It is with great sadness that I write about the recent passing of Wim Oudijk, my thoughts at this very sad time are with his family, friends and of course Bert x.
Wim passed away following a short illness on the International Day of Peace – 21st September.
“A massive loss to the world of alternative music” – Tom Robinson
Wim was a very special man and we have lost one of our very best. He was a musician, arranger and producer and possibly the nicest man I ever knew.
People will tell you that to really know a person you have to look them in the eyes, you have to meet them in person – well I am here to report that the greatest friendships can be borne out of the internet when two people invest so much love and care into the relationship.
Wim Oudijk was a massive breath of fresh air, he made me feel special and he was an absolute joy to spend time with; he was my best pal and was the greatest friend I had never met, he was like a member of my family — cherished and loved like a brother. If you set the rules of engagement you do not need to meet someone in person for them to have a massive place in your life.
And let me be frank: those who knew this wonderful man will totally understand how he touched lives and made you feel great about yourself, the sheer brilliance of his personality came bursting out of the optic fibres of the internet and reached so many with love, peace and understanding.
We met online about 8 years ago and it was as friends rather than artists where we first established a strong connection and bond.
We shared an affinity for pop music from the left field and revelled in the wonderful community subculture of music that was bubbling up on the social network platform Myspace.
I can safely say I had never met anyone quite like Wim, and I doubt I ever will again. You hear people say “he was one of a kind” a lot, but on this occasion the phrase is perfect for this unique gentleman — they truly broke the mould with Wim.
When we first met I was so taken by his wonderful nature, sense of humour and sense of fun that I was surprised when Wim eventually asked me whether he could produce a version of my gentle love song Just To Let U Know for his album The Love Album. I hadn’t realised he was a long term music artist and producer of international repute as I had been too busy laughing with him and swapping stories of life and music. I was delighted to work with him and we started a lovely collaborative relationship that saw Wim produce a great many of my releases as Snippet and Johnno Casson – what a lovely journey we had!
Until the very end Wim worked on music because he lived for it and was brilliant at it; he told me it was the best distraction from what life throws at you and I greatly admired his strength and eternal optimism. He had an amazing talent as a producer and arranger and used to make my songs sparkle and make my voice sound the best it ever had, we were about halfway through my next Snippet album when he passed on, and he was sending me mixes as recently as last week.
I played back Wim’s mixes over the last few days just so I could be with him again and the subject matter of this new mix of my as yet unreleased song We Love You seemed so apt I am sharing this with you as I know so many of you, like me, loved this man
Wim worked with hundreds of artists and sprinkled his magic over so many releases, one of my favourites was on the song Collecting Skies by The Big I Am as I think it brilliantly aligns the gentle understated loveliness of the band with Wim’s deft production and string arrangements.
Wim Ouijk reached thousands of people and many of them have their own stories of how he supported them or made them laugh or brought out the sunshine or just spent time with them – I hope a few of you will leave comments below sharing your stories of Wim as I know how much joy, fun and goodness he brought to people’s lives through music and as a truly wonderful human being.
He once told me to always let the sun in, even if it’s cold outside you can switch to internal sunshine, just let it shine and do its thing. He taught that what we shared was not just a connection in melody and notes or seeing the good in people but in both having what he termed a sunny disposition.
I’ll miss him calling me bruv or his main man, I’ll miss his humour and his unflappable inner and outer joy and zest for life, I’ll miss seeing the joy he brought to others every day. I’ll remember the things he taught me and never forget the lessons he offered me (often without me realising), and when I see the sun coming out I will give thanks to a beautiful man called Wim.
Thanks for lighting up our lives bruv, we will do our best to let the light back in, have fun and be happy just as I know you would want us to be.
Switch to eternal sunshine.