Toochi is a brand new production project started in 2018 by Riccardo Amatucci. Previously one half of South African electronic duo ‘POPARTLIVE’, Riccardo performed alongside some of the world’s top acts at South Africa’s biggest events. With the start of his solo career as Toochi, Riccardo goes back to his roots and brings dancefloor-ready house music imbued with creative rhythms and highly emotive melodies. It’s already been a lightening start to his career in house music. His debut single ‘Trash Talk’ was snapped up by Cr2 Records, while his second – a collaboration with Jacky (ViVa, DFTD) – drops this summer on Hector Couto’s mighty Rousch Label, completing an especially auspicious start to his new musical direction.
‘Drop A Line EP’ comes on his own Gaplife, a label he co-founded alongside Chasing Space. Based out of Johannesburgs, Gaplife is the first South African label to champion this techy, club-ready style of house music, and will release music from both founding artists alongside music from up-and-coming local talent.
Thanks for talking to us today… how’s 2018 been for you so far?
Thank you so much for the chat guys, 2018 has been a year of change and new adventures for me but looking forward for whats to come.
When did you first decide that music was what you wanted to pursue as a career?
Ever since I can remember music has been a huge part of my life and I really started pursuing it as a passion from my early teens, throwing my own parties, making music and djing in my hometown of Johannesburg.
What was the music scene like in South Africa when you were growing up? How much has it changed in recent years?
The music scene has really evolved in SA since the days I was coming up back then it was a rare thing to find South African DJs playing abroad or releasing on top international labels but in recent years artists like Black Coffee, Ryan Murgatroyd, Kyle Watson and Culoe de Song to name a few have really put us on the map not mention the scene becoming so much more diverse and crossover genres being created here that are having a massive impact internationally.
Do you think South African electronic music has a hard time reaching audiences in the US and Europe? And if so, what do you think needs to change in order to make it more widespread?
Well i definitely think its getting easier and there is evidence of that with the amount of touring some of the guys are doing, but there is always room to grow and I think that we can showcase so much more by hosting stages and events at top festivals and conferences around the world and that is up to the labels and brands from SA to do which is why we have decided to start our own label and work to achieve those goals.
You were previously one half of POPARTLIVE… tell us a bit about that project…and why did you decide to switch to house?
Popartlive was a live electronic project that I was part of over the last 6 years and we achieved massive success in South Africa playing all the biggest stages and landing radio No.1 singles, we decided to part ways as both of us had personal interest we wanted to pursue. House music has always been the first love of mine musically so it was only natural for me to go back to my roots which is, daunting but I’m very exciting too.
Your new alias seems to have got off to a great start… do you have any specific goals as Toochi?
My goals are simple make the best music I can, play fire DJ sets and have the best time doing it!
Your new EP is the first on your own record label, Gaplife… with more labels than ever repping dance music, what will make Gaplife stand out?
Gaplife is different because it will be the first label from SA to really showcase a nostalgic house and tech sound but not limited to that in any way which myself and partners ‘Chasing Space’ have always had in mind, we have some amazing South African artists we will be collaborating with and that showcases a complete new angle from the more popular Deep house and Afro house sounds that are the dominant genres in our country in terms of house music.
What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
This year I’m really putting my head down to work on as much music as possible and also create good solid networks and connections for my project as well as the label.
And finally, what’s been your favourite record of the year so far… and why?
Tough one, but I think Seb Zito’s ‘On it’ has to be right up there, it is so unique in its structure and composition but still has massive dance floor appeal plus Seb is a boss!
Toochi – Drop A Line EP is out now on Gaplife