2017’s hottest new artist has arrived – in the form of Amsterdam-based producer Ralph Felix. Having had an illustrious career as an integral part of NEW_ID (formerly known as NO_ID), the duo went their separate ways in 2014, with Devi continuing the NEW_ID project, and Ralph taking the time to focus on his solo career as an artist.
This year has seen Ralph Felix’s comeback single called ‘The Heat’, alongside Italian duo SDJM, which achieved international success as both a club and commercial record. Racking up over 7 million streams on Spotify alone, ‘The Heat’ is a testament to Ralph’s musical prowess and foreshadows a bright future in store.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Ralph Felix in an exclusive interview, talking about his influences, visions as an artist, new music, and much more.
You used to be a part of the NEW_ID project since its inception until a couple years ago, when you decided to focus on your solo work. Recently you made a massive comeback into the scene with ‘The Heat’ alongside SDJM, which was absolutely phenomenal. Can you tell us a bit more about your new music? What can we expect from you in the future?
Yes that is correct, for me it was important to try new things and develop my self as a producer. Having done the “groove thing” for such a long time made me curious to other styles and music that are out there, I guess I wanted to widen my horizon. Regarding the new music that is coming, wellI I would say expect the unexpected! Its going to be fresh and different something that I haven’t done before. Obviously house music is still in my DNA so you can expect that to come back from me, mixed up with radio friendly themes and vocals for sure. However as I noted earlier I want to try new things as well so you can definitively expect the occasional out of the box song too!
What have been some of your biggest influences both musical and otherwise throughout the years? You’ve evolved quite a lot as a producer, it would be amazing to gain some insight into your creative process and how it has adapted throughout your journey so far.
Coming from The Netherlands automatically means that you are raised in dance music, so dance music has always been around me since I was a young kid. I guess one of the songs that really drew me into this world was the song from Chocolate Puma called “ I Wanna Be You“. After hearing that amazing track in the year 2000 (I was 15 back then) I was totally hooked.
A few other ones through out the years are (how can I not mention him) Axwell but also Kraak & Smaak, Junior Jack, Deep Dish, and more recent The Weeknd, Disclosure, Calvin Harris and Lorde. I saw Lorde perform at Coachella last month and she totally blew my mind. I try to listen to as much music as possible to learn from other musicians on how they approach things in their songs. Technically but also focused on structure and sound design. The way I have always worked is to take certain elements of songs that I like and try to combine them into one fresh new idea, that principle hasn’t really changed over the years now I think of it.
How would you describe your vision as an artist?
Make what you love and love what you make! Represent the music that you are generally passionate about, that is the most important thing!
As an artist in 2017, would you describe coming up with fresh new sounds and thinking outside the box creatively easier or more difficult than it was in previous years?
In my opinion thinking outside the box is always possible if you really put your mind to it. But I think right now the music scene has completely opened up to new and exciting sounds that weren’t common lets say two or three years ago. For me that feels as a good thing because it gives more space to all sorts of different styles to flourish right now. A positive side effect is that the audience is now is more open minded than ever. So yes I would say it is easier to be more creative at this point of time then in previous years.
How has the overall vibe of the dance music changed since you first entered in your opinion?
I guess my take on that is pretty in line with my previous answer to be real honest. Right now the music scene is opening up to all new kinds of interesting styles and music which in my opinion is a great thing. Where as three years ago it was all about hard drops now with tropical house which became so big, a certain balance has been restored which opened a lot of people up to more types of music too.
Is there any advice you’d like to give our readers and any aspiring producers out there?
I would advice aspiring producers to just follow their heart when it comes down to choosing the music they want to make. Im a general believer that the product you make will be better if it comes right from the heart. Don’t try and follow trends too much, yes it can be tempting sometimes but try and stick to what you love most. Needless to say that can also be a trend though. Another advice that I would like to give is produce as much music as you can and make even more mistakes! And yes that is a good thing. Make loads of them as you learn a lot from the stuff you do wrong. I have made a lot of them along the years too!
Check out the short film where Ralph Felix introduces himself to the world below!