Resembling more to a line-backer than a DJ, Ray Okpara is without a doubt, the prototype of a dude going to end up in the Techno industry. With origins from Nigeria and Germany, Ray unites that African groovy feeling with the electronic waves that have shaken Germany for years, to earn his share on that scene. A tribe and ethnic vibe emerges from his prods, gathering percussions and basses with a fine touch. The results ? A hypnotic and truly effective sonority, with enough ambition to pop every single dance floors, after-party and of course the after-after-party. A true figure on the techno scene you will be able to meet pretty much in any underground club.
Jacker / Hey Ray, could you explain us how you discovered Techno. What was your feeling ?
Ray Okpara / Hey Guys ! I just felt right into Techno and House as I began to play less Basketball and I began to party with my boys. At that time, I was going too Hip Hop / Rap parties / clubs. And one time, we went to the Love Parade and that’s how we got dragged into Electronic Music. We went also a bit to Drum and Bass parties but in general, it was more about Hip Hop. West Coast Hip Hop to be exact. Hip Hop Clubs would close early at weekends so we started going to house clubs afterwards. It was so good that we began to stop going to the Hip Hop Clubs. After that, we went to Ibiza and the thing was sold.
J / What are your influences? Do you think your roots are an advantage ?
R / I think my roots were very important, I mean, I have no problems with the groove I think. As a child I was already in contact with music and I was listening to my parent’s old vinyls. As I was in Nigeria in the 80’s, Michael Jackson was my absolute favorite.
J / What can you tell us about AMA recordings ?
R / Ama comes from my Nigerian name, “Amaefule”, which means, “Your Name will never be forgotten”. I wanted to create a platform for artists to release their music with it. It was influenced by good music and I was getting loads of new tunes in my inbox all the time. So that’s how I got there, creating a good mix of genres from techno to deep house. Everything I want to play or I think it’s good, it’s then released. The next one is from Rick Sanders “Rush Hours EP” with a remix from Christian Nielsen. It will be published beginning of March.
J / What do you use for your productions? Hardware or software ?
R / I never have been a big hardware fan. I’ve always been more of a digital guy, but in the last 2-3 years, I have been getting more in touch with analog stuff, instruments and hardware effects. I love the moog effects. And I got somebody to build a WahWah Pedal for me. TB 303 is a killer, my favorite is the 999 Jomox but I also love the Minitaurus from Moog. I just advise everybody to use analog elements in their sets.
J / What about your gigs ? How was Inox Montpellier ?
R / Last weekend was quite cool, I didn’t play at any gigs. I can’t wait for next weekend though, I’m going to be in Wurzburg Airport as well as in Zürich at Friedas Büxe. Inox Montpellier was the absolute killer and the crowd was really engaged.
J / You are currently working on a project. Can you tell us more about it ?
R / I’m currently working on a project, actually I’m always working on one. But www.itsours.net is my new baby, which should come to life this year. Also, I’m launching some parties in Mannheim and in Berlin too. Everything is at its early beginnings but I have a good feeling about it.
J / What is your best memory in a gig ?
R / My parties on Tuesdays in Berlin last summer were bonkers. The “Loony Tuesdays” and they will be back this summer too. Those were my best parties from my point of view.
J / A message to our readers ?
R / «Do good get good. Karma is Karma baby <3»