Redlight Unleashes 'Active' And Talks Evolution In Exclusive iEDM Interview
Redlight knows how to rave. Hard.
The producer always wanted to play Electric Zoo. His wish came true earlier this year. Now, he prepares for the release of his album, Active. The record is loaded with brand new music which will make your eardrums break out into a serious hardcore shuffle. Active is truly the album that the dance community has been eargerly waiting for. It's just another milestone for Redlight. He's been in the game longer than the letters E-D-M became commonplace for the rest of the world that wanted to play catch up.
iEDM caught up with Redlight, and discussed his evolution in the industry, along with his favorite David Lynch films and political ideas, too. This is one for the books. Buckle up.
iEDM: What's going on, Redlight? I want to talk about the different styles of the dance community. I know what goes on in the states is a little bit different from the scene out in the UK. If we are just talking about New York--I know for a fact that the city is very different from everywhere else in this country. In your experience, hustling for quite a while now, what influenced you over in the UK, and why did you transfer over to the scene out here?
Redlight: I've always been inspired by American hip hop, and movies, obviously. I started coming up in 2010. Years before that, I was doing drum and bass. I would play some big raves back in 2004 when I was very young for Pasquale Rotella, who runs Insomniac now. I didn't come back out into the limelight again until 2010. Dubstep was really big. We would play the same sample that we are playing now, but nobody really got it back then. Now, it's gotten to the point where [the American audience] is really into what we were doing back home. The dial is moving. Look at AC Slater. He's really helped what we've done in the UK. Disclosure as well, who are good friends of mine. There's different people who really helped it by moving [the music] over here. It all came from America, in the first place.
iEDM: I don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole, but I love going to the movies. Since you seem to be a cinematic guy, and say that film is an influence on you, what are a couple of movies that you can rattle off the top of your head that inspired you?
iEDM: We would be here all night, and this interview would probably be on a different site if we just talked about movies.
Redlight: Haha, listen man, I love films. Classic, American films.
iEDM: Are you a David Lynch fan?
Redlight: Yeah, I like Lynch. Blue Velvet. Lost Highway. Wild At Heart. Twin Peaks. Moby's song ["Go"] was from Twin Peaks, for f*cks sake! That tune was in the Top 10 in the UK in 1992.
iEDM: Talk about influence.
Redlight: The thing is, with the UK movement, in the 90s, I would be in the center of cross-culture in dance music. You would have Jamaican culture. You would have break beats from James Brown. You would have a lot of samples from films. All kinds of movies. Night of the Living Dead. The UK is an island between America and Europe. We are a proud nation of migration, and multiculturalism. That's what I'm really proud of. We are very inspired by everyone's different stories, and music. As new generations come along, we become that sound.
iEDM: You have every right to be proud of that. I tend to get a little political; just check out my Twitter feed. The idea of inclusion is more important now than ever. In America right now, we are living in a very divided nation. People are constantly butting heads on every issue that exists under the sun.
Redlight: At the end of the day, if people are racist, and they are that right-wing spouting character--get them out of the closet, man. Let's see who people really are.
iEDM: It's funny that you say that, because I have a good friend who said that Donald Trump winning the election might be a good thing because you get to see people for who they really are.
Redlight: We all are what we have experienced. I've experienced certain things in my life, which have led me to believe what I believe. This is who I am. I get that people have different eyes. People who have their own views because they experienced their own things in life. I can't judge them for that, because I haven't traveled in their own shoes.
iEDM: We know our stories the best out of everyone.
Redlight: I've been lucky. I've had a lot of fun. I've experienced 90s UK. It's just a lot of fun. I love that.
iEDM: Speaking of fun, I know you've seen all kinds of crazy things in your life, being part of the underground rave culture. What's the most extreme thing you have seen at a rave?
Redlight: I don't know. I've been to raves since I was 12-years-old. I'd go around Bristol, which was the party scene. We used to go to parties where there would be a line of police who would try to stop us from getting in. People would run through the barricades and end up in a warehouse, where a huge party would take place. That's my upbringing with music. I saw the rebellious side. I wouldn't think that what I saw was not normal. That's what I saw at a young age.
iEDM: That's what you knew.
Redlight: Yeah! It's only now where everything has become more right-wing, I realize that it wasn't normal. That was a really special time. That's what I carry in my heart.
iEDM: That's what I wanted to talk about next. I know that the scene has changed. You talk to different people, they will give you different thoughts on the evolution of dance culture. A lot of people are now part of it...I think that could be a great thing. Certainly, there is a lot of money involved now. Rave culture, for the most part, has turned commercial.
Redlight: Output has been an amazing spot for New York.
iEDM: I won't deny that.
Redlight: Before Output, man, there would be some sketchy clubs that wouldn't close until the sound was really quiet, and everyone would be whispering on the dance floor. For me, personally, maybe I miss the proper, early clubs. Output is the best club I have ever played in New York. They have a great sound system, and they don't let photography in there. That's what clubbing should be about. There's not a lot of that in America. When we first started coming over here, it wasn't that. I feel like, now, there is a couple of places that really understand it. Academy LA. Denver seems to have a lot of clubs. I think America has caught up with Europe. I feel like a few years ago it was very commercial. It was all about getting the money in. It was all about booking the big f*cking European names. The dubstep thing because they knew they would get the tickets. Now, I feel like a lot of people experiment with their bookings.
iEDM: Do you think it's because they realize that people have caught on to that?
Redlight: They know that the market isn't going to lose money on different people. America started a lot of it. It's nice to see it come back around and comeback to the birth place of a lot of music. At the end of the day, Americans are the ultimate entertainers, aren't they?
iEDM: We do love our entertainment.
Redlight: You started it. From hip hop, to house, to techno, to dance! If you're a dancer, who do you look to? You look to the Americans. They know all the dance moves.
iEDM: I used to be a tap dancer.
Redlight: There you go! You got it in your blood, and you don't even know it. I can't even move my left foot, do you know what I mean? Everything comes back around.
iEDM: You've been partying since you were young, and were able to survive the game. Not many people do. What's the best piece of advice you have for our readership?
Redlight: You've got to be in it for the right reasons. If you believe in creativity, and that's what you love...you must do it. I tried to live a normal life. I tried to have a normal job.
iEDM: If this never happened for you, what would you be doing right now?
Redlight: It's such a cliche. You know, guys would say, "Oh my God. I'd probably be in prison." I think sometimes a creative mind, is a destructive mind. Every job that I tried to do, I ended up leaving a week in.
iEDM: You automatically made that decision, knowing it wasn't for you?
Redlight: I've never really had a job. It wasn't a dream for me--it was conventional life not working for me. If you're someone who believes in creativity, and believes in trying to make music, you'll make every mistake before making the right choice. If you're still in it seven years later: you'll have a career. I've been enjoying the music, and the parties.
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