Music is the leitmotiv in Johan Bakker’s life. He was introduced to Debussy’s piano compositions before he was even born, and as a toddler he preferred singing songs to playing with toy cars. During a period of illness, Johan moved his parents’ radio to his bedroom. The set itself – with all its tubes and lights – was no less than a mystery for the little boy, but its modern technology brought the world into his small room. Johan discovered new, unknown music broadcast from ships on the North Sea semi-legally bombarding the Low Countries from their maritime no man’s land.
Music became so important that Johan left school early and started to work to be able to buy his own instruments and amplifiers. He worked as a process operator, a waiter, a caretaker, a teacher, a musician and a journalist. In the meantime, he studied English linguistics and literature, and submerged himself in the study of Art history. His focus shifted from making music to writing about music.
Johan published hundreds of concert and CD reviews, as well as interviews, and broadened his perspective to include literary fiction, film and the visual arts. Eventually, his love of art in general, and music in particular, culminated in a thorough study of the life and work of the American singer-guitarist, and artist, Eva Cassidy (1963 – 1996). The biography Behind the Rainbow won the People’s Book Prize for non-fiction in 2012.
One of Johan’s other passions is space travel. He wrote his first space novel when he was ten years old. His love for he Moon and the planets resulted in his book Enkele Reis Mars (One-way Trip to Mars) in 2017. This novel is based on a Dutch project that recruits volunteers for a journey to Mars in 2025. Johan considered for a brief moment to follow In Neil Armstrong’s footsteps. But eventually he decided to make this dream come true in a fictional form. The best trips are the journeys through your mind!