Where are you currently based?
I am based in Antwerp in Belgium, I got stick here after my goldsmith and art history studies 😉
You had a recent Australia tour – what were you highlights? (venues, cities and sights)
I’ve was in Sydney, Auckland and Melbourne and to be honest all three were such amazing places, but there is this sweet connection I have with New Zealand, such a beauty of an island and the people are so down to earth and easy – I just love it. Sydney is also beautiful and wow some amazing things to see including the Opera House, which was nice to finally see in person rather than always on a post card. Some of the best parties were in Melbourne, they are known for their crazy party scene and it went off hard that night!
You have a remix coming out very soon of a rockin Sharam Jey track “Roxcity” on King Kong Records, how did remixing this classic come about?
I’ve known Sharam Jey quite a while now and when he asked me if I wanted to do a remix, I wanted to try it out first and see what I came up with, and I seriously needed a couple of attempts to see where I could go with it. The track is such a classic, that it’s kind of necessary to keep at least the original vibe there, so after implementing the main hook, I started working around it and to be honest, I am really happy with the way it came out. I was kind of afraid at first that he wouldn’t like it, but he did, so we released it!
How did you approach the remix production for this track? Is it hard to work with a track that’s already considered a classic anthem?
It’s hard, because you need to really keep those essential elements there, so that the track is still recognizable, or else I believe it’s not a real remix. On another hand it’s always hard to beat an original which was such a hit, most people will always return to the original instead of a remix. I needed some time for it though as I wanted it to be as cool as I could get it.
What influences how you remix a track?
The parts are always the main influence. Small things can spark my creativity, like a bassline or a piece of a synth. I had many remixes in my time where the parts were not that good or at least not good enough to spark something which sets my creativity alight. Sometimes I end up with those which I feel are going to be really hard, but somehow they manage to excite me and I just get on a roll and its done in a day. So I guess to answer your question, first the parts and then my mood!
You are also on the Storybook EP coming out on Tale & Tone digitally later this year, under the name Amari – how does your sound differ under this moniker?
Yes, Amari is my new moniker. It’s the deeper side of me, with more melodic productions and more vocals. I enjoy working as Amari, and like to keep it separate from Ramon Tapia, as it gives me some space for experimenting and enabled me to have a new sense of freedom in the studio too, as it took me out of my comfort zone a little.
What equipment did you use in the production process of the EP?
I use Cubase 8.5 as DAW, Maschine 2 for drums and when I had the main parts of the track set up, we moved to Lost Deserts studio to get some more inspiration and the finishing touches done there. The track “Hunter” wouldn’t be as good as it is without the vocals of Adomas. I just love the voice and it still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
It was a collaboration with Lost Desert, was this the first time working together? If so, how do you find collabs?
I’ve actually know Lost Desert for almost 20 years, and he was actually the one that gave me my first pro audio card, a Digi 001 back in the day. I had no cash what so ever back then and he saw what I could do and wanted to help me out a little. He has so much knowledge its crazy, but he has been in this industry 10 years longer than me.
In general I don’t really do that many collab tracks, but for instance with Lost Desert it just happened and felt right. I went over to his house and we go and jam for a few hours and before we knew it, we have been in the studio for 12 hours! Doing collabs is a good experience though as you learn to work your skills with another artist, also learn lessons from each other, and how they work in their studio. You can really create something magnificent with two minds working, but also you can really make some utter crap when it doesn’t flow.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Big L – “The Enemy” Feat. Fat Joe. I am a huge hip hop fan and it keeps me out of electronic music when I am at home and on the road.
When and where are you playing next?
The gig this weekend is a big festival in the Hague in Holland, and then we have the Den Haag Outdoor festival, and then Ibiza at the end of August to play at Heart. Festivals are always a lot of fun, so I am happy to be playing a few big ones this summer.