Raiden is a DJ that many of you know already as he has been collaborating with some heavy-hitters in the dance music scene. Fedde Le Grand, Dubvision, Florian Picasso are but a few names that this talented producer has recently worked with and if you’re a fan of the Winter Olympics, then you’d have watched him close out the ceremonies with Martin Garrix. His Korean roots make him a favorite of the K-pop crowd, even garnering a shout out from the original Asian K-pop phenomenon, Psy to encourage his fanbase to vote for Raiden in the DJ Mag Top 100.
Raiden is a trained guitarist who studied at the prestigious Music Conservatory in Japan and is seamlessly morphing his love of both rock music and electronic music into his sets and productions.
We caught up with Raiden following his recent video shoot for “Light Me Up”, a song done with his good friends Matisse & Sadko.
As a trained musician, you first started in a rock-n-roll band playing guitar. How did you make the transition to electronic music?
Yes, I was a guitarist in a rock band. Though it was rock band, music that I was playing had great influence from the synth pop. Also, I was very into the electronic artists like Justice and Daft Punk, I played music that had guitar and synthesizer.
It seems to have been the process of adding electronic elements to my musical career with the roots of rock music.
You’ve played on many of the best mainstages across the world including Ultra Miami and Tomorrowland. How do you prepare for these big sets?
Not very different from the usual gig preparation. But I definitely love to play fresh mashup that I made or my ID track on these big festivals.
You closed the Winter Olympics with Martin Garrix this year. What was that like?
That was a once in a life time experience. Cant believe it happened to me.
That show was the very first DJ set with my guitar performance.
It was amazing that I got to try the new performance while millions of people were watching it live.
Speaking of the Olympics, we hear you made a track called “Glory” specifically for that performance. Can you tell us more about that one and when it will be released?
Yes. When it was decided that I was opening for Martin, I thought I had to differentiate myself from Martin and music that I had done before. I had to work on the track that did not standout too much, but still needed a great buildup for Martin. And I wanted to set apart from the usual EDM style I do, and go back to my roots in rock music. I wanted to express the Olympic spirit and the athlete’s longing for victory. That’s what I wanted and it expressed well in the music. The track was released via Size Records on Aug 17th.
Your new one with Matisse & Sadko is called “Light Me Up” and it’s being touted as a new festival anthem. What do you think about all the hype?
When “Keep My Light On” was released, the reaction of those who missed a good Progressive House track was really good. Nicky Romero played “ Light Me Up” as his last song at his stage at Tomorrowland. I think people miss progressive house. One example is how Protocol suggested to release a progressive version of “Heart of Steel” after the original release. ( Heart of Steel was supposed to be a progressive version in the very beginning, but ended up releasing future bass version as an original.) I really appreciate artists including Nicky and enthusiastic fans who support and help the progressive music to come back.
We love the fact that you play guitar in your DJ sets. How did you decide to bring that element in and what has been the reaction?
I felt people were craving for different types of performances. Look at Timmy Trumpet and Salvatore Ganacci’s dance. People are enthusiastic about different and unique performances.
At the World DJ Festival in Seoul, I got to do a Avicii tribute performance. People were enthusiastic as I climbed onto the deck carrying a guitar. Guitar is an instrument that can express my music best and I am consistently developing ideas of how I can show more unique performances on stage.
Seems like 2018 has been an amazing year for you. What’s next for Raiden?
I believe there will be amazing things happening as I keep showing great music and performance!
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