[INTERVIEW] Unleashing Sonic Brilliance: Night Tales On Their New Single, 'D.W.Y.W. (Do What You Want),' Upcoming Tour, + More
Get ready to embark on a captivating musical odyssey with Night Tales as they continue to leave an indelible mark on the electronic music scene.
Comprised of Aaron Bannie and Kamaliza Salamba, this talented pair of visionaries has proved to be one of the acts to look out for in today's dance circuit.
Their latest single, “D.W.Y.W. (Do What You Want),” in collaboration with Empire Dance, has recently hit the airwaves, showcasing the duo's ability to seamlessly blend live instrumentation into an electronic atmosphere.
A testament to their global sound, the track stands as another milestone in Night Tales' musical journey, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the sonic experiences that lie ahead.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Aaron and Kamaliza about the creative process behind this infectious single, future touring endeavors, and more.
Check out our exclusive interview with Night Tales below.
iEDM: Can you share the inspiration behind “Do What You Want” and how it fits into the narrative of your musical journey?
Kamaliza: We have been having a good time in Los Angeles, but I was personally inspired by all the great dance music I was hearing in Miami. It felt right to create something upbeat and a pure party song that people could dance to.
Aaron: Echoing Kam’s comments but adding that we made a conscious decision as a duo to evolve our sound and to move away from the complementary comparisons to Rufus. We want to create our own identity and try to position ourselves as artists and entertainers.
We have a sound that spans across most of the electronic genres and subgenres, therefore will not be pigeonholed into a certain sound or box.
iEDM: Collaborating with Empire Dance on “Do What You Want” seems like a significant move. What sparked this partnership, and what unique elements does Empire Dance bring to your creative process?
Kamaliza: Moody Jones at Empire had been following the Night Tales project for a few years and reached out to see what our plans were. It was solid timing because we had a bunch of music we were sitting on.
They liked the demos and the rest is history. They have an amazing team that is all very engaged and energized, so it has been an awesome experience.
Aaron: Moody and Deron have been instrumental in showing us that Empire is a great next step in our career. It feels like a family and so far it has been our best label experience.
The other exciting opportunity is tapping into their hip-hop, African, and Latino artists. We have already made a remix for FireBoy DML’s hit track “YAWA.”
We are looking at bringing their hip-hop and R&B artists into our world by reimagining their tracks in our electronic style.
iEDM: Following the release of “Work It Out,” how does this new single compare and contrast to its most recent predecessor? In what ways does it show the evolution of your signature sound?
Kamaliza: The feeling of the two tracks are similar in that they are both positive tracks that are encouraging in sentiment.
Sonically, they vary; you will hear a stronger UK influence on “Work It Out”, whereas “Do What You Want” feels like something you would hear at an American house party.
Aaron: “Work it Out” is a true collaboration. I was born and raised in the UK and then lived in Australia. We wanted to make a crossover track combining all our collective heritages and influences.
This kind of track has not been done since Calvin Harris and Dizzie Rascal made “Dance Wiv Me.” When we wrote the track, I was heavily inspired by UK breakbeat – then we infused our Night Tales signature touches.
By the time we got to the bridge, where Champion DI does his rap, it was empty, but we both knew this would be perfect if we had a rapper on there. We both instinctively knew that we needed a UK voice on this.
Through our publisher, Ultra Publishing, we found Champion DI. Usually, when you have any collaboration there are back-and-forths, tweaks, or suggestions. But Champion delivered his verse 1st time, and we were like, “WOW. This is the one!”
iEDM: The synergy between live instrumentation and electronic elements is a hallmark of your music. How do you balance these elements in “Do What You Want,” and what instruments play a prominent role in the track?
Kamaliza: The majority of “Do What You Want” is actually sample-based. When we play it live it will be reimagined into a performance that includes live percussion and I will be singing.
The fun part is being able to project that same energy we felt making the record into the crowd.
Aaron: We look at our Night Tales project in three ways.
1. You listen to us in your own time via DPS (Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud). These are mostly radio edits and original versions.
2. You come to a LIVE SHOW where you see an elevated performance with live instrumentation, showmanship, crowd interaction, singing, and dancing with visuals. We also like to flip some of our OG tracks into remixes, which you only get to experience at the show.
3. DJ sets with singing, which is still such a unique experience.
iEDM: How do your individual strengths and musical backgrounds contribute to the collaborative process, particularly in a track like “Do What You Want”? Are there specific parts in the track that reflect each of your artistic abilities and sense of innovation?
Kamaliza: When I first heard Aaron’s original idea for the production, it was pretty much complete. I ended up writing the lyrics in under an hour. It was really fun.
If you check out our IG here you can see a bit of the creative process for it. My role in this song was adding lyrics, toplines, and vocal melodies.
Aaron: Over the years of writing together, we intuitively know what works for us in the creation process. Sometimes I will produce an instrumental idea while Kam will nail the vocals. Sometimes Kam will write an entire song, same with me.
We just go with whatever feels right. We tend to do most of the creation together in the studio. Not only that, but we are lucky that our workflow enables us to flesh out ideas within a session. Then I will put on the finishing touches.
iEDM: From your perspective, what does it mean to have a global sound? What are some examples or reasons that make your catalog a beacon for global sound?
Kamaliza: A global sound means inclusion and collaboration with artists around the world. “Work It Out” is a prime example, as you will see in the video clip a blend of two worlds coming together: the USA and the UK.
Aaron: Kam said it perfectly! High five to you brother!
iEDM: What role does storytelling play in your music, and how does it contribute to the overall ambiance and core of “Do What You Want”?
Kamaliza: I feel lyrically “Do What You Want” is for that person who might be a little shy at parties and needs a bit of encouragement to let their hair down and relax.
Nothing worse than feeling awkward at parties, I hope people become friends on the dancefloor to this song; one of my favorite past times.
Aaron: It is an evolution from the storytelling from previous tracks, where it is more emotional, talking about love and betrayals. This tapers more into the R&B part of our influences, along with being more adventurous and playful.
iEDM: Your anthems like “Friends” and “Move You” have amassed millions of streams. How do you each navigate the pressure and expectations that come with such success when creating new music?
Kamaliza: You just have to remind yourself that the reason you started this was because you loved it. It is easy to get caught up on the business side of things which is a fun game in itself, but our roles are simple, make music that slaps and the numbers are likely to follow.
Aaron: Everybody who makes music wants to make a HIT. We tend not to worry about numbers so much because “Friends” and “Only If” were very slow out of the gate. They have only caught fire in the past 2 years.
People are still discovering us, and when they do, they have the pleasure of deep-diving into our fairly huge back catalog.
Again we just write with the intention of writing for us, sharing our emotions whether they are positive or negative. If our fans resonate with them, then those are the ones who share the same frequency as us.
iEDM: The announcement of your upcoming tour hints at the dynamic range and musical versatility of your project. What influences or inspirations will be echoed in the tour's performances?
Kamaliza: On this tour, people will see a stronger visual component. We are in talks right now with some friends who are going to bring the show alive with imagery. It is something we are excited about. The show is continuously evolving!
Aaron: Also, we are building a new production setup which will add to the overall aesthetic and visual, which will elevate the show from its predecessor.
iEDM: What can attendees expect regarding the visual atmosphere and sonic vibe at We Belong Here? What aspect are you looking forward to most at this event, and which other artists on the lineup are you thrilled to meet up with or dance to?
Kamaliza: Can't wait for We Belong Here NYE! Also, super excited to see our friends Bob Moses play and fellow Sydney native Wax Motif at We Belong Here in February!
Aaron: We Belong Here, we have something special planned. Given the set-up of the stage and its uniqueness, we are going to try something that we have never done before. You will have to come to the show to see it.
Kamaliza: I would absolutely love to win a Grammy. To do this, we need music that is translating worldwide!
Aaron: Outside of music – fall in love. Yep, there I said it. But more importantly, continue to balance being fit and healthy whilst on and off the road.
This is something I am exploring content-wise for next year and beyond. Knowing the importance of being healthy in this industry, both physically and mentally, is key.
Photos courtesy of Tim Stephens, Tim James Visuals, Jon Rabon (@by.rabon), and Night Tales.