VanVelzen was born in Delft, The Netherlands. His father was a musician, and had a large influence on him as a child; on his sixth birthday, he was given a piano and a guitar from his father and a drum kit from his mother. He was actively involved in several bands at school and wrote music for the annual Christmas musical on several occasions. He went on to study Creative Communications at the Inholland College of Applied Sciences in Rotterdam, and won the Heineken Student Music Award in 1999 with his band The Goldfish.
He went on to play with Crazy Pianos and during a concert at the GelreDome, he met his current manager, Ruud H. Vinke. Between 2002 and 2005, he was part of the improvisational theatre group Op Sterk Water, with whom he performed twice at the Lowlands Festival.
In early 2005, VanVelzen was noted by Dutch music producers Holger Schwedt, Nando Eweg and John Ewbank, and together they decided to work on an album.
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