Neil Daruwala is the host of Ibiza Sonica and currently resides in Barcelona, Spain. We got a chance to catch up with him recently and talk about his thoughts on the electronic music world, and his latest release 'The Creator' on his own imprint, 69 Street Records.
What was your first memory of electronic music?
My first big memory was going to a warehouse rave somewhere on the outskirts of London.
Do you still buy music? If so, where from? And what do you look for in a track before you spend money on it?
Definitely still buy music online now although I miss the whole process of buying vinyl. Generally I’m simply looking for tracks that make your body move.
How long have you been DJing? What made you pick it up in the first place?
I’ve been Djing for more than 15 years now, and listening to mix tapes back in the day made me wonder how these DJs created such amazing sets. It intrigued me and influenced me to buy my first pair of Technic 1200s.
As a DJ what do you see as your roles? Has that role changed since you first became involved in electronic music?
It depends on so many factors but since day dot, the most important thing is to make people dance and enjoy themselves. It’s all about the audience. The role hasn’t changed so much over the years, and the end product is the same, create something special.
Aside from Djing/production, do you have any further involvement in the music scene at home?
I’m always trying to network and gain contacts. That’s crucial.
So if you were curating your own dream festival, who would be on the bill?
Wow the list would be too long but definitely DJs from different genres all mixed in together and I’d try and persuade DJs to DJ genres they are not used to. For example I’d love to have a well known drum n bass DJ playing a deep house set and visa versa.
And how would you sum up your sound to those that don't know?
Because I make different genres it’s hard to define my sound. Is that a bad thing? I don’t know but I love making a deep house track one week and then a banging Techno track the next week.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing emerging producers in this day and age?
Saturation. We’ve heard it all before but it’s true. There are so many producers these days that the challenge is to produce something outstanding, different, yet appealing to a lot of people. Not easy to do.
Are you still learning when it comes to production? And have you had a mentor of sorts? Did you ever take any lessons when it comes to making music?
One can never know everything in regards to production so yes definitely still learning. I took a few initial lessons in logic many moons ago and it was a great experience and needed. It’s not essential but a few classes never hurt anyone.
Are you a hardware or a software guy? And which do you prefer?
A software guy simply because I’ve never had access to a lot of hardware, but I would love to have some hardware in my studio.
Your latest track is out now on the 69 Street label. How did it come about? What's your involvement with the label like?
Being the founder of the label my involvement is 100%.So I’m always looking for new talent, arranging promo, speaking with online shops, uploading music, arranging artwork and a lot more. It never ends but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love it.
Why was 69 Street the right place for the track? Who really inspired the track?
I was thinking of shopping the track off to other labels BUT the process is so long and depends on many factors I decided to release it on my own imprint 69 Street. The track isn’t inspired by one single person but more by the old school deep house sound from Chicago or Detroit.
Are you a full-time musician? If not, is that the ultimate aim?
This year I’ve decided to go for it and work full time as a musician. I’ve only got limited funds so it’s going to happen for me in 2015 I’m sure of that.
What are your long-term goals then?
I think it’s everyone’s dream to make a comfortable living from something they love doing, their passion, and that is my long term goal
And what else can we look forward to from you? What other tricks have you got up your sleeve for the next while?
I’m working on 2 remixes from 2 great up and coming artists who have already released tracks on major labels and have kindly gave me a couple of tunes to release on 69 Street. So those will be big releases plus releasing my own work and hopefully some 69 street showcase parties which are always fun.
Neil Daruwala's latest release 'The Creator' comes out on 69 Street Records on the 23rd March