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I Need R3hab: The EDM Lounge Interview

As a veteran fan, I'm not kidding when I say that you haven't gone through R3hab until you've done it in Madrid. Spinning a sick set with one of the wildest crowd at the Spanish capital's famed Joy Eslava hosted by Fabulush, R3hab blew the roof off and drenched the fans with the best champagne shower I have ever seen. Complete with naked go-go dancers and a set that ended at dawn, he proved to me that European partying was truly all the rage. Luckily, I was able to sit down with him for a chat before the chaos began. From his preference of studio equipment to his favorite performances, I hope you can all get a taste of what this man is all about.

So what was your favorite show or festival of 2012?

I can't name one, but one of my favorites was DayGlow at Governors Island. You were there right?


It was very nice because it was at night, and the last show for the season at the island. When you're up on the risers, you see all of the buildings, you get on the ferry, and it’s just an amazing atmosphere. And the fact that Governors Island is only open for 2 or 3 months, it’s very special.

I loved it too. With that being said, what show do you anticipate playing most in the 2013 season?

Ultra, main stage for sure. Hopefully the EDCs this year will be great too. Tomorrowland, definitely, and of course TomorrowWorld hopefully. I actually did a festival in 2012 called SpookFest, you’ve probably never heard of it but I did that with Benny Benassi and Calvin Harris and Datsik. I was like, “Let’s do this show” and around 20,000 people showed up! Sometimes the most amazing shows are these little things that most people haven't heard of. 

Like SoundWave in Arizona? I saw you there with Calvin Harris too!

Yes, also an amazing show, the water park was genius. It was very special because those things don't happen all the time.

Okay so here's a question for all the nerds out there, what's your studio setup like?

I actually have custom made speakers. Ableton or Cubase, I work with a PC. But at the moment, I have no hardware, I just sold all of it. On the road, it's hard to have all of it with me.

I love your signature sound with its exotic, ethnic touch. What inspires that?

It's definitely from my Arabic background. My parents are from Morocco. I'm doing a show in Morocco tomorrow actually, so maybe I’ll get some more inspiration. It's only a 2 hour flight! If you weigh less than 50 pounds, I’ll put you in my suitcase.

Haha, if only. So what do you think makes the perfect EDM record?

I think it really depends on the vibe you're aiming for. If you’re aiming for a daytime vibe, you want something euphorically happy. Or for the end of the night, you want something that goes really hard, especially if your time slot during a festival is after someone like Tiesto or Afrojack. Emotion though, that's what’s important.

Beyond making party music, what kind of impact do you want to make on a bigger scale?

I just want to make people dance! I always see people who just work hard the whole week, save up their money to come to a show. What do they want to do? They want to come and just dance. It's not that complicated, but yet it is. 

If you weren't making EDM, what would you be doing now?

Studying business marketing probably. Sounds terrible, but it gets the job done.

What would you say to counter all of the negativity directed towards EDM right now? For example, the LA Times article? 

I don't really have a comment about it. I'm not sure what the LA Times are trying to say about it. Someone died, and of course that's horrible. But EDM's not about that. It's about letting go, having a good time. I see people just having so much fun at shows, I've rarely seen any fighting, the negative aspects are so minimal and it gets put under a microscope by the media.

Definitely. It's gotten to the point where people are making rave culture synonymous with drug culture. 

I think these "reporters" should actually come to a show and interview some of the attendees. They should come to a festival like EDC or Ultra. In terms of simple mathematics, if they interview a thousand of the people who go there, I think only 5 of the people will say that they didn't have a good time. 

You've traveled a lot, so what's your ideal vacation?

Depends on if you’re going with a girl or just one of the guys. I was actually in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) this weekend. I thought it was beautiful, especially for a summer vacation. I get to go to so many places while touring, but its just different because you come and leave so quickly. But I love the sun and white beaches. 

Perfect work environment?

I always see people with really old studios and old equipment, but I can't do that. I'm not materialistic at all, but when it comes to work, I have to have really nice equipment like a nice chair, a nice mouse definitely. The best mouse in the world in fact, the best keyboard in the world, the best mousepad in the world. I will research for the best one of everything and buy it because I think it's so important because this is where I make my money, this is where I work everyday. It's like buying a nice car, it's only worth it if you use it a lot, that’s how I am with my equipment. Same with my laptop, I want the best.

What do you use?

Macbook actually, and a studio PC. I don’t care if it's a little more expensive because at the end it’ll save me so much. Like good sneakers, if they’re bad, they break down quick. Don't look at my sneakers now though, I just went to DayGlow in Cancun!

Ideal drink? 

Real Red Bull with lime and ice. For some reason lately, I keep getting fake Red Bull in Europe. Don't like it. 

United States or Europe?

Hard question. I think the USA is dominating right now with the festivals. While Europe does have Tomorrowland, it is coming to the States. The nice thing about the States is that there is so much natural space to host festivals that you can’t find in Europe. Washington state has beautiful areas. Colorado, Rocky Mountains. There’s beautiful Miami, New York's Governors Island, just spaces you don't have in Europe.

Upcoming projects?

The preview for my remix with Quintino of Tiesto's "Chasing Summer" just came out. Definitely a few more original mixes are in the works. 


An EP perhaps?

Maybe. It's hard to finish one, like a good one that I would be really happy with. That's the hardest. It's also hard because it gets released like 7 months later and I have to still love it after all that time.

"#MIAMIBACKAGAIN" - R3hab, Nari & Milani, MYNC: Out Today!

By Anne Chang

Follow me on Twitter: @Ann3c5

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