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Raphael Schön has emerged as a key figure on the German scene, with performances as a City Club resident and a growing discography that highlights his genuine talent. He is also the studio partner of Sedef Adasi and has released material on Enclave Records, SNC RECS and his very own Asight Records imprint.
We caught up with Raphael to have a chat about his ‘I’ll be Energy’ EP on Freeride Millenium, producing tracks under his Mode Panta moniker, passions in life and his biggest musical inspirations.
Hi Raphael, thanks for taking the time to talk to Music is 4 Lovers. Whereabouts in the world are you living? And what are your favourite, and least favourite things about your home town?
Hey! You’re welcome, thanks for having me. I live in Augsburg, which is a medium-sized city in Bavaria, Germany. What I like very much about the city is that there is a lot of beautiful nature here. Forests, rivers, lakes and so on. I spend a lot of time in front of my Macbook, so I really enjoy my free time in nature. Everything is within easy reach here and I have made very good friends here. The creative scene is also super cool. And the Bavarian food – oh my god.
What I don’t like so much is that the city is a bit sleepy and everything is kept very conservative. If you want to do something new, they often put obstacles in your way because there are only old white men in the town hall. But we make the best of it.
You have a new release coming on up the Freeride Millennium label, please can you tell us about the record and how you came to work with Jorkes and their imprint?
I did a track for the Queer Base compilation. The proceeds of this compilation went to refugees with a LGBTQ background. I like to support projects like this, so I’m happy to be part of it. The openness that Freeride Millenium reflects is very likeable and above all – important! I also think the releases on the label are great. They asked me if I wanted to send them more tracks – so one thing led to another.
You seem to have quite a few musical projects with releases as Mode Panta, work with Sedef Adasi and music made as Errdeka. Can you tell us a little about each of these?
That is correct. Since I was 15, I’ve been making rap music as “Errdeka”. Under this pseudonym, I’ve released several albums with top 5 chart positions in Germany and played sold-out tours in Germany and Austria – just to name a few facts. Almost at the same time I started to get interested in electronic music and djing. Together with two friends I founded the successful event series “Monstaub”, which first took place in the “Schwarzes Schaf” and has now found its place in the “City Club”, which is highly recommended because it has very good bookings and the vibe is simply indescribable. I play at these parties as Raphael Schön, which is now also my name as a producer. I try out a lot of styles with “Raphael Schön” and also with my rap project, so I wanted to stay more consistent with my house tracks, and got myself a second pseudonym “Mode Panta” under which I actually want to produce tracks that sound a little more unemotional, more tool-like and straighter. But it’s really hard for me to decide on a track, so I always do what I feel like doing. Music makes no sense to me any other way. I don’t want to be a service provider but an artist.
How did you personally manage over the last year with the pandemic situation? Have there been any positives for you, alongside the obvious difficulties?
I had already started to be more concerned with my health, to be more mindful and to partly deal with spirituality before the pandemic, this break from my excessive party life was actually quite good for me. The first weeks and months I was very productive and enjoyed the quiet time. But I noticed how much I miss performing, DJing and going to bars or out to eat with friends. I would even say that this is a very big part of my source of inspiration that has fallen away. I am absolutely not a COVID denier and trust what politics does for the most part, but it’s time to get back to a normal life. All culture, in my opinion, also contributes to human health. Unfortunately, politicians do not take this into account.
Who are your musical heroes, and why? And what is the best concert or club night you have ever been to and why?
I don’t really have any musical heroes. When an artist does his thing, is authentic and is successful with it, that is impressive and motivating for me. I actually had the best parties at the City Club Augsburg haha. I don’t like big clubs or festivals because for me the intimacy and the vibe gets lost very quickly when the DJ is a hundred metres higher than me and everything is full of mobile phones in Instagram story mode. When I’m in Berlin to visit my friends or for business, we usually go to a club called “Heideglühen”. It’s an indoor/outdoor venue with a gallery and a glass dome and the acoustics and people are great. They usually play house and disco and I feel that a lot. My craziest experience was when I ended up in a club in London called “The Box”. I will never forget what happened there haha.
Tell us about Raphael away from the studio? What do you like to do with you time? What things make you happy?
As I said above, I really like to be in nature. Two years ago I discovered a hut with my girlfriend where there is no electricity and only mountain water from a well. You need firewood for cooking and get your breakfast from the adjacent farm or orchards. Sitting on the veranda in the evening, drinking an Austrian beer, smoking a joint or a cigarette while looking at the purple mountain panorama is pure life for me. In contrast to that, I also like to hang out with my friends in dark clubs until the early hours of the morning and dine deliciously in classy restaurants afterwards. For my graphic design job, I’m also very into visual things. I recently discovered reading for myself as well haha. I get bored of things very quickly, so I always have to trigger myself and try new things.
What do you have planned for the year ahead?
As far as my music is concerned, I don’t really plan ahead. I’ve noticed that my inspiration comes and goes and I can’t influence that. And I don’t make songs just to have them made. Everything should stay in the flow and then something will come out of it, I’m sure of that. I’ve always been very cerebral with my projects and that fucked up my mind. Now I’m much happier. Thank you!
‘I’ll Be The Energy’ by Raphael Schön drops on Freeride Millenium 12th March 2021.