Enjoying a hefty residency with Toronto’s Embrace and Electronic Nation promoters, it’s no question that Andy Ares is one of the must see attractions of Ontario’s booming festival season. This weekend the genre bending DJ, and now producer, takes the stage at Bud Light Digital Dreams Festival. This marks Andy’s first appearance on the events bill, now entering it’s 3rd year running. With over 80,000 attendees expected, an additional stage, whilst landing on Canada’s birthday, Daily-Beat took some time to dig deeper into the event with this fast developing artist.
DB: The first time I saw you a couple years back, you were opening for some electro acts like Wolfgang Gartner. From what I’ve noticed your taste in music and style in sets has drastically changed. Can you tell me a bit about that?
Andy Ares: You certainly have identified this correctly. There has been an evident change in what I’ve been putting out there. It has nothing to do with growing a distaste for a given genre, but rather an exercise in adapting to your surroundings. I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to experiment with a variety of genres, and play in a number of different environments and club spaces. My tastes evolved with what I believed I could deliver best on, and also recognizing when a particular sound was losing its relevance, and needed to be dropped. It has brought me to the development of where we are at today.
DB: Do you still feel like you are finding your sound, or is this genre your true musical sensibility?
Andy Ares: I truly believe I’m inching ever so close to nailing down my sound. Riding the boundaries of house and trance has really brought me a new thrill that has inspired me to continue to seek more of this cutting edge sound I love so much. It’s very hard to classify the type of music that I play, but what I have been witnessing is that it has been appealing to both the “EDM” and the trance communities. Regardless of the fact that I open and close for a variety of acts, my sound remains constant. I think people are beginning to understand, appreciate and respect this.
DB: You are opening up the main stage at Digital Dreams. I’d like to get your current state of mind as you set foot on one of the largest stages in Canadian history.
Andy Ares: We had started the conversation back in January with Live Nation about me being a potential fit for the Dreams Stage this year. The confirmation came shortly after, however It really didn’t sink in until early this week about what was on the horizon. It’s a great feeling, and truly an honor to have been chosen to open this stage. I regard myself as no more special than any local DJ out there. There is an abundance of local talent in our city, and I’m no better than the next guy. I made a strong case for my participation in the festival this year, and the promoters have put a great deal of trust in me that I will be able to deliver. I look forward very much to showing Toronto what I’m able to do. I’m hoping it is well received.
DB: Talk to me about being on your second bill with Dash Berlin this year.
Andy Ares: Dash Berlin is truly a world class dance music act that deserves a tremendous amount of respect. It was a thrill being able to open for him back in February to an adoring, sold out crowd at Muzik nightclub. He well deserves his returning slot on the main stage at Digital Dreams as he is a crowd favorite here in Toronto. I am humbled to be on the bill with him a second time yet this year.
DB: You’ve continuously worked with both Embrace and Live Nation as bookes. What draws you most to working with these reputable brands?
Andy Ares: Embrace and Live Nation are two first class organizations. Developing a relationship with both for me was nothing more than an exercise in smart, strategic networking. There was always a strong focus on building friendships with the guys behind the events. Getting to know them on a personal level. Making sure that they are taken care of as well. The act of building working relationships can give you a competitive edge over others in this industry, as I’ve seen time and time again it’s the guys who they are most comfortable with getting the best work.
DB: As far as studio time and focus on distributing your own music, what are your short term goals for the rest of the year?
Andy Ares: I just want to continue building off the momentum created in the first half of the year. Production is something that I always knew would follow, and only as of late have I taken a keen interest in trying to manufacture my own sound. I have been teaming up with some talented young local producers in hopes that I can learn and build off what they know are able to do in the studio. Lastly I am anticipating a couple releases shortly after Digital Dreams.