Indie-pop artist and YouTube star Blanks will be releasing his debut album, Nothing Last Forever and That’s OK at the end of this month.

We caught up with the talented 24-year old from the Netherlands to find out more about his forthcoming record as well as what started it all.

You may recognise him from his ultra-popular YouTube channel “Music By Blanks”, which currently has over 1.3 million subscribers. It is here where the talented music artist expresses his unlimited love for music. 

Popular videos include his famed STYLE SWAP series where he reproduced trending songs such as Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Drivers License’ and Post Malone’s ‘Better Now’ with an unexpected genre twist, his “Blanks Invites” series which led to studio collaborations with Alfie Templeman, Dayglow, San Holo, and Sheppard, and of course not forgetting his Story Sessions which frequently shows his followers to contribute ideas during his songwriting process and has led to great his such as like ‘Wave’, ‘Bittersweet’ and ‘Higher’.

Over on TikTok, his videos have yielded over 3.4 million likes.

As the executive producer, Blanks also wrote, composed, and produced the majority of the album himself, showcasing his incredible talents as a multi-instrumentalist in the process.

Watching his creations come to life on YouTube, we can only say this – Simon de Wit (aka Blanks) is definitely “a rising songwriting force!”- as described by Clash.

His latest single ‘I’m Sorry’ – is an honest heart-wrenching plea that pulls you in; that introspective feeling of looking at the mirror, or of looking at an old love letter or photograph that you find years later… It is not only beautiful, but powerful too.

We caught up with the super talented music artist recently to find out more about his music, how he started and what we can expect to hear in his forthcoming album.

AL365: Hi Blanks, Vanessa here from AsiaLive365. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Congrats on your recent single ‘I’m Sorry’. It is such an emotionally honest and beautiful piece. Was the track inspired by anyone or experience in particular?

Blanks: Thank you! And yes. I wrote the song together with a friend of mine, who also does music for a career. We both have worked (and still continue to) so hard to get where we are, and that meant sacrificing things: sleep, free time, and sometimes even relationships. We both related to that so much, that when we wrote a song together, the song almost fell out of us. We wrote it in one night, recorded it the day after in one take, and that’s the song. We didn’t change anything, because it felt so honest the way it sounded.

AL365: There is such a vibrant, retro, summer-like silhouette to your songs. Is there something that you like about the “80s/90s era” feel?

Blanks: Thank you! And yes, I love that era! I can’t really explain why, I wasn’t even born back then, but there is something about it that warms my heart. Some sort of fake nostalgia, the music sounds so good, and the clothes are amazing!

AL365: What do you hope people feel when they hear your music?

Blanks: I hope they feel it in their chest, get excited, put it on when going on a road trip with their friends: I hope they’ll let it be the soundtrack of some of their memories.

AL365: How would you describe your sound?

Blanks: Indie-pop with 80s new wave influences!

AL365: If there was one song, already officially released, not released, or on YouTube that you would introduce a new listener to (this person would be hearing your music for the very first time), what would that song be and why?

Blanks: ‘What You Do To Me! I feel like that is the perfect Blanks song for a new listener! Energetic, with a little melancholy, and big synths: perfect!

AL365: We love the Story Session videos on YouTube where your Instagram followers decide what direction you take in the music-making process. What’s the ‘Story’ behind this and how did it all start?

Blanks: A few years back I saw everyone doing these “i let instagram followers control my day” videos, and I thought that was a fun concept. It got me wondering: why not do that in the studio? It will just be like a big writing session! And from the first time people seemed to love it!

AL365: The latest one saw your Instagram followers help you to write a song about “falling in love with your best friend” – always a blast to watch the process! Out of curiosity, what do you reckon the song would have turned out to be, had your followers gone with “idea 1/guitar 1” instead of “idea 2/guitar 2”, and do you think you would perhaps still use that idea in a future track?

Blanks: Thank you! And I love this question!! I have already used the idea in a new track idea that will hopefully someday see the light of day. The beautiful thing is: I have no idea what the song would’ve sounded like if we went with idea 1! Every idea sparks something different, but I’m sure it would have been a BANGER!

AL365: What tools do you use for the production of such tracks?

Blanks: Let’s nerd!! I produce everything with Logic Pro, using an Apollo x8 interface to record my vocals and guitars. I use a Warm Audio WA-47 microphone to record my vocals, with a Neve 1073 pre-amp from Universal Audio. I have a Juno, Dx7, and Behringer Poly D synthesizer, and I’m in love with my Hofner bass – the same type Paul McCartney and Kevin Parker use! My drum samples are all from Splice or Logic (or from friends!).

AL365: You’ve released some of these Instagram followers-decide tracks. Songs such as ‘Wave’, ‘Stranger’, ‘Higher’ and ‘Bittersweet’. I especially love the first session. Any chance that you’ll one day release all the Story Session/Instagram followers-decide songs in an EP or album of sorts?

Blanks: Not sure! I feel like some of the tracks are REALLY good, while others are fun, but in my opinion not the best I can, so I’m a little hesitant to release all of them – I want every song on my Spotify to be the best I can! So for now, I keep them on YouTube.

AL365: We also enjoyed your Blank Invites sessions on Youtube. Are there any artists that you would love to feature on there – that you haven’t already done so?

Blanks: Yes!! Jon Bellion, Charlie Puth, Bleachers, Jeremy Zucker… I have a long wishlist, haha!

AL365: Tell us more about yourself and how your music journey started (before Youtube, TikTok and Instagram).

Blanks: I took guitar lessons and used to play in a school band before I started writing my own songs! We played songs by The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. When I was around 18 or 19 I started writing original ideas with a friend of mine from the band. We knew nobody in the music scene, so I produced the songs (very badly at that time hahaha), but the love for creating songs started there! And around this time I started doing the music on YouTube too!

AL365: We heard that you mentor an online songwriting and production class. What advice would you give an aspiring singer-songwriter about the road ahead?

Blanks: Finish what you’re working on now and move on to the next thing! Repeat. And in the meanwhile, try to learn as much as possible from other people. Watch tutorials, work with others, etc. 

AL365: What can you share with us about your forthcoming album Nothing Lasts Forever And That’s OK?

Blanks: I love it!! My goal was to show my full musical palette. So besides happy songs, I started working on ballads and slower songs and dove into production and songwriting in a way I hadn’t before, challenged myself to come up with a concept and make everything cohesive: I wanted to make the best album I could make. In the process of writing as many songs as possible, I came up with the concept of the album: “Nothing Lasts Forever And That’s OK”, a title based on the Portuguese word ‘saudade’, which describes “an emotional state of nostalgic melancholic longing for something or someone that one cares about, knowing the object of longing might never be had again”, as Wikipedia puts it haha! I have so many memories that I’ll never forget (summer nights with friends, going to Paris with a loved one, people you meet over summer, get really close with and then never see again) that I wish I could relive and feel exactly the same, but I can’t. So when I learned about ‘saudade’, I related to the feeling immediately. All this challenged me musically in a way I wasn’t challenged before, and I think it resulted in a great debut album! 🙂

AL365: Tours – yay or nay? What are some of the places/countries that you would love to play gigs at?

Blanks: Yay!! I love the energy people bring to my show! I’m about to tour Europe, and would also absolutely love to go to the USA, Australia and of course Asia!

AL365: Is there anything that you like to say to your fans out there?

Blanks: I love you guys! You are the reason I can do what I do, so I made the best album I could for you guys! Can’t wait to sing it with you at a show! 🙂

Blanks’ debut album ‘Nothing Lasts Forever And That’s OK’ will be on October 29. 

You can also follow him on YouTube for his creations.

Cover photo: Jantina Talsma

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