Nov 28, 2018
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano On Fire!
Over the weekend we caught up with Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano in Bali! The two have been on fire with their productions over the last year, and after checking in at #54 in 2018 Top 101 Producers Ranking, the Dutch duo have kept the momentum flying! Currently with two tracks skyrocketing the 1001Tracklists Top Newcomer and Top Overall Track Charts, we had lots to discuss around “In My Mind,” and “Born Again (Babylonia)” as well as their experience playing in Asia, and bringing the Sexy By Nature sound worldwide!
You’ve got a big new collab with Marc Volt doing the damage right now with some major cross platform success. Tell us about how that track came together and your first play at Tomorrowland.
Sunnery: We’ve been following Marc for a few years now already. He’s a young Dutch guy, really eager, really talented. When we spoke two years ago I told him to focus on his own sound – find inspiration, but don’t try and copy others. You can’t just make a sound because you think it’s hot, you need to find your own sound.
He sent me a lot of stuff, but all of a sudden he sent us the “In My Mind” set up with this vocal and I was like, “Marc, send me everything, we’re going to work on this.” We played the initial version in Ibiza for the first time and he was actually there. We saw the reaction of the crowd and we knew that we had something on our hands. We had to finish the record and make it big.
He was so excited and you see what happened when we played the final version for the first time at Tomorrowland [full set + tracklist] this year. We’ve gotten so many amazing reactions all over the world, from artists, radio stations, fans, just incredible.
Ryan: We even feel like we have something that if Avicii was still with us, he would love this.
Marc’s also playing your Sexy By Nature event in Rotterdam, and played for you guys during ADE this year as well. Is he someone who we can expect more of on SONO?
Sunnery: 100%. I like his energy. With us, it’s all about energy. You know we love music and passion and even just seeing him playing in the store during ADE.
Ryan: Yeah we had some guest DJs during our pop-up including Marc and he played some really cool tracks during his set. He gave it all even though it was really just a pop-up and that speaks a lot to us.
Sunnery: He’s a good guy to have around. These places where you only play for 50 people you can see he’s really enjoying what he’s doing. He’s giving the same energy out as if he was playing in front of 40,000 people. That’s where you can really see the passion.
Speaking of playing in front of 40,000 people, we have to talk about your first track from AMF [full tracklist]. “Born Again” has been racking up the plays and is truly a weapon in your sets. What makes that track work so well in your sets and fit as the intro track to your set at AMF?
Sunnery: For us this track is so special. Over 10 years ago we heard it for the first time. DJ Roog played it before us and when we took over, we thought, “Man what track is this?” After we got it, we started playing it out every set and everyone thought it was our track actually. That was right around the time that we started getting big in Holland.
Ryan: That year we also played Sensation for the very first time and we played that track there. The first Sensation we played and really a special moment for us… Amsterdam… Sensation... Growing up in Amsterdam, it was really special.
Sunnery: Then this year, the guy who is on top of ALDA heard about the new version that we were doing and wanted to make it the anthem for AMF.
Ryan: It was so fitting because we would be back at the Amsterdam Arena again ten years after Sensation. Everything really came together.
“Born Again” has a really big breakdown and orchestral build-up. Do you have an concerns about losing energy in your set during that?
Ryan: Oh no, it’s even too short for me.
Sunnery: I think it’s so different and so pure, that the breakdown is interesting for people. You don’t lose the energy, you just get more attention. What is this… a violin coming into a dance track? It’s uplifting, thought-provoking, and then it comes back with an amazing drop. It all comes together and really fits our style.
Tell us some more about the new ID that you dropped during AMF with the “Blah Blah Blah” vocals!
Ryan: You’re on point, you’re on point. You can’t ask us these kinds of questions [laughs].
Sunnery: We’re still working on it, so unfortunately we can’t tell you much about it yet.
What is playing in Asia like for you guys? You recently did a 5+ show run in China and are here in Bali tonight. Where do you see the music education with some of the more tribal and groove sounds that Sexy By Nature stands for?
Sunnery: I must say that going into the China tour, it’s not that we’re really insecure about it, but all you hear is how really EDM-ish it is in Asia. The reaction that we got from the crowds on the China tour though, they went nuts. Just discovering our kind of music, we had five amazing shows.
Ryan: We’re on the tour, we finish the first show, which was incredible, but then kind of thought like, “Okay this was great, but the rest probably won’t be as good.” They just kept getting better and better though. The clubs were amazing. The production was unreal. The sound was phenomenal. The crowd was feeling it too! They were singing our songs, we were like, “What is going on?!” We really had an amazing time. I couldn’t believe it actually.
Sunnery: I mean it’s not necessarily my favorite part of the world, but I’m in love with China now. Before it was like, “Oh I have to go to China.” But now we’re going to China tomorrow again already and I’m really, really excited. We re-discovered China. They got really into the music and they’re actually really open minded. They’re not so stuck into one sound like everybody says with EDM. If you can give them a good time and energy, then they’ll respond to you. It’s not like they’re saying, “Oh I want to hear this track from Martin Garrix.” They just get in your vibe and have a good time.
Ryan: There is one fun fact that I need to tell you guys. I ordered room service and I asked for ketchup, but they had no clue what it was. They had no clue.
Sunnery: Thank god for Google Translate!
Taking a closer look at some secret weapons in your sets, what are a few must play tracks from other artists?
Sunnery: Oh this is a tough one!
Ryan: Haha yeah. This is one where we want to give a good answer, but we really don’t want to give some away.
Sunnery: I really like the track that you played second at Creamfields Chile.
Ryan: Ah yes, the Wheats track! “Kassia.”
Sunnery: And also we’ve been bringing back a classic, DJ Egbert with “Haasten.”
What’s on the radar for you guys as we look ahead to the winter? You’ve obviously got a huge Sexy By Nature show in Rotterdam, but does anything else have you particularly excited?
Sunnery: New Year’s Eve we’re doing Atlantic City HQ – going to be special for us.
Ryan: For us, going there is not even like working. It’s just going and having a good time.
Sunnery: SONO Music wise, I’m really excited for all of the music that we have signed. There’s going to be a lot of crazy tracks. We also have a big collaboration coming with a big artist, but I can’t say anymore about that.
And then a big focus on Sexy By Nature shows next year. There’s going to be Sexy By Nature Cancun March 7th. There’s a lot going on with Miami right now politics wise, but we’re very much looking into the possibilities and we will try our best to bring Sexy By Nature back there. And then big festivals next year, hopefully our own stage at Tomorrowland again.
You can buy/stream your copy of Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano - "In My Mind" on your platform of choice today! sono039.lnk.to/IMM
And you can secure tickets for Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano's Sexy By Nature show in Rotterdam, NL on December 29th here: http://www.sexybynature.events/
short link 1001.tl/6b3h0u