In Conversation With IMANU

Among the plethora of EDM greats The Netherlands is known for, there’s one exceeding demand again and again lately. IMANU recently returned from a three month-long adventure in the United States, covering two to three shows per weekend, while on tour with Illenium.

In turn, on the 20th of October at Melkweg, Amsterdam, he’s concluding the European part of his own tour in collaboration with Curated By during ADE in Amsterdam. The Rotterdam-based aficionado then travels back to North-America for the follow-up. IMANU presents Paradise, the international tour named after IMANU’s upcoming EP, equally promises to break genre boundaries. His upcoming visit to Amsterdam being a highlight of the tour, seeing the Paradise EP being released on that same day. 

We caught up with IMANU in between the numerous travels and in anticipation of his next phase of touring. So what’s the idea behind Paradise? 

Hey Jonathan, how are you? 

Fine, I’m really just home from a show in Paris. 

Busy times for you 

Yeah, it’s really fucking busy (laughs), but busy is good. 

Looking back at those four years as IMANU, what were your personal highlights? 

The release of my album last year. Also, the I’m Fine Remix. The gig really made my career. Other than that… I also really like the tour we put down. Headlining shows in Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles and … Australia. All the touring is pretty awesome. 

When touring in the United States – do you actually travel by bus?

No, I usually fly back and forth between Los Angeles and shows. I can work very well in LA and that gives me a kind of hub, which gives me a lot of free time between shows. 

Do you get to work on the plane at all? 

It’s not ideal, but nicer than travelling by bus. 

How would you describe your working hours right now – do you purposefully plan quiet days to work on music? 

No, actually I work from my laptop and try to work whenever I can. Usually I am all over the place, so it’s a matter of deciding if I can at that very moment, it’s simple like that. 

Is it about being able to catch inspiration in a sense? 

Yeah, after this call I will probably start working on something straight away. There are deadlines to be made as well. 

Do deadlines motivate you? 

Yes and no. It’s the needed push sometimes, but at different times you are working against time pressure and end up with compromises. Sometimes you would prefer to have another week to keep working on something, but the reality decides in the end. 

What can we expect from Paradise at ADE? After all, you are the Curator yet again 

Yes, right. I came up with the line-up myself. I want people in the Netherlands to realize that you can book music like this and put it together. People like The Glitch Mob, Sicaria, Buunshin and Visages – I think there’s not enough mixing of genres in the Netherlands. I know it’s going to be fucking cool and want people to realize it more often that such parties are possible with us. 

Do you think people fall short if they think too much in boxes of subgenres? 

Look, those subgenres are there for a reason. But during this night, every act is going to play multi-genre and I just want it to be accepted. I want people to assume less of a certain subgenre on a night and come off more on an aesthetic or vibe. That then within that setting anything is possible, I think is very beautiful. 

Such multi-genre evenings are much more common in North America. It’s actually quite normal there. 

How broad can people expect in terms of genres on this evening?

Everything will be played; drum and bass, dubstep, house, breakbeat, hip-hop, techno, also all the subgenres in between. It’s just going to be really cool, that’s the easiest way to describe it. 

As an artist and producer? 

I want to reinvent myself as an artist and see what’s possible. 

Is this a way for you to rediscover things? 

Yes, I want to challenge myself further. Tastes are a changing thing. There’s a lot of new music that I’ve discovered. I want to bring those influences back into my music. 

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