Interview with OC & Verde

2 months ago by Matty Adams

Comprised together by Ben O’Connor and Jon Verde, the phenomenal production pairing of OC & Verde has turned some serious heads in 2017.

Born and raised in Manchester on a musical diet of 80’s Synth Pop, Acid House and Techno, OC & Verde’s quality over quantity approach has seen their recent production steamroll garner support from such illustrious names as Adam Beyer, Solomun and Deadmau5.

Identified as “One’s To Watch” by BBC Radio 1’s Pete Tong at the beginning of the year, there is no question at all concerning how bright the future is for this impressive double-act.

We recently caught up with Manchester-born duo, OC & Verde, and discussed their biggest highlights from this past summer, their forthcoming EP being released on Waze & Odyssey’s W+O Street Tracks and playing for Do Not Sleep’s Cuckoo Land at Ibiza Rocks Hotel.

First of all lads, earlier this year you were included within our ‘Next Evolution’ series and were hot on Pete Tong’s ones to watch in 2017. How do you feel your summer has gone this year and what have been your biggest highlights from it?

Summer has been great this year, we’ve been super busy touring the UK and Europe, we’ve had some wicked Ibiza and festival gigs too. The highlight was playing the closing set at The Beatherder Festival which isn’t far from where we live so it was like a homecoming gig for us. We had a lot of friends with us and the crowd was phenomenal, the feedback from our set was unbelievable.

Another highlight has to be Adam Beyer closing the Cocoon opening party at Amnesia with our track ‘Solstice’, the hype for that track has been nuts but that was just the icing on the cake, for us that’s the best party on the island so to have our track close the night was tremendous.

One of your most notable achievements this year was your release ‘Solstice’ which first came to light after a video of Solomun surfaced at BPM festival in January and went viral. Can you tell us a little more about the story behind this track, how it came about and what influenced you creatively during the production process?

‘Solstice’ was the first track we made after producing ‘Maasai’, the vocals are obviously similar on both tracks but also quite different in effect. ‘Maasai’ was quite in your face while ‘Solstice’ was more trippy and dreamy… When we had finished producing ‘Solstice’, we both were really happy with it and were very excited about the track. However, at the time, ‘Maasai’ was doing really well for us so we sat on the track for a while because we didn’t want to follow up with ‘Solstice’ and take the heat away from ‘Maasai’.

We aren’t into releasing a lot of music at once, there’s too many artists putting out too much music at once in our opinion. We think you should give tracks time to breathe so they don’t become throw away like a lot of House and Techno does at the moment. So, we held that one back for a few months before we sent it to any labels, then when we did send it out, nobody wanted it haha! It was a bit of a shock really, we thought the track was very good but nobody would take it, so we forgot about it and carried on with other tracks… Then eight months later, a video of Solomun at BPM festival in Mexico popped up of him playing it and our emails and social media inboxes were filled up of people wanted to sign it, even the labels that had previously turned it down haha! It’s funny how this business works! The track has just gone from strength to strength though, Solomun played it all over the world, Pete Tong hammered it on Radio 1 then Adam Beyer picked up on it and he’s still playing it now.

Speaking of your productions, you have a forthcoming EP coming out on Waze & Odyssey’s label W+O Street Tracks in the near future. Can you tell us a little more about this EP and what we can expect from it?

The tracks are called ‘Flauta’ and ‘Gitarra’, and as the titles might give away, one features a flute and the other a guitar. These tracks sound like nothing else we’ve heard and are very unique, our main goal for this EP was to sound very different from what’s out at the moment. The “Tech House” sound that’s very popular at the moment is getting a bit boring to us, a lot of it sounds the same so you can’t tell one producer from the next, so for us we think we’ve managed to create our own sound with ‘Maasai’ and ‘Solstice’ and this EP is an evolution of that sound. We lose the vocals and replace them with instruments that you don’t hear that much in House and Techno. The feedback so far for them has been amazing… DJ’s from Nicole Moudaber to Annie Mac to Adam Beyer have been supporting the tracks which is really cool.

You also have a collaboration forthcoming with Eli & Fur, What was it like to work alongside the girls, Did you learn anything new from them whilst working together on this release?

We’re pretty excited about this collaboration, the track is a bit deeper than our usual stuff but still got our sound and melodies with Eli & Fur’s vocals. The girls were great to work with, we went to London to Redbull Studios to start on the track, we had some ideas that we took with us and they picked out the demo ideas that they liked and the track just fell into place. The synths on this track were inspired from us all talking about the title music to the TV show Stranger Things, so it’s got a cool 80’s synth vibe with the girls trippy vocals on top.

Focusing more on Ibiza now, your most recent appearance on the island came at Ibiza Rocks whilst playing for Do Not Sleep Presents Cuckoo Land. What did you enjoy the most about playing for Cuckoo Land and why?

Playing for Cuckoo Land was really fun, with it being a pool party it was really nice to play deeper than we normally do and play a bit more Housey than our normal sets. The vibe there wouldn’t really suit anything too banging so we stripped everything back and played a lot groovier and kept the vibe really happy. The team that put those events on were so much fun too, they partied like the punters so it was a lot of fun to be a part of.

What kind of an impact do you feel Cuckoo Land had made on the San Antonio scene this summer?

We think it’s made a massive impact in San Antonio this summer, pool parties are where Ibiza seems to be heading at the moment and Cuckoo Land is a much more suitable option for us than say Ocean Beach Club. It was great to be at Cuckoo Land and see a pool party done properly where the music came first not the ‘VIP’s’.

In terms of your sets in Ibiza this summer, what have been your favourite three records to play and why?

Our new track ‘Flauta’ has to be number one, it’s been the biggest track in our sets all summer, at Sankeys for Warriors when we road tested it for the first time, it blew us away, and the crowd! Then ‘Switchdance’ by O Amolador has been another big one for us all summer and obviously our track ‘Solstice’, people just go nuts for that track and it’s been supported by the biggest names in the industry all over the island all summer.

Finally, when away from the decks on the island, what is your favourite place in Ibiza to explore and why?

We need to do more exploring really, we love getting a boat to Formantera and the restaurants and beaches there. We also have friends who live in Calla Llonga who we visit most times when we come over who have taken us to some really cool places over that side of the island, Amante being one of our favourites over that way…but other than that we always get dragged off partying!

We’ve been coming to Ibiza for about 15/20 years and the party scene always wins… every year we say let’s not go too heavy on the after parties and let’s explore the island a bit but it never happens. It’s always pre party, party, after party, after after party, after after after party, hotel, airport, home! One day we’ll learn though and have a good answer for this question, haha!

OC & Verde will appear at The Steelyard in London for ByDay By Night on Friday 27thOctober. You can purchase tickets below.

ByDay ByNight Event

FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/122166061770151/
Tickets: https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/925831

Their forthcoming EP release on W&O Street Tracks titled ‘Flauta’ will be available on Friday 20th October. You can listen to it here.


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