Exclusive interview: Richard Judge chats newest collab with Oliver Nelson and performing on Tomorrowland mainstage
Richard Judge is a renowned singer, DJ, and producer who has collaborated with dance music’s biggest stars including Benny Benassi and Laidback Luke to name just two. With multiple Beatport No.1s and the platinum-selling record ‘Show Me Love’ with Robin Schulz under his belt to the more recent ‘I’ll Follow’ with Ein musik, Richard Judge is on fire.
Judge has performed on prestigious stages worldwide from Street parade to Ushuaia Ibiza. With upcoming releases alongside Eli & Fur, HOSH, and Henrik Schwarz, Judge continues to captivate audiences with his unique DJ performances featuring live vocals.
To mark the release of his latest work, an energetic and perfectly moody future house anthem titled ‘I Wonder,’ in collaboration with Swedish talent Oliver Nelson on Perfect Havoc, we caught up with Richard for a chat:
Hi Richard, thanks for speaking with us. Where are you in the world today?
It’s my pleasure. I’m in London right now; I’ve been here working on new music all week. It’s good to be back.
How did the collaboration with Oliver Nelson come about? What was it like working together? Can you share any anecdotes or memorable moments from the making of it?
This is actually the second song I’ve released with Oliver, but we’ve never met in person! The first one was a few years back; it was a track with Todd Terry. Oliver is such a great producer, and I loved where he took this song from my original demo. I think it’s about time we met and celebrated these releases!
How would you describe the overall sound and vibe of ‘I Wonder’, and how does it fit into your musical style and discography?
I Wonder feels like a good representation of where I am as an artist right now. For me, it’s the perfect blend of my love of the indie and electronic worlds. I grew up in bands but loved going to raves, so I always had these two cultures running through me, and this feels like an amalgamation of them both.
We hope it’s fair to say that you’re best known for ‘Show Me Love’ with Robin Schulz, which went on to be a huge hit. How did it impact your career and artistic growth?
That was a mad time, and I’m so grateful for those moments. It took me on a crazy journey, and it opened a lot of doors for me. But I needed time after that to discover what kind of artist I wanted to be, and in the last year or so, I really feel like I’ve found that.
You’ve been responsible for so many big tunes, from ‘Ruckus’ with Tube & Berger to the more recent ‘Single Summer’ with PS1. Is there one from your back catalogue that you’re most proud of, one that you will always perform/play in your DJ sets?
I still love Ruckus! It’s not often you get to rip a guitar solo in a dance record! And right now, my favourite to perform live is my track ‘I’ll Follow’ with Einmusik. I’m really proud of this tune.
Speaking of performances, how was performing on the main stage of Tomorrowland this year?
Tomorrowland was incredible! I went to that festival years ago with a mate of mine. It was during a weird time for me when the band I was in had just split up, and I was trying to figure out what was next. Absorbing so much great electronic music that weekend helped me realise that’s what I wanted to do next, so to be on that main stage felt like a full-circle moment for me. Shout out to Korolova for the invite!
You also recently DJ’d at the top of a mountain in Innsbruck, Austria – that looked insane!
Yeah, that was incredible! Innsbruck is a special place for me. I played my first show in Austria there, and I’ve been going back ever since. Somehow, I ended up playing a headline show on the top of the mountain, and it’s become an annual thing! This year’s was so so good… I hope to be announcing another for March 2024, too. My mate Ash is a great videographer based in Innsbruck, and he’s been the one filming the shows for the tourism board of Innsbruck. Check them out; the footage is crazy!
Have you had any time this summer to go clubbing or to any festivals just as a punter, or is this something that you rarely find time to do?
I haven’t done much as a punter this year, but I’ve been to some great parties in Lisbon, where I’m based these days. My friends have a collective called ‘Lisbai,’ and they’re throwing great parties and events which I’ve played at but also been to a bunch of those just to enjoy.
What can you tell us about your upcoming collab with Eli & Fur – when can we expect it, and on what label will it drop?
I don’t know what I can say about that yet, to be honest, except they’ve been playing it out, so I can say it exists, and it’s coming next year sometime. It’s a banger!
And what other gigs are in the pipeline that you’re particularly looking forward to?
I’m gonna be celebrating the release of I WONDER with a show in Lisbon (09/09). I’ll be announcing the details closer to the time as it’s gonna be on a boat with limited tickets. I can’t wait for that one!
Many thanks, Richard; we wish you all the best for the rest of the year.
Thanks a lot.
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Richard Judge &Oliver Nelson’s ‘I Wonder’ is out now on Perfect Havoc. Buy/stream here: https://perfecthavoc.lnk.to/iwonder.
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