If Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano are known for something is definitely for the energy they put out with their songs and iconic sets. Striving and reaching their way up to the top putting lots of hours and hard work on developing their own sound, tracks like ‘ABC’, ‘Circus’, ‘Triton’, ‘Avalanche’ or their collab with Nicky Romero ‘S.O.T.U.‘ define their unique music personality and style that got them onto the spotlight.
However, they’ve known how to evolve and reinvent their sound in an ever-changing industry like dance music is. We can see this in tracks like their legendary ‘Born Again (Babylonia)’, ‘Savages‘ or ‘Love Dance And Feel’.This have given them a deserved reputation and name collaborating with some of the all-time greatest like Armin van Buuren (with whom they teamed up twice) and Sander van Doorn and even holding their own solo show during ADE last year.
This week, we had the great honour and pleasure to catch up with them to discuss how their year has gone so far.
First things first, how are you guys doing? Are you all fine and safe?
“Yes, we, our families and our team are all safe and well. Thank you for asking.”
How have you spent this quarantine? Have you enjoyed your break from touring? Do you miss being on the road?
“We enjoyed being at home with the family but do miss being out there performing and touring. It’s eerie to think it has been so long ago since we performed for a big audience.”
One day you are touring the world and the next one you find yourself locked up at home for several months. Has it been difficult for you to change your lifestyle this drastically?
“We must admit though we already we were taking less shows this year to spend more time with our families. So we were a bit prepared. Not about the part being locked up of course. Or having to be a homeschooling dad for weeks. But enjoying every minute being with the family.”
Due to the coronavirus, the live sector has evolved and virtual shows and live-streams seem to have established as the present of live music this 2020. When this is all over, do you think we will no longer have virtual shows or can these be complementary? Digital festivals are here to stay?
“We’ve done some live-streams and we can see promoters experimenting with what could work or not, but the digital element is definitely here to stay. Even when live shows are back on again. Just look what Tomorrowland is doing these past months. And our team is working hard to make it work for us as artists too. So we can bring something digital to the table for promoters when we are performing live.”
Talking about digital events, you have just played at Tomorrowland’s virtual festival “Tomorrowland Around The World”. You opened the main-stage for the Daybreak Session. How excited were you guys for this one?
“As excited as for every show for Tomorrowland. We had already done some live-streams with them these past months and they are so next level in everything they do… We couldn’t wait for this one and these digital edition has been once again awesome.”
We did watch the trailer and we definitely were very excited to see this new virtual face of Tomorrowland. Did you have the chance to watch a test of how your set with the main-stage design would look like before playing?
“Even if we did see it, we were not allowed to tell anyone. But yeah, all the designs were mind-blowing.”
For all of those who couldn’t watch your live set, what kind of tracks did you play? Did you play any new music?
“As always we are in it for the groove and the percussive rhythms as you journalists beautifully call it. And yes, we definitely had some new tracks. You’d better check 1001Tracklists for the IDs.”
What can you tell us about your current projects? Are you working on something new with other artists right now?
“Well, we had a lot of time these past months to spend in the studio so there are a lot of new projects we need to finish. This includes some surprising collaborations but as always it depends on so many things for this to happen. But we are working hard on bringing new and exciting stuff coming months.”
Last month you teamed up with 789tendotcom to present you very first EXPOSED sample pack and you also hosted The Sono Music producer challenge. What’s your purpose and goal going into this project? Do you plan on releasing a second sample pack or maybe a preset library in the near future?
“The idea behind EXPOSED was actually for us to show and tell everything that we’ve experienced and know from the industry of all the years we’ve been in this business. It was about helping budding artists a few steps ahead. So we created a course at School of House for performing but also created a sample pack with more tribal house elements. Something that wasn’t widely available yet. And we will definitely do more of this soon!”
What’s your advice for upcoming producers that want to develop their own sound?
“Sounds probably like a cliche and we know more fellow famous artists say this too, but it is the truth; don’t be a copycat, be an original. Learn from the rich music history but work hard on a unique sound. You will get noticed, trust us. We know!”
What’s next for Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano?
“We had so much time dreaming about new adventures, we need to book a staycation with our team to go through all of our notes and make a priority list. Let us do that first and then do another interview so we can enlighten you on all our dreams. Is that a deal?”
Of course, we will be talking to them later on so they give us more insights of their plans for next year. Until then, stay tuned!
Listen to the most recent Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano track ‘Pray’ below:
Image credit: Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano