Oct 03, 2016

Behind The Album: Rodg - High On Life

Last Friday, Rodg released his debut album High On Life and he’s joined us to celebrate the career milestone. In our interview Rodg breaks down his album, highlighting his work on the title track and discussing what it was like working with Ruben de Ronde, Patrick Baker and Louise Rademakers. Be sure to check out our previous interview with Rodg for an in depth look at one of his album tracks, “Vice Point.”
Obviously, you have the track “High On Life” - is that where the album title High On Life comes from? What does it mean to you?
Well yes I made “High On Life” as one of the album records, and even before the album came out, it had already been selected by Armin van Buuren for his 2016 compilation. I still hadn’t decided on an album title, it just kind of fell into place at a certain point. “High On Life” has so many different and even more likely, positive meanings, that the album title had to be that one.
“High On Life” for me means living life to the fullest and enjoying a lot. For me, it means not only enjoying touring, visiting amazing places while doing shows and meeting a lot of people, but also hanging on the couch on Sunday with my cats and binge watching a Netflix series or grabbing dinner or drinks with friends.
How do you think you’ve grown as an artist from the beginning of your career to this point? How do you think High On Life represents that growth?
It’s difficult to say that about yourself, but I think the album does. My first records that were played out, for instance, by Armin van Buuren, were all warm up trance records. Those kind of records are on the album. I did some more chill out music since then and in that genre I have two records on the album. From there to the more progressive, progressive trance and trance-y records that are all present in at least one record on High On Life.
The album features a few collaborations, with Manu Zain, Louise Rademakers, and Ruben De Ronde. Can you talk about how some of these collabs came to be? What did you like about working with your collaborators? How did you grow from these productions?
Well with Ruben for instance, I had already collaborated a couple of times before including “Leave A Light On,” and with Ruben collaborating works really, really well. We both work in Ableton, we have kind of the same style and, believe it or not, we both work best in our joint environment. That means we collaborated online via a shared project file, just throwing in stuff and ideas until one of us didn't know how to proceed any more.
Louise is an amazing vocalist who works at the Armada Music office, and is musically trained to both write and perform as an artist. She is very multi-genre orientated so when we came up with the instrumentals she immediately had a lot of ideas of where to take our tracks. It was great to work with her on two records on the album.
What was it like working with the vocalists on the album tracks?
Both Patrick Baker and Louise Rademakers are very nice to work with and super professional. I gave them the instrumental and shared some ideas of what I was looking for and they both nailed it on songwriting and performance.
Is there any song that is especially meaningful to you or one you are particularly proud of? Why?
Yes, “High On Life” is a record that’s really special. It was the first record that came out of my fingers after quite a writer’s block at the end of last year. It was a difficult period, not being able to write records you want to really messes with your mindset. I’d never experienced it as bad as the period before I produced “High On Life,” so that was a first haha. From the first melody I made on “High On Life” I immediately felt confident that this record would be just like I want records to be, and I’m glad that worked out. When Armin played this one at Ultra Miami, being part of the ASOT compilation, the radio add on Sirius XM Electric Area, great support on Spotify with playlist adds on the Electronow and FreshEDM playlists and the DJ support as you can see on 1001tracklists really confirmed for me that I did something good with this record.
When you’re approaching your sets, how do you decide between playing the original, a mashup, a remix or an edit of your album tracks? What’s your favorite album track to play live?
My favorite track to play live is definitely “Indulge Me.” The energy in that record really stands out and always works really well. I don’t have many remixes, no mashups and only radio edits of my album tracks, so playing the original is the only option I have there.
Any other comments or things you’d like to share about the album or any specific tracks?
I just hope everyone enjoys listening as much as I was enjoying making the album :)
Each month, Rodg picks his favorite records and glues them into a one hour mix. You can find all the mixes and tracklists here. Be sure to enjoy this month's special album mix below and stream or grab your copy of the album at https://rodg.lnk.to/HighOnLife.
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