Sony Music’s new Latin imprint Orianna, was born out of a passion to create a Latin lifestyle label focused on delivering organic, electronic, and experimental music. Home to talent from around the globe showcasing the true spirit and roots of Latin culture. Originally founded by

Dusko Justic, alongside Def Mix legend Hector Romero who now serves as the labels A&R. Running since the Autumn of 2020, Orianna is already thirty three releases deep!

Next up, Ayala returns to Orianna for his second spellbinding release, joining forces with Brazilian Abrão on the gorgeously sun-kissed groove of ‘O Mestre Canoeiro’. We asked Ayala a few questions ahead of the release…

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Ayala. I’m a producer and DJ from Italy. 

Where are you from in Italy and what is the music scene like in your town/city at the moment?

I was born and raised in the deep south of Italy, and I live in Trani, Puglia. The music scene here is a little “frozen” after the pandemic; we had a brilliant period a few years ago, with many big events and festival embracing both the underground and pop scene. Hopefully we’ll have enough potential to bring back those days. 

How long have you been making music and who are the artists that have inspired your sound along the way?

It’s a long journey. I started at 14, twenty years ago. At the beginning I was deeply in love with hip hop and house. I loved (and I still love) Biggie, Lauryn Hill, Nas. House music at that time was big and “pure”. Artists like Masters At Work, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Tony Humphries, Martin Solveig were international superstars, and their music inspired all guys approaching the world of production. I think these are the foundations of my music. Then I discovered all the amazing stuff behind house music: funk, disco, afrobeat, Latin music, garage. I’m still exploring.

Describe the style of music that you produce.

I think music is perhaps the greatest form of art to express a culture, an identity. Think about Fela, The Beatles, Hector Lavoe, Sergio Mendes. My music is a fusion of acoustic and digital elements, a mixture of cultures and vibes coming from the world. For me, it is constant research.

Tell us a little about your release on the mighty MoBlack..

MoBlack has  a well-defined sound; I mean, this label significantly contributes to the popularity of “Afrohouse”. My release was a little different and I think that’s what the label manager really liked. I tried to repropose the vibes of Afrobeat and Afrodisco in a modern way. It was like a display of the roots of Afrohouse. I’ll always be grateful for that. 

Your new single coming out on Orianna. How did you relationship with the label begin?

I’m a longtime friend of Hector Romero. We started to talk about Orianna when It was a seminal project, and I’ve always been a fan of the vision he had for the label. Moreover, Orianna’s style perfectly fits with the way I’m making music. We started our collaboration with the first single, Cumbianca, and now we will soon release ‘O Mestre Canoeiro’.

What inspired you to write this track? What is the story of ‘O Mestre Canoeiro’?

‘O Mestre Canoeiro’ is a metaphor of life. Life flows just as water goes, sometimes you must guide the canoe in rough water, sometimes it’s the water that carries you, sometimes the canoe tips. 

Abrão joins you on this release. What part did he play in the production?

Abrão is a sensational artist. He played a major role; his lyrics are beautiful. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with him. 

This music sits beautifully inside Balearic sets. Who would you like to see playing your music and where would be your dream place to hear it?

Ideally, any place by the sea would be perfect. I think I’d love to see Hector playing it because he’s that kind of Dj that plays with the heart. Not easy to find nowadays.

What was the last piece of music that you bought?

Al Green – I’m Still In Love With You, on vinyl. On digital, Quantic & Nidia Gongora – Almas Conectadas.

Is there a piece of music in time that you wish you had made?

The Chancha Via Circuito edit of Quimey Neuquen, by Jose Larralde. I never get tired of it.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a new EP for Orianna and a couple of new singles with Abrão.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about you?

Just thanks to you for this interview. And sending much love to all who support ‘O Mestre Canoeiro’ and Orianna. 

Instagram: ayalaitofc

soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ayalabeatz

Ayala x Abrão release ‘O Mestre Canoeiro’ on Orianna 5th December.

Buy / Listen via Beatport via link below




Auntie Flo is back on Highlife with his ‘Bells In The DMZ Ep’ dropping on 10th December. This award-winning sound artist regularly features on WWFM, and has lapped the globe performing live and Djing, while gathering field recordings and a myriad of diverse sounds. We ask the Glasgow DJ and producer a few questions ahead of his new release.

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hey, I’m Brian d’Souza also known as Auntie Flo. I refer to myself as Glas-Goan, born in Glasgow with a Goan/Kenyan mother and Scottish Father. I now live in London and do a variety of things across music.

How long have you been making music?

Since about 2001, so 20 years! I started with a cracked copy of Reason which me and some mates at uni had great fun playing around with.

What made you call yourself Auntie Flo?

Two reasons – Auntie Flo is an actual relative of mine, who lived in Goa but sadly passed away a few months ago. My Mum always used to compare me to her when I was growing up. And secondly because I’m heavily influenced by Mihaly Czitzentmihaly’s ‘Theory of Flow’ – the state of optimal experience one gets when they can completely lose their normal, waking, conscious brain – A state I strive to get into when performing.

You’re from Glasgow but your music represents the world. What is the root of this global vision?

A lot of people may think it’s due to my mixed heritage, my mum being born in East Africa and coming from Goa in India. I think subconsciously that may have had an indirect effect on my general approach to life – I’m a globalist, I believe in the power of human connections, I believe we have far more in common than things that drive us apart. I also truly believe in music being a universal language, one that transcends language, cultural, identity barriers and brings us closer together.

You have a regular show on Worldwide FM, how do you source your new music?

My current show is Ambient Flo, which is a highlights show of the music I select on www.ambientflo.com – the radio station I set up during lockdown. It’s been an amazing project to get off the ground, and has really resonated with so many people around the world who want to listen to beautiful music, reduce stress and escape from all the madness. We’ve built a wonderful community of musicians who submit amazing music every month so part of my selection on Worldwide is from their submissions. We also work with a monthly guest curator, and the second half of the show is dedicated to them. We’ve had exclusive mixes from Richard Norris, Patricia Wolf, and curated selections from the likes of James Holden, Gigi Masin and KMRU.

During the lockdown you started a new wellness radio station. Tell us a little about that?

Ambient Flo is a result of my interest in music and health. I studied psychology and very interested in the psychology of music before lockdown I trained in Sound Therapy. Ambient Flo combines curation of music in a therapeutic sense with the benefits of listening to nature with a channel dedicated to birdsong that can be mixed over the music. The station is totally funded through our community, who pay £3 per month via our Patreon (http://patreon.com/ambientflo )  account. We’ve introduced an Artist Profit Share model that helps allocate at least 1/3 of our income to the artists whose music we play. We just celebrated our 1st birthday with a commemorative ‘Zine, which is free to all subscribers and features curator interviews and other artists on music, health and well-being.

What is your relationship with Highlife?

Highlife started life as a party in Glasgow where our mission was to platform music from outside the normal canon of US/UK dance music. It started in 2010 and has hosted the likes of Rebolledo, Charanjit Singh, Shagaan Electro, Zozo and other acts from all over the world. The Highlife label started around 2014 to give us an outlet to release music we would play in the club and from friends who we met along the way.

Bells in the DMZ – is there a story to the title? Tell us a little about the tracks?

I toured Japan and South Korea in 2018/2019 and went on a tour to the DMZ – the demilitarised zone which divides the North and the South. It’s absolutely fascinating on so many levels! There is a tree that sits in the middle of the main area which has lots of little bells on it. I took a recording of them blowing in the wind and used that as my main sample on the track ‘Peace Bells’, so the name for the EP derives from that.

What was the last piece of music that you bought? If someone wanted to get to know your taste, what album should they listen to?

Today I bought a copy of The Ultimate Warlord by The Immortals which is one of the greatest Italo Disco tracks of all time. I’ve had many a fun night punching the air dancing to it. My friend let me borrow his copy ages ago and I played it so much that I ruined it. So, I decided to buy him a new copy to replace it.. If you want to get to know my tastes, you could listen to that and then put on Ambient Flo – that contrast pretty much defines how wide my tastes are!

Is there a record in time that you wish you had made?

Anything by Tim Hecker

What do you want for Christmas?

To see my mum and family as we couldn’t last year, and she’s been through a lot..

Auntie Flo releases ‘Bells In The DMC’ on Highlife on 10th December.

Buy / Listen here – AUNTIE FLO/AKIMBO – Bells In The DMZ Vinyl at Juno Records.


Following the success of the first volume in 2019, Italo Funk curators, Eli Soul Clap and Lele Sacchi have been hard at work compiling the much anticipated second volume dedicated to Italian cultural icon, Claudio Coccoluto who we sadly lost earlier this year. It’s a cracking collection, and we got to chat to one of the acts who feature on the album: the Rollover DJs who’s track ‘Buonasera‘ is a classic sampler of their Puglia sound.

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

We are Rocco & Tiberio and together we are Rollover DJ’s, founders of the eponymous party and the Balearic centric label Anything Goes.

Tell us where you are based?

We’ve been based in Milan for the last 14 years, but we grew up in Puglia by the Mediterranean Sea.

How long have you been making music?

It’s now about 5 years. We started making our own music in 2016. The First original track was ‘Tango Ipnotico’ on Jolly Jams.

How would you describe your sound?

A little bit of Funk, mixed with Dark Disco and Slow Techno. And now, Shake it!

You have had a regular club night for some time. Tell us a little about that?

It’s from 2012 that we are doing the Rollover Weekly party every f****** Friday. Weekly contact with our audience is something really special. The crowd know what to expect every time from you. It creates a very strong connection between everyone, it’s very intimate. The true concept of Club Culture starts right from here, from this type of relationship. The weekly party allows us to cultivate this essential vibe and also to make our “DJ guests” feel at home.

The Italo Funk Vol. 2 album is dedicated to Claudio Coccoluto who has now sadly passed. Tell us a little about him..

He was a fantastic human being. After two minutes of conversation with him, you immediately understood everything. Humility, dedication, culture. He was able to recognize the beauty in people with great ease and opened up completely once he understood that he could trust them. A Master of life. He did a lot for global recognition of our scene. He is undoubtedly the Italian DJ par excellence!

The Italo Funk album is collection of original tracks from all Italian crew showcasing the talent in the form of the Italo Funk sound. Talk us through your track ‘Buonasera’.

This song came up while we were jamming in the studio listening to a lot of Jazz and Harvey Sutherland’s productions. Then we kept it in a drawer waiting for the right moment to publish it. When Eli asked us if we had any tracks for the new volume of Italo Funk we thought that “Buonasera” sounds perfectly Italo Funk!

What was the last piece of music that you bought?

The new Damon Albarn album. It warms your soul and it’s kind of Balearic.

If someone wanted to get to know your taste, what album should they listen to?

Hot Chocolate – Man To Man

Is there a record in time that you wish you had made?

The Rapture – Echoes

What’s coming next for Rollover DJs?

Lots of cool releases coming out on Rollover Milano Records that we can’t wait to share with the World

What do you want for Christmas?

Italo Funk Vol.2 under our Christmas Tree! What we don’t want for sure is for our work to be cancelled again by the pandemic.

ITALO FUNK VOLUME 2. / SOUL CLAP RECORDS / RELEASED 10TH DECEMBER – Pre order now available via Bandcamp, Phonica and all main digital services