Richy at Mint Club Leeds, taken by Nick Dhokia
Having played an instrumental role in the house music renaissance in the UK, Richy Ahmed is rightly known as one of the best DJ and Producers around. From being one of founding fathers of the revered label Hot Creations to holding a residency at DC-10, he has cemented his place in British house music forever. We caught up with Richy at Mint Club in Leeds, for his Cocoon in The Park warm up. In the short time we spent with Richy he talked to us about; his love of Glastonbury, his favourite artists and the busy summer he has ahead!
How are you doing Richy?
'I’m doing really well mate, I’ve just played a show at Hyde Park book club! It was a wicked crowd and a great party.'
What have you been up to today in Leeds?
'I’ve been here since about 1’o clock, had a couple of drinks then literally got straight onto the decks man!'
Obviously, you’ve helped out a lot with the label Hot Creations, but how has it been launching your own label Four Thirty Two?
'It’s something that makes me feel so proud, I’ve put a lot of love into it! We were planning the label a long time before it actually came out, but yeah I’m honestly just so happy the wait has been well worth it. We started it up by doing our own parties which have been super successful, then we followed it up with the brand label itself. We've only had a couple of releases so far, but we’ve got a new one coming soon! A lot of the time when people create a label they try and release a bunch of tunes straight away, but for me quality is so much more important. There is nothing worse than listening to a track you released a couple of years ago and regretting it! Quality control is so important, everything under this label is a representation of me. I just want to really take my time with this label, making sure I don’t get ahead of myself. Too many people are quick to turn their label into a machine, which is what I really want to avoid.'
Is there any news from the label, things we should be watching out for?
'Yeah we have a couple of EP’s coming out soon, these new kids called Senzala who are amazing! I always do my own remix of releases under my label, the remix I did from these guys is definitely one of my best mixes yet.
When you make music are you thinking about how the club will receive the track?
'I have to be honest, I am seriously club orientated. Because I play a lot of shows now, I want it to be the case that the track I play are my own ones. When you play your own releases to an audience it’s a representation of you, there is no better way of doing it.'
What sort of music do you listen to when producing tracks?
'I really try and steer clear of house or tech when I am in the studio, because if I did all my tracks would end up sounding the same. It is so important as an artist to challenge yourself, by listening to a range of genres that hopefully have a good impact on the tracks you make. Because I’m playing at Glastonbury this summer, I’ve set myself a challenge which is to listen to an album a night from an artist playing this year.'
Obviously, Glastonbury is going to be a special one, but what is the best show you’ve ever played?
'There are so many man, but if I had to pick one it would be Amnesia Terrance. It really is next level, I’ve been there so many times! I remember going there all the time thinking to myself, if I ever get a chance here I’m going to absolutely go for it. I then eventually did play there and it was magical, I have a couple of sets this year and I can’t wait. Another amazing place of course is DC-10 where I’ve enjoyed a lot of time as a DJ, but Amnesia Terrace really is the one.'
What do you prefer, clubs or festivals?
(Laughing) 'That’s like asking me whether I prefer driving a Ferrari or a yacht! For me they are both so special and unique, for that reason I don’t really prefer one over the other. For me Glastonbury is just the best party on earth, playing there is such an honour. There is so many different things going on there, it really is a nice change. What a lot of people don’t actually know is that you have to pay to play there, so it’s really something you do out of love.'
If you could collaborate with anyone throughout history who would it be?
'Prince and MJ! They are easily the two best artists that ever lived, I can’t think of any other artists who even come near them.'
Anything we can look forward to?
'Yeah man, I’m doing a bunch of stuff under the label this year is Ibiza! I’m also playing a night at Fabric in room 1 this time!'
Edited by: Josh Crowe