Interview: Onno

What would you say is your greatest achievement from a musical perspective?
That’s a hard question to answer, like asking a parent which of their children is their favourite :-) So I can’t really say which of my tracks is my favourite, so the thing I am most proud of is the whole body of work together. I am happy that I always did what felt right to me, without concessions, and the fact that although the styles vary a bit over time, there is a foundation in all tracks that is really “me”.

Do you feel any pressure to deliver ‘hits’ these days? When are you at your best in the studio
There’s always this pressure I think, but especially in the last year I have let this go a bit. I allowed myself to experiment, try different stuff without thinking about the outcome or which labels should be signing it, which has been pretty liberating I must say. As soon as there’s some success there’s always the expectations that come with this, and from an artistic point of view it’s very important to let these go and not to repeat yourself. Maybe because of this mental shift, it has been a very productive year for me, and creatively very satisfying as well.

What was the inspiration for the latest release on Upon.You?
The EP for Upon.You is also a product of this freedom that I’ve been allowing myself to have in the studio. I’ve always been known for my percussive, bass-line driven stuff, and I think you can still hear this in the Upon.You EP. But when I started this project I had in mind to try and focus a but more on the synth side of things, just to do something new, try to go into undiscovered territories for me. So I sampled a few chords from a hardware synth and started experimenting how far I could go with with this and this ended up becoming this EP. The vocal on Some Mo was on my hard drive for ages, ready to be used, and now finally the time seemed right.

Are you still living in Holland? How is that?
Yeah, I am based in Amsterdam again after spending two summers in Ibiza and I am enjoying it a lot. Reconnecting with old friends, and discovering that summer in Amsterdam is quite nice as well. It’s good having a studio again as well I must say, productivity and Ibiza don’t seem to go together too well.

Is it harder to make music during the summer when there’s so much on? Are you doing much right now?
As I said, it’s much easier now I am that in Amsterdam, and back in my studio. I think last year has been the most productive so far, so I’m pretty happy.

What’s the coolest place you’ve played at and why?
Panorama bar, Hands down. To me nothing beats playing that floor on a sunday afternoon or night. Seems like there are as many opinions about that place as there are ravers, but for me, both as a DJ and a raver it’s a magical place. On another note, and more for cultural reasons, I loved my mini tour through Korea last year. I’m a huge fan of Asia, and being immersed in their culture and people and was an amazing experience.

What makes a perfect party in your eyes then?
There’s many factors to that. But a great sound system and openminded crowd are the first things that make a party what it is. If you have those two ingredients, the rest usually falls into place.

Lastly, what’s next for you that you’re really excited about?
Release wise the next thing is my EP on my good friend Santé and Sidney Charles’ Avotre imprint. It’s a techno record, not what people would expect on Avotre maybe, but that’s what makes it interesting in my opinion. I did it together with Per Hammar from Sweden when he was here in Amsterdam for a few days, and Luca Agnelli did an amazing remix for it. Gig wise I am super excited to visit India and Asia in 2 months. It will be my first time in the country, so enough to explore there.

Onno’s EP ‘Some Mo’ is out now on Upon.You Records – Buy it here 

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