“The biggest challange was to design something we all stand for without violating something or someone”
Label Unknown is organizing it’s 3rd event on January 6th at de Prael Houthavens after a successful launch of the first WE ARE EQUAL party on November 4th this year. One of the key goals of this musical event is story telling, so we thought it might be a good idea to have a chat with the invisible man behind the curtains; Sander Hoeks. As a student at AKV St.Joost Fine Arts Academy in Den Bosch and former intern for Buiten Westen en Amsterdam Open Air festival Sander gained experience in the dance industry. As creative art-director for Label Unknown Sander designs all lay-outs and visuals. In other words, for Label Unknown Sander is the man who makes it all, and we thought it’s about time put some spotlights on him.
“Sander, as part of the team it might seems a bit weird to interview you. But let’s do it. How did it all started?
It was actually at the School of House where we got introduced to each other. We were both attending the Event Management course and I was looking for a new challenge in life. I came quite open-minded and did not know what to expect, but at least I wanted to do something with an effort to our society. This is where I bumped into Erwin, and ironically enough he had a same vision, organizing events with a strong social-cultural character. And look where we stand now, Label Unknown was born in November 2016 and now we are ready for our 3rd edition. Pretty exciting!
Yes, there we are indeed. Since you had chosen the School of House, was organizing dance events and creating artwork something you always wanted to do?
It wasn’t necessarily organizing events and creating art that I always wanted to do. It’s been quite a challenge to do something that I can do with my full passion. After high-school that changed. I have never been a mathematics or economical guy, in fact...I pretty much hate numbers. So I decided to study Events, Music and Entertainment instead at Fontys Academy for Creative Industries. This is where I actually developed my skills and figured out what my passion was. The love for creating things and the power of music.
One thing that comes back in every design is the 3 dimensional face sculpture. How does it symbolize Label Unknown?
Every human being has the right to be themselves. Everybody has the right to share their lives, their stories and be the person they feel comfortable with. Label Unknown simply stands for no labels, or simply it stands for equality. The 3D sculpture resembles a face that everybody could identify with. It could be me, it could be you, it could literally be anyone. But at the other hand it resembles nobody, emptiness. Because who is someone really to you if you don’t know their story? That’s why I chose a neutral / clean expression, so everybody should feel free and comfortable to attend our events. I think that the identity of Label Unknown resembles well with our vision and mission, to promote a platform that stands for multiculturalism, diversity and solidarity.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge definitely where the visuals of our first edition at the Tolhuistuin. Such a great location it was, the crowd was amazing and we tested ourselves with a great production. I worked together with Giuliana, a very talented visual artist. Together we created all the visuals for the show. The whole identity of Label Unknown came out together with the music. I really can’t wait for our next club event, but we have to be patient.
After the main event we evaluated. Especially the artwork needed to be reframed as not everyone understood our soul and identity. The biggest challenge was to design something we all stand for without violating something or someone!
What does Label Unknown means to you?
Label Unknown became part of my life. It is truly amazing to see all those beautiful connections on our events. Yet we are so small, I have met so many great people with such diverse backgrounds. In the last year we have made some huge progress, looking where it all started with no budget at all, I am super proud to stand where we stand right now. The first edition on May 5th felt like the official birth of something. Coming may 5th we are scheduling our 1st year anniversary, and ironically it is exactly in line with the planning of our WE ARE EQUAL events. Together with Erwin & Hary, as well as Lin & Eddy we are dreaming and talking a lot about where we see ourselves in the future. I am very confident that something beautiful will happen, gradually at our own pace. It’s so nice to be part of this unique project!
In the future, Label Unknown is planning to host events like the first one we did in Tolhuistuin on May 5th. What could we expect from the artwork?
Like I said, it felt like we were born on May 5th, and even though we are focussed on the free, community based WE ARE EQUAL events, behind the scenes I am making a lot of things that I can showcase to our visitors. If you look at the first edition’s artwork, we have really changed. We did not have a brand guide, we just did what we felt. Now we have simplified everything and we are much more focused on the message. I will keep on that path and use that in the visuals and artwork. But I won’t explain to much as yet, some things in life should be a surprise...