01. Hi Praveen, thank you for taking out time for this interview. Tell us how was 2012 for you?
Praveen: Hello there! It's my pleasure, thank you for having me. 2012 was really inspiring and probably the best year I've had so far. Loads of great professional & personal opportunities came my way and I'm glad they've translated into positive results as well.
02. How did Praveen Achary’s journey begin and why you chose to do what you do?
Praveen: Well, its a pretty cliché story (as it is with almost every artist out there) but quite true, haha! Back in high school (probably 7th or 8th grade), I used to play in an alternative rock band as the rhythm guitarist. To practice, I used to load up MIDI projects of tracks we'd perform (minus the rhythm section) in a shady software called Guitar Pro, copy it to a floppy drive and play it back on my sister's Yamaha PSR keyboard. I never really understood the whole 'MIDI' bit at that point but I started editing the tracks on Guitar Pro, and then dumping the MIDI patterns to Fruity Loops and started replacing the source with more 'real' sounding instruments. Ever since then, I was hooked into making music. I used to DJ & produce for fun, digging deeper into music as the years went, but I never took it seriously until I left my Computer Programming Degree in Canada thinking “This isn't what I want to do with my life, this doesn't make me happy”. I can't remember who said this, but it's pretty spot on in my case - “Find something you love doing and you'll never have to work in your life”. So, here I am.
03. You have been releasing music for quite some time now, however you decided to launch your own record label ‘Juicebox Music’. Tell us how did this come about?
Praveen: As a producer and DJ, I enjoy a wide variety of sounds from Deep House, Tech to Progressive (read: Progressive, not the 'happy hardcore' Progressive House) and setting up a brand for myself, something that can represent my sound in my country, was on my mind for some time. There may be hundreds of similar labels around the world that may have the same objective and sure, it's better to sign your own music to other established labels to get your artist name more exposure & recognition, which I'll be doing anyway. The difference was that there were a lot of artists and projects I wanted to work with, but I'd needed a label where I had control over the releases/remixes/etc. Almost all the artists I've been supporting through the years in my sets, are on-board as well which is great, because they'll be associated & representing a label from a country that has over 1.2 billion people. The 'dance music' industry has blown up like crazy in India over the past few years, and it's still growing, so I'd like the label & sound to grow with it. I'm quite excited for the first release, it's a collaboration between Vipul & I called “Future Echoes” and it comes with remixes from Santiago Garcia (Argentina) and Cactus Twisters (Belgium). It's gaining quite a bit of early support during its promo round. You can pick up a copy through Beatport, iTunes, JunoDownload or TraxSource.
04. Speaking of music, Your latest EP ‘Space Machine’ which also includes a remix from Cid Inc is dominating the charts on Beatport. It was even played by Markus Schulz on his radioshow. What are your plans for the future in terms of new releases and collaborations?
Praveen: Quite happy with the “Space Machine” release on Replug Records, didn't expect it to do that well actually, haha! Seeing it hit the Progressive House Top 100 tracks was really overwhelming, especially when it's pretty tough to get through. Markus Schulz supported it twice on his radioshow Global DJ Broadcast and included it in his February Beatport Chart, which was really unexpected but quite a pleasant surprise. Its always good to have & see people from different musical spaces support another sound, keeps people open minded. Focusing on the music rather than pre-judging the tracks based on genre. More recently, my “Flierefluiter” remix for one of my role models 'Eelke Kleijn' just got released on his label – Outside The Box Music. That's been doing quite well too, great feedback from some the industry's best producers & DJs. Working on a few remixes that should be out in April/May. I've got some originals that I'm label shopping at the moment, so no news on when it'll be out yet but hopefully towards the end of this year. As for other collaborations, there's only one artist that I'm currently doing collaborations with - Vipul from Delhi. I'm quite open to working with artists that want to bring something new to the table, so it becomes musically inspiring as well. In other news, I'm simultaneously working on a different sound under a different alias, which can't be disclosed now. But that's shaping up to be quite interesting and refreshing (at least to me, haha!). It'll feature vocalists and instrumentalists too.
05. You have also been collaborating with our fellow talent ‘Vipul Angirish’. In fact you will also be first Indians to release a remix on Perspectives Digital. Tell us how you feel about this accomplishment and what do you hope to achieve in the future?
Praveen: Super pumped about “D-Eye – Pulse (Praveen Achary & Vipul Remix)” because I've always wanted to work with Darin Epsilon and to be the first Indians, along with Vipul, on board his label is a big thing for us. His label has always maintained a high level of quality and includes a roster (from the likes of Dousk, Inkfish, Lank, Jamie Stevens, Antix, DAVI, Ian O'Donovan & many more) that we've only dreamt of being included with. This was our first remix together, which can only be a great step for what lies ahead. For the future, individually and as a collaboration with Vipul, I (we) hope to work with artists & labels that are huge inspirations to me (us).
06. 2012 has been a very eventful year for you. Most importantly you opened for one of the most historic radio shows on the planet TATW 450. You also played at various festivals in India. Do we get to see Praveen performing at international venues in 2013?
Praveen: Yeah, 2012 was indeed quite eventful. Opening the stage for Above & Beyond's TATW450 show in Bangalore may have been one of the most memorable moments for me, a huge thank you to the Submerge & Anjuna crew for that. A big shoutout to sLick! for doing some much requested standout events to promote the underground sounds as well as regularly including me in it for the Bangalore legs. The sunset slot at Krank in Bardo (Goa) was undoubtably my most favorite one in 2012, the vibe is what's its all about. As for international venues, its too early to tell but there are definitely quite a few cities being planned for this year and the next.
07. You have also worked on different projects apart from the underground house music scene? Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Praveen: Haha, oh boy. If only we knew what the hell we were doing when we were younger and didn't post it up on the internet too. Well, I've always been open to different styles of music in general. While I was in Chennai doing my Film & Sound Engineering course, we were assigned to do projects. Since the faculty had no idea how to judge a house track, I thought I'd just make something else. A good friend of mine who's an excellent rapper and I ended up writing some electronic influenced hip hop tracks together and submitting it as our college project. We aced that assignment where they used our project to teach other batches, which is awesome. The entire project was solely under his name as I didn't want any credit for it under my artist name, though if you search around you'll probably find it because he refuses to take my name off, so start hunting. We've thought about doing some work together in the future, so you may see it under the new alias.
08. ‘Juicebox’ is also your flagship radio show on friskyRadio.com and has gained loyal followers across the globe. What is the next step for ‘Juicebox Music’?
Praveen: The friskyRadio ninjas have been really supportive over the years, having featured me as Artist of The Week as well as multiple appearances on their station as guest mixes or shows like “FriskyLovesIndia”. The next step was to have my own show and thus “Juicebox” was born, reflecting the label's sound. Along with the label, there are quite a few things lined up to take things to the next level, which include 'Juicebox Nights'. Indian readers, if you'd like to have one in your city, let me know :).
09. You are signed to the premier booking agency UnMute. The first of it’s kind in India, how has it been with them so far?
Praveen: They're awesome. I'm really happy with the way they've managed my bookings in India, which is why 2012 was really 'eventful', haha. Its always great to be a part of a roster that's very supportive of each other too. Rather than looking at them as an agency, I see them as family now, there were times where I really needed advice and who better to go to than people who've been in this industry for years. Apart from just managing, they understand your vision as well and work towards it, which is definitely helpful. There are big plans in 2013 which I can't wait for.
For Bookings: Dev (UnMute) - firstname.lastname@example.org / +919999369935
10. According to you, who are India’s finest producers and upcoming producers we should all watch?
Praveen: Plenty of amazing producers around right now doing some great work in their own musical space, so listing them would take a while. As for upcoming producers, there are three in particular that have immense potential – Color Ray (Deep Progressive), A U / Audio Units (Deep Techno / Deep House) & Vishnu PS under his “Soulspace” (Experimental Deep House) alias. Definitely should keep an eye out for them.
11. Thank you for your time! Do you have anything to say to our readers?
Praveen: Thank you too!
Pick up the digital copy of Euphoric Magazine's February 2013 issue - here