We've now brought in Dj Aakmael from the states for the 21'st mix on the cast. When his Headknod EP on Earthrumental Music came out it was all clear that Aakmael was the man for NWS cast. He has now made a set for us and you may enjoy this as much as we did listening to it! While listening you may read the interview:
Q: Who is Greg "Aakmael" Stewart? You come from a musical family eh'?
A: Greg Stewart is the alter ego of Dj Aakmael, kinda like Jekyll and Hyde. Greg is the one that is of the world, Aakmael is out of this world on some space sht searching for the planet he's really from. As far as Greg Stewart's family, yes I've had a few influences. My mother loves to sing, morning noon and night she was singing something. Whether is was soul, gospel, holiday classics or whatever. My father was a trombone player in his high school band, college and then in a local group for some time. Although I've never met my uncle, I learned that he too was a music scholar and teacher that taught music at Hampton University. Then it was my turn, started in 5th grade playing clarinet and moved to tenor sax. High school I played baritone horn, tuba and other brass instruments. I also wrote top 40's music for the stand band for football games.
Q: When did you start producing music?
A: Well, I've had keyboards and access to organs pretty much all my life and actually started producing music recording on cassette at a very young age. As far as professionally tho, I think around 2001 when I got a Korg Triton. I had a hip hop group called Evolution Enterprise that I did all the tracks for, and was very close to presenting the project to the world and BOOM - the problems started and the group split. At that time I was also messing with some house and soon came out with the ep on Bumpin' City Records called Unexposed Evolutionz. After that, just tryna keep it movin'.
Q: Seems like you have found your own expression and special sound with your "Deeper motions", "The Headknod EP" and "Music EP" on Uzuri. But I know you also produce some R&B and hip hop tracks. How would you describe yourself as a producer?
A: Yes I still produce hip hop, and also do work with a few local Richmond, VA artists. Headknod and Music ep's were a couple of my fav's, and that type of deep house is where I'm rooted. I love the basic, raw deep vibe, tracks that are not overproduced in my opinion. There are many producers out here in the house world that aren't even doing house, it's some kind of other stuff being dubbed as house. As a producer, I would describe myself as one with a mature ear. What I mean by mature, I'm saying that I've been listening to house and all other forms of music for so long that I know what I like, I know what would work for a dance floor and for a label. I like my music to have a very distinctive sound and feel, and I also think I would be a very good A&R for the right company :)
Q: You also have your own radioshow on the radio called WDCE in Richmond where you live. Can you tell us a about that initiative?
A: Ahhhh WDCE 90.1fm I did a show called The Housejunkies which started in 1989 and ran until just a couple of years ago. I would be bold enough to say it was one of the longest running deep house music radio shows in history, playing all music with little or no commercial interruptions. We were like XM and Sirius before the whole satellite thing got started. That show allowed me to hone my dj and mic skills, and as the years went on I started bringing special guests and expanding. One day I will share some of the classic mixes that I still have on cassette tapes!
Q: And this questions keeps coming back since we're vinyl lovers: Why vinyl?
A: I come from an era like many of us, where records and tapes were the norm of that time. I started collecting records at a very young age, all kinds of music ranging from rock to electro to classical to jazz, house, rap, rnb, etc., and it just never stopped. Now I will admit, I do use Serato these days because I feel to be a good dj one has to be adaptable. Too many clubs out there no longer have turntables. I also started using interfaces because I really didn't want to keep transporting records, as over the years I started finding pieces "missing". I felt in order for me to keep my collection safe I needed to start transferring to files. It's also difficult to guage a sound system with a digital file, analog has no issues with this. It's the nostalgia that comes with records, from the process in which they are manufactured to the art that 's applied to the label and jacket and the love of physically diggin' for new purchases. There's nothing like it that will ever compare.