Almost every song where this man is involved in, turns into an instant hit. He is perhaps the most influential songwriter in Electronic Dance Music. His collaborations include the likes of Armin Van Buuren, Blank & Jones, Sander Van Doorn, Ferry Corsten, and many more. He is the owner of Adrian & Raz Recordings. Dancepush is privileged to present an exclusive interview with Raz Nitzan!
You’ve written lyrics to many dance hits, when did you start writing lyrics?
First, thanks for having me! Actually it was with the “Sound of Goodbye”…We pitched the song to so many writers and no one delivered what we were after…So we’ve decided to do it ourselves…I didn’t even tell Armin at the time it was our intention – we just did it and he approved it without knowing I was involved as a writer. I was so insecure at that time and I wanted Armin to be neutral in his feedback!
Do you have an estimate of how many songs you wrote lyrics to?
Not really… hahaha
From where do you get your inspiration?
Life hands us so much material to work with…
Does the music come to you when you write the lyrics?
Well let’s start with the fact that I work with Adrian Broekhuyse on most songs so it’s always a journey….There are no rules to be honest…Some songs have lyrics first and they sort of discover or shape the singing melody along the way. Sometimes it’s the other way around as we have a strong feel for a melody and the lyrics just have to work within the idea…
Has there ever been a clash with a producer who produced a song not the way you envisioned?
Clash is a big word…But yes artistic visions sometimes find it harder to meet…You have an idea often based on a demo and by the time it becomes reality you end up with something completely different!
As a songwriter of so many successful hits, do you personally oversee how a vocalist performs your lyrics?
Of course! It’s often as important as the song itself.
There are many songwriters out there, but not as many have had the same success as you, what advice would you give if any to aspiring songwriters?
My one advice has nothing to do with songwriting and everything to do with songwriters approach. Understanding that it’s your business and like in any business or job opportunity – You simply have to show up! I read somewhere something like – you supply the quantity and the universe/God supplies the quality…I thought that’s a lovely way of saying – you show up and the universe rises up to meet you!
You repeated a successful formula in songwriting time and time again, what is the secret to making a hit?
Not really. Follow your heart! Find your own song…It might not be anyone else’s but it’s your polaroid – you know!
How were the lyrics for “The Sound of Goodbye” formulated, are the lyrics in reference to something personal?
I never claim any of my songs… I can not tell you where they come from…Noone can. It’s the universe talking through you and all you have to do is write it down before it fades…Sound of Goodbye felt very honest even though I was in a very happy place in my life at the time…
How was Elles De Graaf selected for the vocals?
A mutual friend introduced her to us for a possible collaboration and there was an immediate connection. Same with Susana and Shivers – exactly the same story. A friend introduced us and we connected immediately. Our first recordings were “Dark Side of The Moon” and “Shivers.”
You worked on many productions of Elles De Graaf, can you talk about the lyrics of “Circles of Why,” “Closer,” “Mind of The Wonderful,” and “Flaming June”?
Elles is amazing! We work together for over ten years now and it’s always a pleasure! Lyrically the songs move between shattered love in “Circles of Why”, turning your back on love in “Mind of The Wonderful” to the most balanced and romantic lyrics of “Flaming June”… Wherever we may go – Elles always delivers!
You wrote the lyrics for Sander Van Doorn’s “Love Is Darkness,” please give us an in depth idea into the lyrics and why do you think the song turned into a hit?
Love is Darkness was initially written for a male vocalist and it didn’t work out and when Carol came in – she nailed it immediately!
That sweet spot between being vulnerable, experiencing pain and discovering the power to go on…
You were behind another hit with Rex Mundi & Susana “Nothing At All,” please talk about this song and how did you come up with the lyrics?
We’ve written this song in five minutes… It came in one go like a complete picture that all we needed to do was to frame. Loved being part of this track and I have to say Susana owned it and completed it! Rex Mundi is such a talent. This instrumental was just soooooooo inspiring to work with!
You worked with Adrian for many years now, how did you two meet?
I knew Adrian for a long time as a house music producer and we initially started work together through remixes he did for my label…
What was the first track that you worked together on?
Sound of Goodbye… Not a bad start! :)
You accomplished so much as a songwriter and a musician, yet only recently established your long overdue label of “Adrian & Raz Recordings.” What conditions prompted you to launch your own label?
Well that’s not completely true. I had Playground as my label for years now… Sound of Goodbye and many other classics were initially released or promoted as Playground releases. The whole idea is that in these changing times you have to reinvent yourself and think different and that’s what we had to do. In a way – we wanted to connect the dots of fifteen years of working together… It’s a celebration of our work together and a privilege to share this with the world!
What is the difference between Audentity Records and Adrian & Raz Recordings?
It’s one of our sub labels created and built by the amazing Edwin Koelewijn aka Team Bastian from Ernesto vs Bastian.
What do you hope to accomplish with your label?
Share more vocal work and more passion for music with the world.
Your contribution to dance music has been monumental, we want to thank you for your time because without your contribution a significant chunk of dance music would not be what it is today.
Thank you very much! Wow! When you are been called to be part of this “Music world” it’s of course such a gift but it’s not an easy line of work you know so your generosity is very much appreciated here!