We chat to nu-school house pioneer Richie Ahmed ahead of his Zutekh debut

As one of the pioneers of a new breed of British DJs, Richie Ahmed has been creating quite the stir in house music circles of late. We caught up with the Newcastle born DJ before his Zutekh appearance next week.

Jayne Robinson

Date published: 27th Mar 2011

As one of the pioneers of a new breed of British DJs, Richie Ahmed has been creating quite the stir in house music circles with his individual sound that fuses the energy of house and disco with infectious funk-inspired grooves. 

The Hot Natured resident and part of the Hot Creations inner circle has spent the last two years cutting his teeth as some of the world's biggest parties, catching the eye of the likes of Jamie Jones, Damian Lazarus, Clive Henry and Seth Troxler and finding himself at the centre of a nu-school house explosion. 

We caught up with the Newcastle born DJ before his Zutekh appearance at Sound Control next week.

So let’s go back to the beginning - how and when were you first infected with the music bug? And how did you get into DJing?

First time I got into music was when I was 11 and it was hip hop. I used to steal my older brother's NWA tapes and really got in to it. The First album I ever bought was Fear of a Black Planet by Public Enemy. I got into DJing when an old girlfriend of mine bought me a pair of Technics 12 10's for Christmas, and I've never looked back since.

How would you describe your style to anyone that hasn’t heard you before?

I think my style is hard to pin point with a couple of words as I love some many styles of music and they all influence what I play. Mainly just anything that's got a groove.

I first saw you play in Ibiza; how do you feel the scene out there has influenced you? 

Ibiza has probably been the biggest influence on my love for dance music. I done a few seasons on and off in 2003 -2005 and have been going for about 13 years. It's where my passion really grew for the scene.

The launch of Jamie Jones and Lee Foss' Hot Natured project and related label imprints has turned underground house music on its head, rapidly becoming one of the most popular new labels in dance music. How did you get involved with the guys?

I met Jamie in Ibiza in 2003 and we have been good friends ever since. I only met Lee a couple of years back, when he played at the Marcy. Last year me and Tom Craven sorted a Hot Natured party at the W hotel In Sonar. I ended up playing really well and then from that was asked by Jamie and Lee to be the resident for the parties and the label.

You have been DJing with Hot Natured at their notorious parties and also playing parties all over the world with gigs including Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival, Sonar in Barcelona, The Nexus at Burning Man Festival, Glastonbury Festival's 40th Anniversary and We Love at Space in Ibiza. What has been your biggest highlight so far?

The W hotel in Barcelona was a highlight. The setting and the crowd was amazing. But without doubt the best gig I have ever played was the Nexus arena at burning man. It was outside in the dessert in a massive dove made from bars with climbing frames and fire breathers everywhere, literally like a scene from Mad Max. Playing to around 1500 people plus at least a hundred of my good friends who had mainly travelled over for a our friend’s spiritual wedding. It was a special day.

The Hot Wave EP with your track “Suck It” is due out at the end of March but has been doing the rounds for quite some time in the Hot Natured record boxes. What else have you got lined up production wise?

I have an EP coming out on Hot Reruns the Hot Natured edits label. Plus another track I made with Miguel Campbell which Jamie has signed. I also have a remix coming out on One Records and for Lower East Records of Alexis Raphiels' Kitcjens and bedrooms track with Lee Foss doing the other one which should be a good little EP.


What inspires you when you are in the studio?

I am pretty new to producing. I have only been at it for less than a year so just learning and progressing really keeps me inspired.

You have also been made a resident at Kubicle’s legendary toilet parties in London. Can you tell us more about these parties? And how important is it for you to be a resident DJ there?

Kubicle is the party and their main home is at Public Life; a converted underground toilet in the heart of East London. The venue is amazing and the vibe is always really good whatever venue they use, as it is moved around a lot to keep it interesting. I was asked by Liz and Sonia to be the new resident at the end of last year after I'd played for them quite a few times and my sets always went down well with the crowd.

You are playing alongside M.A.N.D.Y. at Zutekh in Manchester, have you heard much about the parties there? What can people expect when you play on 1st April?

I first heard about the party from a good friend and Zutekh resident Adam Shelton. He really raved about the parties saying the venue was amazing and it always went off in there. People can expect me to play two hours worth of good tunes. Well, I hope they agree they are good.

Finally, what is your DJ diary like in the coming months? Where else can we catch you playing?

I have a pretty busy couple of months ahead. I have the Hot Natured and Crosstown Rebel parties in Miami this week, a party in Bilbao in April, and my first ever gig in Fabric on April 23rd. I finish off the month back in Manchester for the Hot Nature party at Sankeys with Lee and Jamie.

Richy Ahmed plays at Zutekh with M.A.N.D.Y on April 1st. Get your tickets through Skiddle below. 

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