Fadil El Ghoul better known by his stage name R3HAB, is a Dutch DJ and record producer of Moroccan origin. Alongside Afrojack and Chuckie, R3hab is one of the proponents of the modern “Dutch house” subgenre, although his style and sound at the time were usually darker, somewhat reminiscent of early psytrance or “gabber” compositions. R3HAB began his career in late 2007 while producing the track ‘Mrkrstft’ with Hardwell. One of the main influences R3hab has listed is the duo Infected Mushroom, whose music has been on the international scene since 1999. From the influential Dutch circuit to his place at the forefront of global dance music, R3HAB now stands for a brand everyone can sink their teeth into. Catapulted into the limelight courtesy of a string of successful original material and remixes, his is a stamp of quality recognized on club floors, festival stages and the digital market alike.
At what age did you start DJing? Where did the impulse come from that made you start? What kind of equipment did you use and how did you get it?
I was always big fan of music, I just started back home practicing and figuring out how to DJ. Then I started to play in local clubs just for fun, in the meantime I bought some software and tried to figure out how it all works. Those were the first steps to my production skills.
Where did the name R3hab come from?
R3hab: It was just a name that I came up with. I thought that it was really cool because electronic music is very addictive. The name came to me about seven years ago and I like it a lot because it is really short and catchy.
How would you describe your music?
We tend to call it Chainsaw Madness, why it’s called like that? You better listen to my music and let it speak for itself.
You have collaborated with a lot of well known DJs such as Calvin Harris, Hardwell and KSHMR lately, is there any artists you would like to work with in the future?
R3hab: As I was telling earlier, like local artists would be cool. As DJs, I think that working with KSHMR and Calvin has been amazing, and I am doing something with Hardwell right now. So, whoever wants to work, I am down the work, it doesn’t matters for me. If you bring something good to the table, I’ll try to bring something good to the table back.
Tell us about STRONG collaboration with KSHMR. How was it like to work with him?
R3hab: I remember we had like a studio date, somewhere early in the year 2016, like January or February and we came up with this melody. But the melody wasn’t like… The notes were good but the rhythm wasn’t good. And then, after I made “Tiger” and he made “Secrets”, we sort of fused and that’s how “Strong” was sort of born. Then, it takes like a couple of months to finish, with full time work. Because we couldn’t come together every time, like we are very limited but then slowly, it became better and better.
Are you ever nervous when you get a really big pop project to remix, like with Lady Gaga, Madonna, or Katy Perry?
R3hab: No, I don’t really get nervous. I am actually more nervous with projects that are really special to me- like Calvin Harris’s “We’ll Be Coming Back.” I am in love with the original song and it’s so special to me, I wanted to make something that was just as good.
When I hear a R3hab remix, I always know that it is a R3hab remix, are you worried about being too associated with the sound or stereotyped?
R3hab: I think that it’s an honor that people know it’s me. It is such a signature sound and I find it funny that when you hear a copy of it, you still think of me because they copied my stuff. I think that there are still very diverse R3hab remixes- from Rihanna’s “We Found Love” to Lady Gaga’s “Judas” or “Marry the Night” to Calvin Harris’s “We’ll Be Coming Back.” I think that it is totally different; it just has a R3hab flavor in it somehow.
Who are some artists that you would love to work with that you haven’t yet?
R3hab: Coldplay. There are so many bands that I would like to work with. It is hard to make something with a band.
How much do you find yourself on the road now?
R3hab: Around 200-230 days a year.
Wow, do you carry your laptop around with you and do remixes while you are in the airport?
What about an album? Any great news that our readers should know?
R3hab: I already worked on it in January. If the feeling is right, I’m going to start on it right away.
You just launches a new radio show called ‘I Need R3HAB’ on Billboard Radio China, what’s the story behind this?
R3hab: Every week, I’m trying to search the best new music, which is always interesting,” he said. “It’s tough to fill 60 minutes of stuff you like, but every week, we get the job done. Through this show I want to keep people updated on the newest music. I never stops learning and wants to try a little bit of everything. I enjoys exploring different music styles and is eager to invite people on journeys through his tracks.