Frontiers exist in the mind only. These wise words from the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl could serve as the motto for Keljet. Their name is the only Dutch aspect of what Koen Mestrum and Teun Pranger stand for: Keljet is their hometown’ s local slang for “dude”. Nijmegen is where they hail from but their musical allegiance is with the U.S.A. and Australia. On their first EP, Transatlantic, Keljet connects the three continents but stays true to its home base.
The way in which they teamed up explains the Keljet sound. During their secondary school days they both go for completely different types of music. Koen plays guitar in metal bands and under the moniker of DJ Tuna, Teun spins house records at school parties. Drum ‘ n’ bass proves to be their common ground. So they start exchanging ideas. One wants to know more about dance music, the other wants to find a role for a guitar in dance music. Without a plan or definite expectations they start experimenting together. It’ s all about fun and adventure.
First they attempt remixes of Passion Pit, LCD Soundsystem and The Temper Trap. These acts have strong songs that appeal to the dance floor crowd. This is also what Keljet aims for. Their remix of Love Lost by The Temper Trap is one they feel proud of. Looking for feedback from likeminded people they find that in the Netherlands nobody does what they do – crisscrossing between dance, pop and indie, with a live feel and a tropical touch. So they look further afield: all the way to the U.S. and Down Under. There Keljet’ s sun-drenched club songs strike a chord. Their Love Lost remix is received enthusiastically and goes viral on YouTube. This success paves the way for their own material. Love of a Life, featuring X Ambassadors, is their first all-original composition.
Love of a Life has the full Keljet signature: one eye fixed firmly on the dance floor, the other on the stage. The framework is electronic and supports a real song. A song complete with a lush vocal part, subtle hooks and suffused with disco fun. Teun: “Disco is happy music, we want to make people dance. Our own music makes us happy too”. And it shows in all their sparkling live performances all over the globe. To give energy is to receive energy and Keljet has tons of positive energy on offer.
They got picked up by Kygo, The Knocks, Oliver Heldens, Goldroom and Zimmer, earning them a reputation as the driving force of 'Dutch Disco'. Don Diablo, Tegan & Sara and Oliver Heldens ask for (and get) remixes, while Keljet is constantly on the lookout for vocalists who can really get into a track and sing high and free. And Keljet has already found some, as their first two EP’ s, Transatlantic and Love At First Sight, make abundantly clear. The songs on it reflect the interplay between their hometown Nijmegen and the U.S.A. This is genuine Keljet; it can only come from the town of Nijmegen, but you would never guess if you didn’ t know.
This year started off really well for Keljet, as their song What’s Your Sign won the award for Best Song by 3voor12 Gelderland. After performing live at the show- case festival Noorderslag they went back into the studio to write their second EP ‘Love At First Sight’. The release of Love At First Sight made Keljet ‘Serious Talent’ on 3FM; the track was selected as 5 star track of the week by Gerard Ekdom; and got airplay on BBC Radio 1.