T.H.E Interview – Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano

sunnery james and ryan marciano interview

Do Sunnery and Ryan even need an introduction? Dutch superstars and well-loved DJ’s for their energetic style. They have a special place in our Dutch hearts and probably international hearts at this point.

We once again reunited with these legends and had a catch up on how their lives changed during Covid and what they’ve been up to including their latest release today, Unseen Heroes.

Elsi – Hey guys! It’s been a while! How’s life treating you?

Sunnery – To be quite honest? It was interesting. It was a challenging time, business-wise, but I must say, personally it’s been the best time ever. It’s a little bit like the best of both worlds.

Ryan – Yeah. It’s been great actually! It’s a pity it needs to be like this, you know, Covid and then we have time to take time off because actually it should have been like, we get to choose for ourselves. It was amazing being home with the kids, family, doing nothing. Also everyone was like, let’s go into the studio. We were like, naaaaah! Sleeping, eating nice food and enjoying the time off!

Sunnery – Before sh*t hit the fan, let’s put it like this, we already had a serious conversation with our agent about this. We wanted to slow down a little bit and relax and then Covid happened. So, when it happened, we were like out, goodbye! But after five, six months, I was like, this is quite enough. But I must say business-wise, we did look into new things and we had time to think about things instead of not being home for three weeks and having to make big decisions. Now we had time to discuss and see how we want to approach the future. So, it was a good time.

Elsi – So you can bring in the work-life balance a lot better now as well for the future.

Sunnery – Yeah.

T.H.E – I mean, I guess Covid did have some advantages to it.

Sunnery – Definitely.

Ryan – I learned to say “No” more often, you know? That’s important.

Elsi – So you just released “Without ya” beginning of September, is this the vibe of the album you’re working on?

Sunnery – It’s part of the vibe because I think when we went in the studio together, we just shut everything off about like how it should sound like, where it should work and who will play it. Iit was just about what do we love and make music from the heart. We just let everything go and even R’n’B tracks came out of it and some hip-hop things, of course, overall dance, but we just followed our inspiration and this is part of the vibe. We also have like a more up-tempo, strong club tracks.

It’s going to be a mix of everything which you can expect of Ryan and Sunnery sets.

Elsi – So it’ll be your first album? Is it tougher to make then you anticipated?

Ryan – To make was not tough but to think about what you’re going to put out there? Now that’s a tough decision because you can’t release 30 tracks. Maybe, like 12, 15 tracks on the album. So now it’s like, I don’t know, we need to play them first to see what works. I said, what do we play a lot as DJ ‘s as the album and the majority of the tracks are really going to be played in a DJ set. It’s still a process, but it’s fun and it was working for us.

We actually started making it just for ourselves, just to play in the kitchen or in the car or to go out running or whatever. So that’s why we started this and the label was right there so we played it for them and they were like, oh yeah! You need releases!

Sunnery – We’re very happy with the results. Because you find things where you realize when you’re in this rat race, that’s how I call it, how we all call it, is that you’re in your head all the time, even making music in your head and sometimes you have these moments where you make things from the heart and then it hits because it has to resonate within yourself otherwise you can never sell it. That’s what we do in the DJ booth, we sell the music, sell the energy and the vibes to everybody.

Elsi – And how is SONO doing?

Sunnery – Yeah. I mean, we just spoke about it. It’s crazy that it’s been five years. It feels like we just started this and we almost have like a hundred releases now on the label. It’s doing really, really well. I think we had a big achievement a few weeks ago with Kurd Maverick, right?

Ryan – Yeah. One of our latest guys to release on our label, a great honor!

Sunnery – We were big fans, you know we were playing all his music and then he sends us this demo and we were like, WOW what a song, what a track and it’s called Gucci Gumboa. Really good!!

Ryan – And obviously we have some demos and tracks from some serious artists that want to release, like big artists, even with their alter egos and they want to release and make more like sophisticated club tracks and they send it to us. So yeah, it’s picking up and it’s really nice to see if you put some work into it and if you’re here, because before we were never around or on the label, you have people doing it, but if you do it yourself and have more time, you can achieve things. So again, the whole situation with COVID helped us a lot.

Elsi – I understand you’ll be holding an ADE label event? What do you expect from it?

Ryan – Well, it’s totally sold out and my phone is going crazy already. It’s going to be a zoo, I think, cause it’s going to be an Amsterdam and we’re from Amsterdam, born and raised, so when we do parties and there’s only 1500 tickets and then our 1500 friends arrive and say they know Sunnery and Ryan so you have to let us in, it’s going to be night like that! But fun!

A lot of new music, a lot of great artists from the label, Novak, Michael Mendoza, etc.

So yeah, looking forward to it!

Elsi – Was it tough preparing for it with all the changing restrictions?

Ryan – Yeah. At some point we didn’t care anymore, it’s going to happen or not, we’ll see. We tried to do so much the last couple of months and now finally we can do something, which is great.

Sunnery – I’m just happy that we can be in a club together and no matter what time it is from six till twelve (in Holland the current party restrictions are at midnight everything closes), but then we have that vibe again and make people happy, get some pretty bad energy you know, like I think it’s important. And with all the restrictions either you’re for it or against it (the whole QR code rule) at the end of the day, people having a good time is the most important thing!

Elsi – And good night’s sleep now a days?

Ryan – Yeah, a lot of people were like, it’s is bad for the party crowd, but it’s the best time they did this.

Sunnery – People decided to come, you know, it’s great. They can even go to work then party, when they normally have a normal life.

Ryan – People go to work, stay to go clubbing and sleep normally. We can even afterparty a little bit afterwards or sleep.

Sunnery – You go to work and every day, your party from 18.00 till 22.00, go on home, go to bed.

You good? Yeah. Thank you, government!

Elsi – Other then the album, any other projects we need to keep an eye out for?

Ryan – Sexy by nature, I mean, we moved to Qmusic – radio show (NL). We’re going to do a weekly radio show with our latest tracks we love. We already have radio shows streamed in, correct me if I’m wrong, 28 countries, so this is going well.

We have the big event coming up that we’re working on with more time now that we are home and we have big plans with that.

Same thing with SONO, actually we’re creating a platform for young artists to help them with their careers and share our experience with them. Working to build that brand!

December 11th, we’re going to do a Sexy by Nature in AFAS (Amsterdam). That’s going to be fun and we can’t wait. It’s going to be so solid and I hope people will get the 18.00 till 00:00 thing in AFAS, you know, it’s different to go in the afternoon, late afternoon to the AFAS and have a party but maybe just in my head, we’ll see. We’re very excited about it to do something in Amsterdam this year on that scale! I’m yeah, excited!!

Elsi – And who knows? They might’ve changed the times, so maybe everything’s back to normal, you never know. It’s still far away.

Sunnery – Well there you go…my Sunday’s gone again…

Elsi – Well thank you guys for this interview.

Elsi Mink
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