Know your artist: Aneesh Gera (an interview)

websiteaneesh

 

When did you start exploring into the world of music?

“I was always into music, loved it since I can remember. What actually got me into it professionally was a bit of an accident actually, pun intended. I was a huge sports buff, playing basketball for a private team and my state/county, I was also big into swimming and diving which I competed at national level as well. When I was around 14 – 15, I had a back injury, which forced me into involuntary retirement as dramatic as it sounds lol. My world kind of stopped, it wasn’t the best time to be honest, going from competing against athletes from around the country to physic therapy twice a day and being told I would never compete again, wasn’t a lot of fun. The only other thing that interested me was music, and in fact it was my Mum who pushed me into it. She has always been a big influence in my life. Next thing you knew I was a professional DJ at 17. Since then I haven’t looked back” 🙂

 

How have you and your music evolved over the years?

“Well for me at the moment my career is 80% focused on making music and the 20% is on DJing, I LOVE DJing and wanna do it till I’m in my 60s 🙂 There is no greater thrill then playing your own music when you are DJing. As for my gigs, its more about the quality of the gigs rather than the quantity, I am lucky enough to be in space now where I can more or less cherry pick my gigs, Because, I mean for how long can you be touring all over the place and sometimes have only 200 people turn up?”

 

-What’s your take on Wannabe DJs? How has the degree from SAE helped you?

“It changed my life! The degree has helped me a lot.” We asked him to elaborate, “Well let’s first break ice on this misconception, Audio Engineering has nothing to do with DJing, its like saying ‘I work for Mercedes Benz and I’m an engine expert but I used to pump air in tyres.  They’re not connected in anyway but it so happens that it all fits into a car. (We were just as pure shocked and awed by this amazing metaphor that he made up on the go and then we got the rights to use that metaphor :P)  “Audio engineering is the science behind sound/audio. In the first month at school, we covered the human ear and how we perceive sound, its pretty in-depth but the making music aspect is similar for example if you write a song on an acoustic guitar, record it and then put it onto a CD and sell it that would sound horrible. So you would take it to an Engineer who would first used record techniques, the right gear, knowing how to use your equipment is key! Treat the audio, balance it, master it, compress it and do all sorts of bits and bobs which would make it international music standard, ready for release. Not very often in the industry, would you find someone who can do both. One perfect example of someone who can do both is Dean (D.Ramirez)”.

 

What does it take to become a DJ according to you?

“A passion for the music, endurance ability to take rejection positively and heaps of talent never goes amiss! It’s one of the hardest industries to crack”.

As we continued into this interesting interview. Aneesh told us that he had a studio in Goa! Thats right everyone, the cat is out of the bag! Aneesh Gera had a studio in Goa, did you even know? heck neither did we. So we set up this next question based on this interesting discovery..

 

-You mentioned that you had a studio in Goa. Could you tell us about it?

“I never really brought it up or felt the need to tell anyone, just my students, music colleagues and mates know of my studio. Even with my releases, I’ll go like ‘we-signed-it-with-so-and-so’ and we hit a chart, I won’t ask someone to even listen to my track, if they want to, then I’m glad but if they don’t, It’s all good no hard feelings, don’t get me wrong there a lot of people who’s opinion matter to me and I’ll send them my music for feedback. I’m more of a ‘I’ve-Done-This’ rather than ‘Oh-Im- Doing-This‘ kinda guy”.

 

Even tough Vinyl is outdated do you think it will come back into the DJing scene?

 

“It already has! A large part of the European market is asking for Vinyl and the amount of money people are paying for vinyl is just incredible, especially in places like Germany, the UK and Spain among others. In fact, in London, some DJ’s are still DJing on vinyl.

Personally, I’m a huge vinyl fan!

My missus just bought me the new Daft Punk album and my favorite chemical brothers album ‘ surrender ‘ for Christmas, both on vinyl! I couldn’t ask for anything more this Christmas”.

 

 

What’s your take on Goa in terms of the nightlife?

“Where do I begin about Goa, every time I’m down from the UK, there’s always something new happening and each time, I’m amazed by what Home has to offer, even when am booked, anywhere, in Goa I’ll take it because home is where the heart is.” At this point, you could see the nostalgia setting in… “I’ve visited a couple of new places and…WOW…amazing stuff! Goa always has this magical vibe, not just in nightlife, it oozes good energy, that must be why everyone who visits Goa and always comes back”.

 

-Which is your favourite hang out in Goa? pub? nightclub? shack?

“I would definitely not want to hang out at a night club, it’s kinda like the office. If I’m in Goa and I wanna head out with my mates, I quite like Cafe Del Mar and oh how can I forget Flying Dolphin, one of my favorite shacks. LOVE Palolem, so that is the place to recharge the batteries, so to speak.”

 

What’s your take on Rhythm and Wines which takes place on the NYE in New Zealand? Do you think Goa needs something like this?

“Ideally it would be cool if the festivals in Goa went on till 1 am, Man that would be awesome! But for that to happen you’re gonna need the law to change so don’t hold your breath. With smaller parties happening all over, it all depends on the individual. But yes, it would be nice if you had both the options. Different strokes for different folks.”

 

What songs currently playing on your iPhone?

At this he point, he unlocks his phone and asks us “Erm, where would I find music on my phone?” So we sorted him out and to our surprise: no tracks on his phone!! He says, “Usually I only listen to the track that I’m working on, as you’re constantly tweaking it, I’ve usually got my current top 5 records I’m feeling at the moment, playing in my car, at the moment I’m absolutely loving the new Pryda EP”

 

Any Disastrous moments?

“Oh there are many, when you’ve gigged as much as I have, you kinda rack up the stories! Electricity cuts, I’ve blown everything from mixers to speakers. At one of my first residencies the mixer was propped up at a 45 degree angle (for the record: I hate that kinda arrangement) and they had the bass pins right underneath the DJ console so with every kick drum the fader (volume control) started coming down..; it was falling  due to that stupid 45 degree angle the mixer was propped up at! And I couldn’t work out for the life of me, as to why the music kept fading. It kept fading naturally to every beat, nothing that a little duct tape cant fix though.   Oh and most recently was during my set at the Sunburn Festival, my partner Jimmy Kennedy blew his headphones mid mix!. When we play together, we have a dual line, where I’ve got a pair and he’s got a pair. So, his blew when he was mixing and I was on acapella duty at the time, He looked at me and we had a 30 second window before the track finished. so yeah, things go wrong all the time and only experience and a calm manner can help you 🙂 a bit of luck always helps too.

 

-How’s the scene different in comparison to India and London?

 

“I can only speak for myself. It really depends on where you’re playing, if I’m playing in London, where it’s more of a deep house scene, I’ll do a 4 hour set which is no quicker than 123 bpm and the people in India would probably classify that as too slow! But for me the slower, the better. Slow, groovy as hell, deep music is awesome! Back in the UK they know their music & artists. If something is out today, they’ll listen to it, buy it, unlike in India where its a bit main stream, but its definitely getting there! It’s unfair to draw a comparison to be honest, different worlds, but both have their own charm.”

 

-Which record labels are you signed too?

“With an Aneesh Gera production, I like diversity and like I said earlier the labels are genre specific. For example, Kling Klong / greatstuff etc mainly do Techno and won’t even entertain to another genre, Spinnin seems rather big on Electro most labels want to stick in to a genre and develop that fan base. I’m signed to labels like ERIK MORRILO’s Subliminal Records / PAUL THOMAS’ Ultraviolet, MISS NINE’s 925 music / FATBOY SLIM & SONNY WHARTON’s WHARTONE RECORDS / PACHA RECORDS / BLACK HOLE RECORDS etc as my music is rather  diverse. If u take a look at my beatport profile, I have 70 releases that cover everything from Deep House to Chillout to Tech House to Progressive & house.”

Aneesh Gera infographic

 

 Some highlights of 2013? Anything to look out for in 2014?

“2013 started off really well, I was nominated for ‘ Producer of the year ‘ award in India, that made my day! I’ve got a few big record deals that I’m really buzzing about. I’ve just been signed to the massive Pacha Records. I’ve made a remake of ‘Souls to Souls back to life’ with Jimmy Kennedy. Miss Nine (Miss Nine just did a tour with Paul Van Dyk and another one supporting Armin Van Buuren), in my opinion she is the next big thing. She’s also got her own label 925 Records, under which I’ve made a original track called Shooting Stars that comes out in 2014(Aneesh ended his Sunburn set with Shooting Stars).

Rarely do you get to meet someone who you look upto in the industry and some of the time when you meet them, they don’t live upto your expectations: Paul was an exception to this, I’ve been a Paul Thomas fan for years, playing his music for ages. So not only did we end up meeting but we got along really well. Paul started his own record label called Ultraviolet Records and We’ve signed our new deep house track to his label ‘No Fears For Tears’ if anyone remembers Everyone Wants To Rule The World you’ll get our remake. The vocalist who we collaborated with is Amrick Chana (Amrick Chana has made it onto live shows of this seasons ‘The Voice UK’ TV show ). And the thing about Paul, for him just to like my music is awesome, but to support & to invest in my music is second to none. Icing on the cake is Paul is doing a remix of our track as well cant wait for that!

We’ve also collaborated with Lisa Williams from Newcastle, who is quickly becoming one of my fav vocalists. The strange thing is she sent me a track to review  and I really liked it, but the vocals were just amazing, so I asked her if I could use them. That’s how SUMMER FUN came about. It has been signed to Hoxton Hores, Whore House Music (The Hoxton Hores had a No.1 with Remember Me By New Boy a few years) and the mighty HOXTON WHORES are on remix duty for this! Really looking forward to that!

Here we were like ‘wow, there’s-a-lot-going-to-happen-with-Aneesh Gera-in-2014’ and now Aneesh gives us a super exclusive “My highlight of 2013 was this track that we released with Price Oliver called ‘Once In A Life Time’ (released in March 2013 and hit no 1 on traxsource WORLD TOP 100 PROGRESSIVE CHARTS and stayed there for 5 weeks) and a juicy tidbit is were currently working on a new track with Price Oliver its called Home!” WOOOOOOAHW brought to you by only by EDMofy.com! 😉 

 

-Who do you look forward to working with in the near future?

“No talent like GOAN talent, I would love to work with people like Bondo, Ashley Fernandes, Vince Costa, Chrystal Farrel, Ayeesha Barretto, and there are so many more but this is what comes to mind for now.” As for the non Goan crew, Ministry of Sounds’ Cole Jonson and I have a few projects together, Partner in crime JIMMY KENNEDY of course and defo working with Lisa Williams & Amrick Chana much more, I just love their vocals, amazing talents ! Its not often when you’re on the wavelength creatively with people. Will continue to work with Erick Moriilo / Sonny Wharton / Paul Thomas and MISS NINE .. have some surprise collaborations lined up for 2014”

 

-Any advise for us?

We shared with Aneesh our experience with this industry and he smiled and said “To make it in this industry, about 90% of sustenance. Honestly I don’t know how I’ve survived these 13 years that I’ve been in this industry. Just don’t give up and do it for the love of it. Find something you love, do it for a living and you’ll never work a day in your life”.

 

Aneesh, we hope you like the little surprise which we had promised: 

Aneesh Gera Caricature

 

 

Written by Viresh Vazirani

Managing Editor of EDMofy & Founder of Growth Gravy - a Growth Hacking Startup based in Goa. Viresh is an NIT Goa Alumnus.