Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano on first single of the year, ‘PRAY’ [Q&A]Sunnery James Ryan Marciano

Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano on first single of the year, ‘PRAY’ [Q&A]

Seasoned club rousers, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano have built a career on a larger-than-life style of sound that necessitates maximum volume play out. With a repertoire of releases that pair well with festival pyrotechnics by design ranging from 2018’s “You Are Too” to 2015’s “Horny Bounce,” the Armada Music production pair are momentarily tempering their main stage-suited aesthetic to adopt a more emotive and ambient approach.

Citing the spike in listeners’ desire for laidback, “feel good” tunes that they have noted amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano discuss their new direction in sound with Dancing Astronaut, and how their simmering first single of 2020, “PRAY,” reflects this alternative course.

“PRAY” is your first release of 2020. Can you say a bit about the production process of this record and why you chose “PRAY” as your inaugural offering of 2020?

We were searching for a sound that was in tune with our current state of mind and portraying our emotions, but also staying true to who we really are. Even though we’ll still be releasing more mainstream music, we will stick with this sound from now on.

How did you end up connecting with YAX.X and SABRI, and what was it like to work together?

We have known YAX.X for a very long time from our hometown, Amsterdam. He is also signed to our label, SONO. He happened to be in the studio with SABRI while we were working on some beats. He basically stumbled in and said he might have a perfect vocal, and he did. It matched perfectly [with the beats we were working with]. So, we decided to finish the track together [and] the collaboration went smoothly. We go way back [and] he is a gem to work with. The same goes for SABRI, a very talented lady.

How does “PRAY” fit into your catalog of releases to date?

We actually regard it as a new chapter. Although we will still release a wide variety of tracks, some of which will be more radio oriented, this sound is something that we will explore for the time being.

“PRAY” is well-suited for festival play, but with the season on pause, will also make for an animated cut that listeners can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. Can you please comment on the importance of music at this point in time?

You are absolutely right, and we are thinking of making such an edit [in the way that we approach our release schedule]. The role of music has changed in these difficult times: people are looking for music that depicts their mood, [so] a lot of playlists with chill or feel good music are doing well. People also have time to dig up their [favorite] classics. [Music is] comforting people in these crazy times, which is a heartening thought for us as artists.

What, musically, can your following expect from you this year?

To be honest we are changing our release schedule a bit, mainly because of what has been said above. The role of (dance) music has changed in people’s lives. We need to take that into account, so we might move a few of our really club-oriented tracks back in our schedule and release more ‘radio friendly’ tracks first.

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