Ibiza Sonica host and 69 Street Records boss, Neil Daruwala, is a man with a reputation that is not to be sniffed at. Here he talks about his musical past, his forthcoming EP release called ‘The Creator’, and his plans for the future.
– So, can you tell us a bit about your relationship with electronic music? How did it all start?
Hearing bleeps and blobs coming out of my sisters room in the 90s. She was listening to an old tune called Jolly Roger and I was hooked from that moment.
– Would you call yourself a confident producer at this rate? How long have you been doing it?
I’ve been doing it since 2007 but on a serious level since 2012 so not too long. I am confident as a producer and learning all the time
– How long did it take you before you got to a stage where you felt pretty comfortable doing it?
After about 3 years of practicing and learning how to produce.
– And can you tell us a bit more about the latest release? How did it come about and what sort of vibe were you going for with it?
Of course, the track is called ‘The Creator’ and its sort of a wink and a nod for all the producers out there as we all are creating new music everyday. I wanted to make a more mysterious kind of track, a little bit different from the norm yet recognisable at the same time. It was also important that the track is 100% original and in fact no loops or samples were used except the very short vocal snippet that most people will recognize immediately.
– Did it end up as you envisaged it to? Or did you change a lot of it during the production process?
The final version is exactly how I envisaged the track. A deep house track that is slightly leftfield and mysterious, yet instantly recognizable. The creative process went smoothly without too many complications.
– What was the most challenging aspect of putting it all together?
Getting the end product to sound tight during the mix down and mastering process. I have a great mastering man called Barry who only masters once he’s happy with the pre master. I think I sent him 10 versions before he was happy to start the mastering process.
– What do you think makes it stand out from other tracks out there? It is quite different, right?
Yes it is different and quite unique and I think that’s important nowadays. It will stand out because of those factors. With so many producers working tirelessly these days you have to do something a little different, experiment with sounds and be courageous in order to stand out from the crowd. Also musically its all me except the vocal snippet, no libraries or samples and I think that comes across in the track also.
– You opted for no other tracks or remixes here. Was that a conscious thing on your behalf?
One guy I worked with before wanted to do a remix but for one reason or another it didn’t work out. In the end I did release it with a B side so to speak, but yeah my feeling was to not arrange a whole bunch of remixes but let the track breath on its own and see how it fairs.
– What did you learn about yourself from a personal and musical perspective after this release?
On a personal note, I learnt that I’m improving everyday, one can never learn enough and with music production, there are always new things to discover. It’s an endless journey.
– How have your tastes changed in recent times? What artists do you usually always call on when you’re DJing?
I’ve never really only liked one genre of electronic music since day dot when I first starting listening to it. I generally DJ deep or tech house or Techno so it depends on the gig, but for example if I’m doing a techno set I’ll always play Sam Paganini , Hollen, Adrian Hour or a Nicole Moudaber tune.
– What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the years as a DJ and producer?
As a DJ, make sure you read the crowd and look up at them while you are playing. Feel their vibe, their energy and work hard to keep them moving. As a producer, endurance and perseverance, belief in yourself, willingness to learn and also accept criticism.
– Do you think the best is yet to come from you? What else have you got lined up?
Yes for sure. I don’t feel I’ve made my best ever track but compared to my first ever releases I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made. I’ve got various remixes lined up, an amazing Tech house journey from a talented producer called Elias Tzikas, and a straight up Techno track from a great Irish producer called Jonno Brien. Also got a few of my own tunes ready to go.
– Finally, if you could have produced one other house track, what would it be and why?
Oh there are so many tracks that make me think, ‘How did they do that?’ Or are so groovy and simple yet just make your body move. Having said that I’d love to sit with Oliver Huntemann and just learn from him. The sounds he creates and his attention to detail just amazes me.
Interview by Dan Mackenzie
Neil Daluwara’s latest release ‘The Creator’ is to come out on the 30th March on 69 Street Records