Feb 06, 2015
interview
16 Bit Lolitas

16 Bit Lolitas are perhaps the brightest stars currently on the Anjunadeep roster. We caught up with Ariaan during the label’s first North American tour to discuss their upcoming tour with Above & Beyond, their thoughts on the deep house craze, and why you’ll only see one of them behind the decks outside of Europe.

16 Bit Lolitas - Deep In My Soul (Original Mix) [Anjunadeep]
LessThan3: You guys are in the middle of Anjunadeep’s North America Tour. How’s it been so far?
Ariaan: It’s been really good. I’ve never played Audio in San Francisco and I’ve never played Exchange in Los Angeles, so the first time at those venues was great.
LessThan3: You’ve got a tour with Above & Beyond in March. This is the first time you’ve toured with them, correct?
Ariaan: Yeah, this is the first time I’ve toured with them.
LessThan3: How do you feel about playing such big venues and to their huge fanbase? Are you nervous at all?
Ariaan: Always nervous! It’s really good to do, of course. I’ve played big venues before, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll have to up my tempo a little bit–at the moment I play a lot of 120 BPM tracks, and with them I really need to play around 124, so I’m going to change my set a little bit. What I’d normally do at the end of the set is what I’ll start with for them.
LessThan3: How is the touring/production divided between you guys? It’s normally just you touring, right?
Ariaan: Yeah, it’s always me touring. Peter is afraid of flying so it’s almost impossible for him. Production-wise we always do everything together. He starts music, and I start music, we finish each other’s projects. Sometimes he makes a track and I mix it, sometimes the other way around; it’s always a joint effort.
LessThan3: You have a bit of time off between this Anjunadeep Tour and the Above & Beyond tour. Do you have any plans to chill out or are you straight back in the studio?
Ariaan: I’m definitely going to chill out for a few days, but then it’s back into the studio. I have two gigs in February in Holland, which is close for me so that’s good. March is going to be really busy with the Above & Beyond tour, then Winter Music Conference, and then some shows in Argentina, so it’s going to be busy!
LessThan3: Any plans after that for the summer? Any festivals or Ibiza shows you can tell us about?
Ariaan: We have some nice requests but I’m not really involved in the whole booking process, so for me I always get a list of what we’re going to do. The traveling needs to fit of course because you can’t do a festival one day then on the next day another festival on the other side of the world. For Ibiza, I was invited by a friend to play a little bit, he’s a resident at Pacha, but I don’t know if that is the right club for me in Ibiza, so we are working on it. I haven’t played much in Ibiza–I’ve played Privilege and a few others, but I’d love to play more often.
LessThan3: Your recent track Deep In My Soul has received a strong reaction from fans and DJs alike. What was the story behind that?
Ariaan: We made it about a year before it came out, and I started playing it and thought this could be a big track, but I didn’t think the fans were really ready for a track like that, so we waited a long time. We also sampled the vocal and we didn’t have the rights for that.
LessThan3: Where was the sample from originally?
Ariaan: Err, it’s a track that goes “I got love deep in my soul, love taking me home” or something like that, I forget the name of it!
LessThan3: We’ll look it up! [It’s Praise Cats feat. Andrea Love – Shined On Me]
Ariaan: Originally me and Peter had just made an instrumental, and we were going through our acapellas and suddenly we came across that one and it fit perfectly. In the end the whole sample was re-sung and it took us about four days to make it sound like the original.
LessThan3: You recently did a new version of Nobody Seems To Care–are there any plans to release that at all?
Ariaan: We’re thinking about it, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be the final version. We were still working on it, but Above & Beyond wanted to play it in their ABGT100 show, so I made a workable version. But yeah, the reactions on Facebook were really good and everybody was really happy with it, so I think it’s going to be released.
LessThan3: How would you say 16 Bit Lolitas has changed and evolved over the years?
Ariaan: Of course you grow over the years, and you always need to learn. If you stop learning then it’s probably over! We both love music, we listen to a lot of new music, so of course you integrate ideas from other people you listen to. There are always new tricks, new software, new stuff going on. It’s always been our vision to just make good music.
LessThan3: You used to release a lot on your own Bits & Pieces label; has that been put to bed or do you have plans to release more on there in future?
Ariaan: We’ve put it to bed at the moment. It may be resurrected at some point, but right now we are more inclined to release on labels we really like. Anjunadeep is one of those labels because there’s a good team behind it and they’re good people. But of course there are other labels we would really love to work with. If you have a good record you have a good record, and if the record is suited to and works with a certain label, that’s perfect.
LessThan3: How has living in the Netherlands shaped your sound? Could you see yourselves living and creating elsewhere, or is that a big part of who you are as musicians?
Ariaan: I could definitely live somewhere else, but Holland is still my home. It’s always a good feeling when I come home after a tour. Working somewhere else gives different inspirations. I could definitely work here in the US, in Los Angeles or New York–that could be a really inspiring environment for me. Or even Argentina or somewhere in South America.
LessThan3: You’ve been producing what many would consider deep house for a long time now. Would you consider you style deep house?
Ariaan: Maybe deep/tech/house with a little wink to house with a melodic/chordy out-of-tune bells kind of things going on–I don’t know really how to explain it! It’s certainly a mixture of different things.
LessThan3: How do you guys feel about the current “deep house” craze?
Ariaan: In that sense I don’t think we are particularly deep house. Deep house is like progressive was a few years ago and has become a little bit of a commercial sound.
LessThan3: How would you feel if one of your tracks went big in the mainstream? Would you fight against it or just go with it?
Ariaan: If we didn’t compromise the track in any way, I wouldn’t mind. But if you have to compromise a lot and the track becomes big, you’re kind of stuck with the track. You’ll then be stuck getting booked because of the track for years and years. We’ve sort of had that with tracks like Sedna, which was a big track back in the day, and people are still asking for it, but I don’t play that sound anymore. I can only imagine if you have a track with 10 million YouTube plays or something–it must go on for years and years. Of course, if you make a track that is timeless, you can play it in 10 years and it’s still fresh.
LessThan3: In a parallel universe, what kind of music is 16 Bit Lolitas producing?
Ariaan: In a parallel universe? Probably the same–we just love melodies, we love good beats, we love what we do, so I don’t think we’d make anything different. We’re never followers of the scene; we make up our own minds and always try to be fresh. That’s what 16 Bit Lolitas is about.