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Rodg is an Armada Music Powerhouse Producer | Interview

by Tigerlily

In the Armada world, Rodg is considered one of the most reliable producers on the label.  He describes his style as groovy, and though it’s not the typical 138 bpm, he borrows heavily from the trance sound.  With tracks heavily supported by some of the biggest names in the game, like Paul Van Dyk, Max Graham, and Above & Beyond, it’s no surprise Armin Van Buuren named Rodg “One of the best producers of 2016.”  Mid-way through that year, he released his debut album “High on Life”, followed by “Togetherr” in 2017, a collaborative effort with long-time friend Ruben de Ronde.

It would be difficult to hear a recent AVB A State Of Trance set without a Rodg track making its appearance.  With new album “Fate” out April 19th, I’m hoping Rodg will play more than just the first two singles “Cinnamon” and “The Coaster” when I see him next.

FMF: You’ve said that you came up in the scene listening to Sasha, Sander Kleinenberg, and Armin Van Buuren and they still influence you today. Who was the first artist that dropped one of your tracks and made you realize you’d made it?

Rodg: While “making it” is a very big statement, the first artist that played my record was Armin. It was the first record of the ASOT 600 show in Mexico City. I remember waking up with a text from Ruben de Ronde with “Armin played your record as the first record of the warm up set here” and went nuts.

Through Armada University, you’ve released 201 custom-made samples for student producers to use. What would you say to all the producers and naysayers out there who say that this is cheating, that people should come up with their own samples?

I want to say to all those producers… That that is completely based on nothing. Every sound is a sample. Every sound you use is available to someone else as well. Whether you use a sample from Splice, whether you use a preset from a VST, whether you create your own preset (someone else can make something similar). If you use analog gear it’s a bit harder, and with modular systems even more so, but still. Sampling has been one of the reasons dance music exists in the first place. Use samples. Be creative with them. The sky is the limit 🙂

Rodg in Armada Studio
Rodg in the Studio | Image Via Artist FB

What is the best way to network demos out to artists? What single thing can an upcoming artist do that would increase exposure prior to being signed to a label with marketing power?

Ok, the answer to this is not rocket science… The single thing an artist can do to create exposure and getting signed is… Make an amazingly outstanding record. Sounds like an easy escape out of this question but it’s really not. Go to Beatport and head to today’s releases. See how many there are. See how the quality is. A lot of it is actually really good. The trick is to get above “really good” with being “amazing” or “outstanding.”

The music industry often loses beloved artists suffering from mental health problems to suicide, like Avicii, and most recently Keith Flint, due to their grueling work and travel schedules. Maintaining physical fitness through exercise and proper diet directly benefits mental health. As someone who’s a proponent for physical fitness, do you find that it helps you maintain your own mental/emotional health despite your extremely busy life?

100%. It’s essential. It’s essential when you tour and have a busy life with traveling to shows and what not, but it’s also essential when you’re just at home working away and work on music, and you want a clear head for creativity. I’m very aware of what I’m doing with the food I eat, alcohol consumption, fitness and sleep. Anything out of balance does damage to my creative headspace. Doesn’t mean I never drink of never have “bad” food, I need balance. Too much of anything doesn’t work for me.

Your new album “Fate” will be released on April 19th and the first two singles to be released, “Cinnamon” and “The Coaster”, have already made a big splash on ASOT and Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy. In the past, you’ve said that tracks are never truly done as there’s always something that can be changed. Which track on “Fate” was the most difficult to let go, or to stop changing and improving?

Thank you! And yes that is still correct. There’s a record on the album called “In Flight Entertainment”. I like the track and people around me like it as well, but I think I changed elements in the mix over 100 times. Still not completely satisfied with it but I think I can change things forever with that one. A record is only finished when you stop working on it.

I like to end with what we call the Freaky Five–5 fun questions so your fans can connect with you a little more as a person, and not just an artist…

What personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble?

I think it’s my impatience. I can make some hasty decisions while being impatient… Even though it got a lot better over the years.

What’s your all-time favorite music video?

Tough one! If I have to pick one it’ll be for a bit of a selfish reason. As this one documented my first ever skydive… Armin van Buuren – “Freefall”. Such an experience with a great group of people, absolutely fantastic to have a music video like this to look back on.

If you owned a boat, what would you name it?

Haha I’ve seen so many weird boat names in my life! Friends of mine have a canal boat in Amsterdam and it’s called “Samen” that is Dutch for “Together.” I love that name. Their boat is there to enjoy “samen” “together” with friends and family. And so I’ve done many times with them 🙂

What would you save first if your house caught fire?

My girlfriend, obviously.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I remember I wanted to be an airline pilot. Never made it, but I still love airplanes and the concept of flying.

Thank you Rodg for helping out up and coming producers, sharing your health tips, and answering all my Freaky questions!

*Featured Image Via Artist FB*

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