Holland’s upcoming DJ/Producer, Richard Durand, is a breath of fresh air for the music industry. With hit tracks off his debut artist album ‘Always The Sun’ (on Magik Muzik/Black Hole Recordings) such as ‘Into Something’, ‘Always the Sun’, and ‘Chaos’ Durand is well on his way to the top of the charts. Listening to a lot of Michael Jackson and classical music growing up, Richard has made his mark as a solo producer and hasn’t slowed down yet producing many club hits over the past few years. With his “trance” style of music sweeping through the UK and sparingly hitting the states for a stay, Richard knows that he has one connection that is always true regardless of his location, his connection with the fans.
SUAVV: How did you get started with DJ’ing/producing?
Richard: I started professionally when I was 22-years-old with my own music productions. At that time, I had a live act. A few years later, I started playing as a DJ. I was working and performing under a lot of different names, but now I only use Richard Durand.
SUAVV: That’s really cool. So did you already have musical experience or was this like an instant love kind of thing?
Richard: Already during my school years, I was playing the piano during the breaks at school. At home we didn’t have a piano, so on Saturdays, I went to a music store to play on the piano there. I always loved to make music and playing in front of people. I guess that passion has never left me.
SUAVV: So you were always an entertainer before becoming a DJ. Good stuff. Now I know DJ’ing isn’t easy and there are a lot of doors to go through to actually get a chance to show your talent. What obstacles did you have to overcome in order to see your dream come true?
Richard: DJs are just normal human beings! [laughs] But seriously, we have the same problems as everyone else who is chasing a dream. One thing that can be very difficult to conquer in the music industry is the demand to constantly renew yourself, and even if you do, the reaction is not always positive. You hear people commenting that they would like you to go back to the “old” Richard Durand, and so on.
SUAVV: How has your DJ’ing evolved since you first started? I mean what is the old Richard Durand that they ask for?
Richard: The first year, I played almost only bootlegs and remixes I’d made for my set. Now, I play more of a mix of bootlegs that I made and also tracks from other producers. I’ve been DJ’ing now for four years and I think that my style is a bit calmer than when I started.
SUAVV: Okay. So do you see your style changing much more over the next few years?
Richard: This is really hard to say. I live for making music and I will always try new styles and techniques for improving myself as an artist. I hope that in five, 10 years from now, I’ll still be able to make a living creating music and DJ’ing. It’s a great way to live.
SUAVV: That’s really cool. Do you see yourself branching out beyond DJ’ing/producing anytime soon or expanding your brand?
Durand: No! I hope to do this for a long time, but if I’m getting too old, then maybe I could start helping young talent to achieve their goals. I really like the interaction with people. The best experience is when people at a big event start singing along to the songs I’m playing, or at the end of my set if people start screaming that they want to hear more music.
SUAVV: When performing for an audience, is it easy to make them pay attention and listen to what you’re doing? Do you have to put them under some kind of spell to catch their attention?
Richard: It is not always easy to get everyone’s attention. I always look very closely at what kind of music the specific crowd wants during the night. Also, when I’m DJ’ing, I like a booth where can see me and I can interact with the crowd. I think that you have an obligation to the crowd to give them the best performance you can. With me, you get always a lot of energy.
SUAVV: Energy is always needed when performing, regardless of what style it is. What advice do you have for young adults trying to become DJs/producers?
Richard: Have fun in what you do! Never get into DJ’ing for the money or fame. If you are really in love with making music and you’re good at it, someone will discover your talents. Be honest with yourself and do only the things that make you proud. And, never stop.