Ammo Avenue – aka Sebastian Paul – sits in his studio with a customized Funko Pop! of himself on the speaker. He resides in his hot hometown Lima, Peru, where he champions its small but flourishing dance music scene.
"I think we're at our best time right now." he says, looking back on a decade of local dance music shows. "Compared to when I started going to raves in 2012-13, you can tell it's grown so much in terms of scene, production, crowd, and franchises that now come that didn't come before."
Ammo Avenue is a straight shooter in tech house. His beats have let him reach Rawthentic, Deeperfect, Repopulate Mars, and, as he's most excited for, Chris Lake's label Black Book.
He beams, "Sharing a booth with some of these names, being on the labels and them knowing my name, writing and contacting me… it's still a little bit surreal but it was what I was looking for."
When he was younger was moved by punk rock and hip hop. His brothers shared their musical tastes with him, listing off rappers Eminem, 2Pac, and 50 Cent. While he grew up surrounded by music, he didn't dream of making it in the industry until after he first studied publicity and advertising. Now, he lives and breathes house and is a self-professed music addict.
"I didn't see music or DJing as a proper career. You dig deeper, and realize it's actually a full time thing," Ammo Avenue says.
"You think of money, you think of time, you think of your personal stress." When it comes to hard work towards a dream, he says, "if you want one to properly blow up, you have to let the other one go."
"It was a natural transition," he continues. "I studied and worked in advertisement agencies parallel to DJing and involving myself more into house music. I had to decide which one I wanted to blow up, which one needs to have more attention, and I had to let the other one go." For Ammo Avenue, it was critical to carefully plan and take it slow.
He first discovered the world of dance music at house parties during high school. He recalls the key moment when he first heard Tocadisco's remix of "Body Language" by M A N D Y and Booka Shade.
The first festival Ammo Avenue attended was Creamfields 2014 in Lima. Around that same time, he started playing parties and developing his artistic identity as a house producer. He downloaded and promptly deleted Ableton before getting serious and giving production a real shot. With the help of his cousin and friends, he learned the musical skills that led him to where he is today.
He's a proud DJ of the digital era, happy to travel with simply his USBs and headphones. He respects any road to making the dream of being on stage come true. "I love all setups. If it works for you, it works for you," he says.
Ammo Avenue's earliest releases were in the realms of nu-disco and G house. He developed his current sound by "Being more mature about my style and realizing I don't want to follow short-term trends," he says. "Instead I want to make timeless music – tech house, deep house and house fell into that."
As much love and sincerity that go into a track, most artists look back and call their first works "trash." But when fans have gone back to Ammo Avenue's early music and said they loved it, he can't shoot them down. "If they're feeling it, it's for a reason."
With newfound confidence, Ammo Avenue is pushing his signature house spices to other aspiring producers. Recently, he released a sample pack with sounds that continue to appear in his upcoming tracks. Crisp hi-hats, far-out flips, and tight bass grooves are Ammo Avenue's way into house. He also launched his own production course.
"What I love about sampling – I don't just drag and drop, I try to make something different out of it," he says. "You cannot get too purist about some stuff. Everybody can access a 909 hat, so it depends on you."
While only at the beginning of his artistic journey, Ammo Avenue looks forward to his European debut in the near future. He plans to tour more of South America, then explore Central and North America. He'll soon be releasing more tracks through Repopulate Mars and Syracuse Music. The rest of his success will arrive in due time.
"Don't rush. It applies to everything," Ammo Avenue shares. "Everything happens for a reason."
Interview by RYDEN
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