An interview with Rodi Style before he DJs for Frenzy
7th July 2009 - interview copyright of Frenzy
Easily one of the most technically gifted hard dance DJs in the world and a member of the world famous Tidy Trax roster, Rodi Style has firmly established himself as an artist like no other. He is an award winning DJ (Best Newcomer - Hard Dance Awards 2008), a producer whose music is supported by all the heavyweights including multiple plays on BBC Radio 1 and is a label owner.
1. Hi Ben, aka Rodi Style, cheers for agreeing to be interviewed by Frenzy. In time-honoured fashion we'd like to know where you're currently sat, what you're listening to, your fave TV program, and what you wanted to be when you grew up?
It's 1:47am and I'm currently sitting in front of my studio computer listening to a *embarrassed* old hardcore mix I did absolutely ages ago. At least 7 ish years ago I'd say. The mixing isn't shocking but it's certainly no award winner haha. Oh and it makes me feel like reaching for the proverbial laser. My favourite TV program would have to be Arrested Development.
It's definitely the most clever, funny show I've ever watched, so clever that I don't think a great deal of people caught the quick humour and was thus cancelled after 3 seasons. But I could watch and re-watch the 3 seasons over and over again and pick up a new subtle joke here and there.
I don't know actually, I think when I was young I just figured I'd have an oriental approved job, like being an engineer. I suppose I kinda am still engineering (music) but I'm not too sure if that's in the criteria of being Asian haha!
2. We last spoke when you DJ'ed at Slinky's 12th Birthday when you told me about the various culture shocks you've had since moving to the UK. What have you been up to since then and are you more used to the English ways now?
Well I'm still getting to grips with some of the humour (it's kind of dry at times) haha. I'm going to a stand-up comedy show this weekend, hopefully I won't be laughing at the wrong moments or sitting there feeling awkward and not getting the jokes.
Since the move over I've been working very hard on my productions as well as a new concept for myself later this year. Right now I'm still thinking of a name for it, I had one but then today I came up with another name for it that I need to run it by my agent and a few friends and find out if they think it's clever or if I'm the only one that thinks it's clever.
3. It sounds like you've been really busy recently so could you tell us what are your plans for the rest of 2009 and beyond?
Definitely the new live (ish) show debuting sometime during the last quarter of 2009. I'm actually very very excited about it as it allows me to really mess around and remix stuff on the fly. I'm a big fan of tweakinz da knobz and generally creating a unique performance so the new ideas are very exciting for me.
4. So is producing and DJ'ing a full-time occupation for you, and what's a typical day like in the world of Rodi Style?
It is indeed my full-time occupation now, along with DJ'ing on the weekends I do engineering and producing for various other artists within our genre as well as a few in some other genres. It keeps me very busy and it's always nice seeing what other people come up with for ideas and it's exciting to know that there are so many other DJs out there that perhaps lack the knowledge for producing, but are certainly coming up with some great ideas that I feel will really help our scene grow!
A typical day involves me waking up at a time most people would be very jealous of so I won't say what time, then I pretty much sit in my PJs for a large portion of the day (ask my roommates haha) and work on music, discuss ideas with Alec Mills (my pimp) and network/update portals and facebook. Then in the evenings I usually play badminton or continue on working till around 2-3am before I go to sleep.
5. For those that haven't guessed yet, you're from Canada. It's not a place that people would immediately expect a hard dance DJ to come from so how did you get into the music and what's the Canadian scene like?
There was a time where hard house was very popular in Canada and there were large underground warehouse raves every weekend. I really got my first taste of hard house when I heard Anne Savage play in Calgary around 2001. There was also a DJ in the states (DJ Morgan) who was really pioneering the hard house/nrg sound and really got me into it. One of the nicest DJs out there as well and he kindly helped setup Cubase and taught me the bare basics of assigning midi channels to various vsts. His website is www.djmorgan.com , oh and he works for Sega, how cool is that!
The Canadian scene now is pretty weak as far as hard dance goes, there are the odd events here and there which are pretty well attended due to the fact that they don't happen very often. There are a few major production companies out there still but not as many as there used to be. The two definite big ones in western Canada pushing things are Boodang and the Twisted crew. Major respect to them.
6. Who is the most famous person you've ever met (or would like to meet)? Chris C went to an after party at Elton John's house (don't ask), Ed Real's girlfriend is friends with James Blunt (tenuous link to say the least), and Charlotte Birch told us she is good mates with Jeremy Kyle (our favourite!)... can you go one better (or worse!) than any of those?
I don't think I've met anyone all that famous other than other DJs and such, I would however like to meet BT as he is an incredible producer and I'm sure I could learn much from him! Or Sarah Mclachlan, she has written some amazing songs/lyrics and her voice is so unique. Oh and Kylie Minogue :P
7. People say you're a nice guy, and you've always been very friendly when we've met… but I am sure there's a dark side in there somewhere. What's the worst and most downright evil thing you've ever done?
when I was in Junior High myself and a few friends (Justin, Josh, Andrew you guys know who you are!) hid in the tree's and threw water balloons at cars. I remember throwing one that really didn't look like it was going to it the van but it was a direct hit and made quite a large thump. Don't think the van was damaged or anything as the balloon exploded upon impact but we had already booked it halfway across the field in terror.
8. I heard that the name Rodi Style was taken from a kung-fu film. If you could give one person in the public limelight a quick chop to the neck and crane kick in the nuts who would that be?
Actually it was from a Chinese comedy rap! Hmmm there's one I'd like to give a piece of my mind to but it's a bit too close to our scene!
9. Currently Channel 4 are showing the 11th series of Big Brother. If there was a hard dance version of the show, which five current DJs and producers would you like in the house with you and why?
Well provided we all have studios in the house, I would pick 5 other producers with their unique styles and collaborate on an album together, but maybe in a different way, each producer is in charge of a part of the "journey", so you'd get this flowing mixed CD with a gradual build up of styles from the groovy to chunky to trancey to hard house to thrap. Kind of like a score for a movie, and we would work together to build this sweeping journey. It's 2:23am now so that might have made no sense at all.
The 5 producers who I'd love to work with on this if we were in a big brother house with studio's galore would be Paul Maddox, Technikal, Equinox, Defective Audio and Dave Owens. Each of them have their own unique sound and could contribute in such an awesome display of win.
Oh and the reason why it would work is because we're all living in the same house and it'd be easy to pop into each other's studio and say "yea that's the ish right there!"
10. We'll leave the last word to you so if there's anything you wish to pimp or flog then here's the place to do it.
There's much to pimp out and flog but rather than write a big long paragraph about what tracks (please buy them!) and mixes (please download them!) and radio show (please tune in!) and gigs (please show up!)…. I will just direct you over to the motherland of Rodi Style info: http://www.djrodistyle.com
Some photos courtesy of www.ravenworks.co.uk.