RAD Spotlight: Rodg Interview

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Dutch DJ and producer Rodg is one of Armada’s best-kept secrets.

The consistently impressive artist has been changing the game in the electronic music world with his genre-defying sounds and world-class collaborations. With trance legends such as Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond and Markus Schulz by his side, the Dutch workhorse has performed on some of the biggest stages in the world. Dubbed as “one of the best producers of 2016” by the man himself, Armin van Buuren, it’s clear to see that Rodg is the future of electronic dance music. I had the chance to speak to Rodg after his performance at ASOT900 and learn about his goals, inspirations, upcoming plans and more. 

How do you feel about being at ASOT900 tonight? 

It feels like coming home, does it sound weird if I say that? I played here three times previously, the first time in 2015, then 2016, 2017 and I’m back again so I’m very happy. 

Which would you say is your favourite year if you had to pick one?

I had so much fun today so I want to say today! I played the main stage two years ago so that was an amazing experience, but today was really good so I’m just really happy!

How do you think you performed tonight?

Very good, because I am very happy! I played a lot of records from my new album and a couple of those records, I wasn’t really sure because I haven’t tested it out anywhere yet. They were a little bit like deep and progressive records, it was definitely a leap of faith. People went for it and they loved it, the crowd got bigger and bigger so it was great! I was just very happy, it was good! 

Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

I’ve got a couple. Sander Kleinenberg, his old progressive stuff, that really got me into that deep, melodic, progressive music. From there, it took it to Sasha and John Digweed, Eric Prydz, Armin, those are people who really made a change for me, in my motivation for doing music. 

Photo credit: Rodg

If you could collaborate with any artist from any genre, who would it be and why?

I love London Grammar for instance, the voice is just out of this world. I just listen to London Grammar a lot and I really enjoy that so it would be cool.

Do you prefer playing in front of a larger crowd at festivals or would you rather play a smaller, more intimate club crowd? 

It’s a really hard question to answer about what you prefer because they’re so different. I think it’s safe to say that I prefer performing for smaller crowds. I like to play for like 250 to 300 people in a small club, with people dancing in the DJ booth and you’re in the middle of the party because it gets you totally into the fun.

Sometimes at a festival, I do feel uncomfortable that I’m on a stage and quite far away. I see people standing in front of me behind a fence, I don’t like the fence. I want accessibility and I love that, that’s why I love people in the DJ booth. It really gets me into the vibe because you’re part of the party, not like ‘I’m standing here and you guys party over there’. I love being closer to the fans, it gets me in a really good flow! 

If you could play any stage or venue in the world, which one would it be and why? 

I haven’t played Ultra Miami so that’s a big box to tick still. I would love to go back to Tomorrowland, that was just an amazing experience. I say my favourite shows are at small clubs but now I’m just naming big festivals, but they’re just so legendary! How legendary are small clubs? They’re as legendary as you make it on the night. I was in Moscow in December and there was a small club, a small venue with 200 to 300 people there and it was just one of the most memorable experiences for me ever; together with Tomorrowland.

What would you say is your greatest achievement in your career so far?

The fact that I am able to travel the world because of the music that I do. That makes me feel… it’s just something special that I can go to all these amazing places because all these people like my music. It’s such a reward and I feel very blessed for that. 

Photo credit: Rodg

Of all the places you’ve visited, what’s your favourite place that your career has taken you?

Japan maybe? I was always fascinated by the country and my mum used to work for a Japanese company so she told me a lot about Japanese culture and how she experienced it. To be able to go there and be with a Japanese friend of mine who showed me around and really dip myself into the culture is really an experience that you won’t get if you’re just a tourist.

That’s what I like the most about these experiences; you play shows and you work with people who live and work there and they want to show you their life. That’s so much more valuable than going on a holiday and chilling at the beach or a nice city for the week and see all the touristy stuff. 

Do you have any routines to prevent yourself from burning out while you’re on tour?

I try to work out on tour because it helps with the jet lag and helps you sleep well. I try to but it’s hard sometimes times, especially when you play, you’re always at a party and the drinks are there and I just said I like drinking before I play and while I play, you have a good time with people. With a headache, it’s hard to go to the gym! 

What can we expect to see from you in the upcoming months?

In the upcoming months, I’m going to do a US tour. I’ve never done a US tour so I’m very excited for that. Obviously, my album is going to release, and then I’m looking forward to the summer. After the summer, I’m going to go to Asia and some other countries.

What are your goals for the rest of the year?

My goals for the rest of the year are just to make more amazing music and have amazing experiences with great people all around the world; just like I had tonight! You get to play music for these people and you get these interactions and I love it! I don’t want to give one main goal like I want to get a Ferrari or something; I don’t care about that. I want to meet people and learn about cultures and the fact that I can do that because music brings me to that is just amazing. It’s a never-ending goal.  

Relive Rodg’s ASOT900 performance below and keep up with him on Facebook and Instagram. 

Read more on our ASOT interview series with MaRLo and FUTURECODE Ben Gold and Omnia. 

Feature image credit: Rodg
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Katarina Cvetko

Katarina is an international journalist and photographer from Sydney, Australia with a strong passion for music festivals. Since her first solo adventure in 2015, Katarina has travelled to over 30 countries in 5 continents and has attended over 100 music festivals worldwide. After conquering a bucket list journey of 52 music festivals in 52 weeks in 2018, Katarina continues to live a digital nomad lifestyle, travelling to festivals in a different country every week and sharing her experiences on social media.

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