With a pair of headphones and a laptop by your side, almost anyone these days can produce some slick beats and killer drops by just the click of a button. But up close, it’s not as easy as it looks. You need to have both the skill and the passion to be able to produce hot tunes and magnetise crowds of thousands. It’s no question that this artistry is a tough one to mark your own stamp in, but it is one that producer GANZ so impressively conceives in his fresh new EP, GAO.
Hailing all the way from the Netherlands, Dutch homeboy Jordy Saämena, the man behind ‘GANZ’, has been skyrocketing through the global stratosphere since breaking out onto the electro scene in 2014 with his trademark flips. Since, his almighty remix of Flume and Hermitude’s Hyper Paradise has amassed over 3 million plays on SoundCloud and his original tunes have been blasted over global airwaves on Diplo & Friends, BBC1 Xtra and Triple J. Off the back of his successful debut EP, Dino War, GANZ is once again raising the crowds with his brand new EP, GAO – a six-track journey mastered with an eclectic caliber of glorious vocalists and underground rappers.
GAO is an unparalleled blend of Electro, Trap and Hip Hop coated with layers of rich bass kicks and colourful synths that possess the sound and energy to fill the crowds of a sold out festival.
Opening with the swift keys of a piano and the hushed vocals of Aussie beauty MARIBELLE, ‘Light Years’ will send you into an astral universe of floating synths and dreamy vocals; a minimalistic yet solid track that strongly cements itself as the EP’s perfect inception.
In ‘Frolyfe’, we are acquainted with the first of GAO’s Hip Hop, punchy sound spectrum through the vocals of newcomer Digitzz, a track that one can simply describe as a synth-heavy acid rap.
GANZ’s lead single ‘Lone’ follows – a cosmic yet monumental collaboration with homegrown talents What So Not and JOY. A tornado of a track layered with intricate bass drops and angelic vocals that will send a floor of sweating bodies into a raving orbit.
An aggressive and quickened pace is revived in the underground banger ‘GAOBEAR’ – a haymaking rhymer with English-accented lyricism by Dutch-English rapper Dusty. ‘Faded’ tailgates firmly with small melodies and intertwining synths – a euphoric breath of fresh air that features nothing other than GANZ’s killer flair for production.
Clinching the final minutes of GAO is ‘Dark Places’ a down tempo, haunting swan song with entrancing vocals from Dutch artist, MUKI – an eerie and memorable outro to a lush tapestry of bangin’ tunes. Upon the release of this bold and incredible production, we were lucky enough to score a chat with GANZ. We chatted about his stunning new EP, his inspirations and his upcoming Splendour in the Grass set. Take a seat, press play below and get acquainted with GANZ – the ultimate beat master.
Congratulations on the release of your EP, GAO! Are you stoked with how it’s turned out?
Yes, definitely! It was my first EP with a mix of a lot of different sounds combined and so many great features.
You collaborated with a lot of really talented artists on this record; did you find that their input really shaped what you had in mind for GAO’s final sound?
I felt like almost every track needed a little bit extra, so that’s why I asked artists if they were interested working on this EP together.
Lone I have to say is a bangin’ tune and for the last couple of weeks it has been soaring up the charts on Triple J – what was it like working with Aussies, What So Not and JOY in its production?
What So Not and I worked on that track for a long time so it was super nice to finally see the result of something we spent a lot time on. It was chill to work with him and he had so many ideas that we liked, so it was easy to work with them.
Faded is the only song without a feature on the whole EP – it really showcases how killer your production skills are. Do you hit the studio with a plan or the intention of knowing what you want to do, or do you play around with elements there and then to find out what kind of sound you want to produce?
Sometimes I have ideas in mind but other days I’m going in without a plan. Then it’s just a case of putting down a lot of drafts and seeing which one feels best to work on.
How long had you been working on the production of GAO?
Lone was there already for a while, the same for GaoBear as an instrumental. Working on the whole EP together was maybe 4-5 months, I guess. I made so many changes by getting rid of tracks and vocals that it was finally shaped a month and a half before its release I guess.
Were there any challenges you had to tackle whilst bringing this EP together?
Not really! The only one on this was that I had too many tracks that could fit a whole album of 12-18 songs, and that I had to clean it up to the perfect selection.
What’s been a hot memory from its creation? Do you have a favourite track at all?
I love all the tracks separate from each other and as part of the whole EP, so it’s really hard to say. Working on them was such a good feeling because I shaped an EP with so many sounds that all fit perfectly together.
Dark Places with MUKI gives me the most chills, and Light Years because that was the first song I ever wrote with MARIBELLE, so I think those are my favorite tracks.
Set the scene for us – where and when should we be listening to GAO?
I think it’s an EP you can listen to all day. If you’re chilling in a park, or vibing in the car on your way back from work, or going to a festival. It’s both banging and chilled so I think it can fit every situation.
Courtesy of Swtch
How did all this begin for you – when did you know you wanted to start producing and mixing songs?
Years ago when I was playing the drums I wanted to do something new by programming drums digitally. After I started producing I got requests to do showcases and stuff, so I started to learn how to DJ. I did a lot of stuff before GANZ such as dubstep, fidget and hip hop so I could practice a bit before touring as GANZ.
Do you draw inspo from anything in particular?
I like going to a city and watching how people spend their day. Getting back from work, and meeting others. I like to sit outside Amsterdam Central Station, grab my laptop and watch people. The cool thing is that you see so many different people from all kinds of countries and that inspires me a lot.
What’s been the craziest experience performing live so far?
I guess dropping out of my school of music and touring Australia and New Zealand two weeks after.
You’ve had the opportunity to play gigs all across the globe, what’s the best part about playing overseas and sharing your tunes with new crowds?
Every country has their own way of enjoying the music I play. So for example in some parts of Germany everybody goes super hard and makes mosh pits and in Australia they seem to enjoy it in a more chill and friendly way by dancing more or something. For me the only thing that counts is that people enjoy it and I don’t care in which way they show it. If it’s dancing, doing a mosh pit or just being chill and vibing in their own minds.
If you were to create your own music festival, what artists would feature in your dream lineup?
That’s a really hard one but maybe it would be something with:
What So Not, Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, Lapalux, Flying Lotus, Gaslamp Killer, Adele, Matt Corby, Jason Mraz, Banks, Lapsley, Astrid S, Drake, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, A$AP Rocky, Justin Bieber, Keys n Krates, Hermitude, Lunice, Nina Las Vegas, Djemba Djemba, Mr Carmack, Slumberjack and a lot more!
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Can’t choose one person unfortunately so it has to be A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson, Lapalux, Hudson Mohawke, Adele, Astrid S and a few more.
What’s your favourite track right now?
Haven’t listened to a lot of new stuff but Keys n Krates ‘Nothing But Space’ is in my head so many times a week.
Us Aussie’s are super pumped to see you at Splendour in the Grass and your run of sideshows this coming July, you’ll definitely be at the top of my lineup schedule – what can we expect?
A show with a lot of newer stuff, next to the GAO EP of course. Since I finished the EP I have been working on a lot of new stuff!
Top 4 goals for 2016?
1. Start an album
2. Release another EP
3. Do a sweet collab
4. See more cities across the world I haven’t seen yet
Make sure to purchase GAO on iTunes now and catch GANZ at his sideshows this coming July when he heads to Australia and New Zealand admist his slot at Splendour In The Grass.
July 14 – Sunshine Coast – The Helm
July 15 – Auckland – Impala
July 16 – Adelaide – Fat Controller
July 22 – Brisbane – Oh Hello
July 24 – Byron Bay – Splendour In The Grass
July 28 – Melbourne – Howler
July 29 – Perth – Villa
July 30 – Sydney – Ivy