Q+A: Five minutes with Airrica

Producer Airrica had just one rule when going into the studio to create her debut EP, International Confusion. Alongside collaborator Ashee, the pair made a simple conjecture: “If we’re having fun, the music’s probably good.” You can feel this sort of playfulness and frivolous creativity all over the EP. The three track project, which arrives on Diplo’s Higher Ground label, takes big swings but never takes itself too seriously. It’s a paean to the visceral chaos of the rave, pulling from an array of inspirations – its bass heavy body music coloured with proggy, acid-like strokes that honour the wild, unbridled creativity unleashed by its creators. It also harkens back to Airrica’s beginnings in trance and hardstyle, styles which seem to inform the American producer’s approach to her current style of groove focussed, melodically textured house and techno. Currently based in Ibiza, Airrica is at that exciting moment in her career where everything feels poised for a stunning breakthrough. We caught up with her amidst her multi city European summer tour to find out more about the creation of International Confusion, and what’s next for a star who’s just getting started.



Set the tone for us. Where did your journey with music begin? 

As a child, I remember playing with a Yamaha DD-6 my father gave me (or maybe it was his and I stole it). I had so much fun with that thing! My mom gave me a 61-key Yamaha keyboard as a gift a little later in my childhood and I would spend hours learning the built in demo songs that light up the keys as you follow along. I’d do that until I learned it and could play it without! Eventually in my early teenage years I became obsessed with discovering new music that was unheard of where I grew up and burning them into CDs, giving them to friends etc… Fast forward, I kept that child-like curiosity of exploring and creating in my life when I decided to start a career as an artist.


Since the release of your debut “Defect,” how would you say your style as a producer has evolved? 

I’m always evolving within my sound and style as new inspiration and ideas spark. I’m constantly digging for records, old and new, in many genres and I’ll get inspired off of what I’m listening to. Though, my style has definitely shaped into a recognizable sound and I’m able to start telling my story through my latest EP, ‘International Confusion’, which I think compliments “Defect” well. I like to keep it playful and mind bending, but groovy so it feels inviting. I like to push the limits and play outside the box – a lot blooms when you are experimenting.


You’re currently based in Ibiza. Has the energy of this very special island influenced your direction as an artist? 

Ibiza is a special, magical place! Living here as an artist you hear so much music and take in lots of inspiration creatively – as well as from the nature of the island. Over the years Ibiza has taught me musically to not be afraid of taking risks outside of what is familiar. 


Your latest project, “International Confusion,” had an interesting approach in terms of the production process. Can you tell us a bit how and where each of these three tracks were created? 

Each track was created in three different studios actually, which is cool! We had a lot of fun with these projects, watching them evolve together. Everything flowed quite smoothly and ideas would pop up questionably at first, but then we’d realise how insanely good it sounded pieced together. We had a lot of “bass face” moments where we knew dance floors would love these records. 


Given that each track on the EP has a unique backstory, how did you manage to find a sense of cohesion or synergy? Is there a common concept or through line that you had in mind when making this music? 

We really wanted each track to shake up different audiences, yet piece each together seamlessly on the EP. I’d simply say, you can tell we were absolutely dancing around the studio while creating!



Tell us about working with Ashee, who is very much a collaborator on the EP. What makes this partnership successful? 

Ashee’s music has been some of my favourite in recent years, to the point I messaged him and told him. He actually said if I’m ever around London, let’s get together and create. So we made that happen! Our teamwork is very natural and our ideas always bounce off one another almost effortlessly, inspiring new ideas, sticking into one and it keeps building in this process. 


You’ve had the amazing opportunity to release your first two major projects on major labels in the dance music scene. Who would you like to work with in the future, and why?

I’m super appreciative as Higher Ground and Rebellion are so legendary and fresh. I love the sound of each label and get excited when I hear upcoming releases on both, so it’s  a joy to be a part of each. I’d love to work with AUS, Life & Death, Rekids, Phantasy Sound, Diynamic, and Turbo to name a few. I’ve followed and felt influenced by these labels, found some of my favourite producers through them, and started to DJ because of them as well. 


After the release of “International Confusion,” what’s next for you? 

I have some exciting dates coming up for the rest of summer with shows at Hï Ibiza, Eastern Electrics Festival along with some others I am itching to announce! I’m also looking forward to some upcoming singles I have wrapped up and getting all my summer inspiration into the studio.



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