Cowlin Presents: ANNA
Lets start to talk about your recent project, Momentum EP which was released on record label Yoshitoshi. This EP made a massive impact on the Techno scene. When producing this, what did you expect the outcome of the EP to do to the scene?
I honestly don’t make music thinking about the impact it can cause on the scene, or if I’ll be rewarded for the music I do. Otherwise I won’t be able to put my feelings on it, it won’t be myself, it will just be some music to impress others, or to fit in the agenda of a given label. When I sit in the studio to make music, I worry about the kind of feelings I want it to impart on the listener, I always check during the process if the music is making me dance, or creates a special feeling, that is what I’m looking for with my music. The whole idea of “Momentum” came to me while messing around with Wavestation from Korg, and suddenly I came across this amazing sound, which is the pad from the main breakdown. So I’ve built a deeper drum programing around it and added that “strange” stab that was done on Reaktor, and finally the idea to have that kind of siren came up to make it all more uplifting.
How did you get yourself into the underground scene? Anyone that’s helped you along your way?
My father owned a club with 5 different rooms, one of them used to feature underground music, like house, drum & bass, techno, so it was there that I had my first contact with that sort of music. I’ve started out by playing Brazilian folk music, I was only 14 years old, and I was the DJ of one of those floors, which played that style. I used to play every weekend for around 7, 8 hours, and sometimes I’d ask somebody to take over so I could go to the toilet, but instead I would go down to the underground floor because I was really into it. Shortly after I started to practice mixing on turntables and buying vinyl, and a year later I was playing underground music and things started to happen naturally, and now here I am.
2016 is appearing so close, but what has been your highlight of 2015? And what can we expect for 2016 for your music?
In terms of gigs was playing for the first time at Space for Carl Cox, also for him at Ultra Music in Croatia, I had a chance to play at Lollapalooza and tour all over the world, India, Dubai, Thailand, Japan, China and some new places in Europe of course. In terms of releases 2015 was the best year for me so far, I was invited by big labels to release my music and also to do remixes, like the one I did for Nervo on Ultra Music, and got support from DJs I am fan, like Hot Since 82 for example that loved the remix and invited me to remix Wehbba on his label, also I’ve signed for the first time at Terminal M and the track was played by big names like Solomun, Richie Hawtin, Sasha to name a few and also reached top 2 on Beatport, I was also invited by Yoshiotshi to remix the classic Psycho Xgirlfriend, that was a big record me for me years ago, I had two copies of it on vinyl and used to play it a lot. I hope 2016 will be like this and I will be very happy, I already have some releases and remixes scheduled for 2016, another single on Terminal M, remixes for Wehbba on KDIS, DJ Tonio on Suara, Eddie Amador on Yoshitoshi, a collab with Jazuelle on Get Physical.
What does your music production setup consist of?
I am in love with hardware right now, I used to work with just plugins for a long time but things are better now and I can buy hardware, I am buying everything I can and I have a huge list to go yet, for me it is good to touch the instrument to create the sound, I think it makes the process more dynamic and stimulate the creativity. I just bought the Elektron and TR-8 drum machines, I have a Sub37, Virus, Microbrute, Tetra, Volca Bass, the virtual instruments I am using the most at the moment are the Arturia ones, also FM8, Aalto, Diva, Reaktor, and for processing the sound, the plugins from UAD, H3000 from Eventide all of the Soundtoys pack.
From the age of 14 you’ve been playing to crowds. Tell us about this and what it was like to control crowds from such a young age? What style music were you playing at this age?
When I started I used to play Brazilian music, the first gear I learned was the CDJ100 from Pioneer, so after learning I started to play by myself, the floor I used to play at was always packed, and the club was doing really well at the time. It was a floor for about 1000 people and I used to play from the beginning to end, and the funny thing was that my dad allowed my friend to be in charge of the lights, so I could have some company during the night. It always felt very natural to me, I didn’t use to feel nervous or anything, I enjoyed it a lot, I was able to get some good experience and develop a good feeling for the crowd, as I had to keep it going all by myself for over 7 hours each week.
From the early days you had support from Christian Smith. How did this relationship between you both take place? How did he help you to be the artist you are today?
I was fan of Tronic and Christian Smith’s work since I started. Tronic was the first label that supported me in 2011 when nobody really knew me. It is really difficult to get any response from the labels when you’re starting, so you can imagine how happy I was. Since then, we have become really close friends. We are like family and they have been helping me a lot with my career, he gives input on my tracks, helps me sending my tracks to other labels sometimes, I like to hear his opinion about everything on my career, which labels to sign, agencies, which remix to do – we have a nice relationship.