Tony Ollivierra

Tony Ollivierra is a Detroit area electronic musician and dj who got started in the late eighties. He was influenced by the Detroit club scene in the 80’s and 90’s in venues like The Shelter with Richie Hawtin, The Music Institute with Derrick May and Alton Miller, and The Majestic with Blake Baxter. He’s currently producing music under his label “Northside District”. We recently asked him a few questions:

I usually start with choosing the right kick drum. If I choose the wrong kick or eq it wrong it seems the track is destined to fail miserably.

  • You’ve been making music for quite some time. How has your style changed throughout your career? What about production and tools, has the way you start and compose tracks undergone any changes?
  • I started producing in the late 80’s with Alesis and Yamaha drum machines, an Akai s-900 sampler and a Yamaha DX-100 keyboard. I continued using hardware until 2006 when I went fully in the box with Propellerhead Reason which I used until last year. Since then I’ve been a Logic user recently upgrading to version X. I usually start with choosing the right kick drum. If I choose the wrong kick or eq it wrong it seems the track is destined to fail miserably. It many times can be the driving force in techno and house.
  • You have been on a roll lately and seem to have a new EP every month, what’s your inspirational secret?
  • My inspiration comes from God through Jesus Christ. I owe it all to him.
  • Recently you kicked off your record label Northside District. What were some hurdles you overcame and what was learned in this process?
  • I had to start a new label when others started using the Ibex name. It took months of pondering a label name as pretty much everything is being used. One day someone came into my job wearing a company shirt with Northside something or other on it and something clicked. It seemed marketable so I went with it. I think I learned that branding is crucial in this business.
  • What was your main reason and focus on starting the label?
  • I needed a platform to release my music pretty much. It started off with two vinyl releases which didn’t do well at all. So it was disappointing realizing vinyl may no longer be conducive to getting the material out there. I had to figure out how to market digital releases which is even more challenging.
  • What’s on the horizon for you and what can we expect musically?
  • I’m currently at work on the next release with one track finished. The track is called Good vs Evil and it really summarizes the theme. It starts out like a Detroit techno track and then gets full on angry progressive about three minutes in. You can really hear that there is a battle taking place which is just what I wanted to exemplify. I’m excited to get working on the other tracks, I think this ep will make some noise for sure. It will be called The Regeneration.
  • How would you describe your sound?
  • My sound is constantly changing based on what I’m feeling. I try to keep it as real as possible by only releasing what truly sounds good and provocative to my ears. It’s not easy because your ears can fool you! The tracks that stand the test of time, when you can come back three weeks later and still appreciate the track you know you have something.

http://www.tonyollivierra.com/

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