Martijn van Gessel holds a Master of Arts degree from the University Of Utrecht. He studied History with a focus on Post-World War II popular culture.
He has always been interested in popular music, specifically forms of popular culture which can be labelled “in-between”, so popular culture bordering Avant-garde / high culture.
After graduating from University he worked in the music industry for two years at a major record label, conducting repertoire research. During these years he started dj’ing, organizing concerts and events and writing about music for magazines and webzines.
He quit his job to study at the HKU School for Arts & Economics. For three years he focused on working at various organizations in the Dutch music and cultural field as an intern. He gained experience at a music festival, a media festival and the association of Dutch pop music venues and festival.
During this second study he started his independent record label called Enfant Terrible, which is specialized in limited edition vinyl releases for mostly electronic music. This label is built on personal experience and on research into trends in the music industry in general and the music industry related to topics such as cultural activism, Do It Yourself subcultures and globalization versus local culture. Often these research topics are used as a theme for releases or events. Recent research includes how to bring together music and visual arts to create one coherent narrative.
Besides managing all activities of the label for the past ten years he has been employed at the HKU since 2015. He is mostly working on setting up and coordinating educational and research projects with external parties. He is also involved in an educational module for students about entrepreneurship and preparation for the labor market.