change yourself first’ is the message. We all know we live in troubling times with war, climate change, indifference, etc. There’s a lot of complaining everywhere (social media!) and declining trust in governments. Harry says, “If you want to change the world, stop nagging and whining at others and start to change yourself first and search for the freedom inside you to do so!”

GO BANG! Magazine: More recently in June 2023, “Not All of Us Agreed” was released. It’s themed around the highly-controversial new technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (AI). Please tell us more about that song.

Harry Kappen: ‘Not All of Us Agreed’ is a song about the threats of new technologies, such as A.I., for intimate contacts between people. What will be real in the future and what will be artificial. Is the news we see fake or real? Are we only going to communicate with our government via robots? Will every human just turn into an algorithm? Technology is developing so fast without normal people like you and me having a grip on it. Shall we just have to cope with it and adjust or do we still have some influence on something? I’m just saying, ‘Not All of Us Agreed’….

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a songwriter and musician, you are also a Music Therapist. What exactly is a Music Therapist and what do you do?

Harry Kappen: In music therapy, I treat my clients through music. Many disorders and unhealthy patterns become audible in making music. The audible ‘wrong’ music that this produces can be improved in the music. It is a safe practice place to indirectly deal with your real problems, to go and look for solutions, and then translate them into real daily life.

As a Music Therapist, I help youngsters and adolescents to cope with a variety of problems in an institution for youth care, problems caused by development disorders or/and behavior disorders.

The fact that I’m a multi-instrumentalist comes very handy in my work as music therapist. It’s important to be able to connect musically with a client quite quickly on every instrument. Also, I help families who are struggling with dysfunctional patterns. Music therapy is a great way to make these patterns audible and curable.

Besides my work as a Music Therapist, I work as a lecturer and tutor on an international master’s degree in music therapy in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands (Codarts).

GO BANG! Magazine: You’ve played in several bands in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. Are you planning to play in the US anytime soon?

Harry Kappen: At this moment I don’t know. It would be nice to do so!
I really enjoy being in the spotlight and performing, but I also aspire to a role as a composer and producer for other artists. I am sure that with my experience, I can help many people to move forward.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, what would you like your legacy to be? How would you like to be remembered?

Harry Kappen: As a musician. I hope that people just enjoy my music. In December, I will release a new single called ‘One Life’. You may check my website for the latest developments. www.harrykappen.com

As a Therapist. I hope, well, I know, to be (remembered as) a game changer for young people, by offering my ears, heart and skills.

GO BANG! Magazine: Thank you for this interview and continued success! You have now been officially BANGED!

Harry Kappen: I’m honored to be banged, thank you!

Get the MUSIC: APPLE MUSIC, PANDORA, SPOTIFY, AMAZON, DEEZER, etc: https://harrykappen.hearnow.com/

Website: www.harrykappen.com
Youtube: Harry Kappen
Instagram: kappenharry
Linkedin: Harry Kappen



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

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