Exclusive Interview: Awanto 3

We speak with Awanto 3 about his studio setup, his latest releases and his plans for 2017!

Awanto 3 is an alias of Steven de Peven who has been taking the house scene by storm for over 20 years now. With eclectic sets and experimental, forward thinking releases, we felt it was only right to have a chat with the man himself about the alias and what he’s been upto in the studio recently.

Check it out below!

Whose music are you listening to at the moment?

At the moment I am listening to a great mix called Dancefloor Meditations Vol.5 made by Sassy-J.

Are there any artists in particular that you feel have had an influence on you musically?

Back in the day, Kid Sublime teached me how to use the MPC. That had an enormous influence musically because the MPC has it’s own guide and typical sound. Before that I was listening a lot jazz, soul, hip hop and disco. I guess the hip hop influenced me a lot. Particularly stuff like, Digable Planets, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and later on lots of MADLIB.

How did you first get involved in dance music?

My uncles had a drive in show when I was younger, I spent a lot of days watching them and dancing to the show when I was a kid.

Along with that, guys like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five as well as Rock Steady Crew got me into breakdancing. Lots of disco made me want to dance too and it was when I heard the first house/acid/new beat that the other kind of ‘dance’ music started for me; particularly Traxx Records, Nervous, Strictly Rhythm, Transmat and Jeff mills.

How do you feel that it has changed and developed since you got involved in it?

It’s just grown and grown. I’ve seen a few genres rising and falling like drum and bass, acid jazz, broken beat…There were so many different worlds that showed up, stayed for few years and developed into new styles.

Could you tell us a bit about your studio setup and your creative process?

I like to work with a simple set up, so at the moment I use an MPC, JUNO60, Compressor, a few Korg synths, TC Helicon, a mic and I’m ready to go. Also, the space needs to be zen; I just can’t work if there is garbage everywhere. I need to clean up before I get started so that my head’s clear!

What motivated you to adopt your Awanto 3 alias?

When Rednose Distrikt started to fall apart, I worked a lot with Rednose’s partner in crime, Aardvarck. He moved to Bali and somehow I started to discover myself in production. I produced this track called ‘Pregnant’ that was supposed to be released on Prime Numbers but finally ended up at Dekmantel. I came up with Awanto 3 because I had to choose a new name, so I tried to think of a simple one that anybody in the world could remember… Just count to 3.

Your debut album Opel Mantra was released on three 12 inch records. What motivated you to put out an album and why was the decision made to release it in this format?

Unfortunately, that was not my decision, it was an experiment from the label bosses at the time. They were afraid my album was too avant garde to work, so 12 inches would make it easier for people to grab. But the package was lost in my opinion. That said, Seeger Baas did an excellent job (he illustrated the album cover and inserts) and Young Marco finished it properly so that the artwork could still represent in a way (CD).

How did working on an album differ from producing individual tracks?

It’s a period of hello’s and goodbye’s. I say this because it’s all about holding some tunes together, listening to them over and over again untill the strongest survive and you’re able to focus more on finishing them off.

Do you have plans to release any more albums?

I am working on my second Album just now and all of the tracks have been chosen. We’re now mixing! The mixes need to be ready by the end of November so it’ll hopefully be released in early February 2017 on Dekmantel Records.

What can we expect from you in the rest of 2016?

Not too much that I can tell you about I’m afraid! I plan to play a few gigs but my main focus at the moment is on the album and I’ll just see what comes up next… I like surprises!!

Speak soon guys!

You can more info on Awanto 3 and keep up with his gigs and releases here: https://www.facebook.com/awanto3.alfabet/?ref=br_rs

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