As a label owner of AVA Recordings, what is the most challenging aspects of running a record label?
I suppose managing every aspect of the label and making sure all things run smoothly can be a large task in itself. I can't think of a single aspect of running the label that is more challenging than the others but I'd say currently one of the more difficult things is scheduling all the amazing music we're getting from artists.
With doing A&R for AVA, what is like to discover new talent and control what sound/music gets exposed?
Fortunately, I get help from Yang who acts as our first A&R and he helps with the huge undertaking of weeding out the music that doesn't meet our standard but once I get some of the filtered material through it's really exciting to hear some of the ideas that people are incorporating into their music.
In your opinion, who are the artists to watch/emerging trance artists?
There's quite a few but I suppose a few of my favorite emerging artists would be Formal One who does some amazing sound design and brings a uniqueness to his trance productions from his dubstep / trap influences. On the more uplifting side of things I've been really enjoying the melodies from Gerome.
If you are playing a trance classics set, what are 3 tracks you have to play?
Oceanlab – On A Good Day
Paul Van Dyk feat. Plumb – I Don't Deserve You
Andy Moor & Ashley Wallbridge feat. Meighan Nealon - Faces
In your opinion, who are the most influential trance artists (past/present)?
For me, one of the most influential trance artists would have to be my label partner Andy Moor. Long before we started working together, Andy was really pushing the boundaries of creativity in his works and I remember hearing the way he created melodies from vocal chops and that was a massive influence to me.
How do you get inspired creatively to produce music?
I listen to a wide range of music and often times I'll hear something in another genre of music that makes my jaw drop and the wheels turn in my head. I guess you could say that I'm constantly inspired by hearing what other producers are doing in their works and I love how many ways producers can approach a melody or groove. It really gives me that hunger to improve my own productions.
Describe the feeling when you play a new track live for the first time.
I spend so much time on my music and each song has a connection during the process for me that hearing it live and seeing people enjoying it is really a feeling that is hard to describe. I suppose overwhelming happiness?
What is like traveling to countries around the world, playing trance music that connects with so many people on such an emotional level?
It's an experience that I'm so fortunate to be able to do and while the traveling portion can be quite tiring, it's all worth it to be able to share my music to fresh faces and people from around the world. Hearing people sing or smile to music I've created is such a positive feeling that makes encourages me to keep doing what I'm doing.
Do you have any upcoming releases and/or gigs?
In a few weeks I'll be performing at the Colosseum Club in Jakarta (Indonesia). One of the world's best trance clubs and I'm incredibly excited and looking forward to it! For music, I've got my collaboration with Andy Moor for AVA's 250th release coming in December on AVA Recordings, a vol. 1 compilation called “Reanimate Music” that will also be releasing in December on AVA Recordings and signings on Armind and A State Of Trance in 2019.
I've also started planning out my debut artist album which has been a project I've really wanted to do for the longest time so I'm very excited to start working on that.