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Interview Awanto3 @ Awakenings Festival 2014

Awanto 3 Biography

Awanto3, the alter ego of Steven de Peven, set foot on this earth just a few years ago, although his musical career has been ongoing for 20 years already. Growing up with two uncles on his mother’s side who had a disco drive-in show, and a father who played oboe in an orchestra, there was no escape from music whatsoever.

Those two foundations have contributed to his broad interest in music, from jazz, hip hop, soul and latin, to house, techno, juke and booty. He already had his first residency at the age of seventeen in a notorious club called Piranha in the northern Dutch city of Den Helder, where he spoiled the scum of the earth with his house records. Shortly after moving to Amsterdam at 22, he hosted his own jazz-oriented club night in the infamous Vaaghuyzen, which eventually got him into the legendary club Mazzo. 

During this period of time he met Kid Sublime and both hopped onboard a musical rollercoaster, starting to produce music together; Steven on his MPC2000, which is still his most loyal tool for productions. They found themselves as true hit wonders and named their music Filterjazz, or big band on prozac. Dressed up like vagabonds they left a musical trace of absurd hilarity throughout Amsterdam, which resulted in the Nana EP and ended with their debut album Iller Dan Je Ouders. The album got great reviews internationally; Theo Parrish and Moodyman used to get high on it and even animals like cats and dogs stayed quiet for minutes listening to it. Also at that same time Steven started his own record label, Zephon’s Mom, on which he released Mocky amongst others. The electro label Klakson, in collaboration with Steffi and Dexter, was also born during that Mazzo era. 

After his break-up with Kid Sublime, Steven found another musical soulmate: Aardvarck got him back on his feet to continue the Rednose rollercoaster ride. They released the album Euh with Benny Sings and Poes (featuring Benny Sings, Mocky and Deborah Jordan). Meanwhile he handed Klakson over to Steffi, quit with Zephon’s Mom, and started to work more and more with people like San Proper, Dexter, Jan Overlast, Maximillion, and Tom Trago.

Music-wise you can expect all ranges of dance music from Awanto3: everything from 100 bpm to 170 bpm. House, disco, techno, booty and juke, there is only one condition: there has to be soul in it, even if it’s ugly, fast and loud. Keeping the women on the dance floor is not only for his own interest, but also to keep the atmosphere balanced. Speaking of which, Awanto 3 is kinda sensitive regarding decoration and lighting. In his view, every aspect in music and ambient conditions are just as important to set the right tone. He plays his records from his gut feeling, an intuitive reaction to what is going on on the dance floor.

With releases on Soulrock, Dekmantel, Rush Hour, Voyage Direct, Clone Royal Oak, Concrete to name a few, Awanto3 grew up fast. His debut album is on its way.... What to expect? The absolutely unexpected
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