These two guys from Amsterdam met in 2006 in the clothing store where Sunnery worked, and where Ryan applied for an internship. While working together they noticed a lot of similar interests, and started working on some music together. From that moment on the two never stopped doing what they love most and they’ve created a big name for themselves since then. Axwell [SHM] said after playing with them in Ibiza that: “If there were a Dutch version of Swedish House Mafia, it would be Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano.” Impressive accolades for these relative newcomers, who were plucked from their obscure retail jobs back in 2007. It seems their funky house and tribal sound struck a chord with partygoers and, after gaining popularity in their home country, these best friends took their electric energy worldwide.
Sunnery and Ryan DJ sets are becoming the stuff of legend. With hair flopping and body rockin’, there is no time to sit on the sidelines at one of their shows. They embody dance music fully, bringing the crowd to epic peaks, arms in the air and smiles all around. It’s not a genre thing, it’s a music thing, and Sunnery and Ryan convey that passion to the dance floor in a way very few artists can. See them one time and you will understand. Breaking new ground performances that inspire and awaken the soul have brought the duo escalating successes across the globe. With their star on the rise, Sunnery and Ryan are now part of the superstar DJ set and tour circuit. Their diary reads like a massive global pilgrimage, and in a way, it is just that. A way to preach the gospel of house music, in all its vast forms, to a new generation of music lovers. From the USA to Mexico, Brazil to Guatemala, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Asia, Russia and all points in between, these two house music champions are breaking new ground one country at a
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano have quickly ascended into the upper echelon of dance music producers with the release of monster anthems like ‘Tribeca’ and their remake of Tiesto’s ‘Lethal Industry.’ Fans and tastemakers all have supported each Sunnery and Ryan release with the latter track being a weapon of choice for Armin van Buuren, Sander van Doorn, David Guetta and the list goes on and on. Even the don of EDM, Pete Tong made Lethal Industry his ‘Essential Selection’ not once, but twice! Steve Angello scooped up their tune ‘Markuzza’ (along with Traffic and Snitch) for his Size Records imprint realizing early on what a masterpiece it was.
How and when did you guys first meet? What were you working on at the time? Did you always want to pursue a path in music?
We met when we were 19 years old. I was looking for an internship and ended up in the store Sunnery was working. We had a lot of the same interests and went to the same parties. We were real party boys and became more familiar with the scene as time went on. We were at parties so often that we wanted to host our own. The problem was we didn’t have money to book any DJs, and that’s when we decided to start DJ’ing ourselves; so we could host cool parties without spending too much on the DJ’s.
At the end of 2016 you brought SONO to Armada Music. How has it been being part of the Armada family? What do you have in store for the future of your own label?
It’s great! SONO was something we had on our mind for quite a while, and the deal with Armada felt like a dream come true. With this label we can create a platform for our new music and upcoming artists.
You recently collaborated with Armin van Buuren on “You Are”. What can you tell us about working with the king of trance? How was it fusing two very different sounds together for this project with Armin?
Armin is a friend of ours, so it was fun to work together with him on this track. We wanted to make a song, although we knew it was going to be challenging with our diverse styles. On our way to the studio to work with Armin, we still had no clue how we were going to make it work. I guess we were just being stubborn as we were convinced we could make it work. Yeah and gladly Armin thought the same about it. He also made sure we were honest with each other for the full 100% and that we would tell it to each other when we didn’t like something. We all knew we were working on something that wouldn’t entirely fit into our own styles, but we wanted to make something new and fresh. With this mindset we started working on the track and that’s how You Are came about.
Did you approach your recently released remix of Armin’s “Sex, Love & Water” differently than you would an original or differently than you approached your collaboration with Armin?
Absolutely! Making a remix is making your own version of something that exists instead of creating something new with each other. ‘Sex, love and water’ was such a radio hit, and we wanted to use it in one of our sets. But to be able to this, we had to put our twist on it.
You guys have been successful musicians for more than a decade. What’s some insider feedback or advice you have for those hoping to break into the industry?
There are so many people nowadays who want to become a DJ, so it’s important to have your own unique sound. You have to practice, practice and practice while taking every opportunity to perform shows to build your skills and find your own sound. Give the people a night they will not forget. Yes and be patient. The way to the top can be very long and it’s all about being lucky sometimes. Don’t forget to have fun.
Is it important to be both a DJ and a producer in order to be noticed today?
It’s different thing. You need to ask if I’m a performer first them a producer, or a producer first then a performer. We are both. We make tracks and we love to be on the stage. That’s how you make it. A lot of guys love to stay in the studio and hang out a bit. So stay true to yourself. That’s the only way you can enjoy music.
Is any chance we’ll see the Sexy By Nature concept touring round the world?
I think that would be amazing. Currently we’ve played it at Creamfields, in New York, LA and Ibiza. The concept has been traveling a little bit but not yet in Asia. But certainly, we’ll need a beach for Sexy By Nature for the Asia trip. It would be my dream come true if we were to have a beach party at Palawan, Philippines.
Over the past two years, DJs is getting more diversified with their performance. For instance we have Sander van Doorn as Purple Haze, Martin Garrix as Area 21 and Ferry Corsten presents Goureyella. Would you guys be interested in working on different projects under different aliases?
We’re sticking with house music for now. There is a lot of variations in house music that we can mix everything up into one set or one song. But we could be interested to work on something really, really, dark reggae style.
If you are given a chance to form your dream team for a Sexy By Nature B2B Set, which three other DJs will you invite to the set?
That’s hard, really hard. I think Steve Angello, Martin Garrix and Hardwell would be a good combination and bring a lot of energy to the stage.
What does the rest of the year have in store for SJ&RM? Where do you see yourselves five years from now?
We love playing music, so in five years we will still be performing. Yeah, we’ll be performing until we can’t stand on our legs anymore. And lots of new music of course.