60 SECONDS WITH...RICHY AHMED | DJMag.com Skip to main content

60 SECONDS WITH...RICHY AHMED

Member of Hot Creations crew holds forth

Richy tells DJ Mag that himself and Jamie have stripped back the Hot Creations upcoming release schedule lately so that they don't have a backlog of tracks and they can get things out quickly. “We can pick the right moment, rather than having a backdated release schedule and having a load of tracks, and people getting upset when their track hasn't come out,” Richy says. “Some of the stuff we released last year on Hot Creations, we signed it the year before — things can miss their moments.”

As well as his big release on Hot Creations, Richy has remixes coming on Hot Flush and Hypercolour, plus something with Kim Ann Foxman, and he says that this year he wants to keep building his DJ profile, release tunes and play the best parties. Plus he's going to start his own vinyl-only label at some point this year...

What got you into this whole dance music malarkey in the first place?
“Going raving in Ibiza, I started going out to Ibiza in about 2000. I wasn't really into house music before then — I was into hip-hop and some soul and stuff, and it changed my whole idea. What I loved most about it was how there was no ego in the clubs. I'd come from a town in the north-east, South Shields, and when I used to go out back then there was always groups of lads in gangs getting into trouble.

The parties had ego in them, but in Ibiza it was all about going there to dance and get high or whatever, and listen to music. It didn't matter who you were, there was no uniform and no hierarchy — if you were into the tunes, it was honest and I really liked it. 
“I went to every club there was at first — El Divino, Amnesia, I went to Space five times in the first week, everywhere except DC10, I didn't go there the first year I went to Ibiza. That came in the second year, when I got a bit cooler.”

Where and when did you first meet Jamie Jones?
“I'd gone back to Ibiza in 2002 too, and then in 2003 I went for the summer — and that's when I met Jamie.”

When did you officially become part of the Hot Creations fam?
“It was probably when I first started DJing professionally in about 2010 or something. I think Hot Creations came out in 2009 or 2010, didn't it? It was about six months after the creation of it all. I was only DJing professionally since about 2010, before that I didn't see it as a financially viable career option — I thought of it more as a hobby that I loved doing. Then Jamie, like, was saying 'You're really good', and I put on a party in Barcelona — the first Hot Creations one in Europe — and got the boys out there, and I ended up playing. Someone was late and I got his set and smashed it, and then Jamie asked us to be the tour DJ. From there I started making my own tunes, and that was it.”

What led to you teaming up with Kevin Knapp on your new single, 'The Drums'?
“I was at the Detroit Music Festival three years ago, and I see him get on stage with Matt Tolfrey and do a vocal over one of Matt's songs. I thought, 'This is fresh', and basically I'd been writing the lyrics to this song, a track that I'd been wanting to make — cos I'm always going on about the drums, it's the drums that get me in a track. When I started making tunes, I realised that it was always the drums and percussion that caught my ear — not basslines and leads. It was the drums that made the difference, so I started singing the lyrics of the song in my head. I sent the lyrics to him and told him what I wanted him to rap about, and that was it. It came really easy.”

How did it feel when Pete Tong made 'The Drums' his Essential New Tune?
“Ah, it was wicked mate, I was buzzing — absolutely buzzing. Kevin sent us a message saying, 'There's a certain buzz about the track when I hear it, I think it's gonna be big', and I thought it was going to be good but I didn't think it was going to be as popular as it has been.”

Who first taught you how to produce?
“It was Jamie and them who I first started watching producing. I used to live with Jamie and Lee Foss and Kenny Glasgow in a house in Clapton, we used to be in the studio constantly, and that's how I learned about buying analogue machines. I'm still new to it... [embarks on long explanation about how his mate taught him how to link up a 101 with an 808 drum machine].”

What's the most fucked you've ever been when trying to DJ?
“Ho ho ho, ha ha ha, erm, oh mate, let me count the ways! I've been really hammered lots of times, especially in my early career when I was younger, when I wasn't actually DJing. One time I actually thought I was controlling a spaceship when I was DJing! The mix wasn't very good, but I was having a good time. Luckily it was just a villa party, or I wouldn't have got paid.
“I try not to do anything now when I play.

I get nervous before I play, really nervous, so I have to have at least a few drinks to calm us down. I don't know what it is, I'm like a nervous wreck as soon as I get near the decks. Once I've put three records on, I could take over the world. But until that point... I played Panorama Bar last weekend, and it was OK, I smashed it, but I was thinking about it the whole week, I was a nervous wreck — it was doing my head in. But in the end they asked me to play an extra hour cos they were enjoying it so much, so it must've worked somehow. But anyway, I've seen some worse people than me on the decks, put it that way. I always say the best thing to mix on is just a few drinks.”
 
If someone was gonna do a Boiler Room spoof video of your set, what funny track would they drop at the end? Like how it was the 'Grandstand Theme' with the Ben Klock one...
“The Ben Klock 'Grandstand' one was quality... A funny track like that that I really wouldn't like would be anything by the Black Eyed Peas. That would break my heart if I seen that. Something like that, one of those horrible songs with those horrible synths they all use [does impression of horrible synth]. If someone put that over my track...”

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