From residencies in Cambridge (UK) to Perth (Australia), DJ and producer Rioleval has been delicately honing his skills in a club setting for many years. Learning his craft and detailing the nuances, whilst educating himself on how to control a crowd, across a multitude of genres and styles. Armed with that knowledge, he now takes his first steps into music production. Fusing together a range of influences from funk, soul and jazz with a classic house sensibility, he proudly presents his aptly named debut EP, ‘The Beginning’, which has been released on SoSure Music
Please tell us where you are from in the UK, and a weird/wonderful fact about your hometown?
I’m from a small university city called Cambridge, surrounded by the river Cam and scenic views all around. Home to the oldest universities in the world, which educated the likes of David Attenborough, Stephen Hawkins and the legendary Sasha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G). There’s also a rumour that football rules (soccer) were invented here in 1865. The city had a very good underground scene in the 90’s-00’s, where my friends were throwing parties and booking names like Louie Vega, Kerri Chandler, C J Mackintosh, Bryan Tappert, Carl Cox, just to name a few. Also – all major Drum & Bass artists play at the event which still runs today called WARNING. Warning has held an outstanding event in the city for over 25 years and is still going strong today.
What has been your favourite party in the UK to play & where is it?
My favourite gig to play was We Are Out Here festival (Giles Peterson’s festival) on the famous site of Secret Garden Party. I closed the big top stage from 3-5am and it was pure vibes from the first to last track I played. It was an amazing energy that morning. Just an awesome all round festival with plenty of diversity in music with an abundance of great people. I would recommend this festival to anyone that loves music.
You’ve also run a residency in your hometown, could you tell us some more about that and how it came about?
I have always been involved with some sort of gig in Cambridge since the late 90’s, mainly alongside my good friend Stuart, who needs no introduction to the Cambridge scene with throwing parties. The most recent party I’ve been involved in is Wonky Disco, renowned for its summer, rooftop, festival vibe with all the best local DJ talent around playing on the decks. I have now held a residency at this well-established party for 5 years and still going strong to date.
Is there something inspiring about where you currently live? Or perhaps a cool experience/day trip to be had?
Cambridge is a small city and everybody knows everybody. It is good in a sense if you want to get shit done, you know, or someone will know, someone to get the job done. You can be in London in less than 1 hour by train so that opens up easy access in and out of the capital city. Cambridge offers fantastic landscape and country/city views to embrace all seasons of the year. I am a summer person so punting up the river, enjoying drinks with friends is a thing I would recommend to anyone visiting Cambridge so you can see the spectacular city views from the water. I love the scenic views in Cambridge, this gives me a lot of inspiration in my music production today, I tend to do this weird thing where I try to imagine what sort of music would fit into the different landscapes I experience. The concept can be completely different, depending on my mood.
Whilst not being able to tour mysterious lands abroad, did you find somewhere new in the UK to explore? E.g – a staycation spot?
The UK has some beautiful coastlines and countryside spots that give you spectacular views and I was fortunate to see these places down the south west coast of Cornwell in 2019 before things took a bizarre turn in our lifestyle changes in 2020. During 2020, I have found a perfect place where I have started to build a studio. It’s a perfect surrounding with outstanding landscapes where I can relax, chill, and calm my mind set ready for studio production. I’m excited for 2021 with plenty of studio activity taking place.
During the 2000’s you’ve also spent some time abroad in Australia, can you tell us about that?
Yes, I have always loved travelling and exploring other cultures. I left the UK for Australia & Asia in 2009 and didn’t return until 2013. That trip gave me plenty of life wisdom with stories I won’t bore you with (ha ha!). Travelling is the best education you can put yourself through and I would recommend it to everybody. It is the best training for independence and responsibility in younger people entering adulthood. The great thing about travelling is the pure gold characters you meet along the way, and I have met a few.
Running parties both in Australia and the UK, can you tell us the main differences or similarities between the scenes?
I wasn’t really running big parties in Australia. But Australia was the place that taught me to be even more diverse with music when DJing, rather than just playing deep house I was dipping into other genres as well. Australia was a completely new challenge for me because back in the UK I had a big network of friends. When I landed in Australia I only knew 3 people. It wasn’t until 2010 (a year later) that I started to get hungry for DJ’ing again. I started off playing at friends BBQs and house parties, people just having fun. In 2011 I met my good friend PJ Stokes. We pretty much clicked from the word go sharing the same music tastes. He came across a venue that had potential, secured a residency and asked me to jump onboard with promoting the events and of course DJing.
The difference with Perth is we didn’t really know lots of people like we did back home. It was literally like going back in time to old skool promoting for me. We would go to the big nights in the area and literally get talking to everyone possible; networking and engaging with people to promote this party we were planning. Going out in the town centre handing out flyers for the events and It didn’t take long before we created a good group – and it worked actually. There were a lot of similarities culturally between us British folk and the Australians so that gave us a head start into having a good time and promoting a good party. Especially as the weather was so much better.
Regarding music, if you find yourself in a capital city of the world, there will always be a commercial scene and an underground scene and you naturally follow your tastes. So to sum it up, I would say Australia has a lot of similarities as the UK but they have better weather and we have different architecture!!
What was it about Australia that made you want to travel and live there for an extended period?
Australia is a fantastic country with landscapes and scenic views that would want to make you stay forever. It has so much to offer covering all climates, dry heat, tropical heat and of course, a habitat with the most extraordinary creatures, the oceans accommodate clear blue skies as far as the eye can see. Imagine! The first week I arrived I brought a push bike and was minding my own business cycling along a river that lead to the ocean, to then witness 2 dolphins bopping up and down in the water literally 1 metre away from me. It was clearly these experiences that made I embrace and stayed on to find more o themf. Also good weather just makes the human soul happier and Australians have a great outlook on life, work to live, NOT live to work! I think it took me 12 months to get back into the rat race uk lifestyle on my return, I was that relaxed with the Australian life style.
Throughout 2020, did you learn a new skill? Used a new app? What has been keeping you active & stimulated?
I was very productive in 2020 with my studio build and this has been keeping me stimulated with everything crazy going on in the world. All my new skills for 2020 were realising to take time and don’t rush things too much. Relax, have time to think before you answer, try and better yourself in what you are trying to achieve. You don’t always have to be first in line. Breathe more. Embrace life. In 2021 I will be spending more time in the studio improvising and learning new production methods. I have also been engaging with my social media in a new way. So, you will probably see my presence there.