Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano on Steve Angello, New Music, Their Label + More
We caught up with Dutch duo Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano in Amsterdam. We chatted about their label, how Steve Angello is a father figure, their latest music and their upcoming ‘Sexy By Nature‘ event. They’re really awesome guys, you can check out their latest release with Marc Volt below the interview.
How’s ADE been? What shows did you play?
We did our own label gathering on Wednesday, we invited some friends, it was like a pop-up store. We just wanted it to be a drink or two, but it turned into a big party, people jumping, screaming - it was fun! After that, we played at Oliver Heldens’ party unannounced. We got to play after Oliver and people were really surprised, fun gig. On Thursday we played at the 538 DJ hotel, doing an own showcase and then Saturday, we played at AMF, in the Amsterdam Arena. And last but not least on Sunday we had our own label party at Mad Fox, which was so much fun! Busy times!
You've got a pop-up party and a club night for your label. Is it the first time SONO is at ADE?
This year is our second time with SONO at ADE! Last year we were at Mad Fox as well but we organized it very last minute, so you can think of 2018 being the first proper year.
Your new label SONO is doing very well. What inspired you to create your own label?
We kept on getting promos from artists and they were not your typical EDM song, so they weren't getting signed anywhere. We would play the music but not do much with it after that. Everyone would ask us “What is this track?”, so we decided to create the label to release them ourselves. We talked with Armada and started the label with them. Right now it's taken off, we have so many promos!
What type of music or artists are you looking to sign?
A lot of people send tribal music with the beats and drums. But really, if you send us a track of what's cool, what’s fresh we would listen to it. We aren't genre specific, it’s more the sound and the arrangement. Of course, in our sets we play a lot of tribal sounds, but we also play techno and progressive, we play whatever sounds cool to us. If it’s different we will sign it, we love different music. With the label, we aren't into signing artists on multi track deals, we want them to be free. Of course, if an artist wants to be with us for many tracks that's great so we have a close connection.
You've got the ‘Sexy By Nature’ event on December 29th. Are you excited?
Yes! The 29th will be our New Year’s Eve. Normally it’s during ADE, last year we sold out 5000 tickets and it was amazing. 5000 people were still there at 5 o’clock in the morning! This year we had AMF, so we didn’t want people to choose where to see us, so we moved Sexy By Nature to Rotterdam on December 29th.
Who else is playing?
The legendary Erick Morillo, alongside Kungs, Vinny James and Marc Volt, with whom we just released a brand-new track: ‘In My Mind’. The second area will be hosted by ‘My Day My After’ with performances by Leroy Styles, Michel de Hey and Rancido.
You recently released your collaboration with Tom Staar on Size Records. It's not your first time on Size - what makes Size so special?
It’s Steve Angello. That guy basically gave us a chance internationally. We played together with Swedish House Mafia at Sensation in Amsterdam and he said we were amazing. Then Steve came to a show of ours on the beach and afterwards said he was blown away. He wanted us for the Swedish House Mafia Masquerade Hotel shows at Pacha Ibiza. The summer had already started so we didn't think it would happen and we thought he was full of shit. But in the car 20 minutes later we received an email from Swedish House Mafia’s manager; Amy Thomson saying: “thanks Steve for the introduction, we need you guys for four dates blah blah blah…”. From then it went very fast, Eric Morillo was in Ibiza all the time and he loved our sets, so we played with him in New York, then Steve took us to LA and then everything started. Steve for us, well we are the same age but, he feels like a father. He literally gave us the opportunity and we are never going to forget that. These kind of moments in your career, you cannot ignore them. Tom Staar has a label and so do we, but when Steve asked for the track we have to say yes, it is Size Records!
So could we expect you to be supporting Swedish House Mafia on their upcoming shows?
I don’t know, it would be a big honor to play for them of course.
Is your track ‘Coffee Shop’ referring to Amsterdam coffee shops or normal coffee shops?
You tell me! That's why we made it like that, it's for your imagination. The Amsterdam Coffeeshops are not for us, since we only drink. But sometimes you do go into the coffee shops with your friends.
Your latest release ‘Born Again’ is pretty unique. What was the inspiration behind it?
It’s actually not so unique, 10 years ago Ricky L released the track ‘Born Again’, there was the Pastaboys remix and the Balearic Soul remix which was the big one. They emailed us 10 years later once the rights became free. They asked us if we wanted to release it again with our own version under our own name, we looked at each other and immediately said yes! We played the original track out so much that we are the ones who made the track big. The original was so good, so we only added some drums, rearranged and remastered it and here it is! We’re so happy people are jumping to it and that we are actually on the track.
‘You Are’, the collaboration with Armin Van Buuren was a great success. You released ‘You Are Too’, was that an alternative version of the initial production?
The thing is, it was just a joke actually. We play ‘You Are’ so many times and in the car, we decided we needed to make a different version just for the sets. We made the new melody with our mouths and then Armin sent back the melody the next day. Then two more phone calls and ‘You Are Too’ was done. After we started playing out, all the fans started screaming that they need it. We actually wanted to use that melody for something else, but after all the fans heard it, we had to put it out like that. It's even going harder than the original version now actually!
Any collaborations or upcoming projects that you can give some hints on?
We just release a track, ‘In My Mind' with Marc Volt. Marc is a really talented guy that we will be supporting on our label a lot.
What can we expect from Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano in 2019?
We are aiming for an amazing time spot at Tomorrowland and hoping to bring back the Sexy By Nature stage again. We hope to make time for more studio, we have so much inspiration - but we also have so many great upcoming shows, so it’s kind of hard to choose. I think our plan is to expand ‘Sexy By Nature’ - we have the radio show and now we make the party bigger, we hope for exclusive venues. But really, we hope to play all the big festivals where we can see all our fans!
You can listen to Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano’s banging new release with Marc Volt below!