For Amirali, 2012 was the year that hearts across the globe began to identify him with the sentimental sound he’s now known for. His position as one of Crosstown Rebels esteemed knights has pushed him into a life of perpetual international tours in the public eye.
This year has already proven fruitful for the Toronto-based DJ and producer having been invited to play live at BBC Radio 1 for an Essential Mix and with his upcoming EP Melancholia on Crosstown.
The release of his 2012 debut album In Time left us stunned with its beauty. It’s pleasing to hear he’ll be back in the studio soon for two months of downtime to work on some new music.
Tonight marks the first of a 12-gig run of March beginning at Electric Pickle and stopping in New York City tomorrow for Rebel Rave, courtesy of Verboten, and Crosstown Rebels, of course. We linked up with Amirali to hear more. Listen below to his Essential Mix and an upcoming track.
Click here to buy tickets to Rebel Rave at SRB Brooklyn in NYC tomorrow.
Featured photo courtesy of Discografia.
You were just invited to release an essential mix on BBC1. Have you always been a fan of the Essential Mix series? What was it like playing in the legendary live lounge?
A: I felt honoured when I was asked. Have been a fan of the Essential Mix for many years. I still listen now when they have an artist I’m really into. The Nicolas Jaar one last year was amazing!
It was such a cool experience. The guys at Radio1 were lovely, made me feel very at ease. I was kind of nervous beforehand as it was the first time they had video streamed the Essential Mix from their studios, but the atmosphere was relaxed and fun there. Pete Tong, Skream, Benga and all the crew are such pro’s. Loved every second of it!
Listen to Amirali’s Essential Mix below, shared by Spirit Soul.
You kept the touring pretty consistent in 2012 and you have a slew of shows coming up in the next few months all around the world. How have you been adapting to life on the road?
Yeah I’ve been touring a lot since the album came out, it’s been amazing to see so many different places and meet so many great people. Life on the road can be tough sometimes, and you can get really tired and rough from all the travelling, but being able to perform your music in front of such amazing crowds has given me some very special experiences.
This month is crazy, I’m doing 12 shows, but then I’m taking about 2 months off to get back into the studio and work on the next album. I’m doing a few gigs in May, but I’ll be back on the road in June with Asia and Australia tour before things get crazy in Europe in the summer.
With the relentless gig schedule, how have you kept up your studio time? What do have in the works as far as productions?
I’ve been working in the studio in between gigs during the week, and I just moved to a new studio and really enjoying that, I feel like it’s giving me fresh inspiration, however it’s not easy to be creative when you are touring a lot. The touring mindset is so different from the creative one.
So that’s why I’m taking those 2 months off to really get some time to focus on the new album. It will be a new set up, I’m recording and will be performing it with a 3 piece band. So far it’s all shaping up really well, I’m excited!
You’ve had an almost exclusive relationship with Crosstown Rebels. What makes the label such a great imprint to work with and release on?
Damian is a fantastic A&R. He has such an ear for talent. I’m really happy with the label, and all the crew welcomed me with open arms, so it has been great working with them!
Melancholia, your upcoming EP, brings back that amazing familiar and emotive vibe we got from your debut album ‘In Time’. In a past interview with us, you said that each of your tracks tells a different story. What story are you telling with “Melancholia”?
The lyrics of Melancholia have been written by a very dear friend of mine from Montreal, Dara Shahrokh. He’s actually a doctor but a great artist too. I have been using some of his poems in my work recently. They are breath taking. I’m very happy with the single and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.