Issue 71

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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Page 20 of 45

So the last time the Guestlist team saw you it was at the Paradise party at ADE, you smashed it! Do you have as good memories of that one as we do? Yeah the night was really good; it actually surpassed the year before. The production stepped it right up, the sound was better and it was full really early. I thought the vibe of the night was excellent in both rooms, I absolutely loved it. I had a really good set, I was playing before Magda and I thought to myself it might be a bit early but literally the minute I walked on, Patrick Topping had warmed it up nicely, and within three records the place was full, the energy was amazing! It seems like you have an extremely rigorous touring schedule, do you ever get tired of it? What keeps you going? To be honest I don't get tired of the DJing. I love it. I'd do it forever. If anything you get tired of the travelling, but you just have to look at it as a job. At the minute I'm young, I'm keen, I'm hungry and I love the job so I just see it in the way that I could be going to an office, I could be going down working in a mine, you just have to suck it up and just do it. Put it in perspective and try and get rest where you can. Do you get as much time for productions as you'd like? Do you generally prefer one or the other? (DJing or Producing)? No, obviously not, there's a really fine balance that you have to maintain when you make it as a DJ and your touring schedule goes crazy, then your time in the studio gets less. You just need to find that balance to get in as much as possible, maybe a few times a month but I'm going to increase that this year, concentrate more on it. I'm not going to live in Ibiza over the summer, just to make more music because I found it made me really unproductive. I'm obviously still going to be there every week to play DC-10, Paradise and CIrco Loco and whatever others I'm doing, but I'm not going to stay there. I love it, but I don't find it to be a good working environment, there's too much temptation and even after all these years I still try and convince myself I'm going to be a good boy but I never am! So, I'm going to stay in London, I find my work ethic in London is just completely different to anywhere else. I don't prefer DJing or producing, I need both. And when I leave one and go to the other I miss the one that I'm not doing. So when I've been in Ibiza a while and come to London I miss it and vice versa. They both serve a purpose to me; they're both homes to me. How did you get into DJing growing up in Newcastle? Was there much of a scene up there? There was a scene, but like I say, I was a late starter at DJing. I didn't even start to think about DJing professionally till 2009, 2010. I mean I could mix and I liked playing out, I liked buying music, I was into it but I never saw it as a financially viable option for a job. I came from that Northeast mentality where you've got get a job, you've got to make some money. You weren't really encouraged to do that sort of stuff, that sort of thing was seen as a hobby, society was like 'When are you going to get a real job?' and that was the mentality I had with it. It must've been a bit of a jump going from university to DJing full time! Did it feel like a leap of faith? My first degree was Electrical Systems Design Engineering; I did property management at a later date because I'd worked in property in the meantime. I'd done Engineering at college after school. For some reason I thought Engineering and Telecommunications sounded good, but I hated it. It was all mathematics, it was really hard! A few of my really close friends who I'm still best friends with now, they all did it and it was like a joint thing so I did a degree in it. It was just one of those ones I couldn't see at the time moving away to University, it was just convenient. I used to do a bit of Hip-Hop DJing and was getting paid really well for it, but that was just to get me through Uni. I knew the minute I graduated and left I was never going to use my degree again. So if you weren't making music full-time, what would you be doing? If I wasn't making music full time I'd probably be a spiritual teacher, or a shaman. Have you ever had any truly terrible jobs? Yeah, when I was at college to get some extra money for summer holidays so I could go to Ibiza, I had a temp job through an agency. You had to go to this factory and sit there for 12 hours a day and I think it was something like £2.11 an hour. The job was to scrape the rust off the inside of TVs, so they could be done up again and then sent to Africa to sell. Didn't last very long! On the more positive side of things, have you had any moments recently that really stood out to you as a "wow" moment, like a career highlight? The Essential Mix. Massively. I was really, really happy with it and it got a good response. I was getting emails from really big DJs I respect like Steve Lawler and Catz 'n Dogz, just saying how good they thought it was, I'm glad because I put a lot of time into it. I didn't know which way to go so I just tried every which way but loose, but it worked out. How did you go about selecting your tracks? Did it feel like a lot of pressure? It did feel like a lot of pressure to be honest, but the pressure's what you make of it. I found out I was doing it before the summer so I'd been working on it from then. I wanted it to sound like I'd just played, but I also wanted it to sound like an after party, thing is you know what its like at after parties, you cant please everyone. Some of them want it pumping, some of them want it chilled, so I tried to do a bit of everything like it was a long one condensed into two hours, but I didn't want anything that was released too much. I wanted edits so I changed it loads of times, I was trying to fit that many tracks in to that many times so I thought about it all the time. But I'm glad because the more love you put into something the more you get back. What's it like working with the Hot Creations crew all the time? You guys must be like a family by now. Do any of you have any annoying habits whilst on tour? To be honest I really love working with the crew, it started with Jamie, Lee and me, and we've really grown it. Most of the people that are on it were mates before it even happened so we do try to, not keep it in the family so much because there's so many artists that we've signed that I don't know through me being the A&R but as a rule you've got to be sound first and foremost. We learnt early on not to sign people just because their music was good, if you're going to take them on tour they've got to be a certain way because we're all just normal guys, there's no real divas. Some people can be a little bit more than others but there's none of that, and if that goes on they'll get singled out and highlighted and you'll get shit for it basically! You guys have come to be quite closely associated with the Ibiza scene. When did you first visit the island and what happened - everyone has a mad "first time in Ibiza" story! My first time in Ibiza I stayed in an 18- 30's hotel with 14 or 15 Geordie mates, all lads. We totally loved it; we went to every single club everywhere, we just wanted to do everything. We only had two massive studio apartments and we sneaked in about 5 or 6 of our friends unannounced but then the reps caught us and said "Its alright, we wont tell the owners but you have to say yes to all of these tours we've got!" So we ended up on booze tours, the most snidest tours everywhere but we paid for them so we went on them every day. We'd be on the drink every day and then we tried to go to all of these nightclubs! I remember we went to a foam party at Eden, there's just pictures of 15 Geordie lads with our tops of at Eden, thumbs up, obviously intoxicated to death, bright eyed and my friends still put them online on Facebook now! We used to do this thing with the shooters sign with our hands in the air, I look back now and it was so brutal, there's still some pictures online which I'm trying to get them to take down! If you had a 5 spot guestlist and you could invite anyone - dead or alive - who would you bring along to party with? Mickey Flanagan for the jokes, Mohammed Ali and three of my best mates because I'd need some moral support! What was your favourite gig of 2014 and why? When I played for Marco Corolla's residency at Amnesia, playing for four and a half hours. All my friends were there and it was still really full right to the very end, and for them to say it was one of their favourite sets of the summer and that they wanted me back next year for lots of dates was really a big moment for me. What's the craziest or funniest thing that's ever happened to you whilst DJing? Some girl next to me was dancing and she got her tits out when I was DJing in DC-10, flashed her boobs and my Mrs was there as well. She was like "Get her off the stage!" Do you have any quirky Christmas habits or funny things you did growing up? In South Shields, its not quirky but we all go to the pub in the morning, all the lads. We've done it all our lives, every year. All the boys meet up at 11, get absolutely tanked up, the bar shuts at 2pm now so we go home at 2, get our dinner off our Mams then literally eat it and pass out on the settee and don't say another word for 6 hours! I get up, and we have a fancy dress party every Christmas Day at my friends house, and we all get dressed up. So I literally get up in the morning after coming in drunk from the night before, go to the pub, come back, have my dinner, and then I do one as soon as I've woken up from my snooze and got to my friends! We call it Chrissymas. because my friend is called Chrissy. This year I'm going as an Arab sheikh! 7 21 Issue 71 / 2015 HOUSE Richy Ahmed is at the forefront of a new breed of British DJs, who are re-defining house music taking cues from disco, techno, funk and hip-hop. The geordie enjoyed a massive 2014 last year, maintaining a rigorous touring schedule with the Hot Natured crew - the cool clique that everyone wants to hang with in the high-school of house music. From Fabric to Space, Glastonbury to Sonar, ADE to Burning Man, Richy always brings the heat in his sets - earning him worldwide recognition and a debut Essential Mix topping off an incredible 2014. He's come a long way since his days of hip-hop DJing to fund his way through a degree that he hated. After we saw Richy smash it at Paradise ADE, Guestlist couldn't resist the opportunity to have a chat with the man himself to find out how he does it. Follow @Richy_Ahmed " I'd probably be a spiritual teacher, or a shamen "

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