Producer RJD2 knows how to throw a party, so he’s pulling out all the stops for Wednesday’s University of Colorado Homecoming Concert.
The RJD2 show is taking place in CU’s Glenn Miller Ballroom, and it’s both free and sold out — entry will be on a first come, first served basis for students who picked up free tickets at Program Council’s office in the University Memorial Center. But get there early: Having a ticket won’t guarantee admission, according to Program Council.
Who: CU Homecoming Concert, featuring RJD2, Whiskey Blanket and DJ Rootz
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Glenn Miller Ballroom, University Memorial Center, CU campus, Boulder
Cost: Free with ticket, but tickets honored first come, first served
It’s no surprise this show will be standing room only, as RJD2 is one of the hottest producers on the scene. His diverse music runs from hip-hop to electronica and rock. The talented artist also is known for his collaborations with other artists, and his tunes have been featured in a wide range of TV shows, movies and commercials.
RJD2 is the stage name for Ramble John Krohn, and this artist knows a little bit about the performing arts world.
“My parents were performers and that was the environment I grew up in,” Krohn said. “I spent a lot of time in the theater.
“When I was about 10, I got very interested in music, and started taking guitar and piano lessons. I eventually got involved with being a DJ and hip-hop, and that led to me being a producer.”
Krohn found his niche in the world of musical production. This was the place where he could put all his creative energy.
“For me, production work is the most important thing,” Krohn said. “This is where you can see the musical process happen from beginning to end. This creative process really spoke to me.
“Production is the place where you can start something from nothing and see it through to the finish.”
Krohn has made a name for himself in the hip-hop world, but he also sees his music as a hybrid of sounds. The producer finds it fair game to include everything from electronic to rock and psychedelic sounds in his mixes.
“I’m doing more hip-hop these days, but the music spans a lot of genres through the course of my albums,” Krohn said. “Some songs are synthesizer and instrumental, and others are soul, R&B and live instrumentations.
“Song by song, my music goes through some pretty radical changes. I think it’s about having a short attention span, but I’m always drawn to albums that have a sense of drama and pretty open formats.”
Krohn’s unique sound fusion allows his music to be used in club settings and mainstream media. His song “Ghostwriter” has been used for Wells Fargo ads, and the tune “A Beautiful Mine” serves as the theme for TV’s “Mad Men.”
“I am a big fan of ‘Mad Men,’ so it was an honor to have my music used for the show,” Krohn said. “I’m also a big fan of ‘The Simpsons,’ and one night they made a reference to the opening credits of ‘Mad Men.’
“That was really surreal and exciting. I’ve been watching ‘The Simpsons’ for years and I just happened to turn on that episode!”
Krohn’s promoting his 2010 CD, The Colossus, but the artist’s already working on his next record
“My previous record was themed, so my intention on this record was to not do any collaborations,” Krohn said. “I limited myself to playing all the instruments and doing all the vocals. I’m shooting for a retrospective of different styles that I’ve been working with over the years.”
Live RJD2 shows can feature a full band, but Krohn will be flying solo for the CU Homecoming Concert.
“I’ll be in Boulder with four turntables, two samplers and a video link,” Krohn said. “I’m just going to do my thing for CU. It’s a pretty well-oiled show, because I’ve been on the road so much.
“Live shows are a good opportunity to get out and see the people, and find out what they respond to.”