Gearing up for his annual Incorrect Music showcase at Miami MusicWeek on the same roster as Roger Sanchez, Chapter & Verse, Dillon Nathaniel, and Gene Farris, Anthony Attalla drops seductive face-melter Pumpin’ via Gene Farris’ Farris Wheel Limited imprint.
Since kick-starting his career 15 years ago, US based DJ-producer Anthony Attalla has firmly established himself in the electronic music community, releasing dancefloor anthems on the likes of Toolroom, Sola, Saved, Defected, Relief, and Snatch. His own powerhouse imprint Incorrect Music, home to names like Gene Farris, OFFAIAH, Dale Howard, Piero Pirupa, KC Lights, Harry Romero, Josh Butler, Leftwing:Kody, Secondcity, DJ Deeon, and more, boasts over 200 Top 100 tracks on various Beatport charts, pushing a global outreach with a roster made up of artists from over 20 different countries. DMC WORLD dives in for a world exclusive…
Hey Anthony, great to chat! How has this year been for you?
2023 has gotten off to an amazing start! I just came back from 2-weeks of gigs in Europe and took a few weeks to work in the studio after a busy winter tour. Now I’m gearing up for an incredibly busy spring/summer season, with my (next tour) kicking off late March for MMW.
You’ve had a lot of success in the tech house scene both in the club and on the water at your boat parties – tell us a little bit about the difference between these two settings. Which do you prefer?
They’re completely different settings but still (both) have a great vibe and energy to them. The club will always be special to me. There’s something about my musical upbringing that just loves a dark club focused around the music. The Incorrect Yacht party really extrapolates all that is great about the city of Chicago; the skyline, sunset, Lake Michigan (which is like the ocean for those not familiar with Chicago or the Great Lakes in the USA). On top of it all we have a MASSIVE fireworks display as the crescendo of the event which makes it something really spectacular to attend!
You’ve been awarded the title of ‘Best DJ Set’ from Spybar – how do you typically get ready for your set?
For my sets that are shorter (2 hours) they are obviously much easier to prepare for and I’m usually more inclined to see the energy of the room and flow with it, all while knowing the general direction I want to take the night. For my long marathon sets (like my 7+ hour sets on Groove Cruise or my typical 5-hour sets at the aforementioned Spybar), I will prepare a little bit each day for a couple hours the week leading up to the event, putting together a story to be told throughout the night.
Your latest single Pumpin’ is a real club weapon with a killer bassline – walk us through the production process of the track.
Well you said it yourself… BASSLINE! For me, it really comes down to (first) starting with your bassline and groove. Once you have something that’s infectious – like you’re humming it in the shower, or when you’re anywhere but in the studio – then you build it from there. Also, getting a proper vocal is essential in a track. I’ll get lots of demos for Incorrect (or even with my own tracks) that if I feel the vocal is off, the whole track is off.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw a lot of inspiration from the past. I’ll hear a track from my youth or a track that I loved but forgot about that still has that vibe and then think about a fresh way to recreate it. Also, vocals can spawn a lot of creativity; something I hear from an old song or even a spoken word from an abstract place like a Youtube video clip can be turned into a really dope element on a track.
Have you always wanted to pursue music as a career? Were there any other career paths in the running?
I didn’t know I would do this for a career until it slapped me in the face and was obvious I needed to give it a chance, as long as I agreed to give it 100% effort. I went to university, worked in the corporate world, and had a lot of early success. Then once things started to trend upwards with music for me I really dove in head first, quit my job, and started creating what you see today. It was a slow burn with a lot of failure along the way, but I’m so glad I took a chance on myself and my happiness.
You currently call Chicago home – but what have been your top 3 favourite places to DJ when on tour?
Oh wow… super difficult to decipher between so many amazing places. In the US, I’d have to say Chicago (of course) but also (in no particular order) San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, and LA while in Europe I really love playing in Greece and Spain. But, my new favourite club to play is definitely Kremlin in Lisbon. I love the people running it and the vibe is immaculate. It really reminds me a lot of Spybar in Chicago.
Your label Incorrect Music represents some of the biggest names in the scene. What advice do you have for aspiring label owners?
Have a Plan! Don’t just start a label to start a label (which is a toxic decision that I see all too often). Come up with your vision, both musically and aesthetically. Take time to think about your name, brand identity, and demographics you want to target.
You’ve been in the industry for over a decade now – do you have any notable stories that immediately come to mind?
There are so many! Too many to tell to be honest. If I had to narrow it down I’d say the stories that stick out the most are the ones where I was supported by some big name artists that really helped people to take notice of me early in my career. Axwell hearing me open for him in Detroit led to me playing with him at several shows around the country, opening up for Swedish House Mafia in Chicago at the United Center, as well as several shows with him and Sebastian Ingrosso at Ushuaia Ibiza. Sharam seeking me out because he was playing a lot of my music and I ended up playing with him in several cities all around the globe. Even guys like Carl Cox, Mark Knight, Pete Tong and Steve Lawler just playing my songs during their sets. All these guys (and others) helped in different ways and I can’t thank them enough.
Your annual Incorrect Music showcase at Miami Music Week is coming up- what’s your favourite part about performing there?
Really being with all the other artists has to be the best part, as well as seeing friends and supporters from all over the US coming to the same city for this cornucopia of shows to choose from. It’s absolutely mental, especially curating and running one of the biggest events of the week (Incorrect MMW)!
What are you looking forward to the most in 2023? Tell us about what you have coming up this year.
Musically, I’m looking forward to making Incorrect the top tech-house label in the world (or trying my damndest to do so!). We’re getting close and with our upcoming release schedule I’m confident we will climb closer to that spot! I’m also about to kick off a pretty ambitious spring and summer tour which is always a blast, albeit a considerable lack of sleep! lol Personally, I have a few exciting nature adventures planned! When I’m not immersed in music I spend my time outdoors and do quite a bit of hiking throughout the year to clear my mind, body and soul. It really keeps me balanced and my mind in the proper perspective.
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