Jan 11, 2017
New Artist Spotlight: Rabbitt
Picture yourself in the middle of Times Square in the heart of New York City. Bustling streets, beaming billboards, imposing skyscrapers all around and you’ve got three CDJs in front of you. What would you play?! This was just the concept and situation Rabbitt found himself in right before the New Year and he joined us to tell the story. In addition to hearing about that experience, enjoy an in depth look at Rabbitt’s background and music.
When and how did the initial idea to do a live show in the middle of Time Square originate? How did it develop into the performance we see in the video?
When the idea first came about, I wanted to be able to totally immerse myself in an environment that wasn't a club or venue. With the help of my team, we collaborated on many different ideas. You know, things like, what gear we would bring, how we would be able to get it in and out of a particular area without hassle (in this case, Times Square), power issues, permits, etc. A lot of logistics. We actually put it on the back burner for a few months until we could fully develop the idea. We wanted to engage the audience in a unique way so we decided to make the audio of the performance ONLY available via Facebook. This way, we weren't disturbing anything and the people that were seeing it live were attracted simply out of pure curiosity.
Did you get to look around at all and see people’s facials expressions and reactions? Were there any that stood out to you?
I was actually really surprised at people's (positive) reactions. At one point, there were quite a few Times Square employees that stopped by for a few, and as I glanced up at them to see their faces, to my surprise they were all looking down, attentively at my equipment, waiting for my next move. It was as if they were more focused on what I was doing than I was! Being around industry people 98% of the time, I tend to forget that some people still aren't exposed to DJing and the skills it takes to really put on a good show.
How do you think your surroundings played into your music selection?
To be honest, being in an environment that's not so "traditional" (for lack of a better word) made me really focus on what I was doing. Normally, I'm very crowd interactive and I usually feed off that energy, but in this case, being so small amongst all the buildings, it was a totally different feeling than being on a stage at the forefront of thousands of people. It's actually a humbling feeling. At that point, it was just me and the decks.
Can you describe your musical background and how that factors into your music production nowadays?
As far as music is concerned, it's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I've been playing the keys since I was 5, taught myself how to play guitar at age 12 (had a band with my friends, who didn't?) and picked up some drumming skills from my drum instructor in high school. As a kid, I always had some Technics laying around because my dad had worked for the company so that's where the DJing fits in. It's actually ironic that it took me so long to realize that a career in music is what I was meant for. My whole life I've DJ'd, played instruments, and wrote songs. It was just one of those moments where you stop and say to yourself, "duh!"
With my current productions, it always starts at the piano and that's usually where my classical side pokes through. I like making things cinematic, but my records also have somewhat of a rock feel to them when it comes to particular riffs. I love chunky distorted power chords!
Who are some of your biggest influences currently?
Musically speaking, some artists that would make my A-list would include Hans Zimmer, James Horner, deadmau5, Eric Prydz, Nine Inch Nails and Steve Angello. All are individuals with a clear vision of what they want and who they are. Respectively, they take risks and see how far they can push the envelope. Each of these artists haven't been limited by boundaries of any sort and I aspire to be as creative as these guys are. Kudos!
What’s your proudest production? Why?
This is usually the part where I insert my producer disclaimer, because for me, a production is never really finished. It's just a matter of telling myself, "Ok Gary, it's good enough." It's like a double edged sword because maybe there aren't enough elements or maybe I took it too far and now the idea has changed from the original inspiration. There's literally a ton of projects I can come back to, now years later, and apply everything I've learned. It's like, presto, a brand new record, but life is progressive and I try to always continue to move forward.
Can you talk a little about some of your upcoming music?
So I've really taken some time dedicated to studio work. I really wanted to be 100% with saying, yes, this is me, this is my sound, my melodies, this is me. It's taken a long time for me to understand that my music, no matter how much I want to think otherwise, is a direct reflection of my life and my feelings. As a person in general, the only outlet for my feelings has been my music and that, in turn, is my art.
I'm currently working on an LP titled Me And My Shadow. Each record on the album is representative of something significant that has happened to me over the past year or so. A lot of the music has intense drops and very cinematic breaks. I'm very anxious about it to say the least.
What else can we expect from Rabbitt this year and what has you excited for 2017?
Besides Me And My Shadow, you can look forward to seeing my live Facebook stream, where I intend on doing multiple shows monthly, in very different and unique environments. I want to be able to understand how different environments can alter certain energies in myself, as well as how people perceive those energies through the music I've been inspired to play. My goal is to be able to take this concept worldwide. I'm not entirely sure what 2017 has in store for me and my team, but we are super stoked for new horizons to sail to.
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