Pippi Ciez born in Birmingham, England of Spanish heritage is an experienced producer, DJ, audio engineer & Co-owner of Inward Records with Sparrow & Barbossa and ST53. His mysterious frequencies, percussive drums, and otherworldly sounds seem to take you on spiritual journeys through beautiful electronic soundscapes. Working with instrument players worldwide bringing together real electronic orchestrated pieces.
Pippi has been keeping himself very busy in the lab with signings to Behrouz‘s label Do Not Sit, ‘Shiva Tales’ EP out Autumn 2020, along with being the new face at Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream label with his ‘Riziki’ Ep releasing Summer 2020. 2020 is seeing him collaborating with veterans of the sound, Behrouz, Lost Desert, Idd Aziz & many more getting supported by All Day I Dream’s, Lee Burridge, and Afro King Black Coffee have certainly woken people up to the sound of Pippi Ciez and Inward Records.
We caught up with Pippi Ciez to talk about his latest release ‘Wewe’ done in collaboration with Idd Aziz.
Electronic Groove: Hi Pippi, we hope you are well and safe. Tell us how you met Idd Aziz and your musical background?
Pippi Ciez: Hello all, I believe it was KMLN that released a track they had worked on with Idd in 2018 and I had been searching for this voice with no name for a while. I contacted him directly on Instagram with some tracks I had been working on. From there he made it clear that he liked one track in particular. The plan, in the beginning, was that he worked in Norway doing the recording in the studio but I had to ask him if he would travel to England and we could work together. I believed that would make things move a lot faster and we would work better that way. Fast forward two months later and he arrived in Birmingham where the first time we actually met face-to-face.
My musical background is quite vast as I’m an artist, DJ, audio mix engineer, and a music teacher, all while running Inward Records. I pretty much live in the studio, mixing and mastering clients’ tracks, mentoring students as well as my personal music and audio for film production.
Electronic Groove: How have your personal experiences influenced your actual style of producing music?
Pippi Ciez: I feel there are so many different reasons here, but a key reason would be meeting people who play an instrument or hold a talent with inside them you resonate with. Then collaborating or taking influence from them ultimately changes the way that you perceive, hear, and then compose music.
I’ve been lucky enough to live in Greece for a year, Ibiza for four years, and India for two years. I feel meeting people from a totally different background of life and tradition is so important, all artists DJs promoters just the music lovers, in general, have definitely played a big, if not a huge part of the artist I have become today and I’m thankful for that.
Electronic Groove: Tell us about your most recent work and how did it come together?
Pippi Ciez: It’s pretty much been a whole year of non-stop work between the both of us as we finish the album. Our most recent work ‘Wewe’, which is actually our first single from the record I produced at home after Idd told me he was coming to the UK, I was excited to write for him. I like to work outside the box as it allows me to concentrate all of my energy into one source. All of the melodies were recorded on the Roland system 8 and all of the drum percussion was built with the Roland Handsonic, 2 machines that embody the album as a whole quite heavily.
The day that we met we actually met at the coach station and went straight to the studio that we hired for a vocal recording, it was the first time that I played ‘Wewe’ to him and he listened to this song for around 3 1/2 four minutes, and then said ‘right let’s go’, put the headphones on and recorded the track in one single take from start to finish, it was truly inspirational and we are lucky to have everything recorded on video, which will come out later this year as a short documentary on the production behind the album.
Electronic Groove: Also you have a new release coming out on Lee Burridge’s ‘All Day I Dream’. How was this connection established and what can you tell us about the release?
Pippi Ciez: Yes, to get recognition from Lee was amazing as I’m a big fan of the label for many years, also attending the parties made me understand the direction and sound of the place in the clouds 💙
The connection was actually made through Patrick (Lost Desert), a friend of mine for a few years I had been sending Pat music trying to get a remix from him for a long time, and after showing him the track it found its way to Lee and a new home at All Day I Dream. I think that’s about as much as we can say for now :).
“I created over 40 hours of electronic music production and audio engineering videos entitled ‘In The Studio With Pippi’, a series of online courses for upcoming music producers”
Electronic Groove: Can you detail how the production process was? Did you work together in the same studio or separately?
Pippi Ciez: I had pre-produced all of the tracks at my home studio alone, the best way I like to work. As said before, I really love external hardware as I believe it expands my workflow. I based the track around pulsating African drum rhythm from the Handsonic with haunting FM synth sequenced melodies that balance out the driving deep bass stabs but still leaving enough room for a powerful vocal.
We spent two days in the recording studio together where Idd really brought life to the music and layed down 7 tracks over the two 4 hour sessions. We really bounced off each other amazingly it felt like we had known each other for years.
Electronic Groove: Moving into current events, how did the COVID-19 virus affected you and what did you do to cope with it?
Pippi Ciez: Yes, I feel this would have affected everyone worldwide some more than others of course. I’m unable to play gigs and festivals that I had been booked for, and our first Inward Records party had to be canceled which is quite sad. Also, some positives come from this, you have to keep going. I have my studio set up at home it has not really affected my workflow as an artist but actually enabled me to produce more with less distraction which I must take as a positive.
Also with the extra time, I created over 40 hours of electronic music production and audio engineering videos entitled ‘In The Studio With Pippi’, a series of online courses for upcoming music producers, future audio engineers, and sound design/synthesis experts. This will be launching July 2020, you could say it’s like Netflix for music producers and engineers.
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Electronic Groove: The music world is definitely changing to this new “normal”. What do you think clubs and live events can do to adapt to these current changes?
Pippi Ciez: It’s a hard one to swallow as it seems to be really affecting us right now and not being able to perform in front of a crowd or share special moments together across the dance floor is heartbreaking.
I can see laws being put into place so businesses can open their doors with new systems and rules, but will a place where people can’t touch each other, can’t dance together, share a drink or a cigarette while wearing a mask and gloves really survive the test of time? How long this will continue? I have no idea but one thing I do know is you can’t stop the people wanting to dance.
Electronic Groove: The USA is going through some turbulent times with the death of George Floyd followed up by protests, riots, police brutality, and overall injustice. What’s your opinion on this subject? What can music do to create awareness and help put an end to racism?
Pippi Ciez: I find it quite disturbing that we have to see this happening in 2020 racism is still raw. We can only hope that the music can help heal and push the right intentions on to the ears that need it. A big thing for both, me and Idd, is that the music we make heals. That is our one and only intention. To restore love in someone’s heart, to heal the pain of someone’s loss, to give enough strength to hurdle any obstacle, that’s why we made this music and we hope it can be a stepping stone to the breaking down of all walls and divides between all people.
Electronic Groove: Electronic music aside… What are your biggest references? What did you grow up listening to at home?
Pippi Ciez: Wow! I could be here all day. Music at home has always been a huge thing for me and my family but at the same time a true divide in sound. As a very young boy, my dad would always listen to film soundtracks especially sounds of Native Indians panpipes, flutes and percussion I remember one of his personal favorites was Ennio Morricone who had scored the soundtrack for ‘Once Upon A Time In America’, this has stayed with me my entire life and maybe the reason I experimented so much with organic instruments in the electronic scene.
However, my mom couldn’t be more the opposite. She loves music of black origin soul, reggae, Motown. Anita Baker is one of my favorites from my mom’s collection but inspired by so many like Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Jon Holt, Nat King Cole, Barry White, the list is endless.
My 2 elder brothers inspired me, heavily my oldest brother had Sony Separates a great system and would be listening to 2Pac, Sade, Carl Cox, De la Soul, Moloko, Daft Punk tracks I still listen today, just really incredible producers and artists, and even 20 years later he still sends me music to inspire and drive me. My middle brother taught me how to DJ when I was 11 on KAM belt-driven decks, he showed me the ropes and had a great ear for hip hop, RnB, and garage. hip hop and grime at 13 was the cornerstone in which all of my inspiration stemmed from my friend Dredman showed me how I could produce music on a computer and seriously inspired me and I owe him everything for that. But from when I moved to Ibiza in 2011 there was only one sound to focus on, house and techno.
“It’s pretty much been a whole year of non-stop work”
Electronic Groove: Finally, any upcoming releases or endeavors that we should be looking forward to this year?
Pippi Ciez: Of course, ‘Wewe’ was released on June 18th and it’s the first single from our album that will be out early 2021. I have been working on 2 EP’s with ‘Sparrow & Barbossa’ for our own label Inward Records, you can expect those to come out late-season which starts off a string of releases until Winter.
I have a 4-track EP I worked on while living in India that is set to release on Behrouz’s imprint Do Not Sit On The Furniture featuring incredible vocals from Srinath Raghavan, strings of Ning Ning Li, & keys of Gene Kavanagh.
I would love everyone to keep an eye out on my music production and audio engineering video series teaching my 20 years of experience in the industry entitled ‘In The Studio With Pippi’ coming next July.
Electronic Groove: Many thanks and we wish you nothing but the best!
Pippi Ciez: Thanks for the opportunity, it was beautiful to revisit past memories and share them with you. Wishing you all the best to EG.
Peace and Love!
Pippi Ciez & Idd Aziz ‘Wewe’ is now available via Inward Records. Grab your copy here.