T.H.E Interview – Ruben De Ronde

Ruben De Ronde interview

3 times is always a charm and we know for sure that Netherlands based trance and progressive genius, Ruben De Ronde, is definitely nailing the mark with “Different”.

Following up to “My Story” which was crafted by Ruben to be a journey through all that he wanted to showcase, “Different” stays true to its title. It’s different from all the work you’ve heard from him in the past for sure. 14 tracks, all very unique collaborations and each having a very distinct vibe to it, this one really appealed to us.

To get some more intel on how it all came together, the stories behind his collaborations, Statement! recordings and A State of Trance, we sit down with him and have a short chat. Read on!

Shivani – Hey Ruben! It’s great to be speaking to you again! Firstly, congratulations on the release of “Different”. After “My Story”, you’ve rolled out an album with 14 new tracks. How has it been for you with “Different”?

Ruben De Ronde – This album has been a journey of about 2,5 years. I started making music for it back in 2017 when I started to stream in a video on Twitch.tv/rubenderonde

Instead of producing this album in a dark, and far away from the world, studio, I chose to open it up for everyone to see. Video streaming live productions have been a great way to interact with the listener of the end result. Most of the people have seen it come together track by track, and have been a big part in the process of the album coming to a final product. On one side I was able to help producers with question and feedback, on the other side people could view and listen in on the music and give their feedback. I have actually learned a lot of the input of the watchers of my stream!

Shivani – How come the name “Different”? What was the idea behind it?

Ruben De Ronde – One side is answered above I think. By opening up my production process, and sharing this with whoever wants to watch, I did something no one else really did before. On the other side, I chose the title “Different” because I always feel I am doing everything different than anyone else. I produce music about how I feel. No templates, no set genres or forced ways to work. In a world where everybody is being molded into stereotypes by social media, and being cast out if you are an odd one, I can truly say: It is GREAT to be different!

Shivani – One of the most fascinating bits about “Different” is that every track is a collaboration! And we see very interesting ones with a couple of Statement regulars like Estiva, Louise Rademakers, Elevven, Kimberly hale and so much more! How did the idea come about for the entire album is a collaboration? 

Ruben De Ronde – I love working together with people! It is great to combine talents, whether it is vocalists or other producers, that doesn’t really matter. I do have a personal connection with everyone that I worked with. It wasn’t a plan to collaborate on every song with an artist, but in general, I think that music is better with vocals, and the instrumentals have to be really club driven. All, as a group, I think we succeeded into making a harmonious album tho!

Shivani – The album also features ‘Trinity’, your collab with FUTURECODE (Ben Gold & Omnia). How did the idea for it come about? And how was it like working with them?

Ruben De Ronde – Ben and Omnia were booked to close A State of Trance 900 in Utrecht, which is a MASSIVE gig for over 15,000 people. And they did the closing set! To have a diverse set, they approached me to collab on something more ‘dirty’ or ‘gritty’ than any polished sound. The result is Trinity and it was amazing to join them on stage to premiere it!

Shivani – A track that really piqued our interest was “Guardian Down” with John O’Callaghan’s deep house moniker Henrik Zuberstein. Also, if I am not wrong, it’s the first time he has collaborated with anyone under that name! How did it all happen?

Ruben De Ronde – Haha yeah! I think that was the first one for John! We used to play a lot of PS4 together, more specifically the game Destiny. While we were gaming, the thought came up to make a progressive tune together, since I played a lot of his Henrik Zuberstein work. This was all 2,5 years ago I think, when we started working on it. When I was going through older project files earlier this year, I bumped into this song again, and decided to finish it! The title Guardian Down is indeed an homage to the Destiny game by Bungie.

Shivani – How has 2019 been for you till date?

Ruben De Ronde – It has been fantastic! I have been touring quite hard, with big tours in the USA and China, but luckily I managed to finish my album in the meanwhile too, with the release later this month (28th of June). It is called Different and I am mega proud about it!

Shivani – Your label “Statement” is getting its own stage at Electronic Family this year! Congratulations on it! How did it all happen and for how long has this been in the pipeline?

Ruben De Ronde – We have been working hard as a group to get things going! Actually, first up we had the Statement! Stage at Escalation in New York City on the 15th of June. We are testing the possibilities to live stream all the sets, and have some cool things in mind.

For Electronic Family, that has been a long work in progress too! I have been an ambassador of the festival for a couple of years now, and they were looking to broaden their styles and progressive came up as the first option. 1+1 is 3 in this case!

We are working on a LOT of cool ideas for this, and I can’t wait to show the world what ALDA and our team are coming up with!

Shivani – We see the stage also has a very uniquely curated lineup with acts like tinlicker, Grum, lumisade to, of course, Estiva and Rodg and so forth! How was the lineup picked?

Ruben De Ronde – It was really a team up effort. I gave in my list of artists I would love to have, and ALDA had their favorite progressive artists. Altogether, I am mega proud of the stacked line up we have.

Shivani – You’ve been in the scene for relatively long and have watched it transition over the years to what it currently is, in terms of the sound has changed, the infusion of new styles and so much more. It also spawns off a debate about what trance actually is supposed to sound like and how the current releases are probably not good as the old ones according to a few, whereas the rest may believe it couldn’t be better. What is your opinion on the same? What according to you is trance all about?

Ruben De Ronde – I can hold an hour-long debate about this, to be honest! I strongly disagree with certain people that link a BPM to a style. I think trance is a feeling. You know when you hear a certain electronic song that hairs on your arm stand up. Your heart gets heavy or tears come up.

That’s the feeling of trance!

The other point is actually interesting. Music from the past IS NOT better! Music often binds to memories. People link certain songs to important events in their life, and that way those songs become more valuable to any music that comes after that moment. Music is only getting better and better (quality wise). Scientifically this makes sense right?

Shivani – We saw your work on Togetherr with Rodg, which was very well accepted by the audience. You also teased about working with him for a collaboration, apart from taking the stage together again for a b2b at the ASOT celebrations at Bay Area. Can we see this possibly building up to a part 2 of togetherr?

Ruben De Ronde – Haha, we get this question a LOT! We didn’t expect that TogetheRR would be such a success, and we are humbled by the support, to be honest! Right now we are working hard on our own music, with Rodg just releasing his album FATE and myself with the Different album coming up. But never say never!

Shivani – You and Armin Van Buuren together are the heart and soul of  A State of Trance and we can’t imagine a better pairing. However, in an alternate universe, if you had to run the show with anyone else, who would you pick and why? 

Ruben De Ronde – To be honest, I couldn’t pick anyone else to be doing the show. Armin has so much passion for radio, and the music we play on the show. I don’t think anyone could ever fill his shoes!

Shivani – A question I’ve always wanted to ask, Statement! on the whole, has some brilliantly well thought of cover art with you or the RDR sign integrated in some way or the other. And, it’s super adorable! Who comes up with this?

Ruben De Ronde – Haha, thank you! I started doing this because I thought, with the disappearance of vinyl, digital music lost it’s ‘visual identity’. Growing up recognizing the tunes by the cover of the final, I wanted to bring back that feeling. When people see a cover, I want them to know straight away which song is linked to that. For the album ‘Different’, I came up with the idea based on an image of where everyone is the same: colorless, with myself in color, standing out because I am doing things differently than the mass. I think that everyone has a talent, and is allowed to stand out and be different. Like said before: it is great to be different!

Shivani – If you could collaborate with one more artist from an alternate genre and not trance or anyone familiar, who would you pick and why?

Ruben De Ronde – Easy one! Maria Mena or HIGHASAKITE. Both of these artists are such insanely talented songwriters, and manage to put true emotions in their songs. Bucket list stuff!

Shivani – Would we see a separate remix album coming out for “Different”?

Ruben De Ronde – 1000%! I already got in the first remix yesterday, so we are going to do this!

Shivani – What does the rest of 2019 hold in store for you?

Ruben De Ronde – A LOT of gigs coming this summer! From Tomorrowland to Untold and several USA shows and of course the stage hosting on Esscalation and Electronic Family. Besides that, I have my album Different coming in a few weeks!

Other than that, I will keep on focusing on my Twitch livestreams (Twitch.tv/rubenderonde), with tutorials, live DJ streams, etc. I will always try to keep the connection with my support close that way!

Shivani Murthy


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