TUJAMO – INFLUENCE AND SIGNATURE SOUNDS

German electro-house producer Tujamo (aka Matthias Richter) is a globally celebrated, charting musician whose unique take on dance music, “the Eastern Sound,” is often considered by critics to be a genre of its own. His singles have charted globally, and his downtempo anthems have driven dancefloors from China to Russia and New York to L.A. He developed a passion for music in his teens. He began DJ’ing at age 17 and just a year later, in 2006, won a talent competition at one of Germany’s most famous nightclubs, Club Index in Schüttorf, where he went on to become a resident DJ. That same year he began producing tracks under the Tujamo alias, releasing his debut single, “Mombasa,” in 2011. His first dance chart hit came the following year with “Who,” produced in conjunction with fellow Germans Plastik Funk. The tune was played out by big names like Avicii and became a huge hit at Miami house music mecca the Winter Music Conference. In 2013, he had his first mainstream hit with “Boneless,” a collaboration with Steve Aoki and Chris Lake, which went to number 49 on the German singles chart. In 2014 his biggest hit yet came when the reworked “Who,” retitled “Dr. Who” and featuring British rapper Sneakbo, hit number 21 on the U.K. singles chart. Also making a name for himself as a remixer for the likes of Bob Sinclar, Peter Gelderblom, and Wynter Gordon, he played all over Germany and internationally, including a tour of South America. In 2018, his single “With U (feat. Karen Harding)” was picked by an international group of streaming services and ran up the digital charts.

How long have you all been making music? What made you first want to write it?

Music has been by my side ever since I can remember. It all started with DJing and a DJ contest, which I won. One of my following gigs was a warm up for the mighty Laidback Luke and when I saw him playing his own tracks I knew that I had to do likewise. So, I started producing and it happened pretty fast from there on out.

What do you enjoy most about having music as your career?

Definitely the opportunity to get around and see so much of our planet. It’s incredible to see so many different cultures and getting to play for all of them. I really enjoy the traveling and I’m very grateful for that.

Where do you mostly draw your inspiration? How would you describe your trademark sound to those who haven’t heard it yet?

The traveling again. Every city I see has its own vibe and I tend to be inspired by that. My mobile is filled with loads of memos where I came up with melodies or beats or anything that I want myself to remember when I’m back in the studio.

Your new collaboration with Salvatore Ganacci ‘Jook It’ is out now on Spinnin’ Records! How did it all come together?

We have known each other for years and we always made jokes about how we would create a cool club tune together. It’s hard to made things happen in this business, that’s why I’m stoked that it worked out in this case!

What inspired you to want to work with Salvatore?

I have always loved his tracks. I’ve also played so many of his songs and could always imagine a combination of both influence and signature sounds, so knew it had the potential to be a perfect match.

How did Richie come into the picture? What dynamic does he add to the track?

We wanted an energetic voice, as soon as we said that we had Richie in our minds. Which was a coincidence!

‘Jook It’ is a heavy, Bass House club-banger and takes a different direction to your Electro House sound. What inspired you to experiment with this new direction?

I always like to try something new but the important thing is to keep my own signature sound. In addition I have always been a seriously big fan of unexpected drops. In the the last couple of years it’s worked well in the clubs and always made it fun to play. It’s a good way to get the crowd pumped!

Some artists nowadays release multiple tracks that sound more or less the same. Do you think it’s more important to establish your sound/identity or to experiment with different sounds?

When it comes to your next production you should always try to add some new flavour. In the end people should always recognize its TUJAMO. That’s the goal!

https://soundcloud.com/steveaoki/steve-aoki-chris-lake-tujamo-delirious-boneless-feat-kid-ink

Two of your biggest tracks ‘Boneless’ and ‘Drop That Low’ are still sitting in the Beatport Electro House chart! Do you consider this to be a great testament to your hard work?

I actually noticed that just a few weeks ago and I would never have expected it. I it’s because it’s my signature sound, which could make it stand the test of time I guess. This is something you’re missing if you just copy somebody else’s sound because then you’ll be always in the shadow of another artist.

You had the chance to put your own spin on Sidney Sampson’s classic anthem ‘Riverside’. Can you explain how it felt to rework such an important song? Did you feel any pressure to live up to any expectations?

Riverside was one of the first tracks I used to play when I started djing back in the days. I always thought this track was super timeless because there is still no other sound like it. There was no pressure because I first made it as bootleg for my own sets but then my label came up with the idea to make it official. After that I had a nice chat with Sidney he was also down for this version.

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