Interview

Anjuna’s Finest: A Conversation With Genix & Sunny Lax

Anjuna’s Finest: A Conversation With Genix & Sunny Lax

The Anjunabeats label is one of the premier labels in all of electronic music. Spanning from trance to progressive and down into the depths of deep house, there’s something for everyone. Well just last week we were given an opportunity to sit down with two of their top talents from their musical roster, Genix and Sunny Lax to talk about all things music. It’s truly one of the better interviews we’ve done as they were more than will to spill the beans on some of what makes them tick.

Check it out below. Their stop back here in NYC this summer can’t come soon enough!

 

 

Your track, Blackwater, has been one of the top records to come out this year. Tell us a little bit about it!

Genix: Well we actually made the track before our tour, literally a year ago, and it was made specifically to play on it. So it’s actually come out now a year after we’ve started playing it. The reaction we’ve had has been very positive and it’s been amazing to play. The response on Anjuna has been great and we’ve been getting a lot of love.

Sunny: Yeah it was great to see that Above & Beyond wanted to sign it. They played it at some of their shows and the crowd loved it.

blackwater exchange la

So you guys are in the midst of your B2B Blackwater tour with two shows coming up this weekend in Philadelphia and then Chicago. Talk a bit about what you’re exited about. 

Genix: Two things! One club we’ve already played at. Soundbar in Chicago is a great club. It’s a small venue and quite intimate. You can really connect with the crowd unlike a festival where it’s a large scale event. The Phili show is a bit different. We’ve never played at Rumor in Philadelphia but we’re excited to check out the new venue with a new crowd. It’ll provide for a totally new experience.

 

How are your B2B sets going? Do you have a certain approach to them?

Sunny: It depends. In Sacramento, the booth is really small and we both don’t fit at once. We had to plan carefully how we were going to switch in and out. Luckily we’ve made it work. We like to alternate tracks, going one track me, one track Genix and then back to me to keep alternating.

Genix: In Exchange LA last week we sort of pre-planned our set and which tracks we wanted to play before we switched in and out. So its sort of interesting to see how my tracks mix with Sunny’s tracks and we’ve had a fantastic fan reaction. Back to back sets can often not work with differences in musical styles well but we’ve been able to pull it off. It helps that we also like one another 🙂

 

How did the B2B tour come about in the first place?

Genix: Umm, it was kind of last year. As previously mentioned we did the tour last year and it worked really well. It wasn’t back to back then but we were touring together. We then released the track on Anjunabeats and we were just thinking that it was, you know, Genix and Sunny Lax. Lets try a back to back tour since we did something similar last year.

Sunny: Yeah, we’ve always worked really well together and we wanted to come up with something special for this year. We decided to give it a shot and it’s going great.

 

What about BoomJinx? We see that he’s joining you a few times as well.

Genix: Yeah, BoomJinx is doing is own album tour at the moment and we’ve crossed paths with him a couple of times. We’ve also crossed paths with Grum and a few other guys on Anjunabeats. We all seem to be flying around the US right now and we bump into one another.

Sunny: Exchange LA was loaded with Anjunabeats artists last week. Jerome Isma-ae, BoomJinxj, Oliver Smith and Ilan Bluestone. I was actually grilling with Ilan, he’s a great cook.

 

Do you have a followup planned for Blackwater?

Sunny: We can’t really speak too much about anything right now but we are trying to work on another EP together for some time later this year.

Genix: We should have some free time in New Jersey after these two shows this weekend where we’ll have a week off. We’ll put some time and thought into it and see what we can come up with.

genix sunny

Speaking of Anjunabeats, we’ve been fans of yours for a long time listening to your music on TATW, Group Therapy and Anjunadeep. Seeing that Group Therapy is about it have it’s 200 show, what has it been like to be a part of it.

Sunny: It’s mind blowing actually. Seeing the label growing like it has. They have such a special fan base and their fans are amazing. Above & Beyond’s style is so unique and special. I’m so happy to be a part of it.

Genix: Likewise. I’ve been a DJ for a long time now. I’m 32 years old, started when I was 16. I saw the rise of Anjunabeats from the early days of vinyl. To see it grow and expand into what what it has and how that whole team as grown has been awesome. It’s changed in recent years where it’s more a global thing. It’s really special the way they’re able to connect with fans and the crowd. So much credit to them and it’s truly a privilege to be a part of the label.

 

So if you guys could go back in time and tell yourselves one thing when you were first starting out, what would it be?

Genix: I always used to think, imagine where ill be in 10 years time. Had you asked if I’d be touring around the US, Asia and Austrailia with the likes of Above & Beyond, Armin and others while being signed to their labels, I would have said no way. But to think that this is what I’ve been doing…. I don’t know what I would say, it’s incredible.

Sunny: I’d tell myself “do what you like”. Don’t focus or care what anyone else is doing. Be yourself and focus on your own music and style.

 

So do you guys have any other hobbies when not in the studio or on tour?

Genix: I’m a soccer fan, Manchester United actually. It’s not so great at the moment though. I’ve followed them religiously growing up so I really enjoy watching them. I’m also really into fitness. I do a lot of running, hiking up mountains and a lot of the stuff that older people like to do.

Sunny: I’m actually into video games. I like to play GTA or Dire Wolf 3. I also like to watch movies and TV series. I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones and a few others. Nothing special though, I’m a simple guy.

 

Ever play with Deadmau5?

Sunny: Haha no, maybe one day though.

So Genix, turning to you for a minute, can you tell us about how you’ve come to find that original sound of yours? What was that “aha” moment?

Genix: Well I think the key to being a successful producer is trying not to sound like someone else. I’ve always loved groove and dirty basslines. I love electro house and trance and I always try to infuse it into my own music. Now that sound has become really popular the last 5 years or so but I’ve been doing it my whole career. If you listen back to my oldest stuff, I’m doing pretty much the same thing now that I was then. The only difference is that I used to produce a bit more sh*t back then.

The aha moment was really just other DJs playing my music. I think that the real key is just being unique and following your own style.

 

Not to bombard you with more questions about your 84 Hour set, but do you have something similar planned?

Genix: To keep it short… no. I do get asked about that all the time and if i think I or anyone will attempt it again. It was absolute hell. The hardest thing I’ve done in my life. I was young, I was 18. I raised a lot of money for charity which was good. It was cool to get my name and photo in the record book. But, like I’ve been there, done that.

I just remember the pain I went through when doing it. The hallucinating. I remember my head was such a mess that I tried to put vinyl into a CD player. I had someone next to me telling me what to play, what to press and what to do. It was pure sleep deprivation at its worst… it was horrible. So yeah I’ll never do anything like that ever again.

 

So you briefly mentioned an interesting experience you had one time several years ago when playing in Beirut. Can you tell is a bit about it?

Genix: I just finished my set and walked outside of the venue. There were a few fans outside who had asked for a demo CD. Nothing out of the ordinary as it happens quite often. I told myself hey, “I’m a nice guy”. I didn’t have any demo CDs but they could have a few tracks, no big deal. So I open my CD wallet, and next thing I know they push me back. They took my whole CD wallet, got their car, slammed the door and sped off. So there I was with no music. The funny thing was the following day they setup a Facebook account and invited me to it. The picture was one of them holding the full wallet. They then tried to sell it back to me for $20,000. It was insane. I had all the music backed up on my computer at home anyway but the promoter was able to figure out who they were through CCTV. They were only kids so they gave them quite a scare and had them drop it back off. So eventually about a year later I got my wallet back. About half the tunes were missing but they were all old ones anyway. It was really not a great experience.

 

Sunny, did you have anything like that happen to you?

Sunny: Haha thankfully no!

genix sunny 1

Ok Sunny, I have a few last questions for you but I let you guys go. Cna you tell us a bit about your remix you did of Kyau & Albert’s Made of Sun

Sunny: Well to get a remix request of such a famous and classic track is as incredible as it is challenging. Its one of my favorite tracks of all time and you’re always worried that the fans will like it. With such a classic track you worry about trying to match that classic style and chords. It was a huge challenge but I was honored to do it and I’m really glad that it’s gone over well with not only Kyau & Albert but the fans as too. I’ve played it at a lot of our shows and the crowd really likes it.

 

Is it true that you’re working on a new album? Can you tell us about it?

Sunny: Haha not really actually. I was trying to work on the album like 5 years ago. It’s a hard challenge because I make my tracks really slow. I spend months tweaking every little bit of my tracks so that they’re perfect. Because of how long it would take me to finish each track, by the time I finally finish the whole album, the first ones will already be dated. So it’s really not easy for me. I’ve put a pause on it for now but I’m hoping that in the future I’ll be able to get an album finished.

That being said, the thing with artist albums is that you have to do more than just club tracks. You have to let your inner artist out and experiment with all types of music. Not just trance, but like ambient, chillout styles that im interested in as well. Even dubstep. It’s a big challenge and I’m not really ready for it yet but one day.

 

So you’ve got some sound designer props going as a designer for Freshly Squeezed samples. What is your process for making a sample bank and is there a favorite type of sound you like to make?

Sunny: Well sometimes I want to reproduce an exact sound I heard. Like a special bass or reverb that I heard. It’s hard because I have to play with a lot of different synths and the experiment isn’t an exact science. My favorite kind of sound is bass so I do a lot of experimenting with those.

 

 

 

What an awesome conversation we were able to have! These guys are both as genuine and classy as it comes when talking with not only media, but fans as well. Both Genix and Sunny are at the top of their games right now and they’ve got half of their tour to go! They’ve got shows coming up in Ottowa, Montreal and New York and you grab grab tickets through the links on Genix’s website. New York hasn’t gone on sale yet but rest assured we’ll be lined up and waiting for them when the announcement is made!

 

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to grab your copy of Blackwater on Beatport!

As always you can interact with the guys directly via their social media pages:

Genix: Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Sunny Lax: Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

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Greg Starr

May 24th, 2016

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