01. What are your experiences of playing Amsterdam in the past? How do they compare with Germany in terms of vibe and atmosphere - is it as liberated?
Hi there! For me, Amsterdam was and is always connected with very positive memories. As a youth I loved to spend my summer holidays in the city together with my friends. It’s a lovely place with a lot of natural amenities and as far as the music and club scene is concerned it doesn’t have to be shy either. The Netherlands are looking back on a long tradition of electronic dance music and where setting standards in the 90s in the fields Techno and Hardcore. I think it’s the leading European country when it comes to the sheer amount of festivals. I have played at Studio 80 and recently at the “Georgies Wundergarten” festival a couple of weeks ago. The location and the promoter-crew are amazing. They’re very motivated and engage themselves with a lot of passion and love for the details. So - massive of respect to the Georgie’s Garage crew!! And of course huge hugs to Deep House Amsterdam and White Rabbit Crew.... In general the Amsterdam crowd is very open and sure can dance and party, yeeah. :)
02. Speaking of Germany you originally hail from Vietnam - what brought you to Bavaria in the first place? Was it solely for music?
No, it wasn’t the music that brought me as a kid to Bavaria but my parents. They were Vietnamese refugees and came in the early 80s because of the economic boost. So it was more cause of political reasons then for the music and I was fully re-socialized back then. I’m now living in Berlin since 8 years and enjoy doing so but I continue to miss the mountains, the nature and the Bavarian food a lot.
03. Are you familiar with the Amsterdam Dance Event conference? What does a conference like this mean to you - is it a good thing?
To be honest, I’m super stoked because it will be my first time. I’m going to try to soak up as much as possible and to see and learn a lot. I heard everybody’s meeting colleagues from all over the world, a bit like a class reunion with a strong focus on exchange – that sounds amazing!
04. For Unconditional, you're going to be playing alongside house artists from around the world, each with differing styles and variations on the genre - do you think house music has become a broader template to work on in recent times? Is it becoming harder to define?
I’ll be playing two gigs. One for ADE Uncondional at Barkode and one at the Nurvous Records Official Show. That is quite a colorful group of artists from all over the world but luckily we’re all surfing on the same musical wave. It’s a label and posse thing and I’ll be playing with The Climbers (MX), Walker & Royce (US), Wildkats (UK), Kraak & Smaak (NL), Murk (US) and many more. I know many of them personally - some of them already did remixes for my label Mother Recordings. But I dig your question, these days a lot of musical styles are fusing together and there are influences from left and right. I think what makes it difficult is the fact that a lot of the music that is being released these days sounds very much the same. It’s all on a quite high level of production but some of it lacks a certain cheekyness that this broader template that you speak of actually has to offer. Especially because everything seems to be called house music these days so there are really few to no rules that set a formal barrier.
05. You're kind enough to mix a set for us in preparation - is this going to be your usual, off kilter and emotive style?
Yes, it was an honor. It’s a sound mixture of tracks from friends that I gladly support and play out. Also some exclusive stuff form myself coming out on OFF Recording and on Mother Recordings. The mix includes also my latest remix which I did as collabo with my close friend Teenage Mutants. It’s important to me that the vibe doesn’t become too dark and gloomy. I’m more the sunny type and into things such as summer, sun and surf. And funky music for the hips and the ladies. Shake ya rumpa .
06. In terms of releases and productions, how do you approach them? What do you do to keep hold of that certain warmth in your tracks?
It’s like a good cooking recipe with the right amount of seasoning here and there. For me it’s important that there is always a certain amount of funk in my tracks. Sometimes half a loop is all you need to unleash the magic.
When I start to work on a new track I tend to have a certain idea or musical direction in mind. But the best ones still are created in a short period of time, basically flawlessly made from one piece. If the workflow’s right, you can go deep very quickly and mold the essence of a track. Sometimes I catch myself going ape shit over a specific groove or break and then have to laugh about myself. That’s when I think: the floor might enjoy this as much as I do – and can’t wait to play it out to see the reactions .
06. You seem to be fairly prolific, releasing a tune or mix and placing on your Soundcloud once a month. How important is it to maintain the busy online profile, and still maintain quality control over everything?
Yes, it’s like doing your homework. As a professional musician one should tend to ones social media platforms such as the FB fan page or Soundcloud. I personally think that radio mixes are very important that’s why I try to put out one every month along with an interview. Because of the current demand luckily all of this pans out very nicely. As far as tracks and remixes go, I tend to hold myself back a little. I my opinion it’s better to release fewer material that on the other hand is right on point. Quality over quantity, that sort of thing. Also the day has only 24hrs and the tasks at hand of running a label, DJing on weekends and being a dedicated partner to my girlfriend claim most of them.
07. Finally, what surprises - or plans, rather - do you have for after ADE and into 2014?
I have a surprise for you – I wrote this interview just before the start of my upcoming surfing trip. So you’ll be seeing me in Amsterdam relaxed, frisky and with a chocolate brown tan. Maybe I’ll be renaming myself to Nhan Choco, hahaha. But joking aside, for 2014 I promise more great releases and hope to continue playing a lot across the globe so that I can make fans dance and smile, that haven’t seen me DJing yet.
Thanks for the great interview, I’ll be seeing you guys at ADE.
- Deep House