Richy Ahmed is a DJ that has all the credentials to back up his prominence on the circuit. Having been an integral part of Hot Creations for some years, Richy is now in the process of developing his own label along with a new series of parties, FourThirtyTwo. Coming off the back of a number of all night long FourThirtyTwo parties, Richy will be returning to his former home of Leeds 30th April for Made In Leeds festival to head up the Back To Basics stage. Ahead of the festival appearance, we caught up with the man himself to talk all things FourThirtyTwo, breaking through in Leeds and the legendary Back To Basics.
This summer you’re going to be playing as a resident at Elrow’s weekly shindigs at Space Ibiza. You’ve appeared at several of their parties already throughout the past couple of years. What makes Elrow such a special party?
I think Elrow is a lot different to other parties, in that it really doesn’t take itself too seriously. The music is serious which obviously it’s got to be, but I think the vibe in there is a real party one. I think Elrow’s not one of those parties you could go to every single week, you know, like a regular thing. But when you go on occasion and it’s special, the energy and the people… everyone always has a really good time. Even people that don’t expect it, they’re a little bit smug or a little bit cynical they always go on, by the end they’re like, “You know what it is, that was just a really f**king good party”.
We haven’t heard any news of Paradise’s plans for the summer yet. Will you and the crew be returning to DC10 on Wednesdays this year?
Yes, of course! It’s all top secret at the minute. The theme is almost ready and is going to be announced soon, the theme’s amazing, it’s super cool, very futuristic. The line-ups are amazing, I’ve been working on them with Nick and Jamie; they’re super strong. We’ve got some good things planned this year!
Looking towards your music, it’s been a fair while since you have released anything. Do you have anything in the pipeline at the moment?
Yes, lots of music coming out! I’ve got an EP coming out next week on the 29th April on Hot Creations. I’ve got remixes coming out on Moda Black, I’ve got a track coming out on Circus. I’ve got an EP coming after the summer on Tuskegee, which is Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers’ label. I’ve started my own label, Fourthirtytwo. I’ve already started with the parties, and it’s looking like they’re all going to sell out. So far and the first two EP’s on that label will be by myself, so this year there’s going to be lots of Richy Ahmed music.
You are also the A&R of Hot Creations, what qualities does a track have to have in order for it to suit the label?
I don’t think it has to be sticking to one theme or one type of genre. I think if it’s House, Techno, Tech House, Minimal, as long as we like it, we think we could play it, it’s cool and has some originality. There’s also a big eye on the dancefloor with our releases, or at least one track on the release, because we’re all DJing regularly. A lot of the Hot Creations DJs are big now, so they’re all playing in the bigger rooms at parties and events. The A-Side is generally going to have to be something Jamie really enjoys playing, or something he thinks works in a club that he plays in.
On April 23rd you will play all night long at The Blackbox in Birmingham. Do you play many all night long sets and what’s special about them compared to a standard 2-hour set most DJs get booked to play for?
I’ve played all night long in Birmingham before. Last week I did another Fourthirtytwo party, which is an all night long party at Hidden, Manchester that was absolutely next level. The one in London was exactly the same. I think they’re really special parties and have been selling out super quick. You get a chance to really experiment as a DJ and get a chance to put tracks on you wouldn’t normally take a risk on because you haven’t got so much time. I really enjoy playing them, the time seems to fly - I actually prefer it.
(FourThirtyTwo - Hidden, Manchester)
Fourthirtytwo is a night curated by yourself. What made you decide to put on a club night and what thoughts were behind the venues you chose for it in London and Manchester, as well as Birmingham? How were the first two parties?
Fourthirtytwo is a label concept as well which is launching after the summer. I really wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to do something cool, smaller, a bit of a nod back to how it was when I first started playing - underground clubs with not too much flair or fancy stuff. Just a solid sound system in a cool club. I chose the UK as I believe it to be the best for small clubs - the sub clubs. I did Fourthirtytwo at London Fields Brewery because there are a lot of temporary events venues in London, there’s not really small clubs. Hidden in Manchester which is actually next level, The Blackbox I hear amazing things, I’m super excited about. There’s been a real big hype, we completely sold out Hidden with more people still trying to get hold of tickets, but I didn’t want to do something too big. I want it smaller, intimate so people can really get involved. I don’t want it to turn into this big monster straight away. I want to keep the vibe, I want to keep it underground and keep it more intimate.
You’re also playing at Made In Leeds Festival the week after that for the world-renowned club night Back To Basics. The last time you played for the club was over 3 years ago. Are you looking forward to returning to play for them here?
Yeah, of course. It was one of the first big clubs and big gigs I ever had to be honest when I first started out. I’ve known Dave Beer for about 12 years now, maybe longer. He’s always been a big supporter of me, he’s a very good friend. I love playing in Leeds, it was the first place I moved to when I moved away from home. It really cuts your teeth before you go to London! It’s a good crowd, I’ve always loved Back To Basics, it’s a good party.
Interview by Josh Plews
Photos courtesy of Richy Ahmed & Hiddenevents