Refract has been working on the hardstyle scene for a while, which resulted in a record deal with Scantraxx Carbon and a first booking in a sold-out…
The Prophet about his new album: LOUDER
On the 4th of April Dov Elkabas aka The Prophet released his album ‘LOUDER’. After being in the business for more than 25 years, this is his first album. Why? Read it in our interview below:
1. Why is it that after all this time (25 years) you only recently decided to make an album?
Well I never really got to it, because I was focusing more on building other brands like my record label ‘Scantraxx’ and the artists that it represents. It became time to put myself back on the map again, so when I found myself again in the studio after all that time I wanted to express that. I think everything has a reason, because this felt as something that ‘had to happen now’, so it was all very convenient.
2. How long have you been working on this album, from start to finish?
That must have been at least 9 months. The album contains 22 titles and it really felt like a baby was born hahaha.
3. Do you have a personal favorite track of the album?
I even have several. ‘Louder’ is my all-time favorite of course, but there are also a few other big tracks on it. Another personal favorite is ‘Echoes’ with Lilly Julian, the more I listen to this track the more I like it. Furthermore I also like ‘Make Me Stay’ with Noisecontrollers a lot; Leonie Meijer has such an enchanting voice! ‘I’m the King’ with Adaro is also a banging track and well, I don’t say this very often but to be honest I like all of them haha.
The time has finally come for me to be able to play an entire set filled with my own tracks that I like!
4. Is there a track on your album that has a certain story behind it?
Yes that’s ‘Echoes’. The lyrics are about the fact that everything you do in your life echoes on. Everything you experience has an influence on your life, whether you like it or not. That defines you and that’s a good thing. You could say ‘Echoes’ has a certain deeper meaning for me. It also enhances the track’s value.
A fun fact about ‘Make Me Stay’ is that the track used to be called ‘Never ending Story’. That was in 2012. Back then I recorded the vocals with Leonie Meijer. And I’m not lying; I have made 12 different versions of that track. Every time I didn’t think it was good enough and it really became a never ending story. Eventually I asked Noisecontrollers if he wanted to finish the track with me and after that I immediately changed the name. It was finished before we knew it and I was finally happy with it.
5. Did you ask other Scantraxx artists to review your album?
Yes and no, because I really let myself go without thinking whether or not they would like it. I just sat down and thought to myself “Do I like this?” That was some sort of liberation. I know it will bring me a lot of complaints from people saying ‘did you make another remix with that voice, did you make another thing with that?’ Yes I did! ‘It sounds a little bit like..’ Yes it does, but whatever. This is what I do and if you don’t like it please don’t listen to it… I love to work like this in the studio again.
6. I’ve read that you’ve had a lot of different jobs before you became ‘The Prophet’. Can you tell a bit more about that?
Yes that’s true. When I was 14 I’ve worked in a super market. After that I became a delivery boy on a scooter and that changed to a car eventually. I did a lot of work as a cleaner at Schiphol Airport, I worked in construction and the list goes on. I basically did everything that was needed to get where I am today.
7. So when did you decide to make a living of being a DJ?
Well I’ve also worked in a 5-star hotel in Amsterdam for almost two years. I used to work there five days per week and also had occasional night shifts. This was at the beginning of the house scene (late 80’s) and I was already performing on most Saturday nights. So it became common for me that I came out of the club after a performance and had to go straight to the hotel for a morning shift. They also wouldn’t let me trade shifts with co-workers. So at one point my manager said to me “Mister Elkabas! You have to choose right now; the hotel or being a DJ!” And I really had to make a choice that moment. For me it was a fairly simple decision so I told him ‘Later!’ and left. It was the first big decision for me to really go for it.
By the way, I made a lot of money there. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I made $1700,- there and got about $2000,- on tips each month. So sometimes I would walk home with $3700 in my pocket (which was almost 30 years ago). It was a beautiful hotel and the best of the best was staying there. There hasn’t been a doubt in my mind if I had made the right choice.
8. Are there any tracks on your album that were finished in a day or took a long time to produce?
Yes of course. It might be nice to talk about ‘BREAKS’. BREAKS are non-finished tracks, so-called ‘mid-intro’s’. They are short tracks which are awesome, but you can’t do anything with it as a full track. If you’re a DJ who is a fast mixer the track is perfect for you.
That’s also the reason why there are four different ‘BREAKS’ on the album. They were four different ideas that I had lying around, but weren’t finished yet. I will definitely continue with this, because I have a lot more short bits that aren’t full tracks yet.
9. Did you have to sacrifice a lot for a life as a DJ?
You could say that yes. If there are birthdays or parties of my friends and family, I can’t be there most of the time. I’m always busy preparing and planning things, maybe it’s time to back down from that a little. I’m always away from home a lot because of all the traveling. I have to miss all the things that I love; my girlfriend, family, cats, basically everything…
That doesn’t mean that I don’t like traveling, because I enjoy it to the fullest, but it’s nice to be at home and have no obligations for a change
10. Do you think that Hardstyle will ever cease to exist?
I think Hardstyle is now so steady that it will never ever disappear. What might happen is that the scene could become smaller or split off. But to be honest I’m not so afraid of such a thing happening, especially if you look at the growth of the scene. Hardstyle will stay as it is, in fact; the Hardstyle sounds will keep returning in different genres. The distorted kicks and hard effects which are typical for the Hardcore and Hardstyle scene, are more commonly found in mainstream House music.
11. Could you describe a regular day in the life of Dov aka ‘The Prophet’?
Yeah sure, I get up at 7:30/8:00 on Monday morning. The first thing is do is check my email, eat some breakfast and immediately head to the gym. After that I go and visit the studio, discuss several matters with the people there and receive an update about all sorts of things.
When there is time I head into the studio myself to listen to some demos or to make some sounds. If I don’t stick around too long, I head back home at around 19:00 for diner and after that the day is already over. Most of the times I send some emails or call some people after diner. Those things never stop…
12. There are many artists that experiment with other genres nowadays, but that’s not the case with The Prophet. Why is that?
Well there’s a reason for that. For example, when I visit The Prodigy I know what’s coming; broken beats and pots & pans clapping around your ears. It always has a certain drive. If The Prodigy would suddenly release a love song, I would just stand there with my jaw dropping to the floor, because that’s not why I visit The Prodigy. I think the visitor coming to my performance things about this the same way, so in my experience the listener has to know what’s coming for him.
On the other hand I do think that an artist should be able to do as he feels and pleases. But that often results in certain dilemmas along the way.
13. Do you also think about this the same with artists like Frontliner, who mostly play their own tracks in a set.
No absolutely not, that’s something completely different.
He has enough good and known music under his alias which he can play. I mean sure you are an artist, so people book you for your skills and your music. But if there is one thing that I notice nowadays it’s that DJ’s want to be seen and made into an ‘artist’ more than before. I myself just want to get the party going, and it doesn’t matter if I play my own tracks or someone else’s. However I do understand that someone else would do such a thing. I mean, if you have released 50+ tracks, why wouldn’t you play them all right?
14. Is there something else you would like to say about your new album ‘LOUDER’?
What the album mainly represents are those 9 months that I’ve worked on it. I’ve had ups and downs, fun times and arguments, summer and winter, negative but mostly positive.
It’s not just ‘fun’ or ‘hard’ or ‘raw’. My feelings of those 9 months are all in there. From sensitive to hard, sad, happy, left, right, everything is in it. It’s also just an album that you need to be able to play and think ‘H3Y! That’s awesome’! There is also a track on the record that I wouldn’t play in a set; ‘Ordinary Life’ without a beat, hahahaha! But it fits perfectly on the album.
I think it’s very important to be able to do what you feel on an album.
Buy & Stream links:
Google play: http://scantr.ax/63z