Ran-D reflects on Qlimax being cancelled, creating its anthem, his favourite release and more.
Aditya – Hey Ran-D! Glad to have you for the interview. How’s 2021 been for you so far?
Ran-D – It’s been great actually, it was the year where we could finally perform again and that feeling was great. I’ve a great vibe in the studio and worked on some great tracks this year, so yeah, it’s been good. Must say it’s quite difficult that now again a lot of gigs are being cancelled, like Qlimax as well. It’s a big disappointment, and it’s a real challenge to stay positive through this all, but I’m a fighter and a positive person so I’m just gonna keep on grinding in the studio and work on a lot of new music and projects.
Aditya – First off, how does it feel to be performing at the exquisite Qlimax again in your home-ground?
Ran-D – At this time, Qlimax is unfortunately cancelled. Like I said, this was a tough one to swallow. I’ve worked for such a long time towards Qlimax, and I’ve put so much energy and passion into the anthem. So it was quite hard to see it get cancelled again. But on the other hand, there is an online edition taking place called Qlimax Distorted Reality that’s really gonna be worth watching, and will be free to watch for everyone on Q-Dance network Sat 20th of November. My set will ofcourse contain brand new music and ofcourse the anthem, so make sure to tune in.
Aditya – Talking about the festival, you’ve also produced the anthem for the same and it sounds notorious! What was the creative process like?
Ran-D – Immediately after Q-Dance asked me to make the anthem at a dinner with them, I went home and made the melody for the anthem that same night. The whole concept around it I worked on later. I also had a type of voice in mind that I would love to have on the anthem, and Q-dance connected me with Charlotte Wessels. She’s such a talented vocalist, and it’s been amazing to work with her. She’s a really great writer and really down to earth. We’ve worked in the studio together on the anthem, and she started writing, and we really hit it off. After a couple of days the anthem really started taking shape.
The anthem took me probably more that 6 weeks to work on, since I wanted to make something really special. I knew immediately I wanted a slightly different approach than the usual cinematic break and vocal and still preserve that special Qlimax vibe. Besides this I wanted to incorporate everything that I stand for as a producer, and that includes working with vocals, a lot of kicks and sound design. I’m super happy of what I created together with Charlotte.
Aditya – You have a bank of releases, which is your favorite and why?
Ran-D – That’s still ‘Living For The Moment’ since it was the track that kickstarted my career, and the track is actually about my own experience in life. I wrote the track a few years after my father passed away, and it’s about my experiences with my friends at the events we went to together. So the track definitely has as special meaning to me.
Aditya – We all know you’re the hardstyle music connoisseur. What is hardstyle music for you?
Ran-D – For me Hardstyle is the best party music out there. Hardstyle has so many different facets that make it interesting to me. It can be rough and energetic, it can be emotional and euphoric. It’s really interesting music to produce, since it’s so broad. One day I can work on a really raw track and go wild on sound design and make new kicks, and the other day I write lyrics about something I’ve experienced in life and incorporate this into a track, so that keeps it really challenging and interesting for me. Besides this, the crowd is the best. Everyone is so dedicated, and knows every single kickdrop and every melody. It’s the best feeling in the world when you’re one with the crowd and everyone screams along with a melody or a vocal, and goes wild when the kick drops.
Aditya – Could you tell us why the Qlimax festival is such a special event for you?
Ran-D – I’ve visited so many Qlimax editions as a visitor before I was playing at the first Qlimax myself in 2011. What makes Qlimax special to me is the theme and the show around it. Q-Dance transforms the Gelredome into another dimension with Qlimax, it’s something you have to experience yourself, you just feel immersed.
Aditya – What’s your vision for your future performances? What should fans expect from you?
Ran-D – I want my performances to be an experience that people will remember for a long time, not only music wise but also in terms of the energy that they experience. We Rule The Night, the event that will take place the 18th of December in Dortmund in the Warsteiner Music Hall is an example of my vision on my future performances. I’ve spend a lot of time and energy on the development of this concept, and the goal is for people to transition in to a different world, a world filled with night creatures. In this world, people transform into dark night creatures that are fully in tune with the music. We’ve put loads of time and effort into developing the audiovisual aspects for this show. It’s going to be epic!
Besides this I want to keep on developing myself as a producer and keep on evolving my sound and keep surprising the audience with my music.
Aditya – What’s your production set-up like?
Ran-D – I produce in Cubase mainly with a ton of plugins and some Hardware synths like the Virus TI that I still use quite a lot. Some of my favorite softsynths are Serum, Sylenth, Dune. I love working with UAD plugins a lot. My main monitor speakers are Barefoot Micromain27 and I have a pair of Genelecs 8010 on the side. Man I could talk all day about music productions, so these are just some pieces out of my kit.
Aditya – Could you tell us a few upcoming Hardstyle DJs/Producers to keep in the radar.
Ran-D – At our own label Roughstate we’ve got some really great upcoming talents, like Galactixx (which I just made a collab with ‘if tomorrow never comes’) Radianze, Invector and Voidax to name a few. I’m really fond of Vertile, he has a really fresh sound and does his own vocals as well. Definitely a name to look out for.
Aditya – Lastly, what do you have in pipeline for 2022?
Ran-D – I’m gonna work on a shitload of new music that will be a part of a new concept that I’m working on, but I can’t tell you about that just yet. Besides this we will launch a brand new Gunz For Hire show in 2022, that we’ve already made a lot of new tracks for, of which two of the new ones are included in my Qlimax set. Of course some of my newest tracks will be featured in this Qlimax set as well. So go check out the set this Saturday 20th of Nov at Q-Dance Network ;-D