Finnish producer Rony Rex recently released his avant-garde EP, Night Time CV, a collection of four tracks ranging from the unflinching “Dead of Night” with Luke Markinson to the melodic “All 4 U,” featuring ZenSoFly.
Rony Rex broke through in 2017 when he released “Stick Fingers,” followed by “Milk It” with vocalist Carla Monroe, hitting Billboard’s Dance chart and featured on 02, Love Island UK, Nickelodeon, and Stella McCartney’s catwalk at Paris Fashion Week.
Renowned for his DJ sets from a giant floating unicorn, a hovercraft, and spinning from the top of the Pasila radio tower in Helsinki, Rony Rex not only has new music projects in the pipeline but is also continuing with his Instagram series, Rony Rex – The 8 Bit Adventure. XS Noize spoke with Rony Rex to discover more about the person behind the music, the inspiration for Night Time CV, and what’s around the corner for 2022 and beyond.
What three things can’t you live without?
Freezing cold morning showers or ice swimming, yoga, and most importantly, coffee.
What inspired your new EP, Night Time CV?
This EP, at its core, is me processing for the past 20 months or so. It plays with the roles and stories we construct around ourselves and how they float more lightly in the fluidity of the night. And how much I’ve missed that connection. Now that we’re on the other side, it felt right to let go from light to dark and back. Let’s heal in the club...
You have a reputation for DJing from outlandish locations, like a hovercraft. What motivates you to go to such extremes?
I’ve always been very much into tech, and I find the technical challenges inspiring in the productions. At that time, I was streaming from a small aircraft, and we had to find a certain angle flying around a huge tele tower to get the mobile internet to hold the connection, me holding a 4G antenna in one hand and mixing with the other. Or while DJing in a 6-meter-long unicorn float in the Gulf of Finland, which almost sunk mid-set, trying to rescue the gear while water is pouring all over. Good times.
How did you get started in music?
I had been DJing for almost ten years before my first release. It was natural, as I had been making edits for my sets for years, and then that slowly progressed to production. The DJing thing kicked off while I was a teen, obsessed with music, not being able to get into clubs so I started organizing house parties at my parents’ house (which they obviously loved) whenever I could and that turned into a small movement among friends which then jumped over to a club night once we turned 18. So, it’s all been very organic.
Which artists/musicians had the most impact on your sound?
This one is hard for me personally as I come from a very diverse musical background. Earlier in my career, I used to DJ open format playing almost anything. In this regard, modern artists/DJs with similar backgrounds, like A-Trak and Diplo have been a big inspiration. I also love the clash of pop and club music, so I’ll say Tiga and later SOPHIE.
Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?
Boys Noize as a DJ, but even more as a producer has been on it for good while. I also love indie/electronic acts such as BAYNK and Finland’s Knife Girl.
Did your sound develop naturally, or did you push it deliberately in a certain direction?
As I come from a background of playing records for a long time it was relatively painless to find my path. Of course, I’ve gotten lost a few times but now I feel like it’s easier than ever to let whatever comes come. The space created by the pandemic was of great help, as it allowed me the time to think and feel things through and strengthen my trust that all good things come from play and honest expression.
Do you have any advice for young artists just getting started?
Most importantly, do whatever you want to. There’s so much information flowing from all directions so now it is all the more important to focus on the core of what is that you have to give and build a community around that. It takes longer than ever to build a career and get noticed so patience and taking care of yourself, mentally and physically, so you are able to enjoy the process is key. The game in music is to last. Especially in the streaming era.
What’s next for Rony Rex? More singles or maybe an album?
I’ll be releasing a new EP next year and a bunch of singles. Building up for my debut album in 2023. Even though the album as a format is obsolete, I find it interesting to tell a wider story in a single based economy. It’ll be really visual too. That side of things has always been important, as with the streams. I’ll also continue them. I plan on DJing while riding a dog sledge in Lapland…