After years of releasing awesome remixes for some of the world’s biggest pop stars, in addition to his own original singles, DJ/producer R3hab has released his debut album Trouble. Fans have been hearing songs from the record over the last few months like its title track “Trouble” featuring VÉRITÉ, “Icarus,” “Marrakech,” which features Skytech, “Truth or Dare” featuring Little Daylight, and more, but the full 17 song set has finally arrived.
R3hab tells iHeartRadio of his debut album, “I went in and I just had a good time. It was actually pretty simple. I mean, I had to put the work in, but I was like, ‘Let’s do this,’ without thinking too much. Just getting in the moment [and] not thinking too much, and that’s beautiful right now. You can put out the songs so quick. They don’t need to stay in a vault for a year.”
Trouble began with its title track, which features Brooklyn-based pop singer/songwriter VÉRITÉ. He tells us, “The lead track, ‘Trouble,’ I made already before I was planning to do an album. But I was like, ‘This is really connecting.’ I was planning to take some time off, not work on music, and then, after a couple of days, I was like, ‘Nah, I just like to make music.’ And then, I was back at it again. A couple of days in, I was like, ‘I’m catching the vibe. Let’s go.’ And then, the idea got in my head, and I was like, ‘This is gonna be an album.'”
Trouble showcases R3hab’s ability to be versatile as a producer. The 31-year-old has pushed the boundaries moving between different sounds throughout the album, and recalls in a story from the studio:
“There’s this interlude that, for me, is special. It’s called ‘Burned’ and it goes from, ‘Icarus’, to ‘Burned (Interlude),’ to ‘Hold Me.’ And ‘Icarus’ is more house-y and ‘Hold Me’ is more future bass-y, and I wanted to make something in between that could connect from house to future bass because that’s a big jump. I remember, it was two o’clock or three o’clock at night, and I was smoking a [hookah] in the studio, and I was like this is a cool sound, and I recorded that … You know when you inhale and the water does the ‘b-r-r,’ and I recorded that on my voicemail. I was like, ‘Let me put that in the record.’ On ‘Icarus’, she says, “I have burned from my love,” which we all have. Sometimes you burn your, not technically your fingers, but you burn yourself by going too long of a distance for something and I sampled that, put it in the record, did some chords and sounds to connect those two records. It’s only 30 seconds, but to me, those 30 seconds are very special because, in those 30 seconds, when I go back, I can go close my eyes and think about that situation or that moment, what I was feeling for hours, and that is beautiful about music. Music is a trip down memory lane, in the positive or negative, but I hope many people use it in the positive.”
There are several collaborations throughout Trouble, all of which were handpicked by R3hab himself. Aside from the title track which features VÉRITÉ, the record also features Quintino, Rynn, Khrebto, Little Daylight, Felix Cartal, R I T U A L and Skytech.
Additionally on Trouble’s “Shanghai,” R3hab worked with a production duo from Switzerland, the Waysons. He explained that the song came out of ideas they sent to R3hab after they asked to come to one of his shows. “Two kids from Switzerland, just emailed me and I had a show and they were like, ‘Can we come to the show?’ And they sent me some music and it was really cool and I was like, ‘This is dope. Send me more ideas.’ And then, they sent me a small idea and we worked on it, and that’s what I liked.”
R3hab continues, “A lot of the collaborations that I did were with people that are not known, but it doesn’t matter because it’s about the music. I enjoy that, because then it’s about the music, it’s not about ‘the look’ or whatever. It’s more about the song and I’m happy with every collaboration on the album because I feel like everyone played their own role on the collaboration, and was fun to work with — which many times, people forget, it needs to be fun. You can have a big look and a big song, and sometimes, it’s not fun because there is so much drama behind it. So I had no drama and I had a lot of fun.”
Now that Trouble has arrived R3hab explains that he’s nervous … but in a good way. He tells us that he’s so thrilled to share the diversity he explored with his debut album.
“What I enjoy is I like to prove to myself that I could be diverse, and I see it as a diet. If you eat pasta every day in the morning, lunch, and dinner, the pasta’s not gonna taste great after a couple of days, or maybe the same day, and that’s with music, too. When you release the same thing or the same song, or hear the same song, it’s gonna get boring, but if you get your favorite meal once in a while, it’s amazing. And that’s what I tried to do with the album. I’m trying to give different looks of my skills to the fans and to myself, and that’s what I did. I’m very content with what I put out.”
He adds, “I’m enjoying this moment. I’m happy. I’ve been in the game for a little while. So, it’s nice. In a way, it’s almost nice that in my seventh year professional, that I finally start to make an album, because it gives me new depth to my career. It’s the right moment. I was working on an album a couple of years ago, and then I scratched it because I was like, ‘These songs are gonna feel outdated when it comes out,’ and that’s happened with some past acts. They still need to release it because they feel it needs to be released, but if a record stays in a vault for 12 to 18/20 months, it gets hard.”