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A high on life kind of chat with RODG

 

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In a world jam-packed with one-hit wonders, extremely consistent producers of dance music have always been sought-after. And that makes Rodg one of the rare-breed. The humble Dutchman is one of the best kept Armada Music secrets, delivering top-notch releases on a regular basis.

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Photo courtesy of Remyonline

 

“One of the best producers of 2016” Armin van Buuren

 

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J: Hi Rogier, first of all, congrats on the success your album  High On Life  is getting worldwide, (and among my neighbors LOL)…Did you expect such a huge reaction?

R: Well not really… I didn’t expect anything actually so an album well received like this was something really special.

J: Talking about the producing aspects, was it all flowing nice and smooth or did you ever felt stuck at some point during the making of the album?

R: I think every producer feels stuck at some point making the album. I had it quite bad between ADE and the end of the year last year… Situations like that make you insecure, but in the end they might be there for a reason, I don’t know. At least I managed to get some music done after all, so that’s a good thing.

J: Being a producer and a dj, I guess it is very special to play a new track of yours for the very first time in front of a crowd…did it get you more excited or more nervous about the reaction of the fans ?

R: Haha combination of both I think. When I played A State Of Trance in Utrecht in February this year I was really nervous… Playing a lot of new records, and also being live streamed… That was quite something but I think it went well after all.

J: Can you tell me which artists did influence you the most so far?

R: Multiple artists influenced me a lot, there’s no one particular who influenced me the most. Years back it were Sander Kleinenberg, Sasha and John Digweed introducing me to that progressive sound, later Armin van Buuren and Eric Prydz added more inspiration with their more energetic sets.

J: And the one you really look up to?

R: Also difficult to name just 1 as I look up to many artists, on different aspects. I look up to Armin for instance for being a great DJ, Producer, Radio Show Host, Label Owner and how he manages to combine that with also his private life. I also look up to Martin Garrix for being so young and professional as a DJ with a pop star status. Lot of people have no idea of what kind of pressure those guys need to deal with. Yeah I look up to that.

 

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J:I know you will attend the very first Statement Night on Saturday (Grab your tickets here )and I wish you and all the other djs a great success and I hope you guys will export the concept abroad soon, so can you tell me something about it?

 

R: It’s something Ruben wanted to do for a long time already, and with the development of the label the last 2 years I think it’s great to make this step to the first club night. I’ve been with the label since 2013 as Ruben gave me a home for the progressive sound we both happen to really really love. I’m super happy and proud to be part of the label and also proud to be part of the first club night. I’m sure it’ll be the first of many 🙂

 

J:I’ve heard you and Ruben are working on a special B2B set for ASOTFESTNL ( Grab your tickets for ASOTFESTNL here) next February,and this is something I am really looking forward to, any insights you can reveal to us?

R: Wait and see 😉

J: What are you working on lately? (if it’s something you can tell already)

R: I’ve been working on music and can’t tell anything about it. Same as with the other question… Wait and see.

J: You love cats right? How many do you have ? I know you have a very special “ghost producer” in your studio, is your cat a kind of inspiration for your projects?

R: I do! I have two cats. Cats are not an inspiration to be honest, but they’re really good company in the studio while producing music.

J: When you are not working or touring, what do you like to do?

R: I like to.. Grab drinks with friends, visit restaurants to have great food or just hang on the couch and watch some series.

 

J: It looks like you are a great cook, any challenge among your fellow djs?

R: Haha yeah you see DJ Chef Top 100 once in a while on my Insta Stories while cooking. I think it’s more of a joke rather than a real competition. But you never know where it leads to 🙂

J: What is your relationship with social medias and how do you keep in touch with your fans?

R: Yeah I like using them, it’s challenging to be creative using them, I like that. I like to be in touch with fans on a personal level.

J: What are your favorite tools in studio? Any plugins you really love atm?

R: Favorite at the moment is Omnisphere. I’ve been using it for years actually already and every time I discover new things in that plugin. It’s great for everything almost 🙂

J: Any new collaboration on the way?

R: Oh yes! But can’t tell anything yet. I know it’s kind of lame to say that, but I really can’t.

J: The funniest thing ever happened while touring and the funniest one ever happened in your studio

R: Studio: not really funny but definitely something to mention. I was working on a track last week when I went out to grab a coffee… And when I came back my whole arrangement was simply backspaced. Deleted and couldn’t undo that. I guess my cat Bink walked over the keyboard and pressed backspace or something… Don’t know how he managed to get the project saved though, but it was quite annoying.

Tour: I was playing a show and the guy who was supposed to drive me back to the hotel got so drunk, that he couldn’t walk to his car without almost falling over. The hotel was only 500 meters away so I went for a walk 😉 If the hotel was on the other side of the city I would not have liked it but this way it was really funny.

J: Any chance to see you in Italy any soon?

R: I hope so! It’s been a long time since I’ve been in Italy, would love to come down to play a show 🙂

J: Leave a message for all your fans here 🙂

R: Thanks for all the support so far and there’s much more to come in 2017 🙂

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photo courtesy of 7L Photography

EXCLUSIVE: A BRAND NEW ELLER!!


You know that feeling you get when you listen to that one song…and you think, “Hey, this is exactly how I feel today”??

When the words you hear are the words running through your mind in that specific moment?

Yes, I am sure we all got this, but for me personally, it doesn’t happen quite often, it depends on the mood and on the phase of life I’m going through…So, when “Brand New” hit me right in the feels a couple of weeks ago,it immediately hooked me up with its charming (and pretty deep honestly) lyrics.

My pop rock soul side broke through…again!! And in that moment I knew it was going to be a pretty special song to me, the one to play over and over from now on.

 

Now, just pretend you were me for a moment ok?

You are listening to this gigantic tune during a perfect mid summer night…its lyrics hunting your thoughts while the captivating smile and eyes of Eller are sending you the right amount of positive vibes you need right now…and yes, it happens..you start singing at the top of your lungs….

“I feel brand new …because of you…yeeeeaaahhhh….It’s what you doooo…..oh yeah brand newwwwww”…..

( and I am so out of tune guys you have no idea but just can’t help myself as the song is so catchy)…..so….what’s the next thing that comes to your mind now?

HINT: remember you are still me…a blogger……oh YESSSS!!! I’ve decided to keep in touch with Eller and see if he was up for a little chat….

And yes, he was!! And such a nice guy!!!

The very first thing I perceived is that I am really talking with a “Brand New” man, starting from the artist name which has been changed in just Eller (direct and friendly if you ask me) I’ve got the feeling he’s been through a lot lately and this led him to a certain kind of evolution… so Let’s found out more about our little talk…


 Hi Eller, and many thanks for taking the time, it’s really a pleasure to have you supporting my blog.

How are you doing lately?
I’m doing very well actually, thanks. Some big changes has happened. I moved houses and studio, and of course my upcoming EP. Lots of singing, writing, playing etc. Really good vibes going on!
First of all congrats for the new single Brand New, I am in love with it, what has inspired you this tune?
All the change that happened to me was the big inspiration. It was the first song I wrote together with Tony Cornelissen. I insist that a song could only be about stuff which stays close to myself, musically, but moreover lyrically. That’s one of the reasons I started singing myself. I might not be the best singer in the world, but working with other singers, who had to understand my emotions and thoughts just feels unnatural. I think people can interact with the song, too. 
Your passion for the music started at a very young age, how did it all begin and how much your family influenced you?

There was always music at home. My father is a huge music fan, who played recordings in literally almost all styles of music. That influenced me. Also my guitar teacher Eltjo Cleton helped me a lot. Because of my parents and Eltjo I started dreaming and practicing. Oh my God, I’ve practiced so much, haha! Of course my brother helped me a lot in learning how music and the industry all works. And my friends are all great music fans, too. I remember playing in bands and talking hours and hours just about music with them. I still do that. So it’s actually the whole environment around me that formed me personally as well as a musician. 

What about Bagga Bownz project?
Bagga Bownz still exists, but not as a band at the moment. I still see the guys quite often and I’m also still working with them, but more in different projects. Sometimes you just got to let go stuff, even if it’s very good, and move forward to new things. But Bagga Bownz was (and is) still a very good band and act. I still listen to “Done With The Pain” a lot. 
Can you tell me something about your upcoming solo album?(I can’t wait to listen to it)
Oh yeah! It’s an EP, called “Brand New”, and, like I said before, all of the songs are written from true experience. I did some co-writes and a duet, which at the moment I can’t say too much about (sorry!). The next single is called “Traffic Dance”. It’s a really happy one about the movements in a traffic jam, which makes it more a dance than just a bunch of cars. I thought of the concept while I was stuck in traffic on the way to Tony (Cornelissen, co-writer) for a writing session. 
The next single is ehmm…, AAARGH! Can’t say too much about it. The title though is “Better Now”. You should also listen to the pianos and Hammonds done by Sytze Verbeek. 

The other songs are ‘Ready To Go’, a heavy blues, about being done with the relation ship you’re in. The drums on that (by Tim Brink) are really pumping. Then there’s “Rescue Me”, an uplifting “Maroon 5” kind of feel, on which I really love the basslines (Auke Haaksma). The song sounds happy, but is about feeling helpless. 

And there’s more coming! Already did some writing for the second EP, which is already sounding great in demo phase. 
Talking about your professional life, you are a musician, a song writer, a singer… And you are always on the road with more than one project as you are following your brother on his world tour, so I was wondering if any of your song is maybe born really on the road? 

At the moment I’m not on tour with Armin. Touring is one of the best things that could happen to you, but on the Armin Only tours there’s almost no room for writing, because I need to be focussed. I was actually mostly having fun or sleeping the jetlags out 😉

And about collaborations with other artists, is there some one you would really like to get in touch to write something together ?

Ow, there are so many people, but if I had to name one right now it would be Ed Sheeran. In the beginning I wasn’t a big fan of his music, but when I listened more closely, and after I read his book, I would love to hear how he writes.

The funniest things happened to you while traveling?
So much funny things happen during touring. Laughing is one of the most important things during any tour. Me, Michael and Koen (Bagga Bownz members) used to have great laughs. The more stupid it is, the better. Of course it makes no sense in telling this in this interview, nobody would understand a particular situation. I also used to do solo shows, or tours with others, like my friend Chris Jones. Because “touring equals being tired” it makes the jokes even worse than they already are. Nobody would understand, but we just couldn’t stop laughing at some points. 
Looking back to some time ago…. There is an album you releases called Aacustico Dance Music, all my favorite trance tunes were rivisited in acoustic version… The very first time I heard the album I was attending Armin Only Intense in Utrecht if i am not wrong and I was like … Wow… Maybe you can tell us the idea behind this project ?

It happened during the shows. When you’re ‘home alone’ at your hotel room, waiting, or when you can’t leave for whatever reason, you’re just being bored. I started playing the songs acoustically, with the original singers, who were also in the same hotel. I recorded it with some iPhones, put it on YouTube and people starting asking where they could buy it. That was what helped me into doing this album. My name is on the front, but I did this together with the people from Bagga Bownz.

I know you also been a model in the past, how have you been involved in that?
Modelling was just something I ran into. I always love the creativity behind a photo shoot, also for an album. I love working with photographers, I don’t know why. Maybe because they have a different eye on the world?
What do you love to do in your spare time, if any? 🙂
“If any”, yes! Haha! I’m still learning on how to relax, I’m not very good at it. I love hanging out with my friends. 
Thank you very much and hope to see you soon!
Thank YOU very much. Really enjoyed your questions.
Eller – Brand New 

On Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/track/2hpdDhe9nE5hhkmS8TmVcs

On YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/ellervanbuuren

On Apple Music/iTunes:

https://itun.es/nl/TR7xdb?i=1130347354

Also available in all streaming/download services

CATCHING UP WITH JENNIFER RENE ABOUT MUSIC, TRAVELS AND HORROR MOVIES!!

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I am going to treat my readers with such a sweet trance candy today…

One of my favorite artists, Jennifer Rene, has been so kind to accept this interview with me. Let’s see what she is going to reveal to us..

Hi Jen, thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me!!

Thank you so much for having me! It’s my pleasure!

I’d like to know how and when did it all start for you? (I heard you have always loved to sing since you were a child..)

Music has always been a big part of my life since I was very little. My dad is a musician and so I started performing at church with him at a young age. I was in choir and show choir thru ought school and I’ve been writing songs since I was very little. I always loved dance music but really decided to go in that direction once I turned 21 and went to my first real club in Chicago. I saw the DJ’s “Blank & Jones” and the energy and vibe of the place was surreal, I knew then and there that this was what I wanted to do!

You worked with so many big names… Which cooperation challenged you the most and why?

I have had such great experiences working with producers. With each one I learn something new. I would say the one where I felt the most pressure to do a good job was when I was in the studio with Armin for “Fine Without You.” I only had one song out at the time and Armin was a really big name. I wanted to make sure I did a good job with writing a song with him since it was such an amazing opportunity. I was lucky that it turned out pretty well!

Being a singer, a Dj and a radio show host must really keep you busy, so how do you manage it all?

It can get quite hectic at times, but the good thing is that it never feels like work and I love every party of this career! I haven’t started my radio show or podcast yet but it’s something I plan on doing. I need to make sure I have adequate time to do that and lately I’ve been focused on writing and recording new music! I also go to school full time so I do have a very full plate. It’s all a blessing though.

What are the ups and downs of traveling so much?

There are so many ups about traveling! Meeting new people and making friends from all over the world, experiencing new cultures and seeing some of the most beautiful sites you could ever see. I love going to countries where I feel completely out of my element because it’s there where I discover so much about myself. Traveling and performing makes me come ALIVE! The downs would be the jet lag, long layovers, and having to leave a place or people that you really fell in love with not knowing when you’ll return.

I known you are a great horror movies lover (just like me) which film scared you the most?

Ahhh you love horror!!! This makes me so happy!! Haha yes I am a big lover of the horror genre, one of my favorite scary movies would have to be The Exorcist which I think tops most people’s lists. I also really love Amityville Horror, The Strangers, The Conjuring, The Descent, and Rosemary’s Baby. I could honestly go on and on haha.

I’ve red about that project still in the back of your mind about owning a club called “colors” and totally loved the idea (especially the white room) would you like to tell us more ?

Ahh yes! That’s the inspiration behind my upcoming radio show! I’m a lover of so many genres and always thought it would be cool to go to a club where you could hear different genres in different themed rooms. I’ve also always seen colors in music so I put two and two together! Owning a club is probably something that will never happen but having a radio show inspired by the same is sure to happen!

What inspires you in writing your songs?

What inspires me is things that have happened in my life. Love, heartbreak, anger, sadness, loss of friendship, all those things and more inspire me. I write from the heart and from my own personal experiences. Even when something bad happens in my life I turn it into a positive because I know I can write a song about it and hopefully there will be someone out there who can relate to it and enjoy my song.

Can you tell us something about your last productions and give us a sneak peek of your future projects?

I was really happy to be a part of Solid Stone’s debut album and have two songs on there “Heart Call”and “Pushing Up” .Working with Solid Stone is always something I enjoy and we work really well together. I never know what he’s going to send me after I’ve sent him a vocal and it’s always surprising in the best possible way. My recent collab “Smile”with DRYM was one I had been working on for awhile. I had been talking with DRYM for over a year about a collab and they sent me this instrumental that was so beautiful and I heard the lyrics right away over it! Right now I’m currently writing non-stop to new collaborations and some of my own material and I’m very excited where everything is going. I can’t wait to share it with the world!

 

 

 

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