Omid 16B has long been an influential figure in international house and techno circles. But, as Omid himself would tell us, let’s not dwell on the past. Today he manages two record labels, SexOnWax and aLOLa Recordings, the latter of which extends into the realm of party promotion. MEOKO caught up with Omid to discuss his spiritual approach to life, Lana Del Rey and why some days he just wishes he had been a swimmer instead…
Click below for exclusive Omid 16B mix
Hi Omid, thanks for talking to us. So 2013 must be your twentieth or so year in the scene? How does that feel?
Spiritually? Better than ever as one can evolve with maturity as long as one’s feet stay on the ground BUT, and it’s a big BUT, the work doesn’t get any easier as you tend to want more for your loved ones and the crew involved and no one can do it better than doing it yourself until certain souls come to you from the universe which you must embrace and cherish…
I imagine back in the 90s, DJing must have been your main pursuit. Do you find these days you’re much more into running your labels and making music within the comfort of your own home?
I can honestly say to you that DJing is an expression of life and how you gel the things you love together to express your story. It’s not the same as running a label. Let’s put it like this: running a label is like making a planet for all it’s life forms and DJing is how you adjust the life forms so that they live in harmony! And making music is a celebration of all that we truly are.
DJ Mag famously said ‘Some DJs and producers have their finger on the pulse – Omid 16B is the pulse’. How have you managed to stay current for so long? Did you ever make a conscience decision to leave a certain sound or style behind because it wasn’t relevant any more?
These hyped up quotes don’t really mean anything as I’m not always as perfect as described and also have my bad days when nothing seems to work out, but it’s a human thing and I’m definitely not an alien (however much I wish I was). Staying current to me means being here right NOW, not tomorrow or yesterday. It’s best to feel the moment. Love is always the key for me rather than trying to be bigger and more successful in today’s standards. Negative energy tends to be appropriate from time to time but it’s usually based on a past idea about yourself or a mental barrier you set subconsciously, therefore I try to keep a book of guidelines incase I slip off the rail.
You’ve had so many monikers and alias projects over the years it’s hard to keep up. Aside from Omid16b, which are still active today? And how do they differ in sound and style?
Changing shape – More of a disco edge to it.
$16 Million Dollar Man – Twisted techno I tend to make when I’m a geek and get left alone for too long!
Phaser – Tribal Tech house with a progressive element.
OTC. – Omid Nourizadeh, Trevor Loveys and Chris Pedley – Deep and dirty.
Sixteen souls – Omid Nourizadeh & Kevin McKay – Deep vocal nu disco.
You concurrently manage SexOnWax and aLOLa Recordings. What are the differences between the two labels?
Just their names I guess, as both have the capacity to release quality music but aLOLa is the older brother and Sexonwax is the younger sister. That said, we do tend to put the harder and slightly more clubbier stuff on Sexonwax and keep the more organic and sublime music for aLOLa.
Has there ever been a time in your extensive career that you’ve wanted to shift your course from music to something else?
Yes I always wanted to be a pro swimmer and later on an actor so you never know. I love being someone else other than myself from time to time in an acting sense. I learn fast and have a lot of passion for it. With swimming I’m very competitive so it suites me well to race from time to time and be a winner, even though in a spiritual sense it’s the opposite of what I truly believe in!
December last year saw you put out a series of Lana Del Ray remixes on Alola. What drew you to the tracks? Were you not worried that she, and especially those records, had already been remixed to the point of saturation?
Well without sounding arrogant I was one of the first people to be approached with Larry Heard (Mr. fingers) for ‘Video games’. ‘Blue Jeans’ followed in which case I waived my fee to release the remixes on my own label aLOLa. I never worry about trends or fashion. It’s never a surprise to me how small things grow out of proportion so I expect it as much as I don’t. Lana is a great artist but of course she can burn out like all of us from time to time and record companies want to get as much exposure they can through as many cool avenues. Sometimes we all get it wrong but it’s not about worrying as much as it’s about fixing it. I always say thank you for having the opportunity to be a part of some thing special (in my eyes anyway).
Is SOS, your collaborative project with Demi and Desyn Masiello, still active? If so, what have you three been up to recently?
It’s both active and non-active… Sorry to sound so silly but it’s not an organised thing and it just happens or it doesn’t. We all love one another and get on very well but did burn ourselves out doing 80 shows in 1 year and 2 albums. We need a break and when the time is right we will do it again. The line-up might shift from time to time as that was the whole point to not allow egos to expand and unfortunately they do when the whole world is at your feet (without sounding like we are Tiesto) BUT we do miss each other and have had talks about doing a massive comeback tour as we still feel we achieved things that are impossible to do on your own…
With having experienced so much in the scene over the years, how do you keep yourself motivated and consistently challenged? Do you set yourself personal targets and goals?
Ensuring the best family in the world are happy with who they brought into this world is my ultimate goal. I set myself goals and make sure I make them happen otherwise I don’t get the self satisfaction one deserves to live a healthy and productive life. Money is a driving force but its definitely not the main event. I tend to be very solo about how I do it and very rarely meet anyone that can keep up with me: no sleep for days and non stop workaholism! It’s not good but it’s just the way it is sometimes and I try not to complain too much!
Your next aLOLa event brings DJ Vibe to Dukes House on the 8th March. How does playing London today compare to back in the late 90s/early 00s? What are the main differences?
It’s much more fun when you don’t think about the past. It’s just different because you’re different and your friends and followers differ so it’s hard to compare it all. I have to say I only wish I could have had an iPhone back then because there were so many moments I wish I had documented which only exist now in my head!
Buy tickets to the aLOLa event w/ DJ Vibe and Omid 16B on March 8th here