MFF Pod 100 Ray Okpara Banner

LABELS: MOBILEE / AMA / OSLO

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Biography

An artist whose roots lie half in Nigeria represents today for what we understand as House. Percussions, drifty hypnotic beats, a touch of soul and marvellously deep. House is a feeling and Ray Okpara has his finger firmly on the pulse…

The first thing that strikes you about Ray Okpara is that he’s an overwhelmingly nice guy with what seems like time for everybody but behind the big smile and wiley dreads is one of house music’s most serious producer/djs.

Despite coming to prominence during the media’s 2008 obsession with Frankfurt/Mannheim via releases on Cecille, Oslo, Get Physical and Area Remote, Okpara has been instrumental in Germany’s flourishing house scene for well over a decade. Initially taking to the decks to play his close friend Johnny D’s UK Garage records in the mid-90’s, Okpara quickly found his groove and by the time the pair started their RAJO club night a fervent dedication to all things house engulfed the young Nigerian.

In 2001 Nick Curly joined the team and the night began it’s residency at The Loft in Mannheim – becoming the seed what has since become one of the strongest house music family trees in Europe. As with most Djs, the production itch had to be scratched but, unlike most, Okpara’s initial efforts betrayed an innate talent for the craft. Lomidhigh Ltd, Drumpoet Community and Arearemote are a enviable bunch to count as early adopters for any budding producer and this start made just strengthened Ray’s resolve.

Re-joining his tight knit group of friends, now running the Oslo, Deep Vibes, Cecille and 8-Bit imprints, after a four year relocation to Berlin in 2005, Ray’s reputation was cemented and the rest is history.

Now based back in Berlin with a heavy touring schedule as a DJ and a dedicated live artist, Okpara continues to go from strength to strength. His Ama label rolls out consistently quality output in an unhurried manner while his own productions continue to hit home for crowds, critics and record buyers alike. As well as ongoing relationships.

The first thing that strikes you about Ray Okpara is that he’s an overwhelmingly nice guy with what seems like time for everybody but behind the big smile and wiley dreads is one of house music’s most serious producer/djs.

Despite coming to prominence during the media’s 2008 obsession with Frankfurt/Mannheim via releases on Cecille, Oslo, Get Physical and Area Remote, Okpara has been instrumental in Germany’s flourishing house scene for well over a decade. Initially taking to the decks to play his close friend Johnny D’s UK Garage records in the mid-90’s, Okpara quickly found his groove and by the time the pair started their RAJO club night a fervent dedication to all things house engulfed the young Nigerian. In 2001 Nick Curly joined the team and the night began it’s residency at The Loft in Mannheim – becoming the seed what has since become one of the strongest house music family trees in Europe.

As with most Djs, the production itch had to be scratched but, unlike most, Okpara’s initial efforts betrayed an innate talent for the craft. Lomidhigh Ltd, Drumpoet Community and Arearemote are a enviable bunch to count as early adopters for any budding producer and this start made just strengthened Ray’s resolve. Rejoining his tight knit group of friends, now running the Oslo, Deep Vibes, Cecille and 8-Bit imprints, after a four year relocation to Berlin in 2005, Ray’s reputation was cemented and the rest is history.

Now based back in Berlin with a heavy touring schedule as a DJ and a dedicated live artist, Okpara continues to go from strength to strength. His Ama label rolls out consistently quality output in an unhurried manner while his own productions continue to hit home for crowds, critics and record buyers alike. As well as ongoing relationships forged in his Mannheim days, affiliations with Oslo and Mobilee are being nurtured and with many more projects still to be unveiled 2012 and beyond is looking pretty rosy for the cheery guy.

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Interview

Hello Ray! How Are You?
What do you have scheduled for today?

Hey guys, one of my best friends, Tobi, is just here with us in Mannheim. He’s going to Costa Rica next week to meet another best friend of mine Leo from mobius strum. Daaaam they will have a good time…! Right now we’re on some music and we have to go out in our city to buy his last stuff for his travels. Very relaxed day for us.

You are Label owner ( Ama ) , Producer and almost every weekend touring.
How do you handle this massive weekly schedule?

Hahah, my wife asks me the same. I don’t know how I do it. Been doing this since some time now, so it’s very normal for me to do. Can get very intense. Like this week I also have to do my taxes. I hate to do that. But it has to be done. Label work here and there with sometimes more releases and sometimes less. Everything keeps me very busy.

Please tell us a bit about your latest releases!
Onno has his new release “off the grid” on my label ama. With Okain Rmx. Vinyl release is this week 21.jan. My last release was on mobilee rec. last November, sugar free ep, on which had some good feedback. My next release will be on cyclic. Romanian label from Mihai Popoviciu. Coming with Luca Doobie Rmx in Feb15. Working all the time on music. Playing guitar or producing some remixes. Right now on a remix on New Violence Records for Kasbah Zoo.

Tell us a bit about your upcoming releases!
Is there anything special planned for 2015?

I started my own small party series called” It´s Ours” which I will be organising some party’s here and there. & releases coming some in 2015 be surprised…

As you are touring a lot, please tell us something about your experience around the globe.
What is your favourite city or country and why?

Hmmm, fav city will be Mexico City I would say. Found a lot of new friends there. Has been always a big adventure in Mexico. Of course I like load of other cities as well like Punta Del Este in Uruguay. Tokio, London, Bucharest… all have their own vibe a great sides.

What was your funniest or craziest experience while touring?
Maaaan, sooo many things happen. I was just talking yesterday about to write a book with funny moments.
Once I was stuck in Moscow for 2days cause my visa expired and I couldn’t get out. That was my first Russia gig/visit in 2007. I played actually in Novosibirsk/Siberia. Huge flight-delay so my visa was not valid anymore. After a day I got some money because my credit card didn’t work. Long story short: I had some crazy time at the airport till they let me out.

What were your TOP 5 gigs in 2014?
Mobilee SONAR Rooftop/ES
Its Ours @ Hoppetosse/Berlin/DE
Loony Tuesdays @ CDV/BERLIN/DE
Rakete/Nürnberg/DE
Xmas @ Zimmer/MANNHEIM/DE

What are your top 5 tracks that are really working the dance floor in your sets at the moment?
Onno – Off The Grid (Okain Rmx) – Ama Recordings
Nekes – Mad Circus – Melisma
Federico Molinari & Alexis Cabrera – La Vueltica – Raum…Musik
Allen & Luca Marano – Maniac (Ray Okpara Remix) – Escapism Musique
Samu.l – Matter (Joor Ghen Remix) – Say What

Thank you for your time and this interesting interview!
Interview by M.in

PLAYLIST:
Moodymann – No – KDJ
Cleer Consortium – Volcano – EyeShadow001
Yoko – Reach For Me (Clio Rmx) – 22DIGITLTD002
CrossNineTrol – Ockta – Aella026
Samu.l – Asylum – Say What Recordings
Rick Sanders – Glitchy – Ama Recordings
Cajmere – We Can Make It
Federico Molinari & Alexis Cabrera – La Vueltica – Raum…Musik
Allen & Luca Marano – Maniac (Ray Okpara Remix) – Escapism Musique
Mikey V – Memories feat. R.A.L. – Classic Music Company
Sakro & Max Jacobson – 7am_Feelings (Sakros Afterhours Mix) – Amam

2 Comments

  1. Ray Okpara en My Favorite Freaks :: MedellinStyle.com
    23. Januar 2015

    […] Si deseas conocer un poco más de Ray Okpara y su paso por My Favorite Freaks, puedes ingresar aquí. […]

    • admin
      15. April 2015

      🙂

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