Fresh off hosting his first label party at ADE in Amsterdam and a recent American tour, we get an insight into the life and music of rising house star, Greco.
New York born Greco has been building a reuptation in house music for years through his unique sound and exciting productions. With releases on some of the biggest labels in the world, such as Toolroom and Madtech, he’s recently launched his own label Rawsome which has gone from strength to strength ever since. We got the chance to speak with the man himself, check it out below.
You’ve been making music pretty much your entire life, how did you get involved in djing and dance music production?
Music has always been one of my greatest passions in life. I feel my deeper appreciation for music started early on while learning to play classical piano. As I grew a bit older and started listening to electronic music, I became fascinated with how different the music sounded, especially those 909 open hats, and wanted to create music of my own! I downloaded my first copy of FL Studio 10 years ago but only produced as a hobby until just a few years ago. I began DJ’ing back in 2011 because I started noticing a trend, that all producers would eventually need to DJ because of the sheer lack of music sales, ultimately making it impossible to earn a living from just producing music. DJ’ing quickly became an obsession and to this day I like to keep a healthy balance between the two.
You grew up in New York, do you feel like your upbringing had much of an influence on your sound?
Growing up in New York was beautiful. We have so many different cultural influences here that make up our city. My father was a big disco fan and used to play lots of old records for me. My mother used to always make sure I played my piano. My older brother by 8 years would go out to the city and bring back mix cd’s for me to listen to. Even the radio back in the 90’s was playing dance records that can clearly be noticed in my style of production and DJ’ing. All of these factors played a major role in my sound. I’ve always had a very eclectic taste in music as well. Some of my old cd’s I used to burn would go from rap, to rock, to hip-hop, to dance music, then to some oldies and everything in between. I feel this is why I always continue to evolve as a producer and dj, always looking for new ways to keep the music fresh and moving forward into the future. However, out of all the different styles of music I love, I always come back to that raw underground house.
Could you tell us about one of your proudest or most significant achievements as an artist?
Man its tough to pin it down to one moment. There have been so many just this year. And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t me bragging at all, I simply take a lot of pride in what I do because growing up, no one believed I was serious about becoming an artist or DJ. Most people in my life thought I was crazy.. they were right though haha. Aside from spinning alongside the legendary Louie Vega, I would have to say the proudest moment thus far was being featured on Dancing Astronaut. Ever since I started diving deeper into electronic music, DA was always my source to finding underground music. Since then I’ve also been featured by Insomniac, DJ Mag & Mixmag. Its been such an eventful year and I couldn’t be any happier. Another proud moment worth mentioning was selling out our very first label showcase for Rawsome Recordings in Amsterdam during ADE. Words can’t even come close to describing that feeling. I’m just very proud and grateful for all the support from our fans, dj’s and partner Vaarwel. Also want to give a shout out to Danny Woof, DJOKO, Prune Flat, Richey Profond, Jack Swaffer, Thijs Haal & YADE for their tremendous contributions and killer sets on the boat party! After-movie is coming soon.
Tell us a bit about your studio setup, what are your weapons of choice in terms of soft/hardware?
Right now I primarily use Logic Pro X. I do use quite a lot of Native Instrument’s products especially Maschine, but lately I’ve been going back in time, to the roots. Last year I purchased an MPC 2000XL and fell in love. I also recently picked up the Access Virus Indigo 2 and the brand new Roland TR-09!
What are you working on at the moment? Anything that you can share with us?
I’ve recently come off my Summer tour around the USA, then headed to Amsterdam for ADE so I’m finally getting some extra studio time now. Again, I like to keep things balanced as best I can. At the moment I’m putting the final touches on a really exciting EP with Mad Villains. Cannot wait to share that one with you! I’ve also just signed an EP with my buddy Jay Robinson to Golf Clap’s Country Club Disco scheduled to release in the first quarter of 2017. I have a few forthcoming remixes as well but just came off an extremely busy month releasing music on MadTech Records, InHouse Records, SOLE Channel Music, Simma Black & Toolroom. Back to the grind!
What motivated you to create Rawsome Recordings and what are some of the challenges that labels face in 2016?
I’ve always planned on starting up my own label, but never this soon. I suppose it just felt like it was the right time. Rawsome stemmed from Spira Music. I was getting so many submissions for Spira that I felt compelled to create something even more focused on that raw style of house I love. As for challenges, I think it is difficult for some labels to establish an identity in this highly saturated market. Rawsome was fortunate enough to have so much organic support from my peers, other dj’s and fans of Spira. Right now we are planned to launch our official releases in the first quarter of 2017 with limited vinyl to preserve the roots of the music. Again, I couldn’t be more thankful and humbled by the amount of support the label has gotten in just 6 months. My main goal has always been to make a respectable contribution to the underground house scene, especially here in NY.
Are there any releases coming up that you’re particularly excited about?
I definitely don’t want to spoil any surprises, but I’m extremely excited for the official releases to start up next year. I’ve been putting a lot of thought and time into my approach and what I want specifically. The free download series, RRDL, is just a taste of what’s to come. The main course is yet to be served.
You also take a lot to do with music promotion through your Spira venture, what were your thoughts when you kicked this off?
Spira is my baby. It started from a simple idea of sharing music I enjoyed. From there, I released one of my originals for free from Spira and the rest is history! I started getting submission after submission and the quality kept improving. We eventually had guys like Italobros, Chiqito, Dantiez Saunderson, Majesty, Alex Agore, Danny Woof, Dr. Shemp, Coeus, Waitz, Justin Pak, Made To Move, Wheats, Mikki Funk, Animist, Kinky Movement & many more release music on our channel. I really love being able to help promote talented artists. Ever since I started Spira, I’ve noticed over a dozen new channels that have sprouted up as well with a similar format. This is not only flattering but also a great indicator that our love for quality dance music is very much alive and thriving! We’ve also just went live with our full blog website specializing in premieres, mixes, news, reviews and more!
You’re hosting your ADE party in the next couple of weeks, what does it mean to you to be a part of such an iconic dance event?
Well we just got back from ADE and the boat party was completely sold out! I really couldn’t be happier. Everything about the party was perfect, from the weather, to the stunning views on the water, to the dj sets, atmosphere, lights, sound.. and most importantly the people. Every single person on that boat holds a special place in my heart, for believing in my crazy dreams and helping me realize them. I’m still buzzing from the experience and cannot wait to share the after-movie with all of you so stayed tuned! You can definitely expect Rawsome to be back in Amsterdam next year.
What can we expect from both yourself and the label over the rest of 2016?
For the rest of 2016 I have a few more gigs lined up here in the states, wrapping up some records and collabs as well but definitely stay locked as we have lots of great music on the way from both Rawsome and Spira! Get ready, 2017 is going to be one hell of a ride!
Thanks again guys for taking the time out to chat with me and I wish you all the best!