This week, the Out N About sat down with the island’s newest musical sensation – Fire Coral Band – as band members Jacob Streefkerk, Maxime Matser and Cherienne Bardfield told us all about the band, their passion for music and what to look forward to.
Learn more about Fire Coral from our interview with band members.
Each of you, please tell us a little about yourself.
Jacob Streefkerk: I grew up on The Friendly Island and after MPC, moved to Holland to pursue my studies. I returned home during the pandemic.
Maxime Matser: I am 34 years old and was born and raised in Holland, but travelled back and forth between Holland and St. Maarten, as my father is from the island. So I guess you can say St. Maarten has always been like my second home.
Cherienne Bardfield: I was born on The Happy Island of Aruba and raised on The Friendly Island of St. Maarten. My family roots run deep on both islands. I finished my schooling up until high school (MPC) in St. Maarten. After high school, I did a couple classes at the University of St. Martin (USM), but completed my college degree in the US. I came back to the island, worked a couple years and married the love of my life, David Bardfield. We have planted our own roots now with three awesome kids.
How did you get into the music industry?
Jacob: I was always distracted by creative ideas throughout my studies. A few years into my studies abroad, I decided to switch to music as a study and thus ended up in the industry.
Maxime: My journey into music began on the theatre stage and while acting in films, especially when I delved into musical performances. By the age of 14, I was penning my own songs, which eventually led me to write tracks for two award-winning short films in the US.
Cherienne: It all started with singing in church and joining the choir throughout my time at St. Joseph Elementary School. In my teen years, I was part of The Teen Times Radio Show “Airheads” on Laser101 FM along with Milou KG, Fleur Hermanides, Raoul KG and Nathalie Tackling. We were geared towards bringing rock alternative and metal music to the island since it was scarcely found at the local CD/Record stores or heard on the radio airwaves! Around that time, I had performed with various bands on the island and popped in and out of the music scene through the years – opening for Heineken Regatta, playing at Moonsplash, performing on stage with Orange Grove and Third World Band, to name a few highlights!
How and why did you join Fire Coral?
Jacob: Fire Coral was created by Cherienne, Maxime and myself, as friends we jammed and wrote some original sketches throughout the years and we recently decided to level up!
Maxime: My connection with Jacob began when I appeared in a couple of music videos for his band, Orange Grove. We shared an immediate creative synergy. He once shared a song he’d written, asking if I’d cover it, which I did in Holland. Later, both of us found ourselves back in Sint Maarten, and a casual jamming session with Cherienne evolved into Fire Coral.
Cherienne: I would say Fire Coral was created through Maxime and my own common connection of recording and performing music with Jacob. As luck would have it, we’d ended up all together on St. Maarten and it just clicked!
What is your favourite thing about your profession?
Jacob: The fact that after many years in the industry, it remains a hobby!
Maxime: Getting to connect to people through music.
Cherienne: That it’s a pleasure!
What can we expect from Fire Coral this year?
Jacob: We are gearing up for high season so we’re stoked to perform live at music-friendly venues. By the end of the season, we hope to track some studio recording & prepare our world domination! Venues; hit us up on the socials if you wanna be part of our origin story.
Maxime: Brace yourselves to spot us frequently, especially during the high season! Also, be on the lookout for our original compositions, studio recordings, and perhaps a hint of world domination!
What is your favourite song of all time to perform?
Jacob: The first original song we performed together is “Honey & Bush Tea” – so that’s my favourite at the moment.
Maxime: Mine is also Fire Coral’s original song, “Honey & Bush Tea”!
Cherienne: I would have to echo Jacob’s and Maxime’s answer. The first original song we performed together is “Honey & Bush Tea” so that’s my choice right now.
At which venues do you currently play?
Jacob: We have been gigging at La Caleta, L’Esplanade Hotel, Seaview Hotel, Rainbow, Java (Grand Case), Roxxy Beach with Orange Grove, Grumpy’s Bar & Huppel de Pub.
What would you advise your younger self, or other people looking to get into a similar profession?
Jacob: Trust your gut!
Maxime: Always trust your inner voice; it seldom leads you astray. And, remember, never let anyone belittle your dreams or aspirations. Life’s too short not to chase what you truly desire.
Cherienne: Follow your dreams for sure so you’ll never regret not going for it, but definitely have a backup plan!