Pippi Ciez Delivers a Divine Mix for All Day I Dream
Pippi Ciez Delivers a Divine Mix for All Day I DreamJuly 22, 2021
Hailing from Birmingham, DJ/producer, audio engineer, and co-owner of Inward Records, Pippi Ciez is a mastermind of the Afro and organic house sound. In between spending countless hours in the hazy Paula Santo encased sanctuary that is his studio, he’s helped build his imprint with Sparrow & Barbossa and ST53 to become one of the top Afro house labels in the world, and still finds the time to help underprivileged youth find a passion through music.
With its intriguing, earthly, spiritual aura, Pippi Ciez’s productions have appeared on the labels such as Do Not Sit On The Furniture Recordings, Desert Trax, and most notably, on our July 2021 Label of the Month, All Day I Dream, which will release his debut album later this year.
In addition to providing an exclusive mix for us, we spoke to the artist about how he found his artistic calling at a very early age, why teaching music production fulfills him, his work with All Day I Dream, and why the label’s parties are unmatched.
Growing up in Birmingham, how did you first get into electronic music, production, and DJing?
I was lucky to have a cousin, Danny Technici, who was the older generation to me and played through the ’90s in the rave scene and still playing now. I remember always being mesmerised standing in his room as a toddler through to my teens overlooking hundreds of vinyls watching them spin round on Technic 1210s. It was instilled in me from a very early age and first started DJing when I was 12 years old. I asked for decks for Christmas and I was buying vinyl from Tempest records in Birmingham every weekend with my pocket money. I really started to find my feet with beat matching and understanding how the mixer could blend two records into one track.
From there I wanted to create my own productions two years later at 14 and soon realised this is all I wanted to do every day from morning to night. I’m still the same nearly two decades later.
You are also a music teacher and audio engineer, so you clearly spend a lot of time in the studio. What is your favorite thing about teaching and mentoring your students, and in your opinion, what’s the best way to stay sane and productive during long hours in the studio?
Yes, I certainly spent most of my life in the studio and it wasn’t long before I wanted to pass on the knowledge to newcomers. I started by helping underprivileged youth find a passion through music and soon seen their lives turn around through production, rap, and mixing. The feeling was so new to me, it felt pure and like a calling to help the next generation. From there I became a qualified teacher and worked in many studios and at academies from the UK to India. I now have my own subscription service and welcome anyone future producers to check it out.
I guess you could say my favourite part of teaching is watching them grow to a point where you can let them go alone and excel in the industry. It’s truly inspirational and I learn so much from them through their journey there is no better reward than seeing them succeed.
To stay sane in the studio I like to burn scents like incense, Paula Santo, and frankincense. I meditate before my sessions to enter the studio with a clear mind. Breaking through the barriers and blocks that you set up mentally and try to stay truly inspired by producers in the scene no matter the genre. But most importantly, I have a focus; a goal, whether it be a label to sign to, an EP to finish, or an album. When you can see the building blocks build up it gives you a push for completion. Never give up!
Tell us about your Inward Records label. How did it start, and what are your hopes for the imprint moving forward?
Inward Records started six years ago now after I felt it was very important to have our own label to release music. It was a slow start until I introduced Bryan from Sparrow & Barbossa two years ago now to the business. Sharing the workload really started to push the label in the right direction. Finding a family of like-minded Afro and organic producers has soon helped us release two EPs a month for the past year and we hope to be touring the record labels sound around the world with our Inward Record events. To think now we’re challenging for the top 20 Afro labels in the world is just phenomenal and would like to take this time to thank Beatport for the support and every one of you supporting the music.
Who are some of the artists — from both your past and present — that have helped inspire and inform your unique musical combination of electronic and telluric sounds?
My mom has always listened to soul records, music that really touches the heart, and still to this day she listens to amazing music. I was inspired a lot by Anita Baker, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, and Motown overall. My dad was very different and enjoyed organic world sounds as well as South American instruments. He would play Native American pan pipes for hours on end and film scores from Ennio Morricone when driving in the car. That has truly scared my subconscious and honestly, I only noticed this in my work within the last few years, it’s just been there all along inspiring me.
To be very honest, at present, it’s hard to be inspired as I believe a lot of music is all starting to sound the same. I’m inspired by producers who have their own sound like RY X, Lost Desert, Sebastian Leger, Sun-El Musician, Coldplay, Anderson .Paak. I also feel this can really cloud your mind listening to so much music when you want to produce your own style and tone.
Can you tell us about how you first got linked up with Lee Burridge and All Day I Dream?
When working with [Kenyan percussionist and vocalist] Idd Aziz I was hunting for remixers on “Riziki” and as luck would have it, Lost Desert took on the opportunity. Once he had completed the remix, he made it clear that he should certainly show Lee. After signing the EP to All Day I Dream, I kept in contact with Lee and we soon became good friends.
What is your favorite thing about All Day I Dream parties? How would you describe the vibe to someone who has never attended one before?
My favourite thing about All Day I Dream parties (there are so many) has to be the vibe of the people; once the music is in full flow the crowd really comes together as one. I suppose you could say it’s a real spiritual connection of all ages and that is what is very hard to find in other places anywhere around the world. If you haven’t been to one yet, find a lineup you like the look of and I can guarantee you’re going to have an incredible time!
Can you give us some insight into your forthcoming debut album on All Day I Dream?
It’s a composite of tracks that were made throughout the lockdown period and came at a time where I was really All Day I Dream focused after the Riziki EP release. It combines organic house with Afro and otherworldly sounds featuring some instrumentalists from all over the world who I have proudly worked with over my career. A true blessing to have a home at All Day I Dream very excited for you all to hear it.