It’s almost that time of year again.. When thousands of dance music veterans, fan-boys, and rookies descend upon New York’s Randall’s Island Park for the Big Apple’s largest annual EDM event: Electric Zoo.
This year’s event features several premier headliners such as DJ Snake, Above & Beyond, and a bound-to-be legendary B2B featuring deadmau5 and Eric Prydz. Another household name who will be featured on day three’s main stage is Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano. Not only did the guys get to answering some questions for us about the music festival scene, their creative production process, their favorite up-and-coming EZoo artists, A State of Trance, etc., they also produced a very special exclusive mix for Electric Zoo and EDM Tunes (SoundCloud below)!
Q: So much has changed in electronic dance music since its resurgence in the States in 2012. Being established for as long as you have been, what changes have you noticed in the scene, specifically in the US?
A: It’s crazy, electronic dance music is doing great and it keeps on expanding and reaching new audiences all over the world. The scene has seen such a rapid explosion and it has opened a lot of doors. You see so many styles of music that blend in with electronic dance music now. It’s becoming more mainstream and you see so many pop artists working together with famous djs and producers. It’s awesome to see and hear these new styles that come out of these collaborations. The interesting thing about the US is that it’s more like a culture and people feel like they’re part of it, which is a great thing. In our home country in Europe it’s just the music that people like. Also, we see that people in the US are really outgoing compared to Europe. They tend to like really crazy stuff, and they’re open-minded about the music.
Q: What’s your creative process in collaborating with artists such as Clara Mae, KEPLER, Eddie Thoneick, and Luciana?
A: In the studio, we play around and share our ideas, after that we work on some beats until we feel we’ve got a strong rhythm going on that makes you want to dance. You really need to feel the energy. For our latest track ‘Nobody told me’ it was an amazing experience to work together with Kepler. The song has a different style than people are used from us. We love the melody, you can’t help but to start dancing when you hear it and Kepler’s vocals make everything come together perfectly.
Q: How do you approach playing small, intimate nightclub shows vs large arena sets and festivals?
A: We always try to keep it danceable, sexy and happy. The venues doesn’t really matter, we usually prepare the same way. During festival sets we do select tracks but we don’t know the order we’re going to play. We only have an hour to show ourselves so we prepare a little bit more then. But during club shows we just go, we don’t even think about preparing our set.
Q: You’ve got a close relationship with Armin Van Buuren who is one of Electric Zoo’s headliners this year. How long have you known Armin for and what draws you to want to work with him?
A: That’s right. We play Electric Zoo both on the main stage this year so we really looking forward to that one. We know Armin for a very long time, he’s a great guy. He’s among the most recognised and awarded DJs in the world. So it’s really cool to work together.
We’re also doing these residency shows each Wednesday in Hï Ibiza this year together. It’s amazing what they’ve done to the place and we can’t wait to be back each Wednesday to see all the happy people that come to this special place and share the love for the music together. We also went into the studio with Armin and recorded this incredible track: YOU ARE. We are so proud of the result and the song shows strong personality, representing both Armin and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano.
Q: Which up and coming artists on the EZoo lineup should we look out for?
A: We just worked in the studio with Bruno Martini on some music, the dude is crazy talented so everybody should definitely go and watch his set. Also we have CID playing at our weekly residency at Hï Ibiza on ethe 23rd of August. We invited him before to one of our Sexy By Nature pool parties and we can’t wait to catch up with him again on Ibiza and at Electric Zoo.
Q: Ibiza or Vegas, and why? Where does New York fit into the competition to be the worldwide capital of EDM?
A: That’s a tough one. We love playing both big time, can’t choose. This summer we are playing a lot on Ibiza because we have our own residency at Hï Ibiza together with Armin van Buuren, which is crazy and feels almost surreal. Vegas is something special as well but different. One is like your favourite cookie the other more like your favourite ice-cream. They’re both sweet and delicious. So why choose, if we can enjoy both, right? Let us explain what both make them so special. Ibiza, is more laidback; small restaurants, sunny beaches and a very relaxed vibe that the Island is known for. But, we also love playing in the US, and especially New York always feels like home to us. We usually play a lot of new tracks and a lot of new promos in New York’s finest clubs and festivals. We also brought our Sexy by Nature to the city. So for us both definitely fit in the top of the competition.
Don’t forget to check out Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano (soundcloud) rock the Electric Zoo main stage on Sunday, September 3rd. You can follow them on Twitter @SJ_RM and Instagram @SJ_RM. Peep the exclusive mix below.