Let's start off with a softball question: How did you two come together to form Syzz and where did the name come from?
Ryan: I think it was some time in 2011 that Jesse and I meet each other in real life at Club Seven in The Hague. Back then, I was an organiser and resident DJ at the club and Jesse would send me demos that went over really well with the crowds. Not many people were sending out promos to DJs, specially not people from the same city you lived in which is what made him stand out.
It's been great to see the project continue growing over the years because for me, there was no real backup plan. At the age of thirteen-fourteen, I had one goal and that was to make a living out of DJing. At the age of eighteen, I dropped out of school and stopped organizing events to focus on music production and starting a new career with Syzz. So if this fails, which could still happen, I'll have to go back to school and find something new.
How would you describe the evolution of the Syzz sound?
Jesse: We produce tracks with two different trains of thought: On the one hand, we want our tracks to work well with a crowd so that DJs want to play it out, but labels wants the tracks to garner Spotify streams. So we try to combine different elements even from other genres to create something fresh. Looking at "90s Better," we have a really good club track but also one that you could hear at the gym or playing in people's cars.
The crowd in China is can still be unfamiliar with some of the songs with English lyrics, but it gets better every time. However it still makes it a bit harder for my sets because I love to play a lot of mashups with well-know lyrics, but because of the language barrier, I try to mix things at a faster pace and stay away from from some of the longer breaks since there's a chance the crowd won't resonate with it. The hits from Swedish House Mafia and Alan Walker always go over well though!
It's been over a year since making the decision to separate touring and producing duties. We've recently seen SaberZ follow suit and adopt a similar duo dynamic. How has this new division of labor affected your music and more importantly, your friendship?
Your Spotify Wrapped statistics were among some of the most impressive I had seen! How did you go about adapting to the increased consumer preference towards Spotify over Soundcloud?
Ryan: 2018 was a very good year for us. We did a lot of Revealed releases and streaming wise, we were happy surprised about the success of 90's Better, since we really didn't know what to expect. We were just trying to evolve our sound and try out new stuff.
How do you both like to spend your time when you're away from the decks and studio?
Jesse: Food is my second love after music. I'm getting a bit into cooking these days, but I'm definitely more of a eater. I have a pretty specific appetite, so when I still went on tour, I started rating hamburgers in hotels. Hamburgers are the best, so why not try one in every country you go to? I also used to game just for fun but that slowly died off as studio days got longer. Nowadays I'd rather throw my ass on the couch and watch some TV.
Ryan: At the moment, I mostly play CS:GO and League of Legends. I played Fortnite for a bit during the summer and ranked at like #950 worldwide in duos. Besides that, I love traveling together with my girlfriend but she is currently super busy with her pharmacy studies. We also live in different cities so unfortunately I don't see her as often as I used to. For other hobbies, I like to cook and I love Asian cuisine so traveling to Asia is never a problem for me in that regard!
Where do you both see yourselves in ten years?
Jesse: In ten years I see ourselves having more acts than just Syzz. We have a lot of output so I wouldn't be surprised to see us working on different acts and projects with totally different music.
A massive thank you to Syzz for taking the time to answer our questions! Be sure to show them some love and follow them on social media using the links below!
Chris W. Lao
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