Trance Stalwart RAM has had a very very interesting year for sure. It saw him shift gears and switch to a new agency, a new style in terms of shows and a lot more.
The one thing that remains the same though is the soul of his music, which is something we see a lot of artists compromise on as time passes. With this new shift in progress, we sit down and talk to the main man, fresh with over 2 decades of experience on how it influenced his style, Nocturnal animals, music and all about what the future holds for him as well!
Shivani – Hey Ram! It’s great to be speaking to you again. Firstly, 2019 has been a very very interesting and path changing year for you. What is your current feeling?
RAM – I feel absolutely ramazing its very refreshing this year and its given me new goals and better options to reach what I want. So lots of energy for the new year !!
Shivani – Jumping straight to the crux, we saw you recently transition from Grotesque to Nocturnal Animals. Why and how did you decide to do it?
RAM – Well, with Grotesque, I was a bit stuck. I and my former partner were just not on the same line and didn’t share the same vision. After being in the industry for so long, I wanted to go for what I thought is best and didn’t want anyone holding me back. So it was time to move on and change for the best. So I left and brought the labels with me because that’s what I had built and will now proceed with a new fresh approach that I am currently working on, to develop. I just need to do my own thing and follow my vision, so have a new mission !!
Shivani – What was the idea behind the name – Nocturnal Animals?
RAM – Well, we mostly are Nocturnal in the dance scene and with a little raw edge and our appetite for dance and guilty pleasures. So that refers to the animal part. Outside, I just think it’s a very cool name and stands out.
Shivani – Could you give us an insight into what Nocturnal Animals is all about?
RAM – The meaning is that we will be a 360 platform. Label, events, publishing, radio, management, content service, talent guidance, and vocalist services. Basically, everything that guides an artist so they don’t have to think too much about what, how, when they need to do everything .. just make badass tunes and kick-ass sets and shine in the process.
We are working with different companies to combine all together in a service that artists can take if they don’t know how to build their profile. This came out of my own lack of knowledge and the feeling of being upset when things didn’t go the way I was hoping them to, and got stuck. So I went reading and speaking with a lot of people and pioneers in their field of work. Spoke with fellow artists that had the same so started to make a new game plan which we are building now. It’s an ambitious goal but we can do it, we have a great team.
Also, we have the 3 labels the main imprint with emotional, melodic and vocal uplifting. NA Fusion is more tech & hard trance and a fusion of styles. NA reworked will remix old & new classics.
And soon the NA Deep label with progressive house.
Shivani – You recently completed 25 years in the scene and you will be releasing a documentary and also a special show. Big, big congratulations on the milestone achievement! How has the journey been like? Could you tell us more about “The Story of Ram”?
RAM – Yes, 2020 will be the year that everything will fall into place and will be indeed a milestone for me. It’s sometimes hard to believe for me. I am doing this already for so long but since I do the 4 things I love to do most in this world, time flies when you’re having fun.
The journey has been a rollercoaster of great and amazing things but also seen bad times and depression but all have shaped me into who I am now. It’s all part of the journey. Without failure and defeat, there is no pleasure or satisfaction. But for me, the travels and the moments I shared with people have been the biggest gifts. Have met so many great people and got humbled by their stories about life. Seen so much beautiful places. It’s an amazing experience to see how many people are so connected through music. It’s a big adventure and I love it.
So the story about me will be from the trance budda of where I started, my time with ID&T and Q Dance, the concepts I di, anecdotes, my personal life, struggle around the death of my wife, my vision of why I do what I do, label, my essence of trance and much more. This will lead to a series of 25 posts that will end up in my 25-year show. Where MY essence of trance from the last 25 years will come together in the most iconic venue of the Netherlands – The Paradiso. Additionally, there is also a 3CD compilation that summarises 25 years of my personal favorite trance pearls.
Shivani – We see Nocturnal animals being more of a project that leaves no aspect uncovered for an artist in terms of releases, promotions, shows and everything related. How crucial do you think it is to have all these elements aligned in order to make them work for an artist easier? Especially considering that you yourself are an artist and would have gone through this cycle innumerable times.
RAM – Well, as I explained before, we want to offer 360-degree in-house services and as a starting point, I indeed know how difficult it is. Not only to find the right people, but also the budget. So to have that complete service and knowledge under one umbrella, I think, it’s a really big win. Its also a process, it’s not something you do in a month. We need to build everything from scratch with the artists, starting from their brand DNA, and develop them step by step. But I think it’s a very interesting and informative process for the artist so they also get the right mindset which is the absolute key to all.
Shivani – How was the artist roster picked and designed for Nocturnal Animals?
RAM – Basically, its mostly guys I know very well and have already worked with.
I want to work with an established team and a talented team. Soon the whole roster will be announced properly. But of course, we also handle releases outside this roster.
Shivani – We also recently saw that you will be bringing your concept “Raw” to Unkonscious next year. Could you tell us a little more about that? And how does it feel like, going back to Unkonscious?
RAM – Well actually doing 2 side projects – RAW & Dubyard.
RAW is basically my harder side. I want to keep the RAM sound melodic, emotional & energetic. RAW is more tech & with hard trance classics. For Unkonscious, I will be doing a purely hard trance classics set.
Dubyard is something I started because am a huge fan of prog house. For me, progressive house is really another passion that I discovered in the last few years. It has so much more diversity then trance which I really like, so will be doing an opening slot with that. Of course, Thailand is a magical place. Been coming there for 20 years now, so it’s like coming home. And to play this party is even more special, so absolutely looking forward to coming back.
Shivani – What does the rest of 2019 hold in store for you and Nocturnal Animals?
RAM – Well, the focus is now on growing the brand and getting everything in place for the masterplan of Nocturnal Animals. That’s a lot of work but it’s exciting. We already started with the events. 18th of January, 2020 – “Essence of Trance 25 years of RAM”, will involve a massive and beautiful production. Also, we have Richard Durand’s OTC on 16th of November as he’s also one of the NA artists. For me personally, the “Essence of Trance 25 years of RAM “ will be a huge thing with the compilation and a tour across 25 cities globally. Also, I am working on new tracks with Susana, Emma Hewitt, Christina Novelli, Natalie Gioia, Clare Stagg and some of the NA artists outside my solo releases. Also a few big remixes that I can’t reveal yet. And after that, my second artist album. So lots to take care of in the next year!! If you want to get in touch follow my socials.