Interview: David Berrie [Hot Creations]

We catch up with the rising house superstar
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Having cut his teeth in the booming New York club scene all his life, Hot Creations artist David Berrie has seen an array of dance floors through his time as a DJ

The New Jersey-born artist went from playing bars with his friends to holding down biweekly Vegas residencies at megaclubs like Tao, to circuits in the White Isle and beyond. In addition to creating a collaborative track with Jamie Jones, he now holds it down with his own releases on renowned labels like Cuttin’ Headz and Nervous Records.

Revving his gears for what’s shaping up to be a busy summer season, David comes in from playing ReSolute NYC to open up the second rendition of one of LA’s most coveted Ibiza transplant parties, Jamie Jones’ Paradise in the Park- hosted by local promoters Future Primitive.

We caught him just off the back of a groove-heavy set in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles to get his take on the modern landscapes within each of the East and West Coast hubs...

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Hey David, great to have you here! So you’ve also been across the pond a bit, playing in spots like Portugal and Spain, do you prepare your sets any differently for crowds here and there?

I wouldn’t say by region, I would say more by the atmosphere, venue; it could be daytime, nighttime, big, or small. European crowds are definitely a little bit more involved in the electronic scene than the US as of now, so generally speaking I can maybe go a little deeper, but it really depends. You could have a venue with an uneducated crowd in Europe, and then a super educated crowd here in LA.

What’s something you find with the vibe in LA that you wouldn’t really find in New York?

It’s a little bit newer here [Los Angeles]. New York for me is a bit more established, so people just expect it. Here, it’s a little bit more exciting with all these new promoters and parties, really kind of DIY--the Cyclone parties, Dialogue, there’s an excitement and energy about it that’s kind of fresh, that’s different from New York so I enjoy that.

Passing the 4 AM law is a hot topic right now here in LA; what’s your take on playing with the bars shutting down at 2 AM versus 4 AM?

LA and New York in general, I mean obviously the 2 AM thing puts a damper on the nightlife vibe. It’s different cause you get more energy in a small amount of time, so you know you gotta go for it in this amount of 4 hours total that you’re out. So that’s cool, cause it’s condensed, but I prefer going later since I’m more of an after-hours guy.

You’ve been in the heart of the New York scene for a while now. Lots of venues have been closing down, including Output; are there any venues that stand out to you or that you feel you have a personal relationship with?

I think since Output has closed, Brooklyn Mirage has been the coolest venue in New York Right now. I played there for Paradise last year, and the year before, and it’s amazing, I mean it holds over 4000 people, hosting the biggest brands in dance music so that for me right now is the best venue. As of now, not one venue has really filled Output’s shoes as far as a club, but if we’re talking just venues, in general, I think Brooklyn Mirage is the one.

Agreed, such a beautiful spot! In terms of music, eastern cities like Chicago and Detroit are famous for their respective influences on house and techno. Would you say New York has developed its own sound as well?

New York definitely has a sound--it’s always been kind of big on the drums. Old school--Danny Tenaglia, Victor Calderone--these New York staples have always been heavy on the drums. Now it’s such an international hub you can find so many different sounds there. For instance, ReSolute is huge on the minimal scene, this Romanian sound is really big in New York, it’s been growing. And now at the same time, there’s another movement with this “Tulum” sound, which is huge. Everyone that goes to Burning Man or Tulum and now that whole sound is taking over too this Bedouin style. So there’s something for everyone, you can’t really pinpoint one sound.

As a DJ, you’ve also been around the block with different styles of music yourself, from Top 40 to EDM with your dBerrie project. Do you ever see any of that making a comeback?

I like to think of myself as a product of my environment, so I grew up with House music but when I went to college there were no House music parties for me to play, so I was playing at bars for my friends doing open format. Being able to DJ was such a privilege, so I was doing open format for so many years, which kind of blew up to me playing Tao Las Vegas every other week as a resident there and traveling to Europe playing Hip Hop, and then I slowly got into production.

I was working on this more underground sound and also this more progressive ravey sound as it was just blowing up. It was funny because I was getting tracks played from Carl Cox and Marco Carola, and then at the same time Fedde Le Grand and Tiësto were playing my tracks, it was like 2 separate projects. But somehow this sort of EDM thing blew up in the states and everything just went fast, so that kind of took the forefront at the time, and as I grew into that I realized that wasn’t really what I wanted to get involved in, so I just stopped everything and took some time off to work on my production as a house and techno producer, and started finally releasing, which is how I started my David Berrie project.

Now that you’ve settled into your own sound, if you had to go back to playing open format, or any style outside of electronic music, what would be your top choice?

Hip Hop. Golden era 90’s Hip Hop.

West Coast or East coast?

I mean I’m from New York, so you already know! But A Tribe Called Quest, Native Tongue, that whole camp is kind of my vibe.

What else do you find yourself drawn to for easy listening?

One of the most inspirational sounds for me that isn’t electronic music--that still inspires me today--is PInk Floyd. Old school rock, that kind of vibe.

Does that sound still influence the way you approach producing?

For sure, it’s so trippy and warping; the way the tracks are arranged--putting in all these random. That was so early on with this music and what I try to establish in tracks that I do.

Could you share any lesser known labels or artists you’ve been digging lately?

The label Perlon is kind of a go-to. They always put out quality, that would be ago when I’m trying to keep it fresh at a party. More of an after-hours sound.

I recently discovered Mihai Pol, this Romanian artist with really solid tunes right now.

So you have a few big Ibiza gigs coming...

I spent my summers in Ibiza the past 2 years- I played DC10 for the first time 2 years ago.

It was amazing. It was surreal for me to play that as a raver for so many years, to get to play there for the first time, and now I’ve been invited back by Jamie 4 times. It’s been surreal, it’s like a dream come true.

Anything else you’re excited about for the summer?

I’m playing Parklife Festival in Manchester coming up June 9th. I’ve never been, so I’m gonna go a day early, explore Manchester a bit.

Catch David Berrie in Ibiza at DC10 this summer, and be sure to check out his latest releases on Hot Creations, ‘Airplane to Madrid’.

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