Barbara Karel
22 Sep 2023

MTV, my Big Bang. It felt like a bouncing ball was thrown into my body at full speed.

For a moment I turned into a pinball machine. His question pinged in my head and small flashes of light shot through my limbs. Did I hear that right? Did he just ask me if I would like to become a Veejay for MTV?

It happened in 2002 at the Lowlands Festival. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. It was the producer of MTV who pulled me aside backstage to ask if I wanted a new, exciting, rock ’n’ roll adventure. I had had a couple of drinks (sorry, that is what happens at a festival) so I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me…my head almost exploded. YES! Of course I wanted to!

The other MTV Veejay had left, and two weeks later, at her farewell party, I brought my hastily made home video. Smartphones didn’t exist back then, so it was a real video tape of me showing a somewhat nervous version of myself.

And OMG, MTV liked it! They invited me for an audition.

One week later, there I was… in the magical MTV studio. Giggling and biting my nails. It felt so crazy. MTV had been my big inspiration as a teenager, and now I was I standing there in front of the cameras trying to give it my best shot. I don’t think I’ve ever dropped the f-bomb so many times in 15 minutes.

Another week passed, and I had an interview with the big boss. I remember exactly how I sat in my seat. Bubbles fizzing like champagne in my stomach, clammy, sweaty hands, but full of confidence because they wanted me.

I jumped through the conversation with conviction, using memorable quotes, the occasional sexy smile, a sassy remark, and an obvious love for music. And yes, we hit it off. The Big Boss was impressed and within two weeks I had my own daily studio show called “BOM.” Best Of MTV.

Woopwoop, there was my Big Bang. MTV and I became BFF’s for life, and from that moment on everything changed.

My very first interview was with a French DJ who would be playing at the Paradiso club in Amsterdam that evening. He was a small cute guy with a crooked nose. He had a sexy French accent which made his English somewhat unintelligible in the noisy club. My interviewing skills were at level zero as I had never done an interview before, but luckily he didn’t have much TV experience either, and he was just as nervous as I was. It turned out to be a pleasant conversation and for a first time it was quite okay. At least not bad…

The DJ’s name: David Guetta. That name may sound familiar to you. In 2002 no one had heard of him, but nowadays he’s world famous. He was voted the number one DJ in the world three times, and he has racked up over 50 million record sales globally, with more than 10 billion streams. He worked with, to name a few, Will.I.Am, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg and Madonna. But at the time of my interview, he sat innocently across from me at a table with a Diet Coke and a naughty twinkle in his eyes. If only we had had a crystal ball, it would have been a completely different conversation.

Wink, Barbara

Check out my MTV adventures below. From Beyonce to Lenny Kravitz. You’re gonna love it.