RVSSLL talks about origins, influences and latest releases in exclusive interview
Having hit the right tones with the infectious release made with fellow American producer JackEL, Washington DC based DJ & producer RVSSLL has set his eyes straight for success with first dwan of 2019. While their first release together was seeped in the Nu-Disco style of production, RVSSLL stresses that his affinity for the genre arises from his love for Disco as well as the fame that the style carries in present day Electronic music scene.
What’s more is that his other collaboration with JackEL titled ‘Tech House Rewind’ has done extremely on the charts – raking up close to about a million plays on Spotify. With his brand on the rise, it would be amiss to let the opportunity of an interview with RVSLL go by. We sat down with the DC based producer for an exclusive interview where he opens up about his origins in 2016, his influences, his two releases with JackEL and what the future holds for him and his production desk.
How long have you been a producer/DJ for? Tell us about the origin of your music. What inspired you to pursue your career as an artist?
My career as a DJ/Producer began a few months shy of the presidential elections in September 2016. It was funny how it all got started because I just decided one-day to purchase an old Gemini FIRSTMIX Pro controller off eBay and teach myself how to mix from YouTube videos after receiving encouragement from friends. My entrance into the music industry was very subtle and began by playing small house parties, private events, and corporate happy-hours. I wanted to use my role as a DJ to bring together different friend groups and expand my social circles. I felt like I had reached a peak in my corporate career, but at the expense of my love for music. It wouldn’t be until about a year after I started DJing that I got into producing original music, my big break in the industry came when I started to host quarterly happy-hour parties for my colleagues in the corporate world. What began as a few after-work gatherings blossomed into a series of capstone industry events, and that’s when I knew I was capable of doing something more within the music industry.
Who do you consider to have been your biggest influences throughout your career that have made an impact on your productions?
From an early age, I was fortunate to be around such a supportive family that was incredibly creative. My mom began her career as a visual artist and fashion designer before becoming a very successful biotech entrepreneur, and some of my dad’s family held advanced degrees in music theory from Berklee, so I had been surrounded by music for much of my life. Music also became a major form of expression for me when I was younger, and I learned to play the Guitar and Piano with the initial intension of becoming a singer-songwriter.
If you had asked me a decade ago if I knew my music career would take off within the electronic scene, I would have laughed because my love and appreciation for music really blossomed as jazz pianist. I always wanted to play like Dave Brubeck and would spend countless hours listening to old jazz vinyl records from the great jazz pianists like Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, and Herbie Hancock. Brubeck was my father’s favorite pianist and was one of those father-son bonds that carried us through some hard times together growing up. I was also inspired by the way Brubeck revolutionized traditional jazz standards, and broke barriers within the industry. So, a lot of my music channels my jazz beginnings and that’s why the sounds of disco, funk, and soul really stand out for me.
Tell us a bit on your latest remix of Lil’ Peep & XXXTentacion’s ‘Falling Down’. What was the decision behind remixing it? Could you describe us the process of making it? What were the inspirations and main idea/s behind it?
That remix was actually made by my friend and frequent collaborator Jack Lozeron (better known as the DJ/Producer JackEL) whom I help to push a lot of stuff for because of our incredible friendship and working relationship. Jack and I connected via SubmitHub earlier this year, and when no other label would sign me nor even consider any of my earliest productions, Jack took me under his wing and taught me how to step up my productions in a way that would gain commercial success. My work with FVYDID has not only surpassed expectations, but the label has become second family to me, and I now help to manage the label’s bookings, press inquiries, and artist contracts on my spear time. I’m incredibly thankful for everything that FVYDID has done for my career and wouldn’t be where I am today without Jack and his team.
Take us back to the release of ‘Tech House Rewind’, which is nearing 1M Spotify streams. What is the story behind it? What are your thoughts on the track’s streaming success?
The track was a collaboration between JackEL and me that became one of our earliest attempts at fusing the emerging tech house influences from the east with the big room sounds of the west. We marketed the track on Spotify with the hopes of making it into a commercial success because we were watching Swedish House Mafia do something similar at Ultra on the same night, we completed the mixdown for it, but we never anticipated the amount of support we’d end up receiving for it.
I posted the arrangement for the record on my Soundcloud with the use of just a few commercial drum samples and MIDI patterns, and then Jack had the vision to combine that arrangement with Big Room elements, and that’s how we developed the final track. I always strive to release music that fuses commercial influences with the underground, which why I believe Tech House Rewind became such a big hit in such a short amount of time.
Speaking of your releases, although your productions are all under the same umbrella genre-wise, they are still very different from each other. How do you keep being innovative while maintaining your signature sound?
I get this question from a lot of colleagues and I think it’s an important one to answer. I’ve always considered my music and my artist profile to appeal to the commercial masses. I’ve never been one to shy away from popular music, and the reason I gravitate to the “Nu Disco/Indie Dance” genre is not only because of my jazz background, but because I’ve seen a trend in the Electronic music world that is moving towards more syncopated and arpeggiated sounds that had been first introduced by Disco pioneers like Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers.
Many EDM artists like Galantis and David Guetta attribute their early musical influences to disco greats like Stevie Wonder, Donna Summer, and Michael Jackson, and the Chicago House scene originated from spinning the B-Sides of old disco instrumentals. So, I’m definitely seeing an industry return to Nu Disco, and I’m excited to be a part of that. I’ve also worked in other genres like Tech House and Funky House, as well as Trance and Progressive House, and do plan to continue releasing more records in those genres in the future. However, my primary love and passion is for Nu Disco/Indie Dance music, and I think there will always be elements of those genres in every record I make.
What does 2019 hold in store? Any hints or clues that we could get about future productions and collaborations? Interesting gigs in the pipeline?
I’m very excited for 2019 in so many ways. From a label perspective, expect more Vegas features and some upcoming releases with JackEL that feature some our best work yet, as well as our first national tour to key cities from East to West. From an artist perspective, I’m launching a new alias in early 2019 that will focus on more of the underground sound. I’m also excited to be the host a few local parties in the DC area that will highlight the “throwback sounds” of early Hip-Hop, House, Techno, Funk, and Disco. Finally, I’ll looking to release tracks with some bigger European dance labels, and bring a new manager, PR agent, and booking agent onto my growing team to spread the RVSSLL brand across the country and overseas.
You can check out more of RVSSLL’s release on his Soundcloud here.