Notorious for his signature electro house sound and kinship with fellow Dutch producer Afrojack, R3hab has been paving a promising career for himself as a DJ and producer over the past few years. With successful releases on Afrojack's own Wall Recordings and Tiesto's Musical Freedom, he has joined the ranks of DJs adorning the lineups at festivals and clubs around the world. Mastering the art of transforming pop hits into club tracks, he has also fittingly released remixes for artists as diverse as Enrique Iglesias and Usher.
We caught up with R3hab to discuss collaborations, connecting with fans, and what he has in store for the rest of 2013. Be sure to catch him this Friday at Voyeur, and tune into his weekly radio show "I Need R3hab" on Sirius XM's Electric Area.
LED: You've had the opportunity to remix big names such as J. Lo and Katy Perry. Do you approach pop music differently in the studio?
R3hab: Yes, when remixing big names like this it's important that I try to embrace the vocals and make a version that still has enough of the original left, but can also be played in the club!
LED: Your career kickstarted when Afrojack signed you to his label and pushed your music. Have you considered starting your own label to release music from up and comers you believe to have potential?
R3hab: Yes, maybe in the future when I feel I have enough time and experience to run a label like I want to!
LED: From Hardwell to Ferruccio Salvo to Koen Groeneveld, you've worked with a wide array of artists. Who would be your dream collaboration that you have yet to work with? What makes a good pairing in the studio?
R3hab: Calvin Harris, he is a great writer and such an amazing producer! A good studio partner knows how to work together and you have to have patience to work together!
LED: Social media is a huge tool for artists to promote themselves and their work. You're no stranger to personally interacting with your fans over Facebook and Twitter. Clearly the connection is important to you; how do you think this has affected your relationship with the fans, as well as your career?
R3hab: I get really excited when I have a lot of social media activity before a gig. It is like people cheering before you enter the boxing ring.
LED: You've played so many gigs across the globe, from here in San Diego to the hometown of your lineage, Morocco. Where would you say you find the best party?
R3hab: It is so hard to say, but I must say California and New York go hard!
LED: You recently performed live in Miami before the Real Madrid vs. Chelsea Championship. How was the show? Did you stay to watch the match?
R3hab: The show was amazing. Once they turned off the lights and people grabbed their mobile phones, it just looked insane. I had goosebumps from head to toe! I also got to watch the match, which was a good game. Definitely a funny moment had to be when a fan ran on the field and hugged Ronaldo.
LED: In a previous interview, you mention the importance of the organic progression in a career rather than one that is quick to rise and fall. How has this mindset played a role in the development of R3hab? Is there any advice you would give to those pursuing a similar career?
R3hab: I would just practice and never give up, try to build up fans one by one. You don't get there over night.
LED: What have been the highlights of 2013 so far for you? What's in store for the rest of the year?
R3hab: Amazing year so far with great festivals and club gigs! A lot of new tracks coming with Steve Aoki, NERVO, Ummet Ozcan and Lucky Date to name a few.