[ARTIST INTERVIEW] R3HAB Discusses Jason Derulo Collab, Beyond Wonderland SoCal, + More

| April 28, 2024

Hailing from the Netherlands, multi-platinum producer and DJ R3HAB has become a long-standing dance music mogul appearing in all facets of the industry, from his collaborations with the world’s top recording artists to his multiple successful global tours.

With over 10 billion career streams, R3HAB has established himself as one of Spotify’s top 300 most streamed artists of all time, and continues to build upon his lucrative career with his infectious sound. iEDM had the privilege of speaking with R3HAB about his new release with Jason Derulo, his recent back-to-back set with Afrojack at Beyond Wonderland SoCal, and more.

Check out iEDM’s exclusive interview with R3HAB below.

 

iEDM: You just released a new track featuring Jason Derulo. How did this collaboration come about? Is the creative process any different when working alongside multi-genre vocalists rather than EDM-exclusive vocalists?

R3HAB: I’ve done a few remixes for Jason over the years, and we’d been tossing around ideas for a collaboration for quite some time. He sent “Animal” to me and we knew it was finally the right fit. We have a great synergy and have kept the creative conversation alive since then. 

Every voice is different and brings its own complexities and nuances to the project. It keeps the job fun and fresh. It has less to do with the genre and more to do with finding the right balance when integrating the vocal into the track. 

 

 

iEDM: You recently performed another back-to-back set with Afrojack at Beyond Wonderland SoCal. How did you both make the decision to collaborate on a set? 

R3HAB: Nick and I go way back, we’ve gone b2b countless times across the years! It was great to share the energy at Beyond Wonderland SoCal where both of us brought some fresh IDs ahead of the festival season.

R3HAB b2b Afrojack, 2012

 

iEDM: Regarding your compilation showcasing 15 years of hits under the R3HAB discography, how would you describe your evolution throughout this timeline? What is the most valuable lesson you learned?

R3HAB: Never stop innovating and exploring new genres. Try new things with unexpected people. Make sure it stays fun and catchy. Don’t overcomplicate it!

 

iEDM: You have played shows and festivals all over the world. What is a place that stands out for the love of dance music and rave culture, but often overlooked in terms of tour bookings?

R3HAB: I have special memories in every country I’ve visited, so it’s hard to pick one. I admire the cultural diversity of the world which has an impact on the state of dance in each place, and eventually the dance world at large.

The Middle East scene has exploded over the last few years, and I’m happy to experience the dance music culture growing there firsthand. My family roots in Morocco link me to the region and I’m honored to participate. 

R3HAB China

iEDM: You have collaborated with artists in various corners of dance music, including Tiësto, W&W, Afrojack, Timmy Trumpet, KSHMR, and more. Has your production style experienced any lasting influence from other artists?

R3HAB: We all share the same love for mainstage records and all these years we’ve made a mutual impact on the scene. It’s a pleasure to have worked with all these names and more, it’s always special anytime we join forces. Dance music is about bringing people together, which is something we all have taken to heart. 

R3HAB and W&W

iEDM: Many fans describe the “Golden Age” of dance music as approximately 2010-2014. However, dance music’s timeline spans across 4 decades. Do you agree with this sentiment? What would you describe as the “Golden Age” of electronic music?

R3HAB: Nostalgia is part of the beauty of the electronic scene. In a few years we’ll probably look back at the current times with new eyes. Personally, I can say the 2010-2014 era was special to me since this was when my music got out there. But each era has its part to play in the timeline, so it’s hard for me to immortalize one over the rest. 

 

iEDM: You have put out an array of official remixes by smaller artists under the R3HAB name. What is your philosophy behind allowing official remixes? Is producing remixes a solid approach to artist growth?

R3HAB: Every artist has a unique vision and the growing acts inspire my vision in new ways, since they’re often in the phase of testing new approaches to music. I love to add my dance touch to originals which allow me to explore cultures & music in new ways. Producing remixes is a great way to develop one’s artistic skill, you can learn a lot by understanding another artist’s vision.

 

iEDM: Do you have any pre-show rituals? Is there a story behind them?

R3HAB: Sleep hard, workout hard and eat good (haha). 

R3HAB

iEDM: Your hometown Breda is a massive hub for dance music talent. How did this influence your music early on in your career? Are there any artists from your birthplace that inspired you to begin producing music?

R3HAB: When I was growing up, Tiësto had already made a name for himself. I went to high school with Hardwell, so we were familiar with each other and got to follow each other’s journey through the production world. It’s comforting to know that others are on similar paths and have found their niche, but it also keeps you hungry and motivated to excel. 

 

iEDM: Social media is an increasingly effective method for music marketing, but can quickly become a double-edged sword. How do you approach your relationship with your fans on social platforms? Do you ever feel trapped by expectations regarding your “marketability”?

R3HAB: I appreciate my time both online and offline, however it’s been great fun using all the new social tools and I hope my fans enjoy the content just as much (haha). I believe this is the best way not to feel trapped by any expectations.


iEDM: Are there any smaller artists or new acts that have caught your eye over the past few months. If so, then what has drawn you to them?

R3HAB: The pace at which the scene is growing is faster than ever and I’m doing my best to keep up with the up-and-coming acts! Most recently Arcando has caught my attention through his fun productions and the passion he shows for them. I also love the energy of knock2, his style is unique. 

R3HAB

iEDM: As we enter the 2024 festival season, you have a number of large bookings on the horizon. Which festival are you most excited for? Do you have any upcoming projects you can share?

R3HAB: I can’t pick favorites! (laughs) Each festival has its own energy, it’s hard to choose. It’s amazing to bounce back and forth around the world and get to see people connect to the same music, no matter how different they might think they are from each other. It makes the world feel smaller. I’m happy to play a part in the transcendence that can happen in these spaces. 

 

Check out R3HAB HERE!

 

Photos courtesy of R3HAB

 

Stay up to date on the latest festival announcements and music news HERE!

 

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Paije Kantor

PAIJE KANTOR

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Native to Long Beach, California, Paije has been in love with dance music since childhood, which blossomed into a love for its community and events later on. Over time, she has become a dedicated fan of all EDM subgenres, with a special affinity for industrial and melodic techno, dubstep and riddim, electro house and trance, and DnB.

Paije recently graduated with a B.S. in geology and paleontology and spends her free time searching for new additions to her collection of playlists, watching history documentaries, researching obscure topics, and attempting to keep up with her husky’s energy.

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