Landing this summer is yet another amazing package from Italian label Nicepeople, this time at the controls they have invited Detroit pioneer, Gari Romalis. Gari’s “Black Traxx Matter” vinyl release is a prime example of the slinky deep house grooves people around the globe have fallen in love with in years gone by, crammed with raw and pure emotion. In the interview Gari discusses his inspirations, what he has coming up over the next period, and more….
Check out the EP here: https://soundcloud.com/nicepeople_records/ncp005-gari-romalis-black-traxx-matter-12
You have a forthcoming EP ‘Black Traxx Matter” on Italian label, Nicepeople. When did you make these tracks? Can you talk a bit about the message you are trying to share with this EP?
This EP was dedicated to my people, my black people, my brown people and all the other people who have been oppressed and had to overcome adversity.
What studio set up was you using when creating this EP?
The studio setup is simple but effective. I use the almighty Ensoniq ASR10 which I named the “Star Destroyer” because I still produce music with this machine better than most people do on computers and this new software. I’ve been using this piece of equipment for almost 30 years, have never used anything else except for it’s older brother the Ensoniq 16, plus it’s not how much equipment you have, it is how effectively you use your equipment.
After being such a vital figure in house and techno over the years, how would you say the scene and industry has changed, for better? and for worse?
Well, I’ll start off with saying this, the scene has changed for the worse because technology has made people Lazy, people are being controlled by the machine. We invented the machine so we control it, you have to work for good music, it’s not given. A lot of people come into this game not paying their dues and automatically think since the computer does music for them that they are considered legendary material or good or should be up there with the best, it doesn’t work like that, I had to struggle and pay my dues, sometimes doing without, and work, listen and learn from the best. I had to play the back to get to the front, I was dedicated and waited my time, which most people don’t understand the key to this music game is dedication and consistency. Social media has led people to believe that they’re famous or they’re a star. A bunch of followers does not mean you sell a bunch of music that’s why they get the game twisted, it still has its hard core values in that matter.
As far as the good aspect, social media means you can touch people, reach out to people and do business with people that you wouldn’t have been able to do business with. Social media has opened up different genres of music categories, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, you’re not just limited to watch around you anymore you have the world which is a beautiful thing because there’s a mountain of music out here that people overlook because of their narrowmindedness.
In the early times in your career, where did you draw influence from?
I route my influences from people like Derek May who is a good friend of mine, I also worked for him for a few years, he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. I also have mad love and respect for the godfather of Detroit techno Cliff Thomas better known as CT, he is the owner of the legendary Buy Rite Music, he was the first black man in Detroit to sell dance music and don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise. All those other record stores came after him, that’s a fact, he also was one of the first people to distribute and put out the so-called big three of techno Kevin Juan and Derrick, without him most of the DJs from Detroit wouldn’t have the records in the influence of the music like they do. You can’t deny Cliff Thomas and I wish people who do interviews for overseas magazines or whatever source would mention him more because he has a key figure in our culture in Detroit music culture, and in Detroit dance music culture. Without him none of this would be going on in Detroit he’s a key figure he’s a big influence on me we are still friends today and we have some music coming out together in the future.
Can you tell us a bit about what you have coming up production and DJ wise over the next period?
As far as new music coming up, I do every genre of music including hip-hop and R&B. So I’m working with another artist in Detroit hip-hop and R&B wise because I like all genres of music not just house and techno, as a matter of fact every music except for house in techno influences me to make house and techno, I get my ideas from all genres of music. I’m also working on some production with the up-and-coming musician by the name of, Joey crates. Joey is from the UK by way of Barcelona, a very good dude but is slept on, but we’re going to change that we have some stuff coming out in the near future on Mabel future 1701. I am also starting work on my my album which will actually be a double pack. One side house the other side techno and on the other record one side R&B and the other side hip hop because I’m more than just house and techno. When I say I’m a producer that means a producer of all music. As far as DJing and Detroit? I don’t know that’s hard to say I can’t put a nail on it because right now I’m mostly doing production but I am setting up my tour for overseas.
Last of all, you are closing a sunrise set on the beach, which song would you choose as your last track? Thanks a lot for your time.
Pre Order “Black Traxx Matter” Now: http://bit.ly/GariRomalisNCP