#MusicInTheAir Podcast hosts this week :
For this week’s #MusicInTheAir Podcast Villahangar welcomes an Italian artist: Ayala, who lives where he was born and raised: Trani, deep South Italy.
Always with a passion for music: at four, eight years old, with headphones, records, walkman, inheriting the passion from his father. Among his memories, dad’s vinyl box, the first parties with friends, that desire to stay behind record players. At the age of 13 Ayala began to put music, and in the same period the first grooves with a jazz friend passionate about “dance” music. And he never stopped.
Then came the early 2000s and the sweet summers of southern Italy, to the sound of “black music”, both on the decks and in the very first home studio. The idea of merging hip-hop and drum machine streams with classic jazz, Latin and Afrobeat atmospheres has made his sets and productions an interesting blend of evergreen music.
Tending towards a constant search for balance, which he interprets as a matter of respect for the roots with a look to the future, Ayala expresses himself between synths and brass, guitars and arpeggios, acoustics and synthetic bass, in a journey through the ethnic groups of the whole world: different cultures in music are the inspiration, in an imaginative parallel and distant world. A place of peaceful vibes, happiness and music, the primary source of Ayala’s creations, where ethnic atmospheres meet jazz, disco and a pure 4/4 rhythm.
Ayala says: “Surely, in my productions cannot miss acoustic elements and folk instruments of different cultures. I try to explore the musical traditions of different peoples, from different areas of the world. I like to think of music as an element of synthesis and connection. When I started, I was a “pivello” who liked house music, and as a result I tried to emulate the best in the genre. Over time, it matures and evolves towards its own idea, a complete concept to share. The important thing is to understand that the evolution of one’s sound is never complete and must always feed on new ideas”.
He shuns the rigid definition of referring to a particular kind of reference genre. He explains: “I can’t define a kind of reference genre. I like to listen to different styles, and in principle “new” and dated artists to grasp the differences in the interpretation of a style; for example, I find interesting the comparison between Caetano Veloso and Sessa, or between Pino Daniele and Nu Genea”.
Instead, among his reference artists, Ayala says: “Difficult to indicate some, but if I have to choose, I say Henrik Schwarz, Quantic and Red Axes”.
For projects for your musical activity, Ayala says: “I would just like to continue making the music I like, everything else comes accordingly. I hope to be appreciated for the simple love I have for this art form.”
What evolution do you think electronic music is experiencing on the international scene? What do you think are the differences with Italy?
Internationally, I see a return of “happiness”; we went through a musically dark period, sad sounds, all exacerbated by the pandemic. The singers are returning, there is a desire for healthy fun and good feelings. Italy tends to always come later, both in the mainstream and in the underground… therefore I don’t expect great things in the immediate future. However, there are independent realities that are absolutely innovative and interesting.
Speaking of releases, what were your past/most recent projects, what are the current ones and do you have any in the pipeline for the future?
An EP on Sol Selectas, “Sacred”, has just been released, which is giving us so much satisfaction. I started a collaboration with Abrao that will soon see its fruits on Orianna, Rebirth and Buttress. With Orianna, in particular, the project is medium-term and broader. In general, I like to continue to collaborate with these labels, with which there is now a consolidated and pleasant relationship. Quality. An EP will soon be released on vinyl on Batov Records, which I am particularly happy about as it is an experiment that embraces funk, afrobeat and the purest jazz.
Is there any label where you have released that you are particularly attached to or that you want to talk about?
Sol Selectas, MoBlack and Orianna trusted me right away and are in my heart. I am certainly not the one who has to speak for them, given the fame they enjoy and the great names that direct them. I’m just really grateful for their esteem.
And is there any of your works that you are particularly fond of?
“Journey” on MoBlack and “Spectre” on Sol Selectas are songs that have given me so much and that I often listen to again.
What can you tell us about your experience with the super popular Sol Selectas label?
I would say it was a very simple thing… I sent a demo through their dedicated email; it was “Spectre”. Sabo liked it and since then we have started talking and collaborating constantly. It’s an honor for me, we will certainly do much more together.
What about Orianna (Sony Music) from A&R Director Hector Romero? How did you meet and how did you start collaborating?
Hector is a brother, but really. We have known each other for more than ten years and are friends outside of music. I met him on the occasion of one of his DJ sets in the club where I was resident at that time; on that occasion I passed him a bit of demo, and since then we have done many things; he always helped me. Remixing Web Web together on Compost was great. Since the adventure of Orianna started, we talked about doing something and in fact “Cumbianca” was among the first releases. Now we have so much in the pipeline, really nice things. In general, I think it’s hard to know better human beings, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Given the difficulties of the pandemic of the past year, how do you deal with the issue and in what direction do you think the musical world must move to overcome the impossibility of live events? How is the situation where you live?
I think the time has come to plan normality, given the data relating to the pandemic. We are not here to talk about this, but the numbers do not escape, so I really hope that the vaccination campaign will continue safely and with respect for everyone. Here the general scent is this. My opinion is that the desire for real sociality, not virtual, of each of us can be the basis on which to put on quality musical discourses, projects that aim to spread musical culture beyond the things heard over and over again thousands of times and that go on for exclusively extramusical reasons.
01. Marlui Miranda – Tchori Tchori (Joutro Mundo Remix) / Selva Discos
02. Mano Negra – Sueno De Solentiname (feat. Made In TLV) (Rampa Version) / Keinemusik
03. Emmanuel Jal & Nyaruach – Ti Chuong (Musumeci Body & Soul Remix) / MoBlack
04. Giorgio Lopez – 50cc Getaway (Prins Thomas Diskomiks) / Internasjonal
05. Franck Roger – I Wanna Say / FR Productions
06. Red Axes – Professor Grasstov / Phantasy Sound
07. Man Power, The Backwoods – Le Clerc (The Backwoods Remix) / Not An Animal
08. First Choice, Dam Swindle – Let No Man Put Asunder (Dam Swindle Remix) / Salsoul
09. Da Lata feat. Diabel Cissokho – This Is Not Your Job (Da Lata House Mix) / Papa
10. Mateo & Matos – Release The Rhythm (Sam Dexter Extended Remix) / Glasgow Underground
11. Station 10 – Clouds (Jerome Sydenham Special Edit) / Ibadan