Ravell, whose real name is Richard Garcia, is one of house music’s fastest-rising producers. The Los Angeles-based producer started making music while DJing alongside his father at house parties during his childhood.
Since then, he has received support from the likes of Kaskade and Martin Garrix. Also, he has performed at festivals such as Beyond Wonderland and Coachella. Recently, he released a remix of Jessie & Joy and J Balvin’s collaborative single, “Mañana Es Too Late”.
I caught up with him before he performed his set at the second edition of “Ravell & Friends” at Academy LA in Hollywood on August 10, 2019. Below is the conversation of the Ravell interview.
Kenny Ngo: In your opinion, do you like performing at a daytime show like the “Ravell & Friends” show here at Academy LA more or less than a regular nighttime show at a nightclub?
Ravell: Actually, when it’s a “Ravell & Friends” show, I don’t mind either/or. I love it, it’s like my baby because I’m so involved and I have fun with all the “Ravellions”. The atmosphere and everything, down to the menu and the drink specials.
I got my favorite Salvadorian dish from my hometown, they’re out there selling pupusas. You need to try one, it’ll change your life and I’m warning you now! They also got paletas and churros, my favorite snack, and I basically put this all in one place. I love it, this is like Disneyland to me.
How did you react when you got recognized by the legendary Kaskade as you were making a name for yourself in the Los Angeles EDM scene?
I was really grateful to get the opportunity to open for one of his biggest tours, Freaks of Nature in 2012. It was very early on in my career but I was able to gain a lot of experience into how I would love to put on a show of my own. He’s awesome and talented and I’m super grateful!
Speaking of Kaskade and the 2012 Freaks of Natures tour, what were your feelings like when you first opened up the tour back then?
The whole tour alone was an experience and being on the road, that was the beginning of electronic music blowing up. Everything was new and it was one of my first biggest tours. It felt special, you know, the crew, everyone, and every little detail about that tour was special. It was a wonderful experience.
Since then, you have performed at prominent festivals such as Coachella and EDC Las Vegas. What has been your favorite festival to perform at and why?
My favorite festival I would have to say is…and I have so many favorites so it’s hard to say one. However, a few of my top 10 are EDC and Coachella. There’s something about the festivals that were well put together and now HARD Summer, which I recently did. I loved it and it was in my hometown and it was very rewarding to play on the main stage in my hometown.
How was it like producing the remixes for Enrique Iglesias’ hit songs, “Duele El Corazon” and “Subeme La Radio”?
Those two songs, I mean, it was an opportunity for me and I’m very grateful that they approached me. I did the first one and then I got approached to do two more official remixes, which was mind-blowing, because my parents are fans of his dad. The whole thing, I remember telling my family, “Guess what I remixed?!”, and it was such a big deal for my family and I just recently did a remix of Jessie & Joy and J Balvin’s “Mañana Es Too Late”.
I did a Ravell remix for it last week and just exclusively released it for YouTube. I think it now has over 100,000 views within a week so I’m still like soaking it in. I’m so grateful!
Speaking of “Mañana Es Too Late”, how was it like producing the remix?
Producing the remix was interesting because I was like, “Yo! I can add my own flavor to this!”. I wanted to do it in a way that complements the original, it’s a work of art. So I wanted to complement what they have already done. I did something a little different so for me, it was just perfect and it made into something that was in my head and the response has been crazy, Jessie & Joy’s team and J Balvin’s team loved it! It was a special remix too.
How was it like performing at Beyond Wonderland for the first time earlier this year?
Beyond Wonderland was an experience! The whole thing was well put together and even getting out there, hanging out at the artists’ compounds, doing interviews, talking to other artists, and meeting fans. I loved that and that’s what I worked hard for, you know, that whole experience was a reward for me.
Today is the second edition of your “Ravell and Friends” show here at Academy LA. The first edition of “Ravell and Friends” also took place at Academy LA on March 7 and it was a huge success, especially when Pasquale Rotella made a surprise appearance. What were the things that stood out for you the most from the first edition?
The things that stood out the most for me were the beautiful crowd coming in and 30 minutes after doors opened, the place was at max capacity! As well as Pasquale showing up and showing his support. From beginning to end of that whole show, everything was my favorite and the list goes on.
How was it like DJing alongside your father during your childhood?
Those were the special moments that I had in my life and in my career. I remember that and I’ll always remember this as I build my career and my dad should be here right now.
Last question and this one is related to LA sports teams. For soccer teams, do you root for LAFC or LA Galaxy? Baseball: LA Dodgers or LA Angels? Basketball: LA Clippers or LA Lakers? Hockey: LA Kings or Anaheim Ducks? And for football: LA Chargers or LA Rams?
I would have to say, and this is me growing up making music, I was never a big fan of sports. Just because I was always working on music and so if I wasn’t helping my parents out growing up, I would be working on music. I was always an outsider growing up and people were like, “What?! You don’t like sports? You don’t watch sports on the weekends?”.
I would be like, “No, on the weekends, I support and help my family make a little money to pay the rent”. Those were the things that I was doing and I wasn’t very fortunate enough to sit there and watch a full game but I will now!