Who? Lucas Vermeer (19)
From? Breda, the Netherlands
Studies? RASL Double Degree
What? RASL (Rotterdam Arts and Sciences Lab) Double Degree is a five-year study programme with an integrated HBO-WO curriculum. Lucas is doing a Bachelor’s at Codarts (keyboards, Pop music) as well as a Bachelor’s at Erasmus University College (Liberal Arts and Sciences).
Why did you choose to do two studies at once?
“I have been involved in music seriously now for four years. I used to take piano and singing lessons and I was in my first band at the end of my VWO years. We took part in a jazz band contest – supercool.
I really wanted to do more with music, but when it was time to choose a study I wasn’t really sure that it should be the conservatory. My interests are rather broad and I like being challenged intellectually. At the time I visited several ‘open days’, also at Codarts. In the end I decided to enrol in Liberal Arts & Sciences at Erasmus, which is a very broad academic programme with four departments: Life Sciences, Humanities, Economics and Business, and Social and Behavioural Sciences.
When I was accepted, I received an email suggesting that I combine this programme with a study at Codarts’ Willem de Kooning Academy. Well, that wasn’t a very hard decision to make. By the way, my mindset has changed in the meantime: I am now even more passionate about music than before. I just want to be a musician and work very hard to accomplish that. I still do the study at Erasmus University College, as a sort of safety net.”
Is it very hard, combining two study programmes?
“It’s no problem for me so far. I am at both Codarts and Erasmus University College almost every day. It is mainly a matter of planning things well and work efficiently, I think. I also promote the programme, being an ambassador for the RASL Double Degree. I have already met many interested students for the upcoming academic year.”
What you think of Codarts?
“Erasmus University College is a very hospitable institute with a nice atmosphere, but for me Codarts is my social environment, my home. I got along with my teachers very well right from the start and I feel that I can still learn a lot from them. My classmates are also great. In addition, I am building a huge network in the music world here. Codarts is an international, progressive, creative school. Therefore I am really glad that I chose Codarts. I’m not just saying that: I’m a member of the pop panel, so I am a critical student.”
What is your favourite spot in Rotterdam?
“Two candidates, really. The Witte de Withstraat—because of the nightlife—and jazz club BIRD… Oh well, I’ll go with BIRD. I frequently go there to see performances and you’ll often find me there on Wednesday nights because of the open jam sessions. BIRD is absolutely not exclusively jazz, you know.”
Codarts to me is…
“… the ideal stepping stone into the world of music. I hope to find work later as an arranger and songwriter. To both perform and work behind the scenes. Do tours, do gigs. I’d love to do something with backing vocals – there’s something magical about backing vocals. What style? I’m still exploring that. At the moment I really dig soul and R&B. And if can’t support myself financially as a musician, I can always fall back on what I’ve learned at Erasmus University College.”
(Photo: Ronald de Klerk)