Welcome to the year of Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano!
These two guys from Amsterdam met in 2006 in the clothing store where Sunnery worked, and where Ryan applied for an internship. While working together they noticed a lot of similar interests, and started working on some music together. From that moment on the two never stopped doing what they love most and they’ve created a big name for themselves since then.
We spoke to the guys about their big “EXPOSED” show at ADE 2019, and plans on making yet another track with Armin van Buuren.
T.H.E – Guys, the summer season just got over. How was it for you?
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – Crazy… but fun! We had our residency every Wednesday at HI Ibiza together with Armin van Buuren and that was crazy; amazing parties. We also did a lot of big festivals like Mysteryland, Ultra Music Festival Croatia and Tomorrowland, of course, 2 weekends, so it was one of the best summers so far in our career, we’re very happy. Still buzzing actually…and still recovering. And it’s kinda funny because when you start the summer, it’s gonna be like, “Wow, all these months of traveling, all these parties.” but it went by so fast. Unbelievable!
T.H.E – From a touring point of view because you have so many shows, you have some of the biggest festivals in the world you’re playing at. How do you go about planning it? You have a lot of new music that you want to premiere so do you guys plan your production schedule also keeping in mind that it could be a good time for you to showcase some new music?
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – That’s an amazing question, by the way. Well, where it starts actually is ADE. On Monday of ADE, we already did a writing camp because the new season actually starts during that week. Then you’re planning around Miami Music Week; maybe we should release a track that week and then for the summer, we need another release there. That’s how we plan our year and for that reason. we have to start producing for the whole year between October and January.
T.H.E – So the calendar technically starts now.
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – Exactly! Now for producing and then you want to be finished right before Miami with all of the productions, to go into summer and just play it out. Most artists premier new releases at Tomorrowland or Ultra Music Festival so that’s our approach as well. In the summer you cannot really produce…
T.H.E – Because you’re traveling a lot, yeah.
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – You can make demos and ideas while you get inspired on tour, but you can’t really finish music so around October, November you go to the studio and finish all the stuff that you love.
T.H.E – Next year, if you guys are again at HI Ibiza, it’s gonna be the fourth season in a row, correct?
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – Yeah, next year we don’t know yet if we are doing HI Ibiza again, but we would love to come back!
T.H.E – If you guys decide to come back, is there another collaboration with Armin you’re gonna release?
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – Who knows? We don’t know yet. We’re always in touch with Armin but we haven’t found the time yet to work on a follow-up track. We’ll keep you posted 😉
T.H.E – Considering the damage your previous 2 collaborations have done, I’m sure fans would love for another collaboration to come out.
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – But that’s the thing. I mean that’s like for every DJ/Producer, they want to top that record but it’s gonna be a tough one. We should approach it differently and with new energy and see what happens. We definitely think we are going to have another song with him. We just don’t know if it’s gonna be next year or the year after, but we are gonna have another track, 100 percent. It’s kind of funny because two days ago, he came by the studio and then he started talking about doing another track and we already have a nice idea. We just need to find the time to work on it together.
T.H.E – Talking about your Exposed show this year at ADE 2019, it was a bit different because you played a three and a half-hour set and usually at festivals, you might end up playing for an hour or two. So how did you go about planning a three-and-a-half-hour set?
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – The show in itself was totally different. The other shows are more like DJ shows so you invite your friends, the lineup, and you have the closing set and that’s it. This show, we played alone, only us. The doors opened at 10, we had background music, people walked in, had a drink and then between 11 and 12:30, we had Mr. X play some vibing music before we started at 12:30. It was a totally different approach. In fact, for the first hour, you couldn’t really see us!
T.H.E – Wow!
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – You had to find us actually, but it was super-exciting and it was more like a message into what’s going on in our heads. What inspired us, what made us fight so hard for what we are doing. It was only Sunnery & Ryan onstage like, “oh it’s a party, excitement, and energy” – of course, we had that. But also what’s behind us, what makes us come so far. Like the story behind it a little bit. What’s happening in the world right now when you connect to that and take all of the negativity out and make it a positive message.
T.H.E – It sounds amazing guys. Do you see this format being explored across different countries as well?
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – That’s the idea. Let’s say we have an idea in mind where we want to go to.
This was the kickoff so it was more like a showcase, test case to see if it’s going to work.
T.H.E – ADE was the perfect opportunity to do that.
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – Yes and yes. When we decided with our team that we were going do this with ADE, we were like, “ok, wait a second. Ok, we are from Amsterdam but there’s a lot of competition. You have AMF, you have Martin Garrix.”
T.H.E – You had a lot of things going on.
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – Yeah and then we thought, “it’s ok we’re from Amsterdam. Let’s do it, we can make it work.” And we sold out the show, that’s amazing.
T.H.E – You guys obviously have a loyal fan following, how much pressure is it in terms of always trying to produce something which your fans would always enjoy as opposed to experimenting with different kinds of genres. How do you balance that out?
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – This show was something we do to show who we are, it’s more for ourselves like we want to push it for ourselves you know. Because when you’re gonna do the same thing over and over, you’re gonna be bored. And at some point, you’re done.
T.H.E – True!
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – So that’s why we keep evolving and keep changing a little bit in terms of what we do and also music-wise. It’s about challenging yourself, as well, in a way. We’re always trying to challenge ourselves because nobody else did anything like this before so we just said, let’s do it.
T.H.E – Last question. Apart from meeting and parties and everything, what were you guys up to at Amsterdam Dance Event?
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – We weren’t really able to go party ourselves, maybe a little bit. And when we did go, we went to totally different. We also saw Modeselektor, they were doing a live show with Richie Hawtin.
We also partied with our friends and family because everyone was in town. And normally when we play around the world, we are alone. And now we had our friends and family around us, which always gives an extra dimension to the party. And as always, we never plan anything, but we always end up going everywhere. You run into people, “ok let’s have a drink there, let’s see this, you know so we’ll see. We’ll for sure have a fun week!“
T.H.E – Thanks, guys!