Iranian label head, producer, DJ and industry OG Omid 16B is this week’s guest on Global Vibe Radio.
Omid Nourizadeh also known as Omid 16B, is a DJ whose passion for cutting edge electronic music is unrivaled. As a DJ and producer, songwriter, musician and label boss, Omid has forged a unique and prolific career as one of the world’s most talented and respected musicians and producers. He’s much regarded as one of the leaders who pioneered the tech house movement back in the early nineties, alongside the likes of Carl Craig, Vince Watson, Craig Richards, Mr C, Steve Bug and Francois K .
Growing up in London, with Persian roots, Omid 16B was influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Cure, Depeche Mode, RIDE and The Mission. Throughout his teens he became an accomplished musician playing a list of instruments while attending Richmond College and utilizing the music rooms at any given chance.
With an impressive discography of singles, LPs and compilation albums released on his own imprints — Alola (1993), Disclosure (1994) and SexOnWax (2002) — as well as signed to the likes of Eye Q, Hooj Choons, Stomp/EQ, Yoshitoshi, Ministry Of Sound, Tsuba and Bedrock, Omid 16B has maintained the highest quality throughout his prolific career
Hi Omid, firstly let me say thank you for the mix. It’s an honor and pleasure to have you on our show!
You’re welcome, we seem to have a number in common!
Can you tell us a little about what you prepared for us? Any particular stand-out tracks, premieres or emotions you wanted to convey with this one?
A little of everything I’m into, it’s more of a club mix. I don’t leak sets too often, especially of late, so this is as close to how I play out currently! There’s a few of my own tracks in there plus a new track off my new EP out in May on aLOLa called “Remember 89” around 42 minutes in the mix. Does that count as a premier?
Yes! You’ve enjoyed a long career thus far, and have seen a lot change in the world of electronic music from both an artistic and business standpoint. What has been the change you’ve welcomed the most, and what has been the change you’ve welcomed the least?
I’m sure most of us can list way more than one thing that we don’t like or like about the industry at present, but will it change a thing? I’d rather keep my head down and make as much music to inspire that movement for a better, stronger and more artistic approach, business isn’t a priority when it comes to art but art should be a priority over business!
It’s obvious that the scene needs a certain kind of injection currently, to bring about a less serious, less fake and less controlled environment which will eventually happen, however like most things the same things that mess it up will eventually be the reason to fix it. Most of us try and keep up to date with what’s going on enough to feel what might happen next or where it’s heading to. We’re either the ones creating it, the users or both!
How do you feel your sound and artistic output as Omid 16B has changed over the years, and why do you think that is?
It’s constantly changing, that’s the reason why I’ve never fallen into any specific genre or group of people representing a specific sound or idea. Holding on to anything from the past isn’t what any sane person would do. I welcome change because even if I didn’t want to or agree, it’s still going to happen. It always does, nothing stays the same, it’s on a constant flow for self-improvement or technical development.
I’m like a sponge and take so much in to absorb as feelings, then those feelings are translated into what you refer to as “my sound.”
I love a lot of the bands that you list as some of your favorites! Do they influence your productions in any way?
Occasionally, almost like a reminder, the feeling will take me back to a certain track I remember from my early years!
I don’t want to sound like what I love, whats the point of that? I don’t even want to be what I love, I just want to stay in love with it for as long as possible, thats inspiration for me.
I’m not into copying something intentionally, I’ve got too many ideas of my own to deal with first!
Believe it or not my favorite dish is Spaghetti Napolitana – a simple pasta dish! – and of course its vegetarian, like me! Still, I do love the smell of a BBQ!
I know this is somewhat vague, but one of the main things I have been asking myself is: what have you been up to recently?
What you want to know about me and what I want you to know are not always the same things, normally I need to find out first before I can convince you its worth knowing about
On a serious note, I live a private life and keep myself to myself most of the time, I’m not an exhibitionist or too concerned about updating everyone with what I’m up to, it’s not too hard to find out if you’re really interested. However, I work in the studio constantly and have a family I adore – I leave the rest to your imagination!
You have an album on the way this year, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Just a little… it’s a spectrum of styles and moods capturing the deeper side of my imagination. I want to merge as many things together with this, I don’t want to leave anything out! I want to set a new standard and possible reach for the stars!
It’s been 8-9 years since the last album, if I am not mistaken. What happened in between? Any reason for the wait?
I was in a time capsule, I had no idea that time had passed! Honestly, it felt that way! It’s been 8 years in the making although two of those years I took out in managing artists and running an agency, once that was set up and running I missed making the album again! When you’re working on something every day for that long you learn so much about yourself, especially learning to be more patient and how disciplined you really need to be… I’m still learning!
Will you be touring to promote it?
I feel its better to only do 20 to 30 shows a year max, and not shows with 100 other artists on the same bill. I think if you really want to have an impact with an album tour, you need to be selective and direct!
I actually miss being on the road which isn’t what I was saying a few years ago when I’d had enough of being away from home. I felt lost when I got back, I didn’t know whether to rest or carry on… it’s hard to explain!
By the way, you’ve released under a lot of aliases. Why is that and which do you feel are still “active” per se?
I’ve added a few new ones, usually its just a mask I can wear from time to time, express something that I feel has a different energy about it than what I make most of the time.
I read somewhere that you enjoy swimming? Is this an activity you still do regularly?
I used to every day but now 3 days a week plus I walk a lot more now listening to demos etc to stay in shape!
What else do you do in your free time when not working on music?
I have no free time, honestly, I spend most of my life writing, listening or traveling and the rest of my life with my family and friends – it leaves no spare time at all!
Hopefully after the album that will change and I can be a normal person again!
Again thank you for the mix, looking forward to hearing the album and perhaps premiering a track from it!
Thanks for having me and keep up the good work!