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REj: “It’s always great to work on music with a friend”

Just like the spelling of his name, REj is an artist whose name is not to be mistaken. Young and vibrant energy molded in the multicultural landscape of Gibraltar – paired with his extended musical palette, art inspiration, and behind-the-scenes label work with Reculture and Anemos Dance – has made REj an exciting, melodic-focused producer and DJ who’s here to rock, roll and shape the scene in his own way.

From the bedroom to the dance floor, REj has crafted all his productions within the four walls of his home. Taking harmonious structures as the core, they’re filtered with inspirations from his Gibraltarian heritage and extended musical scope of indie, rock, rap – and of course dance music; most of which he draws inspiration from and infuses in his own work. The recipe of this new and varied sound REj has brought to the table has resulted in his tracks being signed to labels such as Sum Over Histories, Mumbai Records, Kiosk I.D., Reculture, and Metrica. His musician persona has seen REj push aside any expectations of an artist: thinking – creating – getting your sound out there; showing that anything and everything is possible.

Now, REj joins Anathema Records, bringing his young and vibrant energy molded in the multicultural landscape of Gibraltar to deliver 2 original gems, plus a third one by joining forces with Hungarian rising star LERM.

EG caught up with REj to learn more about the drop of his new ‘Glow’ EP, his creative process, his future endeavors, and more.

EG: Hi REj! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you based right now?

REj: Hey EG, the pleasure is all mine, thanks for having me on board! Currently, I’m based in London.

EG: So, congratulations on the release of your new ‘Glow’ EP on Anathema Records. What has the initial reception been like so far?

REj: Thank you! The initial reception has been quite warm – a lot of guys in the industry have been giving very positive feedback & support; which is always great to see before a release.

EG: What can your fans expect to find on ‘Glow’? What’s the inspiration behind the EP?

REj: ‘Glow’ is an EP that culminates 3 different types of tracks in one. They’re all great for different occasions of the night and I think at least one of the tracks will raise your eyebrow.

‘Glow’ takes after its name; it’s quite a “dark” track, but I feel like the big synths really give the track this life in the darkness (hence, why I named it that).

‘Knocked Up’ is quite an energetic track with a nice vocal hook and melodic theme – great for heating things up in a big room.

Lastly, ‘Know Me’ is a great track to get things grooving on the dancefloor. The vocal and the synth on this one really complement each other and help carry the track with the infatuating groove and drums.

EG: ‘Glow’ also includes ‘Know Me’, a collaboration with LERM. What was the process for this one like? What was it like working with LERM? Had you guys collaborated together before?

REj: Working together with LERM actually came quite naturally, which is always what you want with collaborations. We had been talking for a while about creating a track together so he sent me the initial idea & we carried it off from there; in about a week ‘Know Me’ was ready. It’s always great to work on music with a friend; I think it brings you closer musically and personally.

“The thing I strive for is trying to give myself an edge that makes me stand out and I think with every release I’m getting better at this!”

EG: How has your sound evolved since your first release? Where is REj now?

REj: I think technically I’ve improved substantially over the years; I’m always trying to find innovative and weird techniques when it comes to the music creation process. The thing I strive for is trying to give myself an edge that makes me stand out and I think with every release I’m getting better at this! Sound design-wise, I think my ear has become more trained/acute on the sounds I want to focus on and create, which helps a lot when starting new projects.

It’s hard to stand out in such a big scene of talented artists but that’s kind of the fun of it. I always like to self-reflect on my previous projects and releases and the direction and changes I’ve made to get here – so far I’m extremely happy with what’s happened, and for what’s still to come…

EG: By the way, how would you say the London scene is doing at the moment? What spaces does ‘melodic techno’ occupy these days?

REj: The London scene is definitely picking up again after Covid – every week you see so many recognizable names and talented artists, renowned & upcoming ones, coming to London, as well as a huge range of upcoming artists and DJs from a variety of genres developing the scene.

I think the melodic scene has definitely expanded substantially over the last 5/10 years or so – you definitely see a lot more lineups with the usual suspects within the melodic scene which is great to see.

Venue-wise, we are seeing a general cut down on the number of venues, which is always sad to see – just the other week Printworks shut down due to a re-development project. But I don’t think this has been a deterrent to the number of producers and DJs growing in the scene.

Overall heading in a great direction, it’s nice to see the growth of the scene and interesting to see where it will take us!

EG: How do you keep entertained when not in the studio? Have you checked out any good movies, series, books, or albums you’d recommend?

REj: I’m quite a big movie/series guy; most recently I just finished watching ‘The Sopranos’ for the first time and Just started ‘Lost’ last week. The last film I watched was ‘Primal Fear’, which was absolutely fantastic!

I also love to watch documentaries on ancient to modern history (this is where I get a lot of inspiration for track names), so it’ll be no surprise that my favorite film is ‘Waterloo’ from 1970 – it retells the story of Napoleon’s 2nd return to France and the famous ‘Battle of Waterloo’. I’m really excited about the release of ‘Napoleon’ later this year starring Joaquin Phoenix, hopefully, it’s a good successor to ‘Waterloo’.

EG: Can you share something personal with us that only a few people know about?

REj: Sure! I’m actually a HUGE fan of WWE and there’s a little homage to that in one of the tracks in this EP…

“It’s hard to stand out in such a big scene of talented artists but that’s kind of the fun of it.”

EG: What’s next for REj? What particular milestones are you looking forward to in 2023? Where can your fans catch you next?

REj: Two big milestones from this year were playing my first international show with Metrica back in January & playing my first festival at Sun & Snow at the beginning of April.

The next milestones are some of the releases I have coming this year on Applied Magic and Anemos Dance which I am VERY excited to get out!
Gigs-wise there are a few things in the pipeline but not much I can share just yet, overall a very exciting year ahead for me.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, REj! We wish you all the best for the future.

REj: A pleasure, take care and speak soon – Adios!

REj’s ‘Glow’ is out now via Anathema Records. Purchase your copy here.

Follow REj: Spotify | Instagram | SoundCloud | Facebook

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