Aytiwan is the new alias of the Belgian artist Nico P, and a place for him to experiment with the more Afro House sounds that he creates. We spoke to him recently to find out why he started the new alias now, and how the new “Ilanga” Ep came about…
WWD: Hi Aytiwan, first of all how are you doing today?
Hey When We Dip team! Doing really well today as I’m currently having one week off in Ibiza, my second home… Family time enjoying the white island!
WWD: How has your year been?
2022 was an excellent year for me, I worked on some amazing projects, being original tracks, remixes… I had the chance to work with so many talented artists… 2022 was starting the post-covid era, and people desperately needed to get back on the dancefloor to have a good time, like it always was, with good music and party animals… Life is finally back to normality!
WWD: This is your brand new alias, can you tell us a little bit more about Aytiwan?
I’ve been into the deep house and melodic scene for many years, but afro house emerged a few years ago thanks to artists like Black Coffee, and I immediately felt like I had to start something. I’ve always been playing music with some deep and tribal sounds, I always liked afro vibes… and the conjunction between afro, melodic and soulful music was like a no-brainer for me. I love to see people dancing to emotional and happy grooves, this afro scene is exactly what I was looking for… Happiness all the way!
WWD: Your new EP ‘Ilanga’ is out now, tell me more about this EP!
I started that project about 2 years ago, and I kept postponing it because of remix duty… Unfortunately, I couldn’t finalize it earlier, and as a label manager, I went into many other projects. When I came back to that one, I constructed it as a track that needed vocals, I arranged everything to ensure the vocalist could have fun creating something, this was my goal… Then, you have to find THE singer that will fit… I had the first try, but I felt it wasn’t what I was looking for. Then… I hired Nes Mburu who directly delivered so much amazing content… I knew I found the talented artist I was looking for!
WWD: Nes Mburu , Enoo Napa, and Klaudius all feature with remixes’ on this E.P. How did you first become acquainted?
As I just explained, Nes Mburu is such a talented artist… He really deserves to go the next step, that amazing voice, talented and so kind…
Next one is Enoo, he is so talented, with so much energy, positive attitude and that kind of one-in-a-lifetime artist you can meet… I truly believe he is one of the best afro house producers worldwide. Add to this the energy he is putting during his livesets… Stay tuned, he is only getting started!
Last one is Klaudius, a friend from Deep House Belgium, that kind of talented artist who is not trying to push himself in front of anything… Or even doesn’t send his tracks to get them released… but almost all the tracks I listened from him are bombs! And he delivered another bomb with his Ilanga remix!
WWD: What equipment did you use when making this EP?
I’m an ableton addict… I tried many other tools, but always came back to ableton. Then, I have my favorite vsts, all my tracks have Arturia elements, Mini V3, Pigments,… I love this retro synth feeling. Other synths I love are Diva, Serum, Sylent and Massive… then, to finalize my work, I love fabfilter, Soundtoys suite,…
Unfortunately my studio is quite small so I can’t afford to have big synths… but I would love to!
WWD: Who was your biggest influences when growing up?
I had so many influences… It first started with the r&b & funk scene from the early 90s, with a top of grunge & rock. Then I quickly fell in love with house music. The Belgian scene was at its best… so many mega-clubs, so many amazing djs, so many promoters… I miss those good old times when you knew that all clubs were almost full. This Belgian scene influenced my own productions… you can sometimes feel those retro sounds, even in the back of my afro elements.
WWD: Who is your favourite artist at the moment?
Quite a difficult one… I love what Black Coffee is doing, he is clearly driving the afro house scene to the top. His fan base is such a positive crowd, open-minded and from diverse cultures. But there are so many others… In terms of production, I love what &Lez is doing. Every track or remix is a bomb… same for Enoo Napa. Both of them have gold in their hands…
WWD: Outside of electronic music, what do you enjoy in your spare time?
First of all I’m a father, and I enjoy every single second spent with my daughter, and the rest of my family of course. She has such a positive attitude… Then, my day job is taking a lot of time as I’m an IT guy 🙂 To finish… I’m a basketball player for more than 35 years… I enjoy every moment with my team!
WWD: Any tips for new DJ’s and producers?
I would say to new DJ’s, please first try to extend your musical knowledge and don’t stay locked to what you like. Music universe is so big… Don’t only play top 10 tracks of your musical genre… explore, and find unknown producers, unknown labels,… don’t take that easy way as every other wannabe will do.
For producers, I would say… believe in your dreams, and work hard. Don’t think you are the next #1 producer after your first track. You have to learn, know your tools, know the scene, and network with other producers…
WWD: Any final words for our When We Dip readers?
My final words would be… stay tuned, as there is more to come from me, and my label 🙂
And of course… stay safe, and ENJOY every second of your life! I hope to see you all on the dancefloor!
Aytiwan “Ilanga” is out now on Deep In Your Soul. Grab it here.