(Photo: Jantina Talsma)
Last year Dutch artist CIEL (Michelle Hindriks) took part in Excite and played at SPOT Festival in Aarhus, Denmark. Also she joined the first Excite Talent Development Camp in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, which was Cultural Capital of Europe in 2018. The past few months Michelle has made some major changes in her life. The singer-songwriter moved to Brighton and formed a new band there within a few weeks. We're catching up with her to see how she's doing.

Hi Michelle, what are you up to?
There has happened a lot in the past few months. I moved to Brighton, UK, which is one of my favourite places I have ever been to. I live in a creative community in the centre of town and met loads of creative and inspiring people. I now have a new band around CIEL here in Brighton with a bunch of great new friends.

Are you still touring in Europe?
Funnily enough we did a tour to The Netherlands lately, supporting Icelandic pop phenomenon Vök. For me it was really special to do a tour to my own country and to be able to show the guys my roots. I think for them it was really exciting to tour and to see the whole country. Furthermore we are playing shows around the UK. We have mainly played in Brighton so far, but shows in London and Bristol are on our planning. We are also planning on doing another tour to The Netherlands this Autumn and we hope to go into Germany too whilst we are back in Europe.

Which role did Excite play for you?
Excite gave me the opportunity to play abroad on international showcase festival SPOT festival in Denmark. It gave me the possibility to grow my fanbase and to build my network throughout Europe. I met a lot of like-minded bands an artists from different places in Europe that I am still in touch with.

What are your favourite moments of Excite?
My show at SPOT festival 2018 was an absolute highlight. The audience in Denmark is very different from what I am used to. Everyone was so polite and quiet! Also the bandcamp I joined in Summer was amazing.

What was the best part about the bandcamp?
I got the chance to meet artists from all over Europe. It was really interesting for me to discuss our music and our views and opinions about the music industry with each other. It gave me new perspectives on how I could do things for my own project.

Are you still in touch with any other Excite artists?
Yes, I follow a lot of the Excite artists closely and I am regurlarly in touch with Tilde Hjelm from Sweden. I love her music a lot! We are planning on visiting each other in Brighton and Gothenburg. It would be totally amazing if we could do some shows together in both places!

Would you recommend other artists to take part in Excite and why?
Yes, I would definitely recommend taking part in Excite! It gives artists the opportunity to build their network throughout Europe by bandcamps, network events and significant showcases throughout Europe. It can be the extra boost that you need as an artist.

What are your future plans?
At the moment I am finishing my new EP. We will go into the studio to record it this Spring, together with producer Jack Wolter, from the Brighton based band Penelope Isles. He shares a lot of the same creative ideas and visions with the band, so I think the studio process is gonna be very creative and joyful.

What's the EP going to sound like?
Our new songs are a little bit of a new musical direction, but we all are very excited about the new EP and can’t wait to record it and to share it with everyone! Also, we are releasing a live session with a new song later this Spring, which already gives a first impression of the EP.

Curious to hear what kind of music CIEL makes? Check out her first EP on Bandcamp: