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Ruben de Ronde’s Airwalk, Open To Close [Interview]

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Living in the Netherlands can be a huge pain for music lovers. Each week there are dozens events happening and you might have a hard time choosing one. This week we couldn’t resist attending one of our favorite artist playing a special 9 hour opening to close set. We are talking of course about one of Armada’s favorites Ruben de Ronde. One who knows Ruben, might know what to expect. Seeing him at Grenswerk (Venlo, NL) was truly momentous. This venue is home of Airwalk-events, which founder is coincidentally another trance DJ/Producer namely Fisherman.

The really nice thing about this location is that it is a smaller venue that instantly gives off the boiler room feeling. For those that want to enjoy just pure trance, this location is great. The DJ-booth placed right on the dance floor gives people the opportunity to walk around the DJ and see his every move. But most enthusiasts just want to enjoy the music and that is what most people did. The most dedicated fans had their flags and “Statement”-shirts proudly shown. The night would shape up to be night of surprises, some live performances some classic tracks and some unexpected bangers. One can only imagine how intense this must have been for Ruben focusing on his set and taking time in between to talk/take pictures with his fans.

Nocturnal Times: Hi Ruben, thank you for taking your time to answer some of our questions. You just finished off a spectacular 9 hour set. How do you feel after playing your first ever 9 hours non-stop club set?

Ruben: Oh man! Full of happiness, energy and not surprisingly a nice backpain from standing so long haha! I have to say the love from my community tonight was something else. From gathering all together hours before the show, to staying till the very end. It was something special.

Nocturnal Times: You didn’t play alone tonight. You had some back up from 2 fantastic singers and from Fisherman himself. How is it for you performing with a live singer?

Ruben: Cari and Brittany both rocked the stage! It was only the second that I had artists performing along with myself, and I loved it. The first time was with Haliene during my set at Dreamstate in LA, and that was also very special. It adds so much more to the show than ‘just’ playing the tracks we made together. So something I will defo do more in the future!

Nocturnal Times: We all know that Cari is a fantastic singer and it was a pleasure to hear her. But how did you come up with second unknown gem. Want to shed any light on that performance?

Ruben: Yes! Great notice there haha. The second artist that performed is Brittany aka JunoTheCat on Twitch, that I met through Team Liquid. She does a really cool combination of gaming and signing on streams, and we have been friends for over a year now. I thought it would be a nice surprise to take her out of her comfort zone of singer/songwriter guitar setup at home, into a boomy dance club. We will write some music in the future together for sure, but for tonight she sang a special version of ‘Bloodstream’, the track I wrote with Ferry Corsten and David Westmeijer last year.

Nocturnal Times: As third surprise you played a vinyl old school b2b with Fisherman. As a solo artist is it weird for you to play with someone else behind “your” decks?

Ruben: Hmm no it’s not weird at all. I have performed several back2back sets in the past, even at some festivals like A State of Trance and Tomrorowland. I find it nice to share a special moment with that artist, and bring some extra energy.

Nocturnal Times: You just released your new track “Footprint.” Tell us what is the story behind this track and how did it see the light of day? And what is the message you want to spread with this track?

Ruben: Footprint is the very first song that I finished during the lockdowns, so I have to say that it has been finished for a hot minute already. I finished the final song together with my community during my twitch streams in those days. So it kinda gives memories back to those days. When I received the song and the vocals from Coen, my publisher, I had never heard of Diana Miro before, and I was just in awe of her voice. So edgy, so memorable, and the songwriting was just spot on. Little did we know that not to long after this, she wrote smashers with Cosmic Gate, Eelke Kleijn and much more. So I have been lucky to being able to work with her.

Nocturnal Times: Besides being an amazing artist you also are an ambassador for Team Liquid. Tell us the story behind the ambassadorship? What is it you try to achieve/will be doing there?

Ruben: Team Liquid is such an amazing family. I was a fan of the brand far before I became part of it, so being able to create such cool things with them is really next level for myself haha. I became ambassador not long after I did a a teamup stream with DJ’s vs. esports athletes. I stayed in touch with the crew, and was rocking the merch all the time. In the end, we thought it would be nice to partner up ‘officially’. We are trying to build a bridge between the dance industry and the esports/gaming world. There are so many overlaps, and I think we are just at the beginning of a very cool partnership. I am a massive fan of their Valorant team at the moment, and haven’t missed a game in along time! I have recently extended my contract with them for another 3 years, so I am mega proud to continue repping TL.

Nocturnal Times: You have traveled the world playing various stages from big to small. What was the funniest story that has happened to you during your travels?

Ruben: The turbulent times are definitely coming back to us, and I am so happy for that. Funniest moment… I have to say my very own Statement! Label night in 2019. I teamed up with ABN Amro, to host a small event in their office on the Dam in Amsterdam. Little did we know that their air-con shut down automatically at 5pm, and was irreversible. And since it was a bank building, the windows couldn’t be opened. So it was a heated night. BUT the highlight during this night, which was live streamed too, was free McDonalds for everyone that was there. A few platters of Nuggets and Burgers made a nice welcome with a cheer haha.

Nocturnal Times: Anything else you want to share with us that is going on in your life that deserves some attention?

Ruben: Yes! I just scored a #1 on Beatport with my remix of ‘Above & Beyond – Can’t Sleep’, which I created with my friends Elevven. Besides that I became partner of Coinbase, and we are doing some very cool things together, and last but not least: My very first Ibiza residency with Statement! Starting June 15th, every month on the magical island. I am grateful to Denial events for making that possible!

Thank your taking your time to sit down with us.

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