After a break during summer for the team, we are getting back to music with a new release, for the new year. Adriana Ray has appeared on the label with her debut podcast a month ago, selection of her minimal and techno has left us surprised, and obviously, we placed a request for music. To make it special and highlight the values of the label we arranged again a female-only music release. Continue reading for more details about Adriana from her music, and personal life.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
When I was a child I dreamed to be a singer, I’m still dreaming to sing by the way haha. One day definitely I will create a track including my voice.
What was the worst job you have ever had?
I worked for 6 months in the office with a social media advertising in a multi-brand company, that was the worst time ever I had in my life, waking up by 6:30 am and sitting from 8:30 am to 5 pm by a computer, making posts in the social media, answering a hundred messages a day. I felt I lost my freedom. Office work definitely is not my thing, I was depressed and had felt like all life passes me by. Once I had a stable DJ residency I resigned and never had office work again in my life.
Can you name a movement or people who pushed you to be where you are now?
I can name myself only as I wanted to play a musical instrument since I was a child but that didn’t happen. While being a student I wanted to know how to mix tracks as a DJ, which was a hobby from the beginning until it became full-time. Every time I wanted to stop playing, I had some good opportunities, like life would be guiding me, and what is actually going on now, I suppose it is to take music more seriously than before, and I could have had more achievements by now, but you know the society saying: music will not bring you anywhere no matter how long you do it.
Until I came to Dubai and understood the music industry is huge and you will definitely find ur own spot there, if u are 20 years old and if you are 50 years old, music doesn’t have an age and gender and nationality. Just build the right environment with people who will believe in you and who support you, whether you are down or up.
Try to imagine, what you would be doing if the music was never been introduced to you?
Well, I’m a journalist, and I think I could work on TV, possibly as an interviewer.
Aside from music, what do you like to do in your free time?
TRAVELLING! It has been almost a year since I have been on an airplane. That feeling when you just landed in a new place you have never been before, the air smells different in a new destination. The second is snowboarding, yoga, and meditation.
Tell us about your city, what kind of music scene does it have?
For the past 5 years, I live in Dubai, mostly it’s melodic techno events here, but the techno community did huge steps last year with techno RAVE events, like Hard, Peak Time, and Raw Techno music, here is a huge potential and if not CORONA – it should be booming now.
What is your favorite time of the year, and how does it influence your creativity?
Spring is my favorite, once you can see the nature becomes alive after a cold winter and everything gets green, of course, rain and thunder and especially that smell after a rain. When I was a child, I loved to paint when it was rainy. It brings harmony and calmness.
What do you do before and after your set?
I recently started to do small meditation before the set. Especially if it is a big event, because very important not to feel extra exhausted after, and exchange energies with peoples, but do not let people take it all without a trace. Actually after is the same but regarding the first point. 🙂
What does your typical week usually look like?
As no clubs are currently open, I spend a lot of time with production now, improving my skills and making new ideas non-stop. Basically, I don’t have a day off now, as I play several days as a DJ and the rest of the days is studio time with some breaks for the gym.
Where are you going to spend this New Year’s Eve?
In the past 8 years I’m playing on NYE, so this year no exceptions too. I’m playing again! For a small event with all restrictions haha.
What does music mean to you?
Everything 🙂 It’s a lifestyle, it’s self-expression, it’s a message.
Can you tell us about your debut as a DJ, where did it happen and how did it go?
Back in 2010 in Kyrgyzstan (you might never hear of it, but this is the country I was born and raised) when I was learning how to mix tracks with old 800 Pioneers and CDs, I still have the bag with CDs which I’m very happy with. I had a chance to play on the last hour before the place gets closed, I remember one-hour playing seemed like ages to me. I was thinking oh my god, how many tracks I need if I need to play an hour more. Until you find the right track on one player, you barely mixed with the other one, it was pretty hard at that time without experience.
Are there any particular memories (good or bad) as a DJ, or as an attendee?
Yea when I first time played my own track, I felt so happy especially once I saw the amazing reaction from the crowd. Pure happiness.
What is the biggest challenge or sacrifice you have made or have to make in doing what you do?
I decided I need to move from my original country, as I will not grow up there in the music industry, and it was a sacrifice for me but in the end I’m happy I did this move. I’m happy about who I’m becoming now, and how I’m growing professionally.
Which artists would you say have influenced your sound directly?
Oh, many artists influenced my sound, such as Umek, Viktor Ruiz, and others.
Things could go rough, how do you keep yourself motivated creatively?
You don’t have to keep urself motivated creatively if you love what you do!
How do you usually prepare before a gig, how much space do you leave for improvisation in your sets?
I need min 2-3 hour to prepare a new set. Sometimes more until I am 100% sure I want to have all that’s tracks to play, and never I played set I prepared for 100% because if u are a real DJ u moving with a crowd and with the whole mood, once u caught a crowd wave you start think few tracks in advance. But I like to get prepare in case have that feeling that I’m ready because I always nervous before a gig, always and every time.
What is your standard or most preferred technical setup for the performance?
Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2 and Allen & Heath Xone:92 or DJM-900NXS2
Can you name your favourite venue that you have performed in?
I think the best one is still waiting for me.
Where do you think the scene is heading? One year from now, five years from now?
It might sound crazy but I had a dream during the pandemic. A famous DJ was performing by hologram in front of some amount of peoples, that’s definitely to happen, but the question is… When ? In a year’s time, it seems everything should be back to normal by next summer, if cases will be dropped down. The worst scenario is for the scene becoming illegal in some countries, but music is an art and you cannot put restrictions on art. Maybe it will be not allowed to have a big crowd, but you can still listen to ur favorite artist on Spotify etc.
Is there anything that bugs you about today’s DJ scene?
The same subject as always, peoples who love the music we need you more in this difficult time and the music scene needs ur support, as buying music, buying tickets to support ur favorite musician and ur friends artist, listen to them on Spotify and show your love! Beside each track, it’s hours and days of work and creations, a lot of investments.. and without the listener, it wouldn’t happen!
For the last one, name three artists that currently inspire you!
Mark Reeve, Roberto Capuano, Enrico Sangiuliano, Oliver Huntemann, even more.
The current climate emergency is now very real. What steps do you think the music industry can take to reduce their impact on this problem in the coming years?
1. Charitable activities and donations to organizations to combat the rise in temperature on the planet.
2. Charitable events for plantation of woodlands and cooperations with organizations for biofuel and electric transport
3. Ofcourse only biodegradable tableware on events and garbage sorting, and I wish all events must go for biologically recyclable things.
But that’s things should be done globally only on this point we will have results.
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
It is Duran Duran – Come Undone. This track will never die
Do you still find the time to party and enjoy the scene when usually being on the other side of the decks?
Honestly, I’m not enjoying the parties anymore. I don’t feel like a party person anymore, I love to be on the other side and really enjoying it:))))
What moments would you consider as your breakthrough in your career so far?
The movement from my home country to Dubai 5 years ago. It connected me with a huge amount of people in the music industry, and a year ago when I started music production.
Looking back at 2019, do you have any special moments, personally or professionally, that made an impact on you?
In 2019 were a lot of of moments that left an impact on me. Firstly, I finally decided that music is what I wanna do all my life, that was a serious decision (as it was many doubts before in my head) in which I started to produce and the universe started to guide me in the right direction. This is what’s going now as well and I feel it is just a beginning :))
What do you think makes a great DJ?
Fell the crowd, DJ playing not for himself that’s actual problem with 70% of DJ’s especially those who’s just started. You need to feel when they need to rest and which music suits which emotional status, you can be great producer, but u still can be an awful DJ. And vice-versa.
What advice could you give for aspiring DJs?
When you are djíng always try to imagine yourself on the dance floor, same when you are choosing tracks for your set. If you feel to dance under those tracks go ahead. And don’t follow any trends, just be your and right things and the right peoples will find you.
You are based in Dubai; could you tell us the best and worst things about the techno scene in this city?
I can tell the best things I think is the DJs here having the highest fee rate probably in the world, local DJs and international as well.
The worst is underground music here like techno parties is a new thing. It is still far from real rave, official events are still allowed here until 4 AM (before corona) and afterparties here are illegal and the government is strict, keeps order on it. So if wanna real rave Dubai is still far away from it, but 5 years ago there were only melodic techno and tech-house nights, and now things are gratefully changing with a lot of different choices.
2020 has been tough for all of us. Have you had a chance to play music publicly this year?
Yes, I had some small gigs by beach clubs around Dubai and now having residency with a deep house tune.
Do you have any plans for 2021?
Of course, the year starts with our release on the 8th of January! What a nice beginning! And preparing a lot of unreleased music by next year, hopefully, some great gigs next summer.
The ‘Time Wave’ EP is your debut on Plazma Records. Can you tell us more about it, how you produced it, what gear was used, what are the plans for the release?
I made ‘Time Wave’ during the pandemic in July and August. We were very restricted in Dubai and stocked at home, so u can hear: One more day, One more week in the song. The ‘Tunnel’ is a trippy acid track, with a lot of layers. I want the person on the dance floor to feel surrounded by acid and dive in it like he or she would be in the Tunnel. Both of them mean when you are stocked somewhere, but still enjoying that moment the way it is. ‘Time’ is fast, and we have to enjoy it all the way. I used Ableton, synthesizer Spire for Synth part, PADS and ARP in the ‘Tunnel’, Ableton wavetable for Time Wave ARP and Chords. A pretty simple combination.