Dynamic Dutch duo Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano have built a reputation as prestige artists both behind the decks and in the studio. Combining their unmatched energy on stage and their tribal house-influenced signature sound, the duo are one of the most in-demand acts in the industry today: From a residency at Hi Ibiza to the Mainstage of Tomorrowland, SJRM dominate the live stage. Moving into 2021, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano look set to continue on their upward trajectory with a string of big single releases on their label Sono. Before stepping on the stage at SAGA Festival, we had the pleasure of speaking with SJRM.
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us. After over a year of no shows or festivals, how does it feel to be back?
“I mean, it’s weird, but also the moment you walked in, it’s like recognizable, so it feels like oh, we home, you know, it’s happening again. And you’re very excited. It’s fun because we never really prepare a set. So now it’s such a bunch of new music. So we got to see how it’s gonna turn out like the next hour, 15 minutes. We just got to enjoy every single minute second from the set. Because to be out there and do what you love the most is Yeah, it’s incredible. I get goosebumps to think thinking about it.”
You’ve got a lot of new music to play, but you did also release a lot of new music throughout the pandemic. Was it different to release music without playing to live crowds?
“To be in a studio? I mean, Ryan said a few minutes ago, you’re going to the studio in the beginning, like you have time now. Oh, we’re gonna make this for the hour. We were not playing. So we took the direction of making music for ourselves. When do we love to hear it, in the car, the kitchen, you know, so we start producing songs to listen to. And that whole creative process brought us to this new dynamic and producing. And we made over like, I think, 40 new tracks and 150 new ideas and we’re just seeing if we can put it together soon and do something with it. We don’t even know what it’s like, we had some house stuff but even more r&b kind of hip hop with our dance kind of influences. But it’s different so we looked at each other like oh, we finally found something new that came from from the heart, you know, because we never went to the studio with a certain direction or we have to play tomorrow like tomorrow. So we need some bangers? No, it was just for ourselves what we loved the most and it’s very special.”
So you took the time to try some new sounds and styles during the pandemic?
“Not new styles, it was more like, creating from [the heart], from the vibes. Just like remember, we were going out in this club and we heard these songs, let’s do something, you know, let’s get that inspiration and do something with it. That’s what we were trying to do and worked out pretty well.”
How important do you feel it is to change or evolve and work on new things as you grow?
“It’s like, I mean, it’s satisfying not even in the moment but when you start doing it because just getting creative, but then you start finishing off songs, you have 1, 2, 3, 4, then you have like 10 records and you listen, just like close your eyes and listen to it. And it just hits so it feels like it’s connecting, you know, like you’re vibing on your own creation, and when we had pressure on delivering tracks with a label for like the new season or summer vibes and now it’s you know, yes, it was totally off was no rules was just creating and then it’s different I don’t even know explain it, but it comes from me it’s like I don’t even care what you are you think of it I will just love it. And this is what I like and if and I think people will feel that if they listen to them as they feel our vibes even if you love only trance music, I know for sure you’re gonna appreciate what we made.”
You released a lot of music throughout the pandemic but did save stuff for the return of festivals?
“Not particularly because we have some bangers out there we made some like bangers just the vibe we had in a studio but it’s not that we were like thinking about oh, we have to play a festival or if the play of club was just what’s happening at the moment. So we made everything, we made songs for small clubs, for beach clubs, for festivals for even in your living room, just listening to music. And now we have to find a way to put it all together because it’s all us. It’s not that we can say, Oh, we don’t only need to pick the cherries like only the house songs and the festival songs. Now it’s much more than that. There’s something to be r&b and hip hop vibes and we just want to show our fans that that’s also part of our creative side.”
“We couldn’t really also make some tracks for the festivals because there were no festivals and we need to feel like okay, we’re gonna they’re gonna play there need to sound like this. You know I can be like making a festival track and be like, maybe one day we’ll play it. Maybe not until we were more just making music for ourselves.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Is there anything you’d like to announce with our readers?
“Nothing to really announce, but it is something we think about. Probably in the next four or five, maybe six months, we’re going to release an album. We still looking into it, but it’s going to be interesting. We are still a little, like not nervous but a little, okay, let’s see if this is gonna work out because it’s something new for us. And when you make music with your heart like that, it’s so special to release it and see what people think we have.”
“Also, our latest release went out. That was like, full on us. And the message sounds really like it’s about a relationship but it’s much more deeper than that. And we’re going to release a video for that song so people understand what we’re really saying.”
Check out their latest single below.