Exclusive Interview: Corey James talks about new release ‘Orinoco’ and Steve Angello’s influence
Releasing music on Size, Protocol, and Axtone is every young progressive house producers dream, but very few make it a reality. Years of hard work, determination, and innovation down the line, and Corey James has ticked all of that off. Striving for the top, his latest release has seen recent support at Tomorrowland from Size Records label boss Steve Angello – shown below – and Swedish counterpart Sebastian Ingrosso. ‘Orinoco‘ is a collaboration with Thomas Gold, and reverts to the sound that Corey developed his name upon, which is displayed most effectively through tracks like ‘LMSY‘ and ‘12 O’clock‘. Pushing a big room sound with plenty of progressive elements, Corey’s newest collaboration got a double release, coming via Armada and Size Records.
The UK producer is on an upwards spiral, and has further established his name amongst some of the top producers right now. Landing sets at massive events worldwide, including Madrid’s A Summer Story, Hï Ibiza‘s Cream residency, and a recent show in Japan, the 25 year-old has plenty of potential, so don’t be surprised to see him take his rightful place at the likes of Ultra and Tomorrowland in the future.
We Rave You recently caught up with Corey James, getting the lowdown on his new track, and what life is like with Steve Angello as the boss.
2018 has been a pretty big year with releases on Protocol and Size already, plus some huge support. How has the year been personally?
I’m super happy with how everything is going right now, I’m playing a lot of good shows and balancing it nicely with some studio time in between. Really excited for what’s to come!
One of those main sources of support is Steve Angello, your boss at Size Records. How influential is Steve to you, both as a person and a producer?
Steve is a legend and my idol so for him to be playing my music across the world is unbelievable. And to now have him as a mentor is crazy, it still seems pretty unreal to me. Sometimes I have to take a second and pinch myself to make sure it’s not a dream ha! Obviously his music is what inspired me to start but after getting to know him it’s much more. He is one of the nicest guys I’ve met, so down to earth and he’s done a lot for me. He’s one of the guys who gave me a shot in this music industry so I’m not going let him down.
Your new track ‘Orinoco’ just dropped on Size Records, and is a collaboration withThomas Gold. How did the collaboration come about, and how do you feel about the track?
Well I had this cool idea that I knew was going to be sick and I was sitting on it for like a year or two maybe, and I met Thomas Gold at Mint Festival last year when we both played the same stage. Thomas told me how he has been watching my career grow and said he was a fan of my music which is crazy because he has been one of my idols since I started making music. I remember getting the train to school and listening to his tracks on repeat and was blown away by the energy and atmosphere he created in his tracks, so for him to say 4/5 years later he’s digging my stuff is crazy. I think I might have had a few to many beers but I just said we should work on something and his reply was let’s do it. So I got home and straight away I knew this idea I had from the past year or two was the one for me to send to Thomas. That’s how ‘Orinoco’ was born, we went back and forth many times on the tracks and actually changed the mixdown about 5 times until one day we both nailed it. I’m super happy with the track, it’s one of my personal favourites and I’m super happy to do this collaboration with a legend in this industry like Thomas.
‘Orinoco’ isn’t as uplifting and progressive as some of your recent releases, but goes back to that original Corey James sound that you hear in the likes of ‘LMSY’ and ’12 O’clock’. You have great success with both genre’s but which do you prefer to produce?
Well it’s funny I love making all music, heavy big room stuff which you hear at the festivals, melodic down tempo feel good, drum groovy tech etc. but I’m very picky with what I release. So to me as long as I love the track I don’t really care what genre it is in and I think that’s how it should be. I’m an artist and I’m expressing my art and my vision through my music. That being said I’ve got many big room stuff on the way as well as melodic progressive and also some weird down tempo electro which I have so much fun making.
‘Orinoco’ has already received some festival plays from Steve Angello, but another talking point from Steve’s support of your track is the new remix with David Pietras of ‘Nothing Scares Me Anymore‘. Tell us about that.
Well yes, it was pretty crazy how that came about. David and I worked together on that track in the SIZE studios in Stockholm, I sent the idea to Steve and he loved it but told us we needed a different mixdown etc. As soon as I heard the feedback from Steve I knew straight away what was needed so I went on studio lockdown for like 3 days and that’s when NSMA remix was born. Steve loved it and premiered it at Ultra Europe then the next day he brought me on at RFM Somni in Portugal to play it together which is an experience I will never forget. The hype for the remix is huge, I put a video of us playing it on my Instagram and it exploded, so yeah I’m excited to release this one.
Some fans have spotted hints of collaborations with Dimitri Vangelis & Wyman, and have asked if there is anything to come with Steve Angello. Can you give us an insight into these rumours?
Well I have no idea how fans find stuff out but I can confirm there is something on the way with Dimitri & Wyman, I love those guys they have inspired me from the moment I heard their stuff so it’s amazing to be working with them. The rumours about a Steve Angello collab may be true but may also be false, maybe it’s better to ask him 😉 haha!
What does the remainder of 2018 have in store for Corey James?
A lot of music, festivals, shows and I am always thinking of new ways to connect with my followers and find out what they want. Maybe some more studio content, production walkthroughs? If you are a fan and reading this, send me any ideas on Twitter!