Following their latest collaboration, we had a chat with the hardstyle music stars about their tune, their stature in the scene, plans for next year, and lots more.
For hardstyle and hard dance listeners, it’s not just a genre, but an emotion that Dr Phunk and Rob GEE bring to life with their music. Hailing from the Netherlands, Dr Phunk is one of the most important names in hardstyle music. His blend of hard-hitting drums with a touch of atmosphere and funk makes his music an intriguing experience. Dr Phunk is also known to translate his musical adventures into floor-devastating sets.
As one of the most entertaining figures in the scene, Dr Phunk has played at festivals like Ultra Miami, Ultra Europe, EDC Las Vegas, EDC Mexico, EDC Orlando and Tomorrowland, where he has taken over the mainstage four times. Bringing passion, energy and quality to his music, Dr Phunk is on his way to getting his name engraved into hard-dance folklore.
Rob GEE, on the other hand, is a straight-up legend. Championing hard-dance music in the United States, where house and techno reigned supreme, Rob GEE has built a loyal community of hard-dance lovers at will. Having been a key player in dance music since the early 90s, Rob GEE has played at some of the biggest venues, while sharing stages with The Crystal Method, Busta Rhymes, Kurtis Blow, and Afrika Bambaataa, to name a few.
Rob GEE’s eclectic music taste and multi-genre approach has seen him collaborate with not only major artists in the hard-dance scene, such as Partyraiser, Dr Peacock, and the Prophet, but also across other genres like hip-hop, rock, and metal.
The legendary American artist has now teamed up with Dr Phunk for a track that combines two generations of hard-dance. Following the release, we had a chat with them about the tune and its sing-along aesthetic, plans for the next year, and more.
In Conversation With Dr Phunk
Talk to us about your experience of collaborating with Rob GEE on your latest single, The Sing Along Song.’ Could you share a few highlights of the creative process behind it?
Dr Phunk: Rob and I have been friends for a while and we respect each other a lot. Rob travels to Holland occasionally so we just met up to hang out. We ended up jamming in the studio and this is the result.
The beauty of the tune is that despite having no lyrics, it is the perfect track to sing together in a club. How did you and Rob GEE make that happen?
Dr Phunk: After we wrote the melody Rob started doing what he does best – creating his own voice characters; and before we knew, everything got recorded. We just felt that the melody was so good, that we didn’t need any sung lyrics.
Along with a catalog of hit music, you have also performed at some of the biggest stages known for electronic music. What other feats do you aspire to achieve next?
Dr Phunk: I would like to start my own label someday where I can give myself and others pure creative freedom. I’d also like to work more on hybrid collabs with artists in completely different genres.
What are some plans you have for the future? Upcoming performances or surprises to get the fans anticipating?
Dr Phunk: Loads of new music including unexpected collaborations with huge artists as well as new solo work. Also happy that the schedule for 2023 is filling with amazing shows around the globe.
In Conversation With Rob GEE
Having been the most important name in America’s hardcore scene, how would you like to describe your journey from the time you started making music to your stature in the scene now?
Rob GEE: Well, my journey like most artists has had its fair share of ups and downs. It definitely started off like a rocket with a huge explosion back in 1993. In the early 2000’s it leveled a little when I was concentrating on my band. However, around 2013 I started to experience a bit of a comeback (everybody loves a good comeback story). Now, I have watched my music (both new and old) get exposed to a whole other younger generation.
There are shows now where some of my older fans who are around my age come with their 20-something-year-old kid who is also a big Rob GEE fan. I am truly blessed. I’m going to “Mick Jagger” the fuck out of this thang.
There are so many flavors in ‘The Sing Along’ that epitomize your style of music. How was your experience while writing the tune with Dr Phunk?
Rob GEE: For me, it was 2 good friends having a good time in the studio. No overthinking; it was a natural occurrence.
We’ve always been intrigued by your ‘Positivian Vibes.’ Can you tell us the story behind it?
Rob GEE: I always have done my best to look at “the bottle half full’; but around 2010ish I took that to a whole other level spiritually. I was just so sick of seeing so much negativity in the world, and social media really exposed exactly how much of that there is out there. So I decided to really put myself out there with #PositivianVibes. Now, we’re all human and life is going to throw shit at us; that’s just how it is. We’re all going to need to vent at some point; it’s healthy.
There is a line though where the venting can just turn into complaining and that is not healthy and offers no solutions. #PositivianVibes is the solution where you make yourself the issue and do your best to find a way back to your journey and succeed. Try to find that light no matter how dark it can be out there.
You’ve played at some of the biggest venues in the world and shared stages with some of the biggest names in the game. How do you go about prepping your music for your shows?
Rob GEE: Well, I kind of have an idea of what I have in my arsenal. However, I don’t really plan my sets. I take a look at the crowd and feel them and let them feel me; then it’s on.
What are Rob GEE’s plans heading into 2023?
Rob GEE: I will be celebrating 30 Years of Rob GEE with a World Tour of the same name. Look for me in a city near YOU.
Listen to Dr Phunk and Rob GEE’s ‘The Sing Along’ song here: