Riva Starr, aka East-London based Stefano Miele, has long burned a mark on the night. Not simply a widely respected DJ, producer and the owner of Snatch! Records, his restless artistry has made a career from shrugging off genre constraints and expectations.
We had the chance to talk with him aligned to his latest EP ‘The Basement Shit’ release.
Electronic Groove: Hey Riva! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, what have you been up to so far in 2017?
Riva Starr: Thanks guys, I’ve just released my first EP of the year on my label Snatch!. It’s titled ‘The Basement Shit’ and also features an incredible Skream Remix! Great response on this, I just wanted to explore my darker side!
I’ve also had a couple of big tours on the other side of the world – Asia and South America. We started the year with an incredible Snatch! Showcase at BPM Festival, one for the books!
EG: Could you tell us a little about ‘The Basement Shit’ inspiration?
Riva Starr: It’s just a little dark cheeky number. I’ve played it for over a year now and although it was different from all my previous stuff, I just wanted to release it. My sound is evolving all the time!
EG: How did you link up with Skream? What do you think of his impact on the dance music scene over the past few years?
Riva Starr: Skream is amazing, a very talented DJ and producer and an all-around nice guy. We’ve been knowing each other for almost 10 years and we just asked him if he was feeling to make a rex for this track. Music is all about chemistry, we strongly believe that.
“Skream is amazing, a very talented DJ and producer and an all-around nice guy”
EG: It’s the first release on Snatch RAW – How do you plan to develop this label and how will it differ from Snatch! Records?
Riva Starr: Well I just wanted to mix cards again and launch this new label called Snatch Raw, where we will mostly release raw sounding stuff, a bit on the darker side… We will produce Vinyl as well. I’m finding myself playing more and more of this raw sounding tech stuff and I just wanted to translate it into productions 🙂
EG: Speaking of Snatch! We noticed the label was the 2nd most popular tech-house label on Beatport, quite a feat given the label’s relatively short life! What do you credit Snatch’s success to?
Riva Starr: That is great! Not sure to be honest, I have a superb crew working with me since the beginning. Also, we just like to stick to our sound and select only the best bits we got sent. Labels have up and downs and we try not to get worried about it, if you start scheduling stuff because of the charts you end up losing the soul, so we stick to our plans and wait to the fans to follow us.
EG: What key releases and tracks from Snatch! do you love dropping into your sets?
Riva Starr: I play mostly forthcoming stuff for various reasons: 1) Because I’ve played the old stuff for years before the actual release, 2) I want to test the new demos and I also feel excited to play the new stuff to the crowd and see how they react, 3) Most of the time the resident do play the released stuff before me 😊
EG: It must have been really exciting to get legendary duo Groove Armada involved with the label, we know you’ve been long time fans of them. Are there any other acts from the 90’s/00’s era you’d like to work with going forward?
Riva Starr: Well I usually work with Green Velvet, we are good friends and I also released an album on Relief. We have another collaboration coming up on Snatch! soon.
About Groove Armada we have scheduled an amazing remix EP with Andrea Oliva and Richy Ahmed, and I can already tell you that both delivered amazing tunes! Excited!
EG: You’ve already got a jam packed 2017, with shows in the UK, France and in the US. I know you’ve played in a latter quite a bit before, including at Coachella, do you tend to alter your style to cater for the US audience?
Riva Starr: I usually like to play slightly more eclectic in the United States because of my past Dirtybird association. I still like to play some of the more D’n’B inspired tunes (from my side project Genghis Clan, that explores that kind of sounds). But usually, I stick to my sound everywhere I go.
EG: What else can we expect from you and Snatch! in 2017?
Riva Starr: A lot of new stuff! Starting with a new Russ Yallop and wAFF EP with a Gorge Remix, Groove Armada’s ‘Rex’ EP, a new collaborative project between me and Dennis Cruz that will probably lead to a full album, and more more more banging tunes for your sets. We will also start pushing our showcases in the future!
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