Your EDM Q&A: Rohaan, Like His New EP, Is Just a ‘Boy In a Dream’ [VISION]

Rohaan’s always had an air of mystique around him. Even back to his early days in the experimental trap and deep bass worlds, releasing on MAD ZOO and Deadbeats. His style has that indistinguishable quality that the likes of IMANU, Current Value and Amon Tobin have which certainly transcends genre, but also seems to transcend space and time. A powerful manifestor as well as a creator of some of the most interesting beats of the last seven years, it seems inevitable that he would eventually release on VISION.

With his genreless take on deep bass, Rohaan’s first release with the Noisia boys was actually on their erstwhile “miscellaneous bass” label, Division. He made a funky, loud dubstep remix of Tek Genesis’s “Cloud Kingdom Theme” that seemed like a departure even from his own diverse style. But if we’ve come to expect anything from Rohaan, it’s the unexpected. His debut EP, Boy In A Dream, which came out earlier this month on VISION is certainly that. Containing everything from techy, clubby D&B that defies subgenre to ameny almost jungle to video game halftime to techno-infused bass house, fans shouldn’t be surprised if there were samples from an actual kitchen sink thrown in there just to make a point.

Because of the diversity (even for Rohaan) of this EP, YEDM wanted to catch up with the Manchester-based artist to find out how the hell this extremely interesting piece of work came together. The takeaway? It’s a love letter to the club. Rohaan’s advice for making D&B? Don’t listen to D&B. Read on.

Let’s start with the tagline VISION used in your promo: “2 years ago I wrote ‘Vision Recordings’ on a note and stuck it to my bedroom wall…and now here we are.” What does reaching this goal mean to you? 

So, I write four key goals on a note each year. These are usually written at a time where that goal is in my line of sight but very far away. So, to be here, EP made and released, it’s a wonderful career-affirming place to be. I have looked up to VISION since I was at school studying music, my best friends and peers all love the label, so it’s definitely a wonderful place to be knowing my sound fits the bill!  

Some fans might actually be surprised to learn that Boy In a Dream is your Vision debut EP, as your sound’s always seemed well-suited to the label, especially in recent years. Why do you think now is the right time or what do you think made this EP stand out to them? 

I’ve had multiple releases with them in the past, doing three remixes for the likes of Noisia, The Upbeats and Icicle, then a collab single with Tom Finster. This is my debut solo release with them. We actually started working on the idea of an EP back in September 2022, so it’s been a long process of many demos and many weeks of refining my sound to get here. Very excited to bring it to life.  

It seems clear on the EP that you didn’t necessarily have a specific label in mind; how did you go about putting it together, especially in terms of all the styles?  

In terms of this release, we had many conversations with VISION to refine the huge demo list and get them to the final 6 that you hear today. Some of these were just fun things I started, others were specifically made for VISION, so it varies. My style and sound are quite eclectic, so I wanted to showcase that in this EP.  
While a lot of fans think you hit the bigs somewhat suddenly with Shogun, prior to that, you released on some excellent cutting-edge imprints like Deadbeats, Mad Zoo and Unchained. How do you think your experience working with the more twisted beats labels shaped your style when it began to get more popular? 

With each release, I’m learning and evolving, both through external life experience and seeing the response to my music from fans’ point of view. My style has definitely evolved into two parts. Pop/more stream friendly, and club music. My recent single “Run Away” with Kelbin is a great example of the pop side. My Boy in a Dream EP is a great example of my club influences. It’s been amazing to see my name and my homies names gain so much traction the last few years. That we can actually host headline shows and make music for a living is wonderful thing.  

In terms of style, from do you feel you take the most influence? Did you really focus on curating your style in the beginning or was it more hit and miss? 

My influences are from all parts of music except D&B. I don’t really consume the genre anymore, and if i do it’s my close friends’ music, Like IMANU, BuunshinThe Caracal Project ,etc. I mostly listen to the likes of Leon Vynhall, Joy Orbison, ATRIP, Jasper Tygner, O’Fylnn, Frazer Ray and SBTRKT to name a few.

I have a Patreon page where I posted a video recently about “how to find your sound and create something original.” I talk about the importance of expanding your creative inputs and horizons and the career-shifting results that will have in the long run. I’m passionate about that for sure.  

All your previous EPs have been, despite the complexity and diversity of the sound, honed around a specific concept. Were you thinking concept EP for Boy In a Dream? If so, what was it? 

To be honest, this is more of a collection of club leaning-tunes. No deep story with this one. Each track is its own world, its own universe for people to explore. My Bleach EP was a true story-driven EP, but this one felt great to just give it all to the club scene. I have been on tour for the best part of a year and a half now, all over the world, so my input is mostly club music and energy leaning that way, hence the output of this EP. I’m a boy living his dream 

Each individual track seems to be its own mini theme or concept within the EP. How do you go about putting a vibe together for a track? What was your goal for some of your favorites on the EP? 

I really try to say one thing through a track and say it the best I can. So each track is a refined version of its demo self. Each track has a clear theme from start to finish and says it the best I could get it to say it with my current creative self. Each track serves a different purpose.  

Conceptualizing aside, do you think fans will be able to recognize the vein of your style that runs through all the tracks? 

It’s not something that I think about really. It’s all got the Rohaan name on it, it’s a more refined version of my sound and gives them a taste of it all. If they come to a show of mine they will see the full extent of my style come through  

What do you want listeners to take away from the EP as a whole? 

I want them to play it as loud as they possibly can and to as many people as possible. This EP is for the club and the house party, so enjoy! 

Anything else exciting on the horizon? What can fans expect next from you (aside from the unexpected)? 

Many a thing! I’m just about to finish my 4four-week North American Tour, and I have loads of singles already lined up for this year. I’m playing Tomorrowland, Lightning in a Bottle and some more huge festivals that I can’t say just yet. But what a journey so far! I’m so grateful and full of gratitude for every person that reaches out about my music. I just got gifted a watch in NYC! So I’m just taking it all in, really. 
Thank you for having me and be sure to come to one of my upcoming shows. They are special!  

Boy In a Dream is out now on VISION and can be streamed on Spotify or purchased on Beatport.