As an urban brand DEW is inspired by the city. This time: Ameli Paul. They're a mix of vocals with analog effects, live instruments and electronic productions. A danceable and dreamy sound, trying to create goosebump moments.
How did music shape you?
For both of us, music was omnipresent in our youth and shaped the way we interacted with our surroundings and how we expressed our feelings. It introduced us to different ways of living and loving. And in the end, music is also political and promoting a conscious and sustainable way of living as well as an anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-sexist attitude.
How did you manage the beginning of the pandemic? What did you do? Did it influence your music?
First it felt like a one-month holiday, a lot of free time, studio sessions, staying home with the flatmates, renovating the kitchen. Musically it was an interesting phase as we started producing music that was rather for the living room than for the dance floor. When it became evident that the festival summer would be cancelled and winter would be a constant lockdown, it hit us hard. We tried to keep the motivation high, did some music videos, released our EP on Meiosis and focused on summer 21.
You are based in Cologne/Berlin. How is the local music scene?
Normally we are based in Cologne. Cologne has got a vivid scene and a lot of inspiring collectives and labels (Zugvögel, Minha Galera, Niehler Freiheit, Laut & Luise, Feines Tier, Suppe …). As everywhere the clubs are dying more and more and are replaced by office spaces and expensive flats.
Currently we moved to Berlin for the summer as we needed some change of scenery and we really feel at home surrounded by many amazing musicians, creatives and friends.
How would you describe the club scene to someone who doesn't know anything about it?
Puh, it’s difficult to generalize the club scene as there are so many differences. The club scene, our heart feels drawn to, is an alternative scene with collectives involved who stand for an open and tolerant philosophy. A space that allows anybody to enter and to be who he/she wants to be. Where people interact mindfully and respectfully and coziness meets escalation.
How did you get in touch with your style and how is it received?
Our sound is constantly evolving. I think we get bored quite easily and the variety of our styles reflects the broad range of interests that we have. Sometimes this makes it quite difficult to categorize us. But we are willing to pay that prize for the freedom to do what feels right at the moment.
More and more music is being digitalized, not just the production, but also the performance on stage. Which skills will a DJ need to have in order to be successful?
Define success... For us a DJ has to have an exquisite taste in music, a sensitive feeling for vibes and character. If successful means 1 Mio. Insta-followers and playing Ultra Festival, you would probably need something else.
When and what can we expect off your upcoming tracks?
Our upcoming tracks will be a lot darker and experimental than what people know from us. We’ve been testing the new tracks on the latest shows and can’t wait to share them with you.
Where do you get Inspirations from for your productions?
Ameli: Most of my ideas evolve when I am sitting alone at my out-of-tune piano in my room, improvising, singing, and just playing around. I think I most probably draw on classical melodies subconsciously as I grew up with a lot of classical music and studied opera singing after school. But also jazz music has had a huge influence on me in terms of improvisation, harmonies, and feeling. To me, it was always a big need to make music in various genres, so I think it’s kind of a mix of all of them, you can find in my way of singing and playing music. And of course, there are also many musicians who inspire me. One of the most touching singers, to me, is Beth Gibbons from Portishead.
Paul: I find inspiration in random noises that I record with my handy recorder and transform them into beats. But also windy, grey and foggy weather trigger my need to compose. I am a rather melancholic and introverted producer. The way musicians like Nicolas Jaar or Nils Frahm treat and create sound opened up a completely new world for me.
Who do you want to reach with your music?
I would say kind people with an interest in music besides the super-mainstream. But actually anybody, because I think that connecting with people of any kind can just be beneficial to the world and the way we treat each other.
What makes the people in your hometown unique?
Cologne: Definitely the humor and the optimistic way of life.
What do you want to achieve? What is the non-plus-ultra for a live-act like you?
We want to release high quality music, play internationally at beautiful locations, get in touch with as many lovely people, start exciting collaborations, realize our artistic ideas in video and performance.
What do you think of the development towards Digital Music and how do you make use of this yourself?
Everything became so fast. If we wanted, we could make a track one day and self-release it the day after. Sometimes this feels good and then you have to do it. But sometimes it’s also good to wait and let things age and allow them to ripen. At the moment we are so thrilled by our next release which will be on vinyl!
You play a wide range of settings – smaller clubs and huge festivals – how do you switch up your sounds for each? How have you prepared for playing festivals instead of clubs? Is it more challenging to play festivals?
We love to play festivals in the summer. Especially those with a lot of love for details, a beautiful location and a lake to jump in the morning. Very often festivals are a place to meet a lot of new people, hang around with other musicians and experience some time off from the outside world. But of course we also love (and miss) the dirty energy in a stuffed club… it’s been a long time :’(
Musically it doesn’t necessarily differ, but a set at 10 in the morning will probably sound different to a set at 2 am.
What is it that you struggled most with these past years of producing?
Sometimes we were wondering why we produce or release music if nobody can play it on the dancefloor. Live-shows are good for testing new stuff and see how people react to it. This summer has been a real pleasure to play all the songs that we wrote during lockdown.
And then there must have been a specific moment when you did find your sound that is so distinctive. When and how did that happen?
That’s never going to happen, we guess. The moment we stick to a certain sound, we stop developing. Making music is always searching, discovering, experimenting.
What is it that you recommend up and coming producers?
Never stop playing. Take your time, don’t rush things. Don’t try to please others. And mistakes are there to learn from and make you better.
How do you prepare your sets?
We try to prepare a live-set for the festival season that receives further shaping after every gig. Probably we would exchange some tracks, adapt it to the playtime.
What gig has been the highlight for so far? Why?
And what is still on the horizon?
We are happy to play some nice festivals this summer and especially looking forward to play in Ascona (CH) alongside Âme, Dixon and Jimi Jules end of September. Our EP will be released this autumn with some very interesting remixes!
Regardless of where you’re from or based, the ambience of the city no doubt affects your artistry to a certain measure. How has your city fed your creativity as artist?
Cologne always shows you that it’s ok how you are, no matter what. That’s a good attitude towards making unique music. And Berlin has this crazy openness towards new musical adventures – which makes it easy to try out new things.
Thank you very much!
Interested in hearing their music?