Talent, unwavering dedication and a hunger for new creative achievements have brought Jon Rundell long-term success. The etch label boss is currently on a roll, leading a new movement in music distribution giving away his tracks for free streaming & download on his SoundCloud, rather than focusing on sales, while traveling the world DJing and spreading his signature groove. We’ve caught with Jon during Sonus festival and we spoke about his performance, his upcoming Asia gigs, his beginnings, his relationship with legendary Carl Cox and other interesting plans.
Hi, Jon! This year, Sonus celebrated its fifth anniversary and on top of that, it was your debut performance at the Festival. What were your impressions?
I've kind of hoped to play here since the beginnings, which was five years ago, and now I was finally able to be part Sonus which is great. It's always nice playing outdoors when there's the sunshine and therefore I'm playing a bit more housey vibes. Everybody's happy and people are smiling so I'm really excited to be here.
For the first year, I was really struggling and after that period, it suddenly started to click a little bit.
You'll soon perform at Japan and China alongside our Slovenian techno "father" Umek. Is this your first time playing there?
Yes, I'll perform with Umek. I've never been in Shanghai before, so that'll be my first time. To be honest, I don't know really what to expect, but people want us there and I'm happy about that. I've been to Tokio four or five times already. It's an amazing city and people are really passionate about the music. And yeah, every night that I've played there, was a really good one. It's a very interesting place and it's just a shame that I don't get to spend so long there to look around. Maybe next summer I can do that.
Did you prepare anything special for them?
Not really... I mean, I normally collect music all week and I turn up at the venue where I decide what I'll play. Hopefully, I can give them a special feeling, you know?
Speaking of venues. If you could choose your favorite "playground" in your long career, which one would it be?
Wow... I don't know (takes few seconds to answer)... well, Space Ibiza was indeed special. I've played there for a long time and I've done every single room in there. I still think that it's one of the greatest clubs that ever existed in the world. Fabric in London is another special club for the music that they play and for the fact that they like to give a lesser known artists the opportunity to play, like me before. I think it's not always just about the music, it's also about the setting and the vibe. Different clubs have a diverse energy.
Warung in Brazil is another place where the sun comes up in the morning and that creates a whole another vibe compared to a night before. Being English, I don't really get that much in the UK, so every now and then it makes it really special for me too. But then you go to the Sub club in Glasgow, which is a small place with a low ceiling and it's just like the most fun time ever; it's amazing!
Let's move back a while. How old were you, when you first fell in love with electronic music?
I first started collecting music when I was probably around 14 or 15 years old. I didn't play in a club until I was 20 and then it kind of slowly took off from there. First, there were local clubs, venues and after few years I got to play around Europe and then further away such as South America or Australia. The production side came a little later. I think I was about 26 or 27 when I started to learn how to make music.
I've been in studios with other people before but it wasn't until that age when I decided that I'll try and learn it more by myself. For the first year, I was really struggling and after that period, it suddenly started to click a little bit. As the years went by, I've learned more and more. I got inspiration from all kinds of various genres and just life in general, I guess.
Just out of curiosity, do you currently have any other professions besides music?
No, not now. I used to though. I did all kind of jobs before when I was younger but I was trying to make it in music. I worked in a record distribution company in London, but I left that and after that, I've also parked cars at a hotel. It was quite fun, you get to drive a fancy car even though you can only shift to second gear.
After that I basically started working at Intec, so that's pretty much how it was. I'm also a big football fan. I played it in a professional club when I was younger but that didn't work out so the music took over. I still watch it though.
We all know that Carl Cox is an extremely genuine person who's always smiling. What's he like "behind the wall" as a co-worker on the label?
He's like that all time, that's 100%, Carl! We still have serious conversations though, but I think because we work for such a long time now, we kind of know how things are and when there's a problem, we fix it. We always bring things up or talk honestly about them. The main thing for us is just going out, enjoying it and giving the enjoyment to other people. We're different personalities.
For instance, I concentrate a lot when I DJ and I kind of forget to do the hands-in-the-air and stuff like that. Carl, on the other side, is bouncing around all over the place and he's full of energy, but at the end of the day, it's the same feeling for both of us even though we do it differently.