Amsterdam is a multi-cultural city, and this is no less true when browsing through the musical choices of the vendors who sell the street paper Z! there. 28-year-old Prince explains why he chose the song ‘Aye’ by the Nigerian singer David Adedeji Adeleke, otherwise known as Davido: “This is the song I like the most at the moment. It is music from Nigeria, where I was born. When I was growing up, my parents were just average – not rich and not poor. Unlike the song, I want serious love at my age – not something motivated by wealth.”
Olivier, 49, likes the music of Italian pop sensation Laura Pasini. “Almost all her songs and music make me feel good,” he says. “But in particular the song ‘La Solitudine’, which she performed in 1993. When I hear ‘La Solitudine’, it makes me feel calm. It touches my heart when I play her music on my record player. I hardly ever find music on a screen.”
Floris, 65, sells the paper at Amsterdam Central Station. “Music is my life,” he says. “I was very happy when my wife and I attended sets at the North Sea Jazz Festival from Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. Chuck Berry was still alive then and played a couple of his famous songs – ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and ‘Sweet 16’. His music swings, creates atmosphere and makes me feel good. When I drive on my electric three-wheeler, I like to play music from him on my ghetto blaster. People who hear me coming by give a lot of compliments when they hear me playing his music.”
Vendor Toon is now 50, but when he was younger he used to work at a radio station. He loved to spin records by Genesis drummer, and later solo star, Phil Collins. “There is one number he recorded in 1983 which has a great drum solo – ‘Mama’,” he says. “This song always gives me the creeps. It reminds me of when I was 10 years old and my mother and father divorced. My mother left me while I loved her so much. From that day on my sister and I were raised by my father. My mother moved to Australia two years later. I never heard from her or saw her for many years afterwards. Whenever I hear that song, it makes me my heart turn upside down.”
Check out the full playlist here.
Editing by Tony Inglis