“An unforgettable gig lies in the reaction of the crowd. When you can just feel the energy without even looking”

We had a chat with Cinnaman, a significant Amsterdam local who has earned his stripes in our nightlife within a short period of time. You can’t really define Cinnaman’s style. It’s somewhere between the spectrum of House, Garage, UK Funky and Detroit Techno. If it sounds good and if it’s a bit out of the ordinary, there’s a good chance that Cinnaman has a taste for it. In our interview with him he talks about the logic behind his name, what sets a great gig apart from an okay one and the latest track that he fell in love with.

Well let’s just start at the beginning: when did you first come into contact with dance music?
I think it was because of my parents. My mom was actually a fan of house and my father was very much into other kinds of music. My dad had even been a DJ in his younger years, with hiphop to jungle in his vinyl collection. When I was scanning my parents’ record collection I found a garage record. Maybe that was my first contact. But it’s still hard to say, there has always been so much different kinds of music around me while I was growing up.

Every artist has that one magical track that seals his love for music. Which one was yours?
One specific track is hard to remember. What I do remember though is when I first walked into the Rush Hour record store and heard Moodymann. It was exactly the sound that I had been looking for all those years. At least that was how it felt to me.

Can you remember the moment when you knew that DJ’ing had a future in it for you?
Yeah, that must have been the first time that I played in Paradiso at a festival called “de Parade”. From a young age it had always been my dream of standing in a mythical venue like that.

How did your DJ name come into existence? A love for cinnamon perhaps?
Yes it did. I love those cinnamon-stick candies, always used to eat them when I was a kid. My first DJ name actually was Cinnamon, but I changed it to Cinnaman because I thought it sounded better.

In another interview you claimed that you preferred dancing with a girl on a dance floor instead of bumping shoulder to shoulder in a pack of guys. You’re probably not the only one who thinks this, but does this preference also finds its way into your sets in the way that you take into account what music can make both sexes dance?
That statement originated in my beat and dubstep period. I thought the way people danced in these genres was unfriendly to women, all that lashing and beating. Not my kind of style. I don’t particularly take men and women into account in my sets, but there is a certain red line in my music, a certain vibe and warmth that I try to bring across. That’s what always attracted me to music, when it brings out emotions in me. DJ’ing is therefor a very personal thing to me.

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What makes the difference between an okay gig and an unforgettable one?
The reaction of the crowd. When you can just feel the energy without even looking. But it sometimes works the other way around as well. I mean when I’m really into it when playing that kind of shows off on the public as well. It’s those magical moments. That’s basically what you do it all for.

When did you make the most beautiful connection with a crowd?
When I was playing the X-Ray stage at Lowlands festival three years ago. I felt completely free to do whatever I wanted and the crowd’s reaction was perfect all through the gig.

How did you prepare your own Colors all-nighter at Trouw this week? Can you tell us a little something on what to expect?
I always prepare really well by carefully selecting the music that I want to play. What I mostly do is create three maps with tracks through which I can create a musical story. Beginning – Core – Ending. But when you’re actually behind the decks it’s always a snapshot of what you envisioned to do. It’s all in the moment I guess.

Regarding the music for my all-nighter: I’ll definitely be playing the new record that I just produced together with Breach. Other than that, come and enjoy the seven-hour journey for yourself!

What’s the last track you fell in love with?
“Juxta Position – Mercy”. Very deep, but o so special. I also featured this one in my Deep House Amsterdam mix.

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What do you love to do most after a successful show?
Get my head back around and enjoy what just happened.

Describe your perfect night out in Amsterdam.
Well I love eating, so let’s start with some Italian cuisine at l’Angeletto, even though I completely reek of food afterwards. Then I just enjoy hanging around a bar with good friend and then enjoy some good music. Mostly Trouw, because it’s just a very special place for me, with all the people that come there, work there. It’s like a second home.

What (inter)national artist should we keep our eyes peeled on this year?
I think Happa. Very young and immensely talented. But also Dutch artists like Job Jobse, Young Marco, Interstellar Funk and Beesmunt Soundsystem.

Can we expect some new releases coming our way in the coming months?
I’ve been spending a lot of time in the studio with Breach lately. We produced two track that will probably come out somewhere this year. One is a pretty rough track that is almost in the area of techno. I’ve also been spending some solo time in the studio too. But it’s something completely different from DJ’ing, which is still my greatest passion. Producing is more of a hobby for me.

Coming Friday, the next edition of Colors will take place at Trouw. Cinnaman will be behind the decks all night long. So get ready for some very intensive dancing. You can get into the vibe with this exclusive mix that perfectly defines Cinnaman’s style of music and playing. Turn it up!

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Cinnaman (All Night)

January 7 | Colors | Trouw Amsterdam |