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An in-depth interview with Antwerp-based techno artist AM.I

In-depth with AM.I

AM.I stands for unapologetically losing yourself in that moment where music explodes into an array of colour and feel. Whilst writing and composing her own typical melodic sound, AM.I enters a world that is entirely her own. And by slowly conquering the Belgian nightlife scene and beyond, she allows everybody who’s looking for a magical night to enter her world.

Starting in 2016, she started producing original tracks with a sharp and dark edge that reintroduces melodic techno music in a whole new, fresh and unexpected manner.

Follow AM.I through this vibing and enticing rabbit hole and discover how her unique voice subtly references her biggest influences from the soundtrack music of Hans Zimmer to Linkin Park.

Prepare for an immersive experience that will introduce you to darkness as well as light, closely interwoven with each other – testing limits and boundaries in a vivacious ocean of rhythm.

Get to know her a bit better as she walks through her career in her interview below.

Connect with AM.I on Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram

Hey Charissa, hope all is well these days?
I’m great! Thanks for asking . 🙂

Great to have you here with us? Let’s talk about you joining Miracle Management earlier this year. Do you feel this is a “breakthrough” point after which suddenly things changed for the better and is going to take you to another level? If so, what do you expect and what can your fans expect?

Miracle Management was definitely a turning point, in a positive way. I was watching Miracle already for 3 years, as a dream agency. As I never had an agency before and they have an amazing artist roster. So for me to be able to join them, is amazing. Very grateful for that! For me to be able to live from my music and bring it to the world, this kind of international agency was the next step.

I really hope to meet a lot of new people who love to dance and bring some good energy to the world.

2022 will be the first year we will be able to plan without too many COVID interruptions (hopefully). Miracle is helping me with new gigs around the world and we have some incredible releases planned for the beginning of the year! I really hope to meet a lot of new people who love to dance and bring some good energy to the world. It’s time to make some good vibes again.

As far as the Miracle team, I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work and energy. They really believe in new talent, as well as driving established artists to new heights.

Did you see all of this coming?

Not at all! It was due to COVID restrictions and their masterclasses that we got in contact with. To be part of their artist family is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a rising producer like me. I realize that a lot of hard-working younger artists don’t get the chance to grow in this kind of environment, so I’m very lucky.

Looking at your socials, it seems to be working out pretty nice as you already got some nice gigs all over Europe. What’s more to expect?

Yes, 2021 was quite a difficult year to perform, especially abroad. But I was lucky enough to get an appearance at ADE and to be playing in Berlin. The New Year will be more difficult to start up again. I’m focusing 50/50 on Belgium and internationally. I love playing for a Belgian audience as it is kind of a home game. Due to my international releases though, I think playing abroad will raise more interest than here in Belgium.

I have some gigs planned for next year, but we’re seeing how things will evolve for 2022 as clubs are still closed here in Europe (or a big part).

You have a release coming up on Simina Grigoriu’s Kuukou records. More particular, on the Passengers VA. Tell us a bit about the track. What’s it about?

When I started writing this track, I just started dating again. How funny it may seem, I kind of started to let my guard down again to let someone new in, after a bad relationship 2 years before. Unintended I didn’t date long before I met my new partner. We’ve been together for a while now and it’s been amazing to play this track and be reminded of our dating time during COVID. Unintentional Guard represents happy exciting melodies and an uplifting spirit!

How did you end up on a great label like hers? Have you ever met? How did this process of collaboration start?

Well, I was following her label for quite a while already. She has this new vibe going on with her label, as you can hear when listening to all previous releases. She’s been an amazing ambassador for inventive producers, and not afraid to bring something excitingly new!

Simina has been an amazing ambassador for inventive producers, and is not afraid to bring something excitingly new!

I haven’t been able to meet her in person due to the covid situation, but we’ve been talking before the release. She’s an amazing entrepreneur and loving mom, which reflects through her label. As an artist for me, it’s like finding a safe environment to bring my music to the next level. She actively supports every inch of every release, which is not a given normality these days.

I’m very honoured that she chose one of my tracks for her new Passengers collection. A big shout out to her and the whole Kuukou Records team, as they really invest in their artists! I hope to work with her in the future as well.

This is a question we ask most of the artists we interview as we believe there is a lot to learn for young talents out there. What is the importance of the connections you make within the scene? And how do you utilize them?

5 years ago, when I actively started producing full time, I thought it was all about producing track after track. Now, on the other hand, I think it’s way more important to be able to connect with all kinds of people in the scene. From artists to label managers, to promoters, to even the audience. In the end, the better you connect with the people who dance with you, the better you’ll be picked up by any new event organizers.

What a journey it has been already, and I can’t wait to see what the future will bring!

Living from this kind of profession means being able and combine all sorts of incomes: playing gigs, producing and other types of projects. At some point in time, you must start looking at this as a business. Excited to bring your passion and perform the thing that you love, but a business non the less. Since I joined Miracle, I started investing in all sorts of promotions, putting up a financial plan, looking at the next step while enjoying every moment I’m going through in the present.

How would you describe your own development as AM.I and the transition towards your own voice?

Exciting! The moment you realize that this is the way and no other, this kind of ease falls over you. I think a lot of people are still searching what they’d like to do in life or how to tackle it. Mine was actually pretty clear from a young age, but with Techno it really fell into place at the right time and moment.

When you start producing this genre, it’s all about imitating your big idols (at least for me it was). To a certain point where you finally hear and see what they’re doing. From then on, it’s just practising hours and hours and hours. Early in the morning and late in the evening, day after day. It’s not that one day you find your sound and keep it, it’s a constant evolving wave of new things to discover.

It’s not that one day you find your sound and keep it, it’s a constant evolving wave of new things to discover.

But I must admit that a good rumble with some cool melodies, make me dance like nothing else. Don’t be afraid to finish a track that seems not good enough. You’ll get it much better in the next!

You are based in Antwerp, Belgium. Can you shortly describe the local scene and perhaps how it’s changing?

The scene here in Antwerp has had a rough time during COVID. Our government hasn’t been pro nightlife. Our clubs really are struggling to keep going. On the other hand, there’s this new fresh wind blowing in our scene. I think promoters will use it to bring some inventive music to the local public. Hope to be part of it soon!

I’ve been going out for a while now and I love Belgium and the events that are organized. We have a good rooted electronic dance scene, which is world known.

What are some of your favourite hang out places in town our readers should know about? And why are their your favourites?

I love cocktail bar Dogma! It’s my absolute favourite! They have these Dark and Stormy’s nobody else has. The whole place is decorated like in a 1920’s speakeasy. They even have a secret basement.

TGMS: we can only confirm this is a great place. 🙂

Apart from that, I love the clubs and all the good restaurants in the city. One of the best restaurants for me is Mission Masala, where you can find some amazing Desi Indian soul food.

During the summer, we have a place called ‘de kaaien’ near the river, where you can go to see the sunset in the evening with a picnic or some good wine.

Thank you.

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