Like birds always know what their song is, I’ve always known I am a songwriter. Have been doing that since forever and a day. Hasn’t been an easy path so far, but an interesting one. The songwriting has always happened all by itself, so I just focused on that. I’d just see where it would take me.

I discovered that, if I was able to capture my feelings in a song, some of the essence would be released again each time a song is played. And some people would feel that and it would resonate in some way. This to me was magic. I felt a responsibility to work on this. Over time I slowly developed my own style of writing. My songs are often very personal. I needed time to feel comfortable about that. I also needed time to feel comfortable with being a performer on stage.

I was always drawn more to music with a universal or transcendental quality than ‘the cool new sound’. To people who had found their original voice. To words that mean something, to songs that will communicate something decades from now. From songwriters such as for instance John Lennon, Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, David Bowie, Nina Simone and Bob Dylan. Classic songwriters. And why not try to find and embrace my own sound?

Got a BA in graphic design. Had a job at a design agency for a few years. Drove me nuts to sit in an office. Spent four years working at a beach club meeting all walks of life, observing people. And tried hard not to participate in society for a while, figuring out life. During the winter months, when the beach club was taken off the beach, I locked myself up in a tiny windowless apartment, my cocoon, to write songs and learn how to arrange and record, living on summer tip money. Approaching 30 I started a band to have a vehicle for my songs. We became a small family for over a decade. I wasn’t interested in becoming hugely succesful so much, but just wanted to grow and make the best things possible with what we had. I organized and financed it all with money I made from other music I’d worked on. Things started taking off on multiple levels. We made four albums, they all got great reviews. We traveled to the USA and UK to record, won an Independent Music Award in the USA and the songs reached people in many countries. What we did mattered to some people. That was nice.  Grateful for those years and for what we have achieved, I ended Cloudmachine at the end of 2014. I needed to move on.

I discovered I was ready to just be me doing my thing all by myself. First I thought I could combine a solo path and the band. But I can’t. I discovered I felt much more centered in a setting with more focus on my vocal and guitar.

I feel new excitement. I love how easy it is to travel with just a guitar. Do small intimate shows. And I hope I will for a long time. Thank you for listening, hope to see you somewhere. (December 2014)

Ruud Houweling quietly established a reputation in the Netherlands as a genre transcending singer songwriter and composer, blending European folk, art pop and classical elements in mostly acoustic songs that are uniquely his own. Considered by some critics as one of Holland’s best songwriters, as the guitar playing singer with his former band Cloudmachine and since 2015 as a solo artist. But also as a composer for Dutch public broadcasting NPO, on national television. His songs have been recorded by national and international artists with gold and platinum awards in Germany, Finland, Russia, and the Czech Republic. He can often be seen on stages in the Netherlands and also played on small festivals in the USA and UK. The EP The Wind Just Blew A Day Away has been nominated for the 18th Independent Music Awards (USA/2020). Collaborating often with some of Hollands finest musicians such as Egon Kracht (Maarten van Roozendaal), Rob Wijtman (Ocobar), Ro Krauss (Wende, Wëreldbänd), Patrick Votrian (The Kift), Rik Cornelissen, Michiel van Dijk, Kobi Arditi, Ricky Koole, Bertolf and Dudok Kwartet.