Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano have created a household name for themselves within the world of house music. They’ve headlined some of the biggest festivals in the world and have set the standard for what house music is and what it should be. The powerhouse duo just recently announced their full summer line up for “Sexy By Nature” at U R Ibiza and are set to play the main stage at Tomorrowland not once, but twice! I sat down with Sunnery and Ryan at the most quaint Caribbean joint to discuss their new residencies, the state of the “electronic dance music” industry, the evolution of house music and of course, to eat delicious croquettes. You just announced your full line up for U R Ibiza every Wednesday from June 21st to September 13th  at Hi Ibiza. How did this all come about? How long have you been planning this? Sunnery: we actually started the end of last year. They asked us if we were ready to host a night on the island and we said, “yes of course!” But it’s Ibiza so you never know. Asked us if we were ready and we said “of course we got this.” Two months later, the option came in and we said let’s work. Armin has the same residency and at SPACE Ibiza, there are two huge rooms,. Armin is hosting one room and we are hosting the other. It was up to Armin if he wanted to because it’s trance meets house and he wanted to do it. We had a trance meets house night and it was truly something special. We worked together and made something special out of it. Now, we’re here announcing the night!   Festival season has kicked off – you’re playing on the main TWICE this year on Friday and Saturday at Tomorrowland. Tell me, what are the feels you get from being on that stage? Sunnery James: It’s crazy! For a DJ to play on the mainstage, it’s an honor and a big deal. The thing with us and Tomorrowland is we played at the first where there were only 2,000 people. We build a relationship with the guys and they really loved our sound and pushed us to stick with our sound. They wanted us to rock the mainstage twice for Tomorrowland. We also have our own stage as well. It’s the Sexy By Nature stage and we confirmed Afrojack Steve Angello, Sander Van Doorn and Thomas Newson so it’s going to be an exciting takeover with Sunnery and Ryan. Ryan Marciano: We did the lineup ourselves and we wanted it to be a little different. That’s why we asked Afrojack, Steve Angello and all of the guys to do different sets. As a visitor, I would love to see it because it’s going to be different! We talked about wanting to achieve so many things and it seemed like a long shot. Steve Angello is a big name and he confirmed then Afrojack, so it’s a big thing for us. Everything came together.   Can you describe the creative process of “Sexy By Nature.” Sunnery James: We select a lot of songs and when we go to festivals we drop some of them and feel out the crowd. In the past we’ve tried selecting everything and it doesn’t work that way, it’s less powerful. Our power is to feed the crowd and we try to interact with the crowd as much as possible. We know what we’re going to play but not in any order. We always play our own tracks of course but there are some nice mash ups. Before each set we always get excited because we don’t really know what’s going to happen.   You two have been with Tomorrowland since it’s very inception. How do you think it’s transformed over the years? Sunnery James: It’s hard to say! There used to only be 2,000 to 3,000 people. Within two to three years it became bigger. They focused on the South American markets very well. After that, the world started noticing and talking about it. The people at Tomorrowland are so creative from production, lighting to the pyrotechnics. Ryan Marciano: They’re a big hand within the music industry right now too. They’ve supported some of the biggest acts, like David Guetta, who at the time was only big in Europe. Now with Tomorrowland, you get a lot of exposure since there are millions of people watching. If you get a slot on the mainstage and you deliver, you can blow up. You have to deliver and prove yourself. To get a stage like that, it’s insane. The environment is just magical.   Last time we spoke, you explained “Sexy By Nature” as being “sexy beats, sexy this, and natural” with your weekly radio show which started in 2014. You brought the charm of dance music along with tribal beats, progressive sounds but to a different level of sophistication. Fast forward to now, how do you think your sound has progressed? Sunnery James: Wow! Well, we’ve progressed in a way where it was really only underground house music. We got inspired by people like Frankie Knuckles, Eric Morillo and Steve Angello. Actually, Steve did something for us. He was playing house music but it was a harder and tougher sound and that inspired us. We had the tribal beats but we needed more power in our sets. We started making beats to mix it in. Now we have “Sexy By Nature” which is the sound of Sunnery and Ryan. It’s energetic but tribal and progressive. Our music is what we feel, it’s hard to describe. We could play in a room and if it felt dark, we could play techno for an hour. With just techno, I could throw some tribal beats in between and it’s a techno set. At a festival, you need more energy and we translate it differently. Ryan Marciano: It’s always coming from the heart. To explain how our music is is hard. We’re chameleons! Raver Magazine: That’s humbling and incredible to hear. You guys really do what you love and the music speaks to that. There’s a reason why you two are some of the biggest artists in the industry. You’ve headlined the biggest festivals in the world, you have your own radio show, you’ve played all over the world…. What’s the next BIG THING for Sunnery and Ryan? Ryan Marciano: Our next big thing is to play somewhere or make another big hit. We’d love acknowledgement and our own label where we can give back to the people in the dance music scene. We want to put something on the table for dance music. A lot of people in the scene they think that it’s all about playing for one hour and making money but we really love the dance scene. We want to keep it going and to support new talent. Hopefully one day, one big talent will say “you know what, Sunnery and Ryan really helped us out!” That’s the only thing we’re doing it for. It’s nice to have attention and fame but you always have to remember where you started, where you came from and why you’re doing what you do. The best thing in life for me is playing music and see a crowd feed off of that. Raver Magazine: I respect that. The state of house music has truly transformed. There’s new music constantly being churned left and right. You always see new names coming out and there are artists who have one hit wonders. They’ll be big for one to years then they’re off the grid. What do you think artists have to do in order to stay relevant? Sunnery James: The one thing we never did was aim to create ‘popular’ tracks that are one hits and live off of it. If you only aim for hits, you expire. When you’re done, you’re only as good as your last track. To build something out of yourself, your personality, your character, your sound, your movement, that’s what will make you. A lot of artists are having a hard time. They’ll have big tracks but people today want more than that. Ryan Marciano: They want to know what you stand for, your symbolism. It’s like building a brand. You cannot solely rely on your music. You have to be the total package.   Other than yourselves, what artist would you say have a strong name and presence. Sunnery James: Carl Cox, he hasn’t released a song in like ten years I think… Fedde Le Grand, Steve Aoki. What Steve does is like no other. He’s his own brand. Ryan Marciano: He can produce any music and it’ll have a strong presence. People come to shows because it’s Steve Aoki. Who else? Afrojack, Martin Garrix. I mean, Martin is just a phenomenon. Raver Magazine: If you were to ask people who Martin was years ago, they’d have no clue up until “Animals.” Since then, he’s been releasing banger after banger and his fame has skyrocketed. Sunnery James: He achieved it in such a short amount of time but it’s also the New World. Ryan Marciano: Black Coffee is also an outstanding name. Maybe ten years ago we started following him and he’s still doing the same thing. He’s getting so popular with that house sound. Sunnery James: Michael Corolla has it! He’s been there forever and Erick Morillo! These artists have been known for their music. Raver Magazine: I love original house and  all of the names you threw out there because these are the guys that have been sticking to their sound and have created household names for themselves. Working in this industry, I always respect the old heads that made house music what it is. It’s HOUSE MUSIC not “electronic dance music.” Ryan Marciano: Stop with that electronic dance music! *haha* Raver Magazine: It’s just such a generic term. It’s house music. We can go levels on this with, its deep house, progressive house, tribal, acid, but it’s all HOUSE. Ryan Marciano: It’s so unofficial. What is EDM? Sunnery James: In the beginning, I had a real hard time saying it. I didn’t even want to say EDM. Ryan Marciano: The basics of all of this music are house, its roots are house and it’s our house. House music is just getting bigger, bigger and bigger!   With any sound, the music will always transform, it more or less evolves. You guys have paved your way, created a name for yourself and have your audience. How do you go about attracting newer audiences that have never heard your music before? Sunnery James: What I’ll start with is whatever you play, you have to like it. If you’re going to play hip hop tracks, you better LOVE hip hop tracks. If you feel it, you have to play it. You have to keep it real. You’ll be able to see on someone’s face if their feeling is real. That is how you get people to come to you. You keep it real and the laws of attraction just happen. You know when you do you, people will just come to you because you’re you. If you go and play every hit on the radio, sure it’ll be a hit, but people will see that it’s not real. Crowds will think “yeah, he’s a nice DJ but what does he stand for?” Take Tiesto for example. Whatever Tiesto plays, he enjoys and every record he plays he loves. Ryan Marciano: You can’t fake it. Be you and they’ll come. Raver Magazine: The facade eventually fades and people end up revealing their true colors. Sunnery James: At some point, it’s hard because you have to review with labels, managers, A&R, and they’ll say “Oh Sunnery and Ryan you should play this, this and this,” but you have to fight and play what’s real because the moment you create what everyone else wants, you lose. We’ve had so many chances to sign major deals but we didn’t. We knew the moment would come when it was for us. I wouldn’t want to stand there like a robot.   Last question for you guys. Is there anything you guys know about each other that your fans may not? Sunnery James: He’s a real good cook. He can cook really well. Raver Magazine: What’s your signature dish? Sunnery James: He’s good at making any Caribbean dish, any styled chicken, ugh it’s the best. Ryan Marciano: He may look like the superstar “Sunnery James” but he’s the most simple man you will meet. Raver Magazine: A simple man, a family man? Ryan Marciano: Yes! Sunnery James: I like nice clothes but what I really like is to just hang out, eat good food and to be with my family. It’s that Caribbean feel, I just like to chill and that’s what makes me happy.  ]]]]> ]]>