5 Minutes with Ronnie Spiteri
Having grown up in and around dance music, Ronnie Spiteri has lived up to all the hype that surrounded his early forays into DJing and producing. Spiteri has cemented his position in the international dance music scene, controlling the decks at world-class venues and events across the globe, including a summer residency at Amnesia, Ibiza, for Do Not Sleep, while continuing to pursue perfection in the studio, which has earned him regular spins from the likes of Adam Beyer, Joris Vorn, Anja Schnieder, Alan Fitzpatrick, Jamie Jones, Darius Syrossian, Waff, Sante, Josh Butler, Sidney Charles, Fatboy Slim and Reset Robot.
We chatted to Ronnie Spiteri in the wake of his latest Tunnel Ride EP release to hear more about his upbringing immersed in sound, his creative process and his plans for the future.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I have always had a passion for music, and to be able to make this into a career – who wouldn’t want to do something that they love every day? It’s not easy, and doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s a dream for so many to be able to do what they love every day.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
Generally speaking it’s normally the idea what comes first, and then I start laying down a loop. I often have an idea of what I want to create, but sometimes I add my sound and it starts to take a completely different direction. But I am sure this is something which every producer has happen and would agree, it’s quite normal!
Does your material feature any collaborations?
Yes, at the moment I have some collaborations on going but I wouldn’t want to drop any names until there finished, fully tested and signed 😉
What’s on your current playlist?
To be honest with you, I do play a lot of my own stuff as I sometimes find it hard to find the right tracks for what I want in my set. I am really picky about what I play out, and sometimes there might be one particular part of a track that I don’t like, so therefore it doesn’t get a spin. But of course, there are a few artists who regularly pop up into my sets including A.S.H, Tiger Stripes, Harvey McKay and Alan Fitzpatrick.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
It’s really good! I would like to think that the last few gigs I had in Ireland, Scotland and Argentina were events where I really connected so much with the crowd. It just worked, and you can genuinely feel that vibe when you play. The crowd went off!
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I always use distortion on all my drums that kinds of give it the sharp and chunkiness
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
First, after getting up I make a coffee! Head into the studio and start setting everything up. I start off with a kick drum and the low end of the track to make sure its chunky and rolling! Two elements I love to create in my tracks. I’ll build my drums up with some mid-range percussion and crunchy hats and claps. Finally, I’ll start to work on the sound with stabs, hooks and pads etc. The very last stage is to sequence it out!
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
Actually, yes! I was about 10 years old and was at a rave in a field with my Dad. Young I know! I remember standing behind the decks and watching everything going on and thought ‘’wow, I really wanna do this’’. Of course, being 10 years old you wanted to do a lot of things in life, and always thought everything was possible. I could see how happy everyone was from watching just this one person play music and that was something that I wanted to make people feel. I guess I made it my mission to achieve this goal, and here I am today!
Tell us about the new EP Tunnel Ride. What was the inspiration behind the music?
I wanted to make something that was chunky and with vocals in it. It took me a few times to get it right be I’m really happy with how Tunnel Ride came out. I’m really looking forward to the release.
Was there any reason in particular reason why you chose VONDA7 and Francisco Allendes to do remixes?
Yes, we felt like these artists would both add a bit more to the package, in terms of music variety. VONDA7 went more techno on us, which works for me in many ways and Francisco went a lot more rolling. LOVE both!
Tell us about your experience in Ibiza.
I love Ibiza, and hopefully one day I would like to be able to move my family there to live. It has so much to offer, away from the party scene and it’s so tranquil in the winter months. I have a lot of friends who live there too, so I think that I would just find it so much more relaxing than in the UK. That is if I am not out at a club all the time with everyone! Thank god that only runs half the year!
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
Always a towel, if it gets a bit sweaty, my mates, some fags and normally a bottle of vodka!
Any emerging artists on your radar?
Yes, of my fellow We Are The Brave artists actually I feel I need to really shout about at the moment – A.S.H. He has made some absolute insane tracks and I know he has another big EP coming out soon on the label, which I have been slamming out in every set for a while.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
After a really good show or weekend away, I find it keeps me on this energy high and I want to get back and go straight into the studio to make something that you know will blow their heads off!
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
So, I’m a Reason man, but also have some hardware in the studio including a Roland S09, TR8 and some boutiques. But I am just about to change the whole set up, so you should ask me this again in a few months!
Any side projects you’re working on?
At the moment no, I am just heavily focusing on Ronnie Spiteri and also my label Kenja Records. More to come on that this year!
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
Yes, I have pushed more into the Techno Field I would think… I’m not really into the current tech house at the moment if I’m honest and decided to go a bit tougher and underground with my sound.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
Excited to announce my residency again in Ibiza for Do Not Sleep at the almighty Amnesia. Dockyard Festival in Southampton, for a nice local event for me as well as debuting at a couple of mega shows in the UK – Fabric London and Studio 338, which are both happening in June.
Release wise, I have a few things going on. Next up is the EP on Do Not Sleep, then an EP with Knee Deep In Sound, more things to come with Alan and his label, as well as my own Kenja.
Famous last words?
Ronnie’s EP ‘Tunnel Ride’ is now available via Do Not Sleep:
Links for Tunnel Ride here:
Follow Ronnie Spiteri: