Before his highly anticipated sunset session at The Rio Rooftop this Friday, we caught up with sonic curator and connect 4 enthusiast Atish, to discuss his fast-paced career and side projects. Read on!
RR: Hi Atish! So we’re hyped for your performance at The Rio Rooftop on Friday - what can we expect from your set?
Atish: Since I have a good 5 hour chunk to work with, hopefully my set will be a little survey of my interests across various house genres: deep, prog, minimal, and housey. I never know exactly what I’m going to play before going into a set since my musical direction is partly based on how the crowd responds. For instance, if I toss out a few prog tunes and see no movement from the dance floor, I’ll probably stay away from that sound for the rest of the night. Not knowing how the gig will unfold is the most exciting part of the artform.
RR: And Giorgia Angiuli is also playing, are you a fan of her music?
Atish: Yes, I enjoyed her release on Kindisch last week and only recently learned that she has a really engaging live set with the various instruments she plays. Something fun and unique, I’m looking forward to it!
RR: We’ve been hammering your new Way Out West tune ‘Tuesday Maybe’ at Rave Reviewz HQ and we can’t believe it’s your first ever remix! How was the process for you?
Atish: Thank you! It was actually a pretty stressful process. In the world of remixes, the deadline target can vary from a couple weeks to a few months away. For the ‘Tuesday Maybe’ remix, I was blessed and cursed with the fact that I had about 3 months to work on it. I was able to use that time to really figure out what direction I wanted to take it, but at the same time, that gave me way too much time to second guess myself and repeatedly start things over, which ended up getting real annoying real fast! To be honest, I didn’t even like what I delivered until Nick Warren messaged me himself saying he loved it... then I started playing it out at my own gigs.
RR: You also started your own label last year called Manjumasi, what was the motivation behind that?
Atish: Starting Manjumasi with my label partner Mark Slee was really another avenue to exercise my interest in curation... much like DJing, but just at another level of abstraction. Mark and I are pretty well-aligned in our musical tastes and we’re generally pretty on top of logistics and communication and weirdly enough we enjoy it, so starting a label felt like a natural next step for us. Working on Manjumasi has really been a rewarding process for both of us, and I’m really proud of the music our artists have released.
RR: You’ve played many sets over the years, but if we asked you to pick one that really stands out in your memory, which would it be?
Atish: It’s really too tough to answer that one. I’d have to choose from a few sets like Mayan Warrior 2016 or Robot Heart 2012 (both at Burning Man), my first play at Stereo in Montreal last year and my first play at The Bow in Buenos Aires a couple years back. Ah yes, and how can I forget the gigs I’ve had at Return to Rio festival outside Sydney, especially the after parties in the cabins! Totally nutty!
RR: We used to tune in to your Late Night Tonite show - what was the idea behind it and do you have any future plans for it?
Atish: I had a few goals with that party series. First, by doing an interview with my guest artist early in the night, I wanted to help the audience connect with the personality, motivations, and insecurities that artists face. I feel that strengthening the connection with the artist strengthens the connection with the art itself. Beyond that, I wanted to provide a unique interview perspective. Most interviews ask the same set of questions, so I thought it would be nice to provide an artist-to-artist interview point of view. Lastly I wanted to provide a unique club experience - something a little more than a few DJs playing 2 hour sets that we see all the time - throwing an in-person talk show-style interview on the dancefloor of a nightclub is a fun way to shake things up. Unfortunately, it has been put on pause as it’s quite time consuming to produce and I’m spread quite thin across projects. Hopefully I can bring it back to life some time soon though.
RR: We hope so. You’ve achieved a lot over the years, what have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced throughout your career?
Atish: I’d say the physical effects of aging. I’m only 34 but I’m starting to feel like an old man and can’t move at the pace I used to. I’ve been making adjustments to try and cope with the toll of touring like staying sober at most gigs, heavily exercising both at home and on the road, and booking shorter tours with longer breaks in-between. I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that I can’t do it all... and that’s been a tough pill to swallow, so to speak.
RR: No doubt. Lastly, what's up next for you?
Atish: After this Australia tour, I have a couple weeks off back home in San Francisco to prepare for my move to New York, which I’m quite excited about. Beyond that I’ve been spending a lot of time on a new clothing line I’m starting called Peculiar Colors, which is way more fun that I imagined and another medium of self-expression. I’m hoping for it to launch in the next 2-3 months, so feel free to follow along on our Instagram.
RR: Put us down for some onesies! Thanks for your time Atish.