City Nomads Radio: Gab Rhome, Montreal

Gab Rhome’s sensual approach to life includes everything from literature to fashion and even cooking. Then there’s his music — both as a DJ and producer — coupled with an innate sense of rhythm, emotion, and groove to woo crowds at Burning Man, Tomorrowland, and Nocturnal Wonderland Festival, impressing the top guns at world-class record labels at the same time. The French-Canadian is the jewel in the crown of dreamy deep house, with an intriguing story to share.


Hi Gab! How’s 2019 been treating you so far?

2018 was a very challenging year for me emotionally, because of the heavy travelling and lack of methods to counter the debilitating effects of jetlag. At the end of 2018, I decided to surround myself with a dedicated, lovely, and professional team, and I made adjustments in my personal life. Because of this, 2019 has been really really good so far. There’s many exciting projects in the pipeline that are taking me away from my comfort zone, which is great.

You grew up as a very musical child. Who were the people you looked up to over the years, musically-speaking?

As a kid: Charles Aznavour. As a teenager: Nirvana. As an old kid: My Bloody Valentine and Four Tet. As a young adult: David Bowie and Miles Davis.

You’re a pretty young producer. How do you introduce the spirit of your generation into your music?

By moving fast, constantly adapting, and reinventing myself when I see the constraints of expectations arising. We live in an age where longevity only comes from constant learning and flexibility. I overvalue youth so I will always make sure to not become a fossil, artistically speaking.

What are some of your favourite gear in your setup?

Every piece of equipment I own covers very different grounds, so I love them all (almost) equally. My Voicelive from TC-Helicon has been quite the lifesaver for my vocal projects – this thing can make me sound half-good even with a cold. The Vermona PerFourMer is also a standout synth because though the architecture is simple, the creative freedom it offers is immense.

You’re based between Paris and Montreal. How does the crowd differ in each city?

Montreal is laid-back, humble (even though it has a very rich musical and artistic scene), and diverse. The population is so warm and freaky, which makes for the best crowd a performer can ask for. As a hopeless romantic, Paris will always hold a very dear place in my heart (or a romanticised version of it). It’s a very nice crowd there but it doesn’t stand out as much. I feel that there’s a need to fit in, like in most capital cities, that can kill a vibe.

What’s the most memorable set you’ve played recently?

At Sonica Venao, on top of a mountain in a secluded part of Panama with a group of people that became very dear to me. To get there, I had to fly in a small six-seater airplane – it was beautiful. There was the most amazing hospitality and a chance to surf every day. It’s too often overlooked, but hospitality can really make or break an experience for the artists performing.

What’s your gig schedule like for the rest of the year?

All over the world! I just came back from India and I’m packing my bags to head to the West Coast in the US tomorrow. I’m hitting all continents, except Antarctica (maybe one day!)

Where do you find time to write new music?

I honestly don’t know. It’s what I love the most, and it’s like therapy for me as it lets me push out all these feelings trapped inside. I usually find time during the weeks when I tour Western Europe or North and Central America. As of this year, I’ll also start taking a few weeks off from touring to dedicate some time to creating new songs. I’m trying three weeks in July this year.

What’s your workflow like? How does each track start?

With a large bowl of broccoli and noodles, a nap, and recording three koala bears. I also found that doing a quick meditation before the first session helps me pinpoint what (and how) I want to communicate in my next project. With this approach, every song starts somewhat differently. My workflow is almost exclusively outside of the computer, I don’t click too much and that’s how I like it. There’s something so satisfying with turning knobs and hearing the difference right away.

Describe your mix for us!

It’s fun! I cooked with it in the background to test it and my onions were all chopped sideways and unequal, so that’s a great sign!

Gab Rhome’s ‘Salmo Salar’ with Evren Furtuna is out on July 10th on SAISONS. Pre order it here.

Follow him on SoundCloud, Facebook, and Resident Advisor.

Photos courtesy of Alex Black and Christian Najarian.

Gary Lim

Deputy Editor

Gary is one of those proverbial jack of all trades… you know the rest. When not writing about lifestyle and culture, he dabbles in photography, graphic design, plays four instruments and is a professional wearer of bowties. His greatest weakness: spending more money on clothes than he probably should. Find him across the social world as @grimlay