A Sit Down with

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“The fact music can make you happy, make you cry, make you think about about you’re best memories is fucking incredible”

   East Coast superstars Anthony Riggi and James Piros, AKA Riggi & Piros, have been making New Jersey proud while simultaneously taking the EDM scene by storm with their larger than life sounds and massive remixes.  Not wasting any time getting their careers started, the duo started DJing at just 16, and got into production at 17. After only a year of production they had their first Beatport/iTunes release with Clockwork’s “Surge” (Riggi & Piros remix) that charted in the Beatport Top 20, an accomplishment that takes others years to achieve.

More recently, the guys have shot another video that will not leave you indifferent to their creativity..

  Anything you’d like to say about yourselves?

    We love the genre of electronic music, we started mixing music as young as 8 or 9 on DSS-DJ. Our love for music grew when we first started to go to events such as Electric Zoo and club events. From that point on we knew we wanted to be producers and make our own music the way we liked it. We’ve been doing it ever since!

How did you guys meet?

We met in elementary school. On the first day of school, we were playing basketball during recess and I threw the ball at Riggi’s head. From then on we became best friends.

What are your backgrounds in dance music, production wise as well?

We’ve been producing music for about 2 years and just recently we started to release some of our newest remixes. Now, in our best efforts, we release a new project as a weekly event.

Where do you guys draw inspiration from for music?

We hear famous DJs everyday, we have many inspirations. To name a few, there is TiëstoHardwell, and Clockwork. They have been our role models and we hope one day to be as big as them.

What do you think about the role social media plays in dance music?

The radio plays dance music everyday, its being blown up as we speak and its a great thing. Social sites such as Twitter, Soundcloud, etc. really help tracks gain major publicity. Everyone is getting on the EDM wave and we really don’t have a problem with it.

What kind of stuff do you guys like to do besides make music?

Photography, hiking, working out, cooking & when we’re in our hometown we love going to local bars with our homies!

What are your plans for the future?   

Well, sooner or later we hope to sign to a big label, but our biggest dream of all is to play in front of a huge crowd at a festival where the people come just to enjoy our music. It all seems as if it is possible now because our biggest role models are starting to support our tracks and talk to us, it feels surreal.

What would you be doing now if it wasn’t for music?                                                                                                 

To be honest we have no idea. Probably in a classroom somewhere learning about something that we don’t even care about.To be honest we have no idea. Probably in a classroom somewhere learning about something that we don’t even care about.
What was the best reaction you’ve gotten when a fan got to meet you?
We always love meeting the people that support us. One time someone got our names shaved into there head, that was sick. We always love taking pictures with people too.

 When do you usually make music?
 Everyday when we’re not on the road. We built a new studio a couple weeks ago and the only time we leave is to play shows.

A Sit Down with DJ Danny Howells

English DJ & producer Danny Howells

                                              “He’s not a publicity hungry, social media devotee.”

Danny Howells (born November 24, 1970) is an English producer and DJ. His music is often called a progressive house, although he prefers to communicate more with a technical house. At performances he is well acquainted with the staff with the audience. Howells has collected several albums for the Global Underground in addition to the Nighttime series. Howells is also a member of the department of duo science with Dick Trevor, who released singles “Breathe” and “Persuasion” / “Repercussion”, as well as remixes for artists such as BT. Since 2008, he has launched his own label, Dig Deeper – named after his long club night.

Danny Howells became one of the most respected members of the progressive home scene in the late 1990s. His participation in CD-series, such as Global Underground, Balance and Renaissance, earned him a reputation as one of the brightest minds in the genre, and since then he has been surfing the world of dance music and heading his own label, “Dig Deeper”. He recently played as part of 3D, a trio of DJs with Dave Siman and Darren Emerson playing at festivals such as Latitude or Glastonbury, and worked with charity organizations on animal rights, a subject close to his heart.

INTERVIEW:

     How did you record the mix?

Old school baby! Just two CDJs and a mixer, with a few edits made in Logic after. I wanted to use tracks that I hadn’t had a chance to play out yet and that was my only real theme. I buy so much music each week that I frequently look back at some of the tracks I’ve somehow neglected to play out for whatever reason, and I thought I’d give some of those an airing.

Where do you get your music from?

I’ll be honest, I’ve kind of given up going through promos these days. I check a few but 99% of the music I play is bought from Whatpeopleplay. I find that I tend to discover more obscure bits that way. I still record shop every week for all my other stuff. Reckless, Sister Ray, Sounds of the Universe, FOPP, HMV, Phonica, Record and Tape etc. I’m still pretty obsessed with record shops. I love Discogs as well for the bits I can’t find in stores.

Tell us about your record collection..

I started with hand-me-downs when I was a kid, things like Bowie, T.Rex, ABBA etc. I had a huge collection of 7″s and tapes by the time I was about 10, and it just escalated from there. It spiralled out of control about 10 years ago when I was up to about 25k records and lord knows how many CDs etc, but when I moved to London I managed to scale it right down to about 7k records, about half of which are electronic.

I still collect artists like Bowie and Prince..not obsessively but I look at my collection and sometimes realise I have six copies of the same record. If I’m passionate about a particular album then I usually like to have a really early pressing, preferably UK, and then maybe a Japanese copy for the sound and packaging, and so on.

What are you searching for in the records that you are seeking out week to week? We mean this question in the deepest possible interpretation. What does our endless search for the perfect record mean?! What are we really looking for? What are you looking for?  Freedom or relief through music? A connection to a greater energy? What’s going on!

Jesus that’s a question! Heaven knows. For me it’s never really been about searching for the perfect record as such but more about stumbling across them. DJing has changed so much for me, from the days where I would analyse a record inside out and play it for weeks on end, to today where I rotate my music constantly and try and play as many of my new bits at each gig as I possibly can. I buy my music pretty much blindfolded in that I flick through every new release without paying too much attention to who it’s by or what label it’s on or what style it is. And lo and behold, every now and then something emerges and you think “yup that’s perfect!” And then you start digging for your next gig..

Tiga wrote a post about playing badly and the side of DJing that no one talks about. Tell us about the last time you really mugged a set or felt truly vulnerable as  a DJ?

It’s pure truth. There are so many occasions where I know I could have done so much better, and then you’ll get people at the end saying they loved it and it really messes you up. You feel like you’ve let everyone down. But all it does it push you further. You can’t beat yourself up and dwell on it. I’ve never been the guy that goes “oh I rocked it” because whenever everything goes absolutely amazingly, it’s a pure team effort, from the sound, lighting, opening DJ, crowd, promoter..everything! But when it’s a bad night, I tend to take sole responsibility and do everything in my power to make sure it doesn’t happen at the next gig.

And tell us about the last time you really, truly connected with the inner DJ chi?

It would have been at my last gig which was a tiny venue in North London. It was a fundraiser for the forthcoming animal rights march and 90% of the people there had never heard me play before. It turned out to be a 6 hour set and one of those nights where I wasn’t having to think about what I was going to play next, it all just felt so natural and relaxed. It was something so different to what I’ve done before and that made it so exciting.

You’re a former psychiatric nurse. And for nearly two decades you’ve  spent your weekend around ravers in various states of untravelling consciousness. You’ve no doubt learned some valuable lessons about the human mind in your former job, what lessons have you learned about the human mind in your current job?

That’s a tough one. As a nurse one of the key things I learnt was to try not to judge people. I made that mistake with certain patients, forming an opinion on them before I later discovered they’d been a Doctor or ambulance worker or something and lost their family and home and been through sheer hell in the space of months. I always try and keep an open mind with people as much as I can. I still slip up sometimes but I try my best.

https://www.setlist.fm/setlists/danny-howells-43d693e7.html

https://www.1001tracklists.com/dj/dannyhowells/index.html

http://www.spaceibiza.com/en/music.html

https://www.lyricsbox.com/danny-howells-lyrics-r2n2h.html

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