Rodriguez Jr. “I don’t want my music to be political.”

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Rodriguez Jr, the famous dj of Mobilee Records is coming for a fruitful gig in Pixi Athens Club this Friday, 6th of February. That’s a great opportunity to meet him.

Words by Efi Alevizou

#1. Could you give me your own definition about electronic dance music (EDM) please?
I am not very strong when it’s about defining music genres because I basically don’t like defining music genres. This is a task for music journalists, isn’t it? But let’s give a try: EDM is the kind of easy dance music calibrated for mainstream charts and young kids. That’s actually the one you can hear everyday on radio and TV.  Lot of passionated people and underground artists use to complain about it, but I personally don’t. I assume these kids will grow up at some point and will be looking for something with more depth and substance. Maybe they might even listen to our music at some point…

#2. How would you describe your music?
I am going from house to techno music with a twist of electronica. My music has a prominent melodic touch because of my musical background, which is deeply rooted into pop culture and early electronic acts such as Kraftwerk or Jean Michel Jarre. Generally, my music is made for dancefloors, but I also try to keep it deep and emotional enough to be enjoyable anywhere.

#3. What’s the message that you like to sent out loud through your music?
Art always has some kind of commitment because it’s connected to reality. For instance, I love artists such as Chaplin or Basquiat who have perfectly managed to express deep messages while being recreational. That’s the real challenge. Though, I don’t want my music to be political. That’s not my aim. I prefer to make it as universal as possible, giving happiness and a sense of well being to people. Therefore,  whatever kind of track I am producing – might it be dark or moody- I always try to keep it positive and optimistic. Boards of Canada, or a writer such as Patrick Modiano, have the same kind aesthetics and both had a massive influence on me.

#4. What’s the most important ingredient for a great gig?
It’s all about the connection with the crowd, really. It might sounds silly, but that’s not so easy to get! They are some tricks to make it happen, but absolutely no recipe. That’s part of the fun.

#5. Tell me a few words about Mobilee’s Records cooperation with Pixi Athens Club please.
Hopefully, that’s the beginning of an exciting partnership. It will allow us to build up a tight relationship with the crowd, taking time to showcase different kind of things. The ‘mobilee sound’, if I may say so, is actually made of a wide spectrum of influences and backgrounds so that’s a great opportunity to have time for developing things on a long term basis.

#6. What’s your opinion about the crowd in Athens’s clubs?
I’ve already performed in Athens a couple of times and only have great memories! I have a special connection with Greece. I grew up nearby the sea in South of France so I guess we share the same kind of Mediterranean life style. Anyway, I feel like at home thanks to the crowd and my Greek friends every time I come over.

#7. What makes Mobilee Records such a successful music company?
The label is primary built on a strong complementarity between Ralf Kollman and Anja Schneider. They have set up a very high standard for musical quality. It’s connected to the historical roots of dance music while being forward thinking. Furthermore, and beyond the music, more and more people like the hedonist picture we project with showcases such our rooftop parties in Barcelona. They are countless labels nowadays – that’s out of control – so you must propose something different and bigger if you want to stand out.

#8. Could you predict the future about dance music? Where is the thing going?
That’s a very exciting time. The music industry has been mutating a lot this last past 15 years so we must reinvent everything and make the transition. For sure, live gigs and DJ performances will become more and more important. Nothing will replace this direct connection and this moment an artist share with a crowd. Music streaming with platforms as Spotify will get bigger too. In the other hand, vinyl might keep on coming back: as an object, it still offers a great alternative to music dematerialisation. At last, I would love the overall audio quality being increased on all digital platforms. That’s a paradox: the sound quality of studio gear has never been so high (sample rates, convertors, recording devices…) but, at the end of the chain, it’s converted into crap compressed files for iTunes. And I don’t even talk about the kids consuming music on Youtube through their laptop speakers or mobil phone.

#9. There is a big pleasure working as a dj for sure. Could you tell me what is the difficult part?
I would never complain about anything. Creating and performing music has always been my biggest passion. I am lucky to be to be here today! Though, that’s always good fun to chat with young people dreaming about this life style. There’s quite a big contrast between the picture they have in mind and our daily reality. I mean, that’s obviously good life to play music in awesome locations, meeting cool people all over the world and living the dream. But reality can be slightly tougher as it’s also about huge amount of stress, sleepless nights, hours waiting in airports, technical problems, accidents, struggles away of family… Some people get lost on this road.

#10. Tell me a crazy dream that you have about tomorrow and the song that is suitable for this crazy dream.
We all have a lot of dreams and possible soundtracks. That’s a tough question! Maybe, I would get out from here and escape on an desert island with my people. I would spend my days fishing, diving, cooking and sleeping on a gorgeous beach. So I guess the perfect soundtrack would The Beatles ‘Here Comes The Sun’ or Board Of Canada ‘In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country’ … Wouldn’t it be cool?

Info: Rodriguez Jr will give his performance at Pixi Athens Club on the 6th of February.