“Trance is my vibe, I don’t like anything better and I refuse to play anything else,” straight from the horses mouth, the horse being the passionate Jaryd Raizon, otherwise known as Phrodo. I did a hilarious, yet informative interview with Jaryd because those who know him are well aware of his “strictly Trance and Progressive” attitude and the people who don’t, should.

Not only is he fast becoming a popular DJ on the Trance and Progressive scene in Cape Town, he is a fourth year Business Science student at UCT, the guy is a machine. He started out in 2009 doing what most start-up DJ‘s do; everything. Back then he went about as ‘Jaryd Raizon’, playing it all; House, Electro, Hip Hop, R’n’B and so on. It was only when he “found [his] sound” that he changed his stage-name. Phrodo is no joke either, he started taking DJ’ing seriously after having learnt a few things at The Soul Candi Institute of Music. His instructors were the well known Mark Valsecchi, or STEREOTYPE, Ryan Murgatroyd and Konstantinos Karatamoglou who together form Crazy White Boy.

Having played it all, his decision to stick to Trance and Progressive was an emotionally driven one, “When I’m listening to music, when I’m sitting in my room and I’ve got my headphones on there’s just, like, nothing else. All I want to do is sit there and listen to this music, play this music, make this music. There’s no other music that moves me like Trance and Progressive does, if you listen to the words and if you listen to how the music is actually structured and the way it’s put together it’s just so genius.” Jaryd explains that the ideal trance set tells a story from beginning to end and utilises vocals to carry the story through, “I don’t think you can do that with any other genre because the vocals, especially in commercial music, are just pretty stupid and meaningless. There’s no depth, it’s just shallow ‘what’s up, what’s up, yo bitch’ it’s just stupid!”

Jaryd’s influences are ever changing, but those who have most inspired him have been Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond, Gareth Emery, Ferry Corsten, Protoculture and the likes. On asking him who Phrodo really is I got a mouthful; “Phrodo is really about trying to grow the Trance and Progressive industry in South Africa, Cape Town in particular. I want people to understand that there’s a difference between psy-trance and prog-trance and that although they might not like psy-trance, prog-trance is actually quite beautiful and uplifting if you give it a chance.”

When he’s making a mix he likes to start it off relatively slow, at 128/9bpm, and bring it to 134/5bpm by the end, “where you’ve started off chilled and now you’re chair-raving, you know? Or like having a jol while you’re driving,” this is the case with his favourite mix so far, ‘Hands to the Synth.’ He highlights key as well as ensuring that the tracks being mixed flow; “they can’t sound s*** when you’re putting them together.” When preparing for a live set, Jaryd makes sure that he includes enough tracks that the commercial crowd can relate to but the focus remains on the underground stuff that he loves, “that the hard-ass trance fans can jam to. It’s a balance.”

On the topic of the ever-growing popularity, and seeming commercialism, of the trance culture he believes that it’s not the music but the scene, “I don’t think that the music itself has become commercialised I think it’s the experience that has, I think there’s a big difference.” The consensus is that being a hipster has become cool, but Jaryd believes that you can tell a true hipster from a wannabe with ease, “people that go with with their lumo stickers and V&A Waterfront-bought scarves around their heads, prancing around like fairies, in their brand-new All-Stars are just the people looking for photos to put on Facebook.”

Phrodo has been short-listed to play as a supporting act for international DJ duo, First State, in April so he’s holding thumbs. Otherwise he can be seen at the Fusion events at The Purple Turtle held in conjunction with Halo, SA Trance Family and Crazy Productions, if you’re that way inclined ‘Like‘ his Facebook page to keep updated!

Stay tuned.

Editors note: In the spirit of full disclosure, the writer and interviewee know each other on a friendship basis.