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Darren Porter Gives Artists A ‘Reason II Rise’ With His New Label

by Nadine Pasterczyk

Trance music is known for being uplifting and emotional through the delivery of beautiful yet powerful melodies and chords. One artist, whose sound defines what trance is today, has taken the initiative to create his own label which will house the best of the upcoming tunes within the genre. Who is that artist you may ask? Well, it’s none other than UK’s own Darren Porter

I was lucky enough to have a few words with the trance extraordinaire about his new label and other exciting bits about the trance realm. Keep reading to hear all about it! 

FMF: My name is Nadine from Fresh Music Freaks and I’m here with trance extraordinaire and Reason II Rise label head, Darren Porter! You’re certainly one of the most renowned artists in the trance scene as someone who inspires others with your own sounds and your teachings as well. You’ve built a reputation with your driving and hard yet euphoric tunes and have blown many away with your powerful melodies. 

Recently, you’ve broken the news about your own, brand-new label; Reason II Rise. Can you tell us more about it?

Darren Porter: Yes, the new label is Reason II Rise Music and our first release, coming from me, is out on Friday, November 19th, appropriately named ‘Reason To Rise’. We want the label to put a focus on the artists and trance fans and their reasons, whether it be to create, improve themselves, or whatever. The importance of this — having some sort of purpose, whatever it may be — is one of the things I realized in some of the darker days of the lockdown. I hope that the label can have a positive influence on the scene. 

We’ve got some announcements planned for the coming months, plus are all super excited to get this going and curious to see what demos we will be getting. We will be accepting different styles of trance, not just the typical ‘Darren Porter sound’ and hope to provide a platform to artists to express themselves creatively and push the envelope in the genre a bit. 

Demo Drop is on our website: r2rmusic.com 

It’s definitely great to see someone with such passion for trance start their own label. What inspired you to begin this journey?

On creating the label, there were a few things factoring into it. My team and I have been discussing a lot over the past year about where we think things are going in the music industry and are developing a strategy to keep up with those emerging trends. A record label is the first step along that path. Additionally, I have been hearing from a lot of artists, as well as fans, about the state of the scene and we thought there were some innovative ideas that we could bring at Reason II Rise that would be beneficial for the producers and creators. Some key examples are: 

  • Having an A&R Committee to factor in different tastes and perspectives.
  • Improved communication on demos, including “Reason Codes” that give a bit more insight to how rejected tracks can be improved.
  • Will invest in our artists not only in terms of marketing their tracks, but also, once we get to the point of having a roster, in our artists’ growth musically, branding and career-wise.

As someone who’s been in the scene for quite some time, you’ve got a lot of insight about the growth of trance as a genre. Where do you think the scene is headed now and what do you think the future holds?

The scene is evolving as quickly as the world is going digital, basically going through a similar transformation as going from CD to mp3 to streaming… and accelerating. Personally, I think it’s a very exciting thing with some good opportunities emerging, and I’m looking forward to evolving with it.

As peoples’ tastes change and evolve over time, I’ve noticed that most labels follow suit to some extent. Is your label going to stick strictly to trance roots or will you also venture into other trance-like genres such as “progressive house” or “melodic techno” (as some call it)? 

Yes, that certainly seems to be the trend recently. I think largely driven by where people are consuming “dance” music these days: at home, not on dance floors. Of course, the labels themselves have a bit of an influence here too, so both a supply and demand effect going on. 

We don’t want to delve too much into the big debate about what is or is not “trance” and it naturally kind of depends person to person. Let’s just say our hearts lie among trance roots and that we’re looking for music with a reason.

Starting your own label means investing in the best up and coming talent. Who’s on your radar right now?

We, as a label, have our eye on a few rising talents, but prefer not to name names — you’ll be hearing from them in our upcoming releases. 

Of course, as a new label founder, I’m sure you’re very excited about your first release. Could you give us any spoilers as to what that first release will be?

Darren Porter – ‘Reason To Rise’ is out on Friday, November 19th for both streaming and downloading — a nice uplifter, appropriate for the label’s launch. 🙂

Last, but not least; there’s a question I always ask every artist as I find it very important as a trance fan myself… What does trance mean to you?

These days, I see it as a vehicle for escapism. 

*Featured image via Darren Porter*

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