For the 8th consecutive year, Random Rab played an enrapturing sunrise set at Envision Festival. In light of this event, Rab took the time to chat about his history with Envision, his personal philosophies, and more about himself as an artist.
Random Rab is an artist who is wholeheartedly though-provoking in sound and in spirit. His music has a special touch that reaches something deeper, to the inner qualities of ourselves and our surroundings. Rab is one of the perfect picks for a soulful, introspective environment like Envision Music Festival.
His works range from touching and lighthearted, to angsty and sorrowful. Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s clear that his music has a palpable authenticity – one that keeps him coming back to events such as these.
I was grateful to have caught his sunrise set at the breathtaking Luna stage at this year’s Envision, and to learn more about him as a person and an artist through this interview.
Stream Random Rab – Endless Dawn Mix Part 1: Fistful of Sunshine:
Hey Rab, thanks so much for chatting with us!
I’m told this will be your 8th consecutive sunrise set at Envision, which means you’ve been here since the very beginning. How did the sunrise set tradition begin? Are there any other events with whom you have similar long-standing traditions?
The first Envision was quite small. It felt like a private party at the location that is now Danyasa. I had such a great time meeting everyone and seeing Costa Rica for the first time. It’s been such a blessing to see Envision grow and change and finally find one of the most epic locations for a festival ever. There are several festivals I’ve had a long history with: Lightning in a Bottle, Symbiosis/Eclipse, Sonic Bloom, and of course Burning Man for which this will be my 20th in a row.
What about Envision stands out to you from other festivals you’ve experienced? And what’s one of the greatest lessons you’ve taken away?
The obvious difference would be the jungle and ocean and natural beauty of the location. What really stands out to me, though, is the vibe. People are so raw and open. There’s a special connection that happens when seeing someone down there. It’s sort of an unspoken camaraderie. I just saw someone in Michigan who was down there. We were so happy to see each other in the cold snow. It’s like the bond of sunshine always warms the heart.
Is there a particular element you establish early on in the production process that helps you construct a song to completion?
Every song is a new method and approach for me. I always try to remember to jam and move with the music. Getting too caught up in the complexities of computer production can diminish creativity and can hold you back from finishing. I try to remember that one of the most important crafts is the art of finishing. Actually finishing a piece of music requires effort and confidence and also a certain compromise with yourself. Rarely would I consider anything perfect, but finishing and letting go will then allow the song to be a perfect rendition of the moment. That is ultimately the most important step.
Much of your production is done using analog instruments, often with exotic, flavorful sounds. Is there a certain time and place that feels right to interweave electronic elements?
I like to think of a song as a complete and singular element. It’s not a bunch of layers, but a single sound with many features. Every sound is just a sound and I do not impose judgment or need on any of them. I suppose what I’m saying is that I have no specific approach, but simply follow my interest in the moment. The inspiration comes from the sounds themselves. If I am centered and I listen, then I know exactly what comes next.
Is there a certain number of live instrumentation you try to use in your live sets?
I’ve been juggling a lot of different approaches with this one. I’m often limited by what I can bring on a plane and also at times am more interested in certain instruments. For a while, I was playing live bass guitar and also electric guitar. When I had the band we had live percussion, violin and a lot of exotic instruments. Lately, I’ve just been using a bunch of live hardware synths and loopers with only my voice as the non-electronic element. I will probably be using more instruments again on my next tour. It’s really a lot of fun to keep changing how it all comes together live. There are endless possibilities.
Do you hope to find or express a broader truth through your music?
To me music is truth. It is the sound of truth. Nothing can be untrue about it. It frames the now and expresses itself through us and in us. Music is mysterious, yet bare. It lubricates our senses and opens corridors to the most incredible states of imagination. I always hope to find new ways to get deeper into my own truth and share the greater truth of existence through it.
From where do you draw extrinsic inspiration?
My biggest inspirations outside of art are love and nature. Together these forces are all the inspiration I could ever need.
What have been among of the most memorable or influential moments in your journey as an artist?
There have been countless profound personal moments in my journey as an artist, but there are a few more public ones that stand out. Performing during three different solar eclipses around the world is one. Also performing at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt is another. So unbelievably cool!
For the first time in a while, your heavier side project, MOUR, appeared on your recent Euclid EP, in the psy-progressive track “Ascending Passage”. Why has that project fallen by the wayside? Will we be hearing more of MOUR in the days to come?
To me, MOUR is like an alternate identity and personality. I really just go there when I have time and am in the mood. Yes, there will be more in the future, but I don’t really prioritize it and always keep it fun and in the moment.
Is there anything in particular you do to work through the struggles that you face?
I always remember to breathe and explore my imagination. I like to think of the earth from a million miles away. Just a ball floating around a star in the infinite expanse of space. All of my issues are truly insignificant and I am incredibly fortunate to have this life.