Hardstyle Legend Ran-D talks about early career and Asian music scene – Thatsmags.com
The Sound of Q-Dance is coming to Shenzhen this weekend and we couldn’t be more excited. This tremendous hardstyle event is hosted by SHOCK and Qlimax, two of the world’s biggest hardstyle promoters, and promises to be a boisterous evening of intense electronic music.
Dutch DJ Ran-D, aka Randy Wieland, is one of the biggest names in hardstyle today. While he performs alongside his compatriot Adaro as Gunz for Hire, he is also known worldwide for his raw and heavy solo work. Here, he tells us a bit about his life in hardstyle, his first influences and his experiences during his tours in Asia.
Image via @ djrandofficial / Instagram
How did you start your career in hardstyle? And what were your first influences?
In 1999, I visited Innercity, a big event at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Center in Amsterdam, where I saw Tiesto perform for the first time. I was in the front row, and that’s when I decided I wanted to be a DJ. After that I bought turntables and started buying vinyl.
Slowly the number of concerts I played in Holland increased. I quickly realized that I wanted to make my own songs, and I started to set up my own studio. By accident some guys who owned a small Dutch label took my vinyl bag instead of theirs. When I called them, I told them to listen to a CD with my own productions in the bag. They liked it, and this meeting resulted in my first vinyl release.
My first big breakthrough came when I joined A2 Records, which later became part of the still well-known hardstyle label Scantraxx. My releases on this label caught the attention of Q-Dance, one of the biggest promoters of hardstyle in the Netherlands and around the world. They gave me the chance to play Quntdown, a New Year’s Eve event in 2008. That’s when my career really took off.
You recently released a track called “Nirvana”. Can you tell us a bit about why you chose this name?
The track ‘Nirvana’ has a story. While I was doing this song, the mother of one of my best friends died of cancer. We wanted to create a track for her, and it ended up being “Nirvana”. The majority of the lyrics come from a quote from Steve Jobs, who also died of cancer. I found the lyrics really inspiring, and thought they could have been words from my friend’s mother, because she was a very strong person and always very positive. When I was looking for a title for the song, I came across the term nirvana, which means “a state of wakefulness, where a person’s individual desires and sufferings disappear”. So, a place of perfect peace and happiness. I found it to really fit the history of the track. That’s why I called it “Nirvana”.
READ MORE: Gunz For Hire Talk Hardstyle Vibes and Love for Gangster TV Shows
Hardstyle is a genre of music related to performance and partying. When you produce and do songs in the studio, how do you get that same energy?
For me, playing and making music is a great combination. There is no better feeling for me than playing a new song at an event for the very first time and getting a great response from the audience. When I produce a track one of the aspects that I always take into account is “how will it communicate on the dancefloor, and how will it play out in a club or at a big festival” . For me, hardstyle is the best party music in the world. The euphoric melodies, the heavy kicks, the raw sounds, they all give you so much energy. So you can imagine when I’m in the studio, mentally I’m able to feel like I’m on stage.
So it is clear that you have traveled a lot around the world and across Asia. Who are your favorite fans on the mainland, and how are Chinese music fans doing?
The thing I notice, wherever I travel in the world, is that hardstyle always gets a lot of good energy from the crowd. It might sound cheesy, but I think music is that universal language we all speak. He connects people and communicates in a truly primitive way. This is why hardstyle music has a large following all over the world.
I think hardstyle is just getting started in China and the rest of Asia, and it’s really exciting for me! I can’t wait to show you the new tracks from my next album, We rule the night, and I look forward to my China tour in January. Much love to the Chinese hardstyle community, and hope to see you at one of my concerts.
To see Ran-D at the Sound of Q-Dance in Shenzhen, click here or scan the QR code below:
Sat, Jan 12, 6 pm-11:30pm; RMB320-1740; Reborn755. See the list of events. Tickets.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
[Cover image via @djrandofficial/Instagram]