A Sit Down With DJ Ramon Tapia
Ramon Tapia has been playing in the dance scene for quite some years. Ramon was born and raised in Zeeland and spent his entire teenage years in clubs throughout the province. Ramon knew that he wanted to go further in the music because of his job in a record store. Once infected with the techno virus, he moved to Antwerp where he was going to study for a jeweler. In addition, he began to produce records in which he eventually found his way.
"I just want to do my own thing and play."
How did you get into the electronic music scene?
After my sisters made me listen to all their tapes back in the days. It always got stuck in my head so vie always been a electronic music lover but i think its really got to appoint when i started to study this changed a lot. But i always had a drive to do something with it from an early age. When i said i wanna be a DJ lots of people laughed.
Can you remember the first time you played your own track out at a club? What was it, and how did it feel?
It was and still gives me a good feeling, because you never know how the crowd will react on a new track. Its also good to listen to it loud, so I can fine-tune it afterwards in the studio. If the reaction is big, you feel king of the world for 6 minutes.
What were your early / original inspirations?
I actually studied to become a jeweller/goldsmith! Music was just a way to relax in the evenings and have a hobby, playing at some local parties here and there. The bug really got me once I started working after school in a record store. After a while I decided this was the thing that I wanted to do the most - making music and trying to make a living out of it. My mum was shocked when I told her, as she was the main source of funds for my University studies, but she also told me I should anything that I feel passionately about rather than be sorry when I am 80. My first big aspiration was to get signed to a label. My first release was on Pocket - a sub label from music man and legendary techno label. I always set new goals every year, and I think that helps me to grow as an artist, the sky is the limit as they say.
Last year, Great Stuff Recordings released your album Mini Jack. How did this collaboration begin?
It started with my Sweet Lullaby record on Craft Music, the label of Tomcraft. It worked out so good that they asked me to do a seven tracks mini-album on Great Stuff Recordings and so here we are.
Youve peformed in lots of countries, but surely one of them is your best. Where is the best place you have played and what makes it so special?
There are so many countrys that are amazing they all have something special and all in a different way The people make the party not the country So to be honest this is a i will never be able to answer I love djing even if its for a crowd of 30 people. if the party is on the party is on.
For the uninitiated, how would you describe your sound and the type of techno that you play?
I play everything from house to techno. It all depends on the night and how I feel at that moment. I'm an entertainer, so I will go with the flow to get the best out of the night. I always make sure I got my first five tracks ready. Then I see how the crowd reacts and go on from there. This makes you flexible in many ways and it makes DJing lots of fun because you never know where the night will be heading.
What principles do you apply to your music production and what rules or lessons could you give to any budding producers out there?
1 When you hear things when playing around with samples or synths but they wont fit into what you are making, don't skip it keep it and render it. This can always come in handy down the line for another track, you never know what sparks that next idea!
2 Mix bass and low frequencies in mono, this will give the rest of your mix some nice space.
3 Never try to go into the reds. If you do want to saturate your track use a saturator unless you are using an analogue mixing desk.
4 Experiment! Nothing cooler than just to play around with a synth or record something yourself, possibilities are endless, and making music should be fun to do. It also helps when you get stuck a bit to mess around with different things in the studio.
5 - If you do want to sample, then sample wisely. Try to create something new with it, and dont hold back on trying things out. Sometimes the craziest tweaks create the coolest vibes
6 - Try to finish your tracks. Sometimes this can be hard for some people as they get distracted or uninterested by the track after a long period of time. Mostly thats from over thinking, so try and keep your mindset free of those thoughts. If that doesnt work, try to make your worst track ever, you will be surprised what you will come up with!
7 - There is no good or bad, only you know how your music has to sound, so stick with that, try not to follow others, but lead!
8 - Believe in yourself. The music business is hard and can be a bitch by times so dont get emotional or feel a setback if you get a bad review or a label doesnt want to sign your last track. Instead use this as a tool to help you make better tracks. Just remember the more tracks you make, the more mistakes you will also make, but the better you will become from this learning experience.
9 - There is no magic recipe if you want it, then you have to work so hard to achieve your goals. Its all about trial and error.
10 My last tip would be for production. Never use a limiter on your mix down the mastering guy will love you!
If you could choose, which artist would you work with?
James Brown or Quincy Jones They both have and had huge insight of getting people touched with music. Then do not forget these guys are the starters of our dance and hip-hop culture today.
There are about a million DJ monikers and all of them tell a story. Why did you start using the moniker AMARI this year ?
Well, I wanted to keep the music styles separated because people stated to get confused. As a producer you can produce whatever you want but as an artist you have to have a certain direction, so thats why I have Ramon Tapia for my Tech House/Techno productions and then AMARI goes into the more melodic side.
In recent years, you are remixed and worked together with, among others, UMEK, Monika Kruse, Armand Van Helden, DJ Sneak and Martin Buttrich. With whom would you like to work together in the future or make a remix?
There are so many fantastic artists that shoot in my head. If I really have to choose, without taking into account genre, I would go for Pharrell! That guy is incredibly good! A collaboration with Hans Zimmer would also be great, he can give you goosebumps with 2 notes and even let a tear drop away. If you ever meet Pharrell or Hans Zimmer, please tell him to call me to get in the studio together.
It seems that Deephouse and Techno is taking over from EDM and is becoming a mainstream. Do you think that way?
I think it's mainly about age and your friends," says Ramon. 'Of course the popular music movement plays along, but the older you get, the more you will appreciate other sounds. Then you do not necessarily have to go to a party or festival continuously. It certainly matters which parties your friends are going to.
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