Our latest artist interview features AMAN. The Indian producer’s latest studio production ‘Stranger’ is out now on Agara Music. Please enjoy our interview with AMAN below.
1. Hi Aman, thanks very much for joining us here! This is the first time I’ve interviewed you so let’s give our readers and your fans some background info. How old are you and how long have you been producing and Djing?
AMAN: Hello Mitch! Thank you for inviting me. It’s my utmost pleasure. I am from Bangalore, India and my roots are in Bihar. I am 22 years old! I started producing music in late 2011 and took Djing more seriously around the same time.
2. Where do your musical roots lie and when did you know you wanted to pursue electronic music seriously?
AMAN: I come from a family of doctors and engineers with few of us wanting to pursue something “out of the box”. That being said, My father introduced me to his collection of Simon & Garfunkel, Beatles, Carpenters and Bollywood classics from an early age. And there was plenty of devotional music to listen to at any given point of time. I learnt the Tabla for about seven years so it played a huge part in influencing me. I got introduced to electronic music in 2008 thanks to a couple of friends and that was when I went for my first party. Of all the tracks that could change my life, it was Yves Larock’s ‘Zookey’. haha! Eventually I stumbled upon the more meaningful side of electronic music, and the ever increasing love for it, made me feel the need to contribute to the scene. So that’s when I decided to seriously pursue electronic music.
3. You are based in Singapore but are originally from India, so why and when did you re-locate and how is the nightlife in Singapore? are there clubs and events you can go out to which showcase quality electronic music? Do you get a chance to DJ there at all?
AMAN: I relocated to Singapore in 2010 to pursue mechanical engineering initially. But after a year, decided to leave it to study Animation. The nightlife in Singapore is great! Two clubs I really like are Kyo and Velvet Underground, Zouk. They bring quality artists all the time. Amidst the EDM culture, it’s great to see people pushing the more unknown sound as much as they can. Because of these two clubs I have got a chance to meet Funk D’Void, Guy J, Secret Cinema, Levon Vincent, Xhin, Jay Tripwire, Alan Fitzpatrick, Egbert, Carl Craig and so many more artists!
Well, I do small events mostly with friends but on a larger scale, I personally feel, it’s a struggle. But a positive struggle. I believe that one has to work hard and passionately to achieve bigger things in life. So right now, I am just working hard towards certain goals .. or trying to!
4. You’ve had a great year so far. Your singles on 3rd Avenue and Agara Music have arguably been your best studio works to date. Can you feel your productions progressing from track to track? and is there a conscience effort to continually change and progress or is this something that just happens naturally without you thinking about it?
AMAN: Thank you! It’s always great to read such nice words. Well, from the very first track I released up till this point, yes there is definitely a positive progression. But there is always room for improvement. With every production, I try to incorporate something new that I have learnt either on my own or after listening to other songs. And that learning process continues at each and every step. I try to keep it as exciting as possible so that I might surprise myself at a certain stage of experimentation.
5. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on in your career that really helped?
AMAN: The most difficult part was to convince my parents that I wanted to do something like this. But it’s with their blessing that I am doing it now. So no complains really! I subscribed for an online course on Sonic Academy to understand the basics of music production and from there, I just started playing around with Ableton and started experimenting with sounds. Facebook has been a very strong medium for me as it helped me connect with so many artists who inspire me in some way or another. Praveen Achary and Vinayak^A have given me very valuable advice and I
really look up to them.
6. What’s a normal day like for AMAN? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on production?
AMAN: It’s pretty much like everybody else’s normal day, except I eat cheesecake for breakfast. Just kidding! I study Animation right now and I have two more years to complete! I like watching movies and playing the playstation when I am not producing music.
7. Your tracks tend to have a very spiritual element to them. What if anything inspires this in your music?
AMAN: As I mentioned earlier, I think all the devotional music that is played in my house has seeped it’s way through into the music I make. But honestly, I don’t really think about it. I write music based on a certain emotion that’s overpowering everything else.
8. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
AMAN: Apart from electronic music I am open to anything and everything as long as it sounds good! I was into Hiphop for the longest time and my favourite rapper was and still is Chamillionaire. I have a lot of friends who are into Rock and Metal so when I hang out with them, I get to learn about those genres. I am always influenced by Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Alice Coltrane, Yehudi Menuhin, Vangelis, Tool, Dream Theater etc.
9. What are you currently working on? What can we expect to hear from you for the remainder of 2014?
AMAN: I have a couple of releases (remixes and originals) around the corner for Suffused Music, Time Capsule, Golden Wings Music and more. Was extremely happy that I got offered to do a remix for Tvardovsky! He is an immensely talented producer and I really enjoyed working on the remix. I am most excited about the ‘Himalayas EP’ on Booiamrudolf’s label ‘The Beauty Of Melody Recordings’. It’s coming out with a remix from Ray Kajioka as well!
10. When you sign a new original track to a label do you have complete confidence in them selecting the remixers? Or is this something you would prefer to have a part in and why?
AMAN: I prefer to choose the remixers for my track(s). I try to listen to the newer artists who are producing wonderful music as well as the established artists who are known for their signature sound. It’s also about building a bond with the artist who is remixing you/you are remixing. At times, if the label has a suggestion for a particular artist, I definitely take that into consideration.
11. How has your studio changed since you started producing?
AMAN: I have been producing for three years and my setup is very simple. My laptop, NI Audio 2 soundcard, M-Audio Keystation Mini 32, and Beyer Dynamics DT – 880 Pro. I guess it’s all about how creative one can be. Quality over quantity as they say.
12. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
AMAN: I mentioned ‘Zookey’ earlier on! Haha! But it’s got to be Kenny Larkin – Java. The intro gives me goosebumps all the time!
13. What was your first and last DJ gig?
AMAN: I haven’t really played at a proper event as yet. So I hope I have an answer for this the next time!
14. What was the first and last record you purchased?
AMAN: All the records I have bought are digital so my first record was Andreas Bergmann – The Big Hangover (Dj Remy Remix) and the last one I bought was Matthew Dekay’s ‘Amity EP’.
15. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?
AMAN: When Secret Cinema played my track ‘Stranger’ in Velvet Underground, Zouk. It was the biggest moment of my life.
16. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
AMAN: I am from outer space and I love animals.
17. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
AMAN: I would say Booiamrudolf, Shunya, Michael A, Aboutface, Daraspa! I am enjoying their music to the fullest.
18. Which producers consistently inspire you?
AMAN: David August, Vinayak^A, Tale Of Us, Of Norway, Ame, Dale Middleton, Simon Garcia, Mind Against, Cosmin TRG, Shigeto, Exoplanet, Praveen Achary, Bonobo, Tycho, Chaim.
19. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
AMAN: I would love to do a remix for any track by Flowers and Sea Creatures. And I would love to get remixed by David August. His productions are very very special and I cannot get over his EP on Innervisions.
20. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days. Which ones if any standout for you?
AMAN: I would say Agara Music, Juicebox Music, Life And Death, Token, Change Audio, Supernature, Stroboscopic Artefacts and Vakant. It’s a wide variety of labels that stand out for me but they are putting quality music of the genres they release.
21. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
AMAN: Anthony Pappa’s Resolution Mix has to be my most favourite compilation of all time.
22. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: Thai, Indian Chinese
TV Show: Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones, Master Chef
Movie: We Own the Night, Grand Budapest Hotel, Her, How To Train Your Dragon
Video Game: Last Of Us
Album: Vinayak^A – Lonesome Train
Track / Song: Alice Coltrane – Isis & Osiris, Blondie – Rapture
Producer / Band: David August
Record Label: Supernature
DJ: Secret Cinema, Bonobo
23. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
AMAN: Wow, next week. It would be Jahiliyya Fields – White Cabbage.
AMAN’s latest studio production ‘Stranger’ is out now on Agara Music, you can purchase the release: here