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.
Ayala x Abrão release ‘O Mestre Canoeiro’ on Orianna 5th December.
Buy / Listen via Beatport via link below