Interview: R3hab opens up on inspiration behind new album ‘The Wave’
Dutch Electro House icon R3hab is responsible for some of the decade’s biggest festival anthems, including ‘Soundwave’, ‘Won’t Stop Rocking‘ and ‘Tiger’. However, his recent album ‘The Wave’ has shown-off Fadil El Ghoul’s more emotional side, featuring a plethora of eclectic tunes, featuring the likes of Connor Maynard, Krewella and Mike Williams.
With over 100+million Soundcloud streams, 100+million Spotify streams and a plethora of singles in the Beatport Top 100, the dynamic Dutchman found the time to amidst a hectic US tour schedule, to sit down with We Rave You & discuss his inspiration behind his new album and the personal connection he shares with his music.
‘The Wave’ is an unquestionably multitudinous album and isn’t confined to one genre or idea. What inspired this level of creativity?
“The goal with this album really was to tell a story. “The Wave” is a summation of my life; the experiences I’ve had, the places I’ve been, and the range of emotions I’ve felt. I’ve been so fortunate to have traveled so many places over the past year and to have experienced so many different things. Each track reflects a different place I’ve been in my life, both literally and figuratively.”
While each song is different and unique, they’re all connected by their sentimental value to you. What personal connection do you have with these songs?
“I think I have a personal connection with all the songs because they’re such an accurate depiction of myself and my experiences. Regardless of how successful I’ve been, my life is still a lot of ups and downs. Each song captures a different emotion, which is why I connect to this album on such a deep level.”
Amidst all the experimental styles, you haven’t neglected your EDM roots. ‘Lullaby’ with Mike Williams is a high-octane festival anthem! Can you explain how that collaboration came together?
“Mike Williams has been on my radar for a long time, and it’s been so exciting to watch his rise to stardom. His style really builds upon the quintessential “dutch house” genre, and as a result, Mike really is at the forefront of the next wave (no pun intended) of dutch producers. Working with him was such an obvious choice!’
Change and experimentation can often be difficult. How have you managed to maintain your musical identity throughout different sounds and styles?
“Over the past two years, my music has tended to be more emotional. When you listen to it, I think you can really feel something. And so although my music can vary a lot, I think the common theme is that it always captures some kind of emotion.”
‘Cherry Blossom’ draws an oriental influence, and incorporates a prominent Lo-Fi/Chillout nature. How did the ideas/concept for this track come about?
“A lot of times, I don’t have a specific idea for a track ahead of time. I’ll just mess around with different samples and synths on my computer until something really stands out, and then it’s off to the races. That’s exactly what happened with this track. I randomly came across the opening “Jack-In-the-box” sound and I thought it was really interesting. I was so excited and from there the ideas just kept flowing out of my brain.”
‘The Wave’ features a number of collaborations with artists such as Connor Maynard, Krewella and Lia Marie Johnson. Which one/s was the most memorable?
“All the collaborations were incredible and each one really added so much to the album. I do want to give a special shoutout to Krewella though. They’ve been good friends for a while and they’re both so talented. From the moment they stepped onto the scene, they were some of the most talented, badass vocalists out there. I’m so happy with how the track turned out.”
What’s next in store for R3hab? Will you keep experimenting with various genres & ideas or will you pursue a more defined sound?
“Who knows. My brain is already going crazy with ideas for the next project. I think it could be cool to put out an EP, perhaps more in the “club/house” space, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Be sure to stream R3hab’s new album; ‘The Wave’ below and grab a copy here!