Rondell Adams is a Chicago-based DJ and producer who has been active on the scene for over 25 years. His breakout album is titled "Threshold to Madness" and has propelled his career to an international scale. He sat down to talk with us about his upcoming projects and staying competitive in an ever-changing EDM landscape.
Your father was a musician responsible for producing for the Jackson 5 and helping Michael Jackson get noticed with Motown. Tell me what it was like growing up surrounded by music.
My first musical memory was back in 1980 when I was five years old. I saw my cousin Ivan Woodard pull up in a sharp car with his big afro and beautiful girlfriend by his side. I asked him how he got all of these nice things and he told me that he was a DJ. I asked him what that was and he replied, “I’m a Disc Jockey, a person that plays records to people at parties." The combination of imagery and swagger stuck in my head and from that day forward, I worked to become the DJ, playing at our little house parties or for my mother when she wanted to hear music. I never missed the opportunity to put on a record or play an 8 track. I got serious about DJing when I moved in with my pops in the 7th grade. One day I went up to his attic and found a gold mine of Classic Soul, Jazz, Funk, and Rock records. He got me my first DJ rig shortly after as well as a mixer with a sixteen second sampler which I used to make my first songs.
What about the sound quality between analog and digital?
Analog wins the day when it comes to sound quality whereas digital loses a lot of the soul in music. You can hear the actual weight in vinyl and analog recordings.
How has your music helped you branch out beyond your local scene?
Mark Broom is one of the standouts of Techno and a direct influencer. I volunteered to remix his recently released “Loop 132” and he stayed on my ass until I made it right. Now my remix has been played by Blawon and others on BBC RADIO 1. As far as solidifying a fanbase, I went for a younger demographic that has similar taste in music. I joined the likes of Tekk DJz headed by Traxman who introduced me to Jimmy Edgar, label head of Ultramajic Records. They released my third and most popular album, Threshold to Madness. Because of Traxman and Jimmy, I became internationally known. Around the same time, I met a young and very talented group of kids that go by the name of Cold Tech. They have a network of DJs, producers, promoters, and supporters on an international level.
Let's fast forward to now, can you tell us about what you're working on and working towards?
I have an EP coming out on UKR with remixed from Mark Broom and FNKEY. I have a lot of other projects coming out in the coming years like a mix on Booty Call Record’s show on Rinse FM. I get calls from the UK, Germany, and Korea asking me to come and I certainly plan on going once I get my passport. Also, a very cool cat who I met by accident, Cassie Hallik, is working with me on many cool projects. I want to keep most of these projects a secret because they are still in the conceptualizing stage. However, the big idea is to do themed events that aim to bring together people all walks of life. It’s going to be an amazing journey and I think everyone involved is going to be extremely happy with the result so keep an eye out for more information on that!
A big thank you to Rondell Adams for taking the time to answer our questions and to Cassie Hallik for arranging the interview! Be sure to check out Rondell's first interview on 5 Magazine to learn more about his background and past projects!
High 'n' Rich
Luane de Lima
DJ Natalia Moon