This week we speak with producer and DJ R.O about his recent collaborative single with Konoba, "Get Home." We hear all about how the track was made, and a little bit more about how he makes music.
Thanks for joining us! Please tell us a little about yourself… who are you and where are you currently based?
Thank you for having me ! I’m a 24 year old multi-instrumentalist, beat maker and live performer/DJ and I live in Belgium.
How long have you been making music properly for? Do you remember what made you first want to write it?
I’ve been writing music for a while now, I remember starting messing around with the piano at the age of 10 or so, nothing serious of course, but then I started playing the guitar intensively at 14 and really got into it. I was playing like 10 hours a day, it was crazy. What made me want to write electronic music and music in general was actually the fact that I didn't understand much of it. I was fascinated by how electronic sounds could be made for example, or chords progressions, and had no idea how to do it. So I searched online, talked to people, learned by myself, made a lot of mistakes, and here I am!
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
Being able to travel and discover places I would have never seen without music, I find it amazing. I have also had the opportunity to talk to a lot of influences and people I wanted to meet so badly - (Madeon, Jacques, Pretty lights, Whatsonot, Eskmo, Tennyson… ) That’s something I love, I’ll never get tired of it because it inspires me so much. And the overall fact of being able to express myself with my music ( more and more precisely, which is nice ), and see how people react to it is even more satisfying!
Where do you mostly draw your inspiration? How would you describe your individual sounds to those who haven’t heard it yet?
I draw my inspirations from imaginary places and sometimes real situations, and real people I meet. I watch a lot of movies so sometimes I get inspired by those. I also have a solid Weeabo background, I’m a huge fan of Miyazaki so I often think about landscapes and all that stuff… But sometimes it’ll just be someone, a girl I never talked to on the train, or just a song I write after a heartbreak… anything really.
The awesome “Get Home” from you has just landed. How long did you work on it for?
Thanks a lot! I worked on it for around 4 solid days production-wise, but a lot of details and decisions I made during the following months. It’s a difficult process to finish a song, but i’m so happy with the result!
What do you feel Konoba brought to it? Did you enjoy working together?
I’m always so happy to work with him. I hit him up 2 years ago on the Internet, we met and did our first song "On Our Knees" that really did well. It was so natural and effective that we kept working together; he sent me an acapella with all the lyrics and melody ideas for "Get Home" as they are in the song right now. I started messing around with sounds and percussions and this is how that song saw the light of the day!
We are very, very good friends now, and we are working on a lot more stuff, it’s so exciting! I even shared the stage with him all summer for his performances. I feel we have a perfect balance, we have different ways of working and enjoy different things, but together it feels like it’s the perfect match. Whenever I lack inspiration, if he comes with an idea (a vocal gimmick for example), it’ll instantly put me back in, and spark inspiration in my mind, and that’s priceless.
Are you happy with the final result? How have fan reactions been?
So happy and thankful on the final result and on how this is going! The reactions have been amazing, people are really getting into it - as much as I did when writing it, it seems. Lately it had a huge boost because Sean Lew, a 15 year old dancer from Los Angeles created a whole choreography on the song and uploaded it on a YouTube account with 800k followers. The video was mind-blowing, and all the dancers were so young and talented… so it reached like 100k views in less than a day. It really gave a huge boost to the song, lots of people started searching for it and now I've got hundreds of fans from around the world that are suddenly interested in my music. It’s beautiful!
It has also been playlisted on a big radio station here in Belgium called Pure FM - which all of my friends and people around me listen to most of the time, so it feels pretty good! I never thought it would be on the radio to be honest, and it wasn’t made for that at all, but i’m so happy it is. I find it pushed a certain type of sound into the ears of people that might now be familiar with those kind of vibes, and it’s amazing. In my mind I Imagine old people in their car stumbling on this and being like, "Damn boy, that’s sick!" I would love to see everyone’s reaction to that, it would be a dope idea for a videoclip, haha!
Where do you see your sound progressing over the coming months/years?
More musicality, less thinking about genres and what’s working or not. I’ve never been into the genre thing anyway, but sometimes you get influenced by what you are listening to. I’m working on so many different projects with different vibes that it’s sometimes hard to focus on what you want, or just know what you want. But lately I’ve noticed the less I care about all that, the better. Sometimes you imagine what people would like or expect from you, but in the end it doesn’t matter. And you might even be surprised on how open-minded people can be. I know I have been. I make music to express myself, before anything, and I think when you are honest with what you wanna express and you put your heart into it, people will notice and follow you if they feel something as well.
If you could work with any artist (alive or dead) on a track, who would you choose and why?
Ahhh, that's a really hard question! I think I’d go for Jacques Brel. He has always fascinated me.