With more than two decades of touring under his belt, the pandemic offered Swiss DJ and producer Andrea Oliva the opportunity to work on a number of personal projects – the largest of which was the launch of a new label, All I Need, which promises to defy typical genre traditions.
Styled as a music and fashion imprint, the first release on the label is Oliva’s own Final String, which is released today, 20 August, and can be purchased/streamed here. Building on Oliva’s decade-long catalogue of releases on labels such as Hot Creations, Cadenza, Desolat, Truesoul, Play It Say It, Saved and Relief Records, you can expect big things from All I Need in the coming months and years.
Elsewhere, while his summer residency at the legendary ANTS Ushuaïa, in Ibiza, is parked for the moment, the Basel native is optimistic for the future. 909originals caught up with him.
Hi Andrea, thanks for talking to us. We’re nearing the end of the pandemic (hopefully), with venues starting to open up again. How has the last year and half been for you – were there positives as well as negatives?
Hopefully indeed! Fingers crossed! I was working on a lot of music and spent a lot of time with my family and friends, which kept me mainly positive!
You’ve just launched a new record label, All I Need. For how long has this been in the planning stage, and did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your launch plans?
We wanted to launch the label last year in Ibiza, but then the pandemic hit and we got stuck like everybody else. But on the other hand, it gave us more time to work on the overall project and the future vision of the brand.
What is your strategy with the label – were you inspired by any other labels, and how are you positioning it?
I always wanted to have my own label, my own playground to release whatever I really feel like, also to show some different sides of my musical evolution as a producer. As well as a lot of original tracks, I’ve worked on some very interesting collaborations and am also super proud of having people like Deetron and Kevin Saunderson, artists who inspired me throughout all these years, working on remixes for the label.
Are there any up and coming artists that you will be hoping to champion with the label?
To build a certain fundament, we’ve scheduled a lot of releases of myself for now, combined with some remixes and collaborations. It’s almost a full year of releases, but after that period I’m very much looking forward to release music from other artists, no matter how big or small their name might be. It’s the music that counts, after all!
Supporting up and coming artists is going be the main focus of the label in the future, for sure.
We read somewhere that there will be a fashion element associated with the label as well – what can you tell us about this?
During all these years traveling the world I’ve met so many interesting people from different industries. I feel that collaborations between different sectors opens up new paths, new creativity processes and give you a great chance to dig into new worlds.
Fashion and music are not that far apart in terms of the message you want to send out through your art, there are a lot of similarities when it comes to creativity, but also in the way you’re trying to communicate to the world through your art form.
Being able to express yourself through a certain style in music or fashion can make a great statement of who you are and what you’re standing for. Music unites people, adapting the same philosophy to fashion is our goal here.
You’ve been closely involved with ANTS Ibiza for many years – will it be next year before things will return to normal there, do you think?
I hope we can get back to a certain normality in the future. It might happen at some point next year hopefully, but what do I know in these uncertain times?
I really hope we can all get back together and celebrate music in clubs and festivals like it used to be. For everyone of course, but especially also for the DJs and the many people involved in this industry, who work so hard every day in the background to make things happen.
What do you enjoy most about playing in Ibiza, and particularly ANTS?
ANTS is a brand that I was fortunate enough to be involved in from day one. It’s incredible what you can achieve with an idea and a vision, combined with big teamwork and dedication. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved with ANTS, especially in a place like Ibiza, where some of the biggest brands have been created.
You’ve just had the chance to play live in front of a crowd again for the first time in a year, and in your home country as well. What was it like to get back behind the decks?
It’s all about emotions! Seeing those emotions in people’s eyes was priceless. At the same time, the first shows felt a bit weird, I’ve played some shows where people were only allowed to be seated and not dance. Even in those situations you have to make the best out of it and try to give them the best time possible.
What was the first track that you played?
Good question, I don’t remember, to be honest! I was testing a lot of upcoming releases of All I Need, for sure.
You’ve been making music for more than a decade, and since the Click Off EP on Cadenza and Scene on Be As One helped establish you as an artist. How has your approach to making music or remixing changed in the years since?
Let’s say I’m still in a process – music is in constant evolution and so am I, musically speaking. You learn more and more every day in the studio, you personally get older, and hopefully wiser, and I try to reflect this in my music.
The approach is still the same though, I go to the studio and everything happens out of a jam session at first. I make mistakes like everybody else, and the beauty of it is that sometimes out of these mistakes you find your inspiration to finish a track.
Your last album, 4313, was released six years ago – when can we expect another Andrea Oliva long player?
I have to get older and wiser indeed to release another album. I think I released that first album way too early in my career. I had to learn and realise that good things need time. I’m going to a take as much time as needed to come up with another album one day – which people will still listen years later.
While you are very much a globetrotting DJ these days, you’ve long stayed loyal to your origins. With that in mind, are there any Swiss producers or DJs we need to look out for?
There are many amazing artists coming out of Switzerland, two of my favourites at the moment are Jimi Jules and Black Circle.
[Thanks Andrea for chatting to us. Final String is released on 20 August on All I Need, and can be purchased/streamed here]