Interview: Ray Mono

It has only taken Manchester based DJ and producer Ray Mono a few years to land releases on labels such as PIV and MadTech, and find himself included on Mixmag’s ones to watch.

Now returning to PIV for his very first original EP on the label, Ray delivers his Organic Damage EP to house lovers up and down the UK.

We spoke to him about the forthcoming release, his new remix for Lauren Lo Sung, what 2020 might have in store for him and more.

You’re about to release your first original EP with PIV Limited, excited?

I’m really looking forward to this EP. It’s been in the works for a while because we wanted to get everything just right. It’s a pleasure to work with PIV in all aspects of my career. Happy to be part of the crew. A lot of big things are on the horizon for 2020 and beyond so super exciting time for me right now.

How did this one come together in the studio?

We chopped and changed a few tracks before settling on the 4 original tracks of mine on it. We just want to makes sure the EP is going to do some damage! As for how it came together in the studio, I worked mainly within Ableton using plug-ins. There are a few external synth elements on each track but the bulk of the work was done either at my home studio or on the go using my MacBook Pro. When and whereever I felt like ha.

We also heard you’ve done a remix for Lauren Lo Sung and her Lo-Life label?

Yeah, I’ve been playing this out most times since I made it and I cant wait for it to drop. I was buzzing when Lauren asked me to do the remix, and it came together really easily because when the stems are that good to start with, it’s usually plain sailing in the studio!

SOUP, Moxy and MadTech are also amongst your past releases, what labels might be getting added to the list in 2020?

PIV as mentioned before. I’m a part of a Hoarder release which has always been an aim of mine. IO Mullen’s sound has been a big influence to me. I have a Hedzup EP coming out end of March and my second META EP out just before the summer.

There are also 2 other EP’s I have just signed which I’m very excited about. Both are on labels I have had at the top of my list so that’s just giving me more drive to keep pushing. I feel the hard work is paying off but it never stops.

Apart from that I have signed to a VA on RAWMoments and I’m working towards other EP’s that are not confirmed yet, but I’m in talks with the labels. So keeping busy ha!

And do you have any other goals for this year?

Just to keep working hard and touring more. I’m in Sao Paulo as I write this as part of my first South American tour. I could get used to it! ha!

Mixmag named you as one to watch this last month, that must be pretty motivating?

It really is. It was also great to see my good mate Kepler on there too with his new alias 0113. It’s always good when friends I have known for years are getting the recognition they deserve.

You’re based in Liverpool, tell us why your local scene is special?

I’m actually living in Manchester now, I never thought I would say that as a scouser haha! Both cities have really grown in the last few years. I went to uni in Leeds and back then Leeds definitely was the better overall scene, but now I would say they are all on a par with each other.

Are there any local producers or DJs that you think are about to make a big impact?

I mentioned Kepler/0113 earlier but he’s a Leeds head. If your talking local producers and DJs in Manchester, well to be honest he has already made a name for himself but Michael James is going to go all the way! The lads a class producer and DJ. I would also mention Nolga too. I haven’t met the lad yet but his music is always in my bag.

And before we go, what’s one tune we should go and listen to?

I’m guessing you mean any genre of house music. I’d say check out Michael James new EP on Infuse. But there is literally so much good music out there by so many good artists at the moment, that’s a hard question to answer. For me picking a favourite tune, it really depends on the time of day and the setting!