“I believe music has no limitations. I'm just going to work hard, hopefully collaborate with more artists and perform at bigger stages to experience and develop myself.”
Having already asserted himself as an undeniable force of the electro-house scene in Korea, Raiden is now at a pivotal moment in his fast rising career. With his Club Octagon residency, and recent Main Stage set at Ultra Korea reaffirming his local domination, Raiden is now set to take the international scene by storm. He already has a pretty epic portfolio and non-stop calendar of shows that have garnered support from the likes of Bassjackers, Fedde Le Grand, Vicetone and Steve Angello. With lots of new music on the way, Raiden is one artist not to overlook in 2016.
Perfect time to catch up with Raiden, and I was able to do just that. You can read the full EDM Sauce exclusive interview below. Hope you all enjoy.
You are one of the young up-and-coming producers on the electronic music scene, talk a little bit about how you first got into producing/DJing.
“I've played guitar since I was young and I decided to study at music conservatory in Japan. When I was there, I set up and played in a rock band but we had to break up when I moved back to Korea. Eventually, when I was back in Korea, I saw a DJ playing at this club and I thought it was super interesting because he could play all of this music alone rather than with a band which I really wasn't used to! Honestly though, I think that even when I was doing the rock thing, I was still interested and influenced by electronic music, so it felt like a natural progression when I started making and playing electronic music.”
What is the electronic music scene like in Seoul, South Korea? How does it compare to the U.S.?
“Unlike the US and other countries, it’s been only a few years since the electronic music became popular in. Of course there were a few electronic gigs, but it was only for the few diehard fans. Recently though, the popularity of electronic music in Korea has grown rapidly and now we have lots of music festivals. So now, I would say that Seoul is pretty on par with the American scene, maybe not quite as developed, but we have some serious big name festivals there and the nightlife is awesome – it never stops.”
Have the U.S. fans been receptive to your music?
“I’ve had club gigs in a few cities like New York, Miami and Chicago, and I've also played at Ultra Music Festival a couple of times. Generally the response has been great! Every city is different, and some genres are more popular than others each place you go, so it's always great to have such a good response, even if your style of music isn’t necessarily particularly big there.”
What motivated or inspired you to get into producing music?
“So many things inspire/motivate me; sometimes, I can get inspiration from watching a beautiful sunset or motivation from the energy given by the crowd when I'm playing. It really can be from anything! For example, when I was touring clubs in Spain, I was taking a train to one of my gigs, and the scenery was so beautiful and it inspired me to make a new track. That’s how I wrote ‘Heart of Steel'.”
Who are some other producers or musicians that you look up to?
“There are tons of artists that I look up to. In terms of DJs, I love Fedde le Grand and Steve Angello. I admire them for keeping their musical qualities for many years, their unique sound. They make it look easy to keep it up, but it's actually really really difficult to maintain it. Besides dance music, I really admire Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). I love him for sublimating different creative outputs, like music and visuals, into one definitive form of art.”
Tell us about your first show. What was that like?
“It was the worst performance ever… When I first started DJing, I performed as part of a duo, not as Raiden. I will never forget that show… Right at the beginning of the set I made a mistake because I was so nervous, which did not go down well with the audience! It still haunts me!! As Raiden, the first show I did was at Ultra Korea 2014. There weren't that many people around but the reaction was awesome. It was the first time I ever premiered one of my own tracks, so that was cool to be able to share that experience with the crowd.”
Raiden's last two tracks came in the form of remixes as he took on Florian Picaso's ‘Final Call', and Fedde Le Grand's ‘Keep on Believing'. He has several tracks that are currently in the works, but his next track to be released will be ‘Heart of Steel' featuring Bright Lights. Take a listen to his Fedde Le Grand remix below. Raiden did a fantastic Job with the remix, turning the track into a hugely uplifting electro/progressive house track.
What are your goals moving forward?
“I believe music has no limitations. I'm just going to working hard, hopefully collaborate with more artists and perform at bigger stages to experience and develop myself. My final goal is to spread my music to all over the world!”