Catching up with London based producer Riva Starr
Riva Starr returns to his own Snatch! Records for a hot Traxsource exclusive. ‘The Flame’ is a feisty basement cut, guaranteed to keep the vibe going ‘til the early hours and we’re stoked to have this one all to ourselves! We caught up with Riva Starr to celebrate the release..
Hey Riva! Thanks for chatting with us today. Tell us where you are right now and how you’re feeling today?
Hey guys, lovely to chat with you again! Right now I’m in Hong Kong and tomorrow off to Bali! It feels good to push the SNATCH! sound around the world indeed :)
A big congrats are in order for having the number one record on Traxsource for 2016. “Soul Speech” even entered the top 10 (again) after we officially announced it! What are your thoughts on yet another #1 Snatch! record in under a year?
It’s mad and totally unexpected. I made the track for fun and being released under a brand new name, we would have never thought to have such a massive reaction. There’s definitely more to come, and yeah so happy also for THE BLUES MAN topping the chart for weeks. There’s plenty of talent around! Thanks for supporting, of course that means a lot to us!
“Soul Speech” was also the artist alias you used for that record, is this an alternative artist name you frequently use for side projects and do you plan to use again in the future?
Yeah, I have several side projects because I make so much music and it would be impossible to wrap it all under just one name; so Soul Speech, then I have Genghis Clan, El Pocho, Hyperloop etc :) It’s just a way for me to express different styles that I like to produce without having the snobby asses suing me for being too eclectic as Riva Starr (it has happened A LOT in the past). And in a way makes my branding job easier it must be said LOLS.
Alias or not, you obviously have the skills to make a great record – what to you is needed to making a track?
Not sure LOL, I suppose a good idea, a solid groove and the willing of having fun with it. Also never thinking about making a big record helps a lot, it’s all about figuring out the reaction in the club for me these days while I make music. I’m all devoted to have the people dancing. Obliviously, if some chart results come in we don’t shut the door.. we actually offer it a good coffee ;)
Speaking of a great track, tell us about your latest offering “The Flame” that you’ve just dropped exclusively on Traxsource.
That is one of my favourite tracks to play at the moment. It has just all the elements I like. Soulful vibey vocals and raw straight up beats with a rolling bassline and warm chords. A very simple edit and I’m so happy with it. I know people rave about techno all the time these days but this is a track that comes from the soul and I love it!
How do you find studio time with all the traveling and relentless gigging? It seems like you must have a great team behind the Snatch! label and overall brand?
The team and management is great indeed and ever growing, without them I’d be lost :). Regarding the music I work a lot while I travel as well, sometimes I play at a gig and come back to the hotel inspired and start making music till I have to leave to the airport. Then I go back to the studio and polish and mix down with my equipment.
How do you go about A&R for signing a new record? How important is it to “road-test” your productions or a potential new signing in the club before you put it out?
I listen to around 200 tracks per week these days, it’s such a massive job but I really like doing it. I select with different criteria: 1 is the sound quality, 2 the idea and freshness of the track, 3 peoples reaction in the club. We release club music so the tracks must be strong on the dance floor and have something different!
You’re based in London, where the nightlife scene has changed drastically over the last few of years with the closure of many important clubbing spots. 2016 saw the closure and re-opening of Fabric, the introduction of a ‘night mayor’ (to protect nightlife) and, as of this weekend, the opening of the new 5000 capacity Printworks venue. Do you think London’s nightlife has been ‘saved’ and could be back on the rise?
London Nightlife is ever changing but will never die. It’s strong and healthy, I was at the Printworks opening and the spot is massive, also there‘s other very healthy clubs like EGG LDN etc… that are doing amazing parties and the very same fact that we have the NIGHT MAYOR means that the high floors want to keep it real!
As many of our readers know, our HQ is based in Miami, can we expect to see you here in March for Music Week?
I’m still discussing a few options there might be some nice surprises soon :)
What’s on the horizon for Riva Starr 2017?
Lots of stuff, obviously this new EP on Snatch and then an EP on Seth Troxler’s Play It Say It out in March and a new Hot Creations, a side project with Dennis Cruz (probably a full album together as I love producing with him and he is part of the SNATCH family) and finally a few remixes.