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Exclusive interview with DJ duo Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano

On December 14, a cult following of fans emerged from the torrents of rain to experience a performance from DJ duo Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano in New York City. After experiencing the music and energy from the duo live, there is no question as to why these artists have grown to become household names in the electronic dance music industry.

Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano at Pacha
Pacha NYC

With the monotony of electro-house running rampant over the festival and club circuit, Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano maintain a refreshing sound that showcases roots in classic and tribal house, a genre dwindling from artists’ playlists since the popularity of heavy electro tracks commonly performed at festivals.

Their ability to mix in tandem with one another and interchangeably on four decks was a feat in itself to watch as the artists held an inept grasp over the crowd, immersing the audience with upbeat and underground rhythms that grooved throughout the course of the evening.

Performing an incredible set of tracks that featured their new release with Nicky Romero, “S.OT.U.,” the set also featured “Stiffness,” and “Paris Luanda” amidst other notable tracks from EDM artists. These included remixed versions of Fat Boy Slim’s “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat,” “Star 69,” and Zedd’s “Clarity.”

NY EDM Examiner had the humbling experience of speaking with the duo prior to their performance to discuss their career and what to expect from them in 2014. Please see below what transpired, and visit Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano’s official website for more information, news, and music from the artists.

A digital recording of the interview can be found on the author’s website,, at the following link here.


NY Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Examiner: I am a huge fan of the new release, “Sound of the Underground.” What was it like working with Nicky Romero? How did that track come about? What was it like in the studio with the you guys?

Sunnery James (SJ): Umm…It wasn’t in the studio. It was on a plane.

NY EDM Examiner: Really?! That’s awesome.

SJ: Yea, We started the song on a plane from Amsterdam to Toronto, and umm actually it was like two years ago. And then a year later he [Nicky Romero] sent us the track. “Yea, I found this….Jack to the sound, and what do you think?” And then we sent it back [and said], “Yea, this is it….I think it took about six months to get it all done and properly with fast Eddie.

NY EDM Examiner: Yea, I’ve heard it played by so many people it’s awesome.

SJ: It’s the most played record of the year.

NY EDM Examiner: Yea, I love it. It’s awesome.

NY EDM Examiner: What is it like in the studio with the two of you? I know that it must be hard working with another person sometimes. Do you guys ever have an argument or anything like that?

Ryan Marciano (RM): Actually we’re really chill always.

NY EDM Examiner: Do you have specific jobs/roles? How do you guys come up with the work that you do?

SJ: It’s just having fun, and we’re chilling. What Ryan already said.

RM: Actually, we’re just hanging and yea.

SJ: Actually, who (ever) got inspired goes. We both do the same things. The only thing is that when we find something, I want to get it done, and this guy (points to Ryan) is like tweaking.

NY EDM Examiner: Laughs. Yea, that’s cool. That’s cool.

RM: But the main thing in the studio sessions is actually food. We eat a lot.

SJ: Yea, that inspires us a lot.

NY EDM Examiner: (Laughs) What’s your favorite food?

RM: Suriname food.

SJ: Suriname food.

NY EDM Examiner: What is it?

SJ: Suriname food. It’s from…Our parents are from Suriname, South America.

NY EDM Examiner: Oh nice!

SJ: I promise you it’s the best food in the whole world. I promise you.

NY EDM Examiner: Laughs.

RM: It’s the truth. Yea, we’ll make it one day.

NY EDM Examiner: Laughs. Um, is there anyone that you guys want to work with like in the future that you haven’t worked with yet? Are there any specific people that you can think of?

SJ: I always say the same thing. I mean there’s one guy, the craziest guy on earth I think, but the most talented, most creative guy I think is Kanye West. If we can get him in the studio, I think we can make something really, really great.

NY EDM Examiner: That would be an awesome track! Yea, that would be crazy. That would be off the hook.

RM: You know what would be great. It would be great to work with God, right?

NY EDM Examiner & SJ: Laughs

NY EDM EXAMINER: Um, when looking back on like your career thus far, is there any specific highlight where you were like that’s very memorable?

SJ: Yea…

NY EDM Examiner: That just stands out that was like that was one accomplishment you never thought you could do?

SJ: When we started DJing, we’re both from Amsterdam born and raised and when we started DJing….the biggest show there was Sensation Amsterdam. That was the biggest show, and when we achieved that to play in our own city in Sensation Amsterdam one of the biggest shows in the world, it was like… We looked at each other, and we didn’t cry but almost.

NY EDM Examiner: Laughs. Did you guys do a

SJ: We shook hands and were like, “We made it.”

NY EDM Examiner: Did like all of your friends show up?

SJ: Yea, and family.

NY EDM Examiner: That’s awesome.

RM: Even my grandma and grandpa were there.

NY EDM Examiner: Get out of here, really? That’s awesome.

RM: It’s actually the same as [how] we’re playing at Pacha you know every few months. Years and years ago when we were just hanging in Amsterdam, we would say, “Pacha New York, It would be great to ever play there.”

NY EDM Examiner: And now, it’s like an everyday thing.

RM: But still, we never expected to be residents here.

NY EDM Examiner: Yea, it’s really cool. How do you find the time to manage studio, touring, you have your podcast show? How do you manage your time?

SJ: We have management and arranging things that arranges things for us, but we have to work our ass off. It’s hard when you’re touring, and you have to be in the studio. So now we take time off, because we have to. We’re DJing, and you have to produce, so we take time. We did a lot of stuff a few weeks ago in LA we took time off.

NY EDM Examiner: Nice, what do you do on your time off?

RM: It’s time off, but it’s we’re in the studio most of the time.

NY EDM Examiner: You’re in the studio and you eat. Laughs.

SJ: Eating and drinking

NY EDM Examiner: Cool. It’s all good. My last question, the year’s coming to a close. What goals do you have for next year; any New Year’s resolutions; personal goals; any music related goals; anything up and coming you want to achieve?

SJ: We’re working on a lot of new music of course. We have a lot of top lines we have to work on. We have a radio podcast. We want to be better than Pete Tong soon.

NY EDM Examiner & RM: Laugh

SJ: and try to work on that and try to build our own show. “Sexy by Nature” show and try to bring it to the next level.

NY EDM Examiner: I like the sound of that.

SJ: We’re going to do some club shows in the states some club shows in Europe. The radio show is the same name “Sexy by Nature,” so really exciting… and we just got confirmed for a big remix we’re doing. We can’t say yet, but it’s really good.

NY EDM Examiner: So it’s a little like foreshadowing. It’s going to be big, but you can’t disclose. Cool. Well, it’s a pleasure always. You guys are awesome, and I love your music. I’m so happy to be here tonight. Take care guys.

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