As an adopted Londoner Riva Starr has built a reputation as one of the most dynamic and exciting house music producers on the scene, regularly conjuring up huge worldwide hits whilst also enjoying a plethora of releases on the biggest underground labels. Always being able to keep his finger on the pulse of the freshest underground sounds is what comes with owning such a well-respected label like Snatch!, which will be celebrating its landmark 100th release on 17th November.
Learning his craft in Naples, a hotbed for some of the most mesmerising DJ/producers, demand for Starr instantly stretched to all corners of the planet, from Fuji Rock (Japan) to Tomorrowland.
The Italian-born performer talked all about how his label has progressed, his new side-project, his favourite collaborations and much more. Join us as we go back In Conversation.
You have your own label night coming up in London soon. What is it about the city that you love so much?
It’s always a blast to play in London, there are so many people from the different corners of the world and the vibe is always on point. I always dig deeper into my selection when I have a London show in the pipeline!
Speaking of your label, how have you seen it develop since first starting the imprint over seven years ago?
We remained loyal to our house style, obviously in seven years we had the chance to (hopefully) grow together with the imprint and develop our very own sound. When people say that a track sounds like Snatch! that is a big compliment to me.
You also have Snatch! Raw. How has that grown and how happy are you with the sounds that are being released on that label?
We are super happy about the Raw sub label and also Snatch Off, it’s just another way for us to share our wide angled view on music. Sometimes having a different outlet with a diverse concept can help with being more creative.
With your own music tell me about the latest music to come out of your studio, concerning your side-project Hyperloop?
Well it has been in the making for a while. I really wanted to have a side-project that could get me back to my Neapolitan club roots. House and techno have been a big thing in my hometown (and still are), I've grown up with it and I was really excited to produce some Neapolitan techno-inspired tunes. There are plans to bring it live as well.
How happy were you to secure a first release for that on such a renowned label like Truesoul?
It's been amazing! I've always respected Adam’s work with his labels and they are a great team to work with!
What do you think you have learned about yourself by starting up this new project which is aimed more at techno audience?
I just think that this project is open to whoever wants to listen to it, I really struggle to pigeon hole my music all the time being quite eclectic. I know this is no good because sometimes people like simple messages and it’s easier for the promoters to place you into a certain scene but this is who I am.
What advice would you give to producers when thinking about creating several different aliases?
Well if you have the energy and the time to do it then it's a good thing. Sometimes just getting stuck into one project can be creatively challenging but again it depends on your type of character.
Snatch!'s landmark 100th release sees you team-up with Green Velvet. Please tell us what it is like working with him? Such a prolific artist in his own right.
I love Caj, he has always been very supportive of my work. I've done a few collaborations with him already in the past (for example ROBOTS on his previous album) and also a full album on Cajual. Being able to have him on our landmark 100th release has just been the cherry on top of the cake! He is very creative and humble and that’s what I like the most of him, he's also a good laugh all the time I see him which never hurts :)
Who has been the best artist you have collaborated with in recent times and why?
I've done a lot of very good collaborations and all of them have taught me something. I’ve recently just finished a collaboration with the very talented Tiger Stripes that will be out again on Truesoul in spring, that has been a lot of fun and the man has the sound!
Talking about recent shows just tell me about some of your highlights during Amsterdam Dance Event?
Well that was an amazing week; good for the meetings and catching up with fans and also good for gigs. I played a couple of festivals with Verknipt and a club show in a more intimate venue for Non Stop (Pirupa’s label) and the vibe was just off the hook!
Which DJ/producers during the week really excited you and made you think to keep an eye on them and the music they put out in the future?
I’m really rating Benny Rodrigues, he's such a good DJ/producer (I'm loving his side projects too). I also love watching KiNK play live.
Catch Riva Starr at Egg London on Friday 24th November, with Dennis Cruz and Gene Farris also appearing.
Photo courtesy of Riva Starr