Q&A with Gab Rhome – the man behind that percussion-centric, dreamy deep music that has already graced labels including All Day I Dream, Anjunadeep, and Last Night On Earth

Gab Rhome has an innate sense of rhythm, emotion, and groove. Both as a producer and DJ, the Montreal artist sparks an unavoidable connection with the soul, while conveying exceptional personal style and a sense of fun. Since launching in 2013, the 28 year old’s career has taken off, with releases on All Day I Dream, Anjunadeep, Last Night On Earth, Kindisch and more, with gigs including Burning Man, Tomorrowland, Nocturnal Wonderland Festival (US), showcases for Anjunadeep and All Day I Dream, Heart Ibiza, and Abracadabra (Scorpios Mykonos). His EP ‘La Maison’ (Sol Selectas) kicked off 2019 with its NYE release and has spent months in the Deep House Top 5.

Rhome is selective in researching his music for live sets, which is a percussion-centric, dreamy deep house, often with an African, Cuban or Brazilian influence, and always with a hook to snare the listener. His eclectic musical background echoes the dual culture of being French-Canadian. He embraces this element of his persona to the extent of splitting each year between living in Paris and Montreal, further inspiring his creativity. He values quality, discipline and hard work as he strives to extend his musical range and skill. Gab loves how music can amplify reality, make the world more intense and beautiful for others.

Decoded Magazine grabbed a few moments with Gab Rhome for a quick Q&A, so if you want to more about this talented DJ/Producer continue reading…

Hi Gab, thank you for speaking to Decoded Magazine. What have you been up to with your day so far?

Oh hello! I just came back from a quick walk in the fields with my dogs. I’m spending a few days in the French countryside at the moment. I’m here to resource a bit and to work on music at the same time.

Do you come from a musical background or is it something you have taught yourself over the years?

It’s a bit of a mix. My parents introduced me to music early on by making me learn accordion when I was 5 or 6. I then picked up bass guitar as a teenager and trombone at around the same time. I also studied music theory for many years, which is quite helpful. As for electronic music and sound design, I’m mostly self-taught, but this more ‘’classical’’ background helped me quite a bit. I think having ideas and an ear is more important than getting stuck in the technicalities. Mistakes in music can be quite beautiful anyway.

In the last year or so, your career in the scene has really taken off with releases on All Day I Dream, Anjunadeep, Last Night On Earth, Kindisch and more. Did you find it hard to find your sound or was it something that came naturally to you?

It came very naturally. I was not over-exposed to electronic music early on so I had to improvise with what I thought it sounded like elsewhere. It led to me having my own flavour early on I think.

You are a master at creating that beautiful dreamy house sound. How do you create your sound when in the studio? What are some of your go-to pieces of software/hardware in your studio?

Why thank you! I have a bunch of hardware synth that all serve a different purpose, but I use my voice and percussions a lot these days so my mics are my go to. Bathrobes also play a central role in my creative process, I try to have one made in every fabric imaginable. It would be unacceptable to use cotton while writing for a silk vibe.

When it comes to synthesizers, I try to collect synths from different companies out there to get different sounding machines. Everything has its place but my personal favourites are my Vermona Perfourmer and DSI Prophet 6. I’m a big fan of the Culture Vulture too, it’s quite the secret weapon to make everything sound fat and warm.

I believe your DJing career got off to quite the flying start. Can you tell us how it all began?

I was cooking some kind of broccoli-based dish when I was sent flying through the air and was gifted Diamond status with Delta. The kitchen was a mess afterwards so I moved out to a hotel. Conveniently enough I was also given a Starwood preferred status.

You have a couple of releases coming up on Kora’s Saisons label. Can you tell us a little about the releases and what we can expect?

Kora is a close friend of mine and so is everybody in the Saisons family. I’m very happy to release two singles with them. The first one was just released, it’s a collaboration with Kora and it’s called ‘Toboggan’. The second release is also a collaboration but with Evren Furtuna. The name of the song is ‘Salmo Salar’, which means “Atlantic salmon” in Latin. I named it in honour of Simone, a salmon I met and loved in New York. The song is super warm, stripped down a bit but with very catchy riffs and percussions. The intro is really out there, mixing really heavy distortion with floaty and subtle elements.

When you are in the studio do you have a particular workflow when creating a track or remix?

I have a very specific workflow when it comes to remixes: I scratch my head for twenty hours and then write an email declining the request. It’s really important for me to work on a melody that comes from me. That’s also usually how I start my songs: I jam around until I find something that I think has flavour, enough spiciness to stand out but still captures the moment I’m in.

What piece of advice would you give to young producers out there looking to break into the scene?

Never appear desperate, it’s a turn off for everyone. Do not spam. Be patient. If you send a demo, make sure it fits the label you’re sending it to. Send a private link to the right person, not the demo address. Be mindful of the day you send your emails: most labels being owned by touring artists, your email will get lost if you send it between Friday and Monday.

With the barriers to production at an all-time low for many people, and the availability of studio software so easy, do you feel it has had a negative impact on the electronic music market?

I try to be positive but mostly it has given space to people who are not committed enough. There’s so much boring music being put out now. Luckily for us humans, good music always finds a way to pierce through all the other noise.

What do you find are some of the biggest positives in the electronic music scene at present?

Electronic sounds are more and more accepted, which leads to a lot of people and producers bleeding into our scene, which brings fresh ideas. We need more outsiders and we are getting more and more. A lot of new markets are also developing, which allows me to travel to so many new destinations, which I love because new climates usually let me test new robes.

What else can we expect from Gab Rhome over the coming months in terms of releases?

I just released a single with Kora on Saisons, after that I have a collaborative EP with Mark Alow with remixes from Armen Miran and Esteble on Bar25, followed by another EP on Saisons and then a solo EP on Trybesof (the less dreamy sister label of All Day I Dream). I also have a song coming out on Blond:ish’s ABRACADABRA label. I also plan on releasing a lot of puppies into the world to make it a better place to be.

From your social media, it would appear you are quite a fan of ramen (let’s face it who isn’t). Besides ramen what is some of your favourite food when on tour?

Besides ramen, I try to eat quite healthy. It’s the best way to survive heavy weeks of touring. The lack of sleep, constant travelling, jetlag and weird schedules really take a toll on a body and balancing it with boring food is well-advised.

You recently played in Tel Aviv, a place which has left a lasting impression on many an artist over the years. What were some of the highlights of your trip?

It was during Purim, which brings a very intense and festive vibe to the city. I had a really good time, the crowd there is amazingly receptive. The highlight of the trip was seeing a guy dressed as a fireman dragging a 15-meter hose through busy intersections at 4 am.


Gab Rhome & Kora’s ‘Toboggan’ is Out Now

Look out for his EP ‘Bob Fossil’ with Mark Alow out on Bar25, dropping May 31st

Main press picture by Alex Black

About the author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and Progressive House. If he was to describe his preferred style of music he would probably describe it simply as electronic music. Besides his love for music and DJing his other passions are fine cuisine, wine, and travel.