What are you enjoying most about this whole experience and journey throughout the year?
Richy Ahmed: Well, the experience has been a rollercoaster and I've absolutely loved it. It's moved very very fast as you can see but fabric have been there with us from the start. It's gone very quick but I'm loving every minute of it, I love to get to play, I love the ups and downs, the different music, the creativity, but the last year has been my best year. I think it's been my strongest year - which I'm obviously glad about, as you don't want to go backwards! But the last year's highlights have been releasing an EPs on a different label and remixing for lots of different people.
So the last record you released was on Strictly Rhythm, what does that mean for you to be signed by them?
Being released on Strictly Rhythm means so much to me. For one thing, they approached me, which was just a dream come true. Andy who runs the A&R is a great bloke, they asked me to do a remix of a classic and I picked 'The Warning' because it was one of my favourite tracks. It was a big undertaking because it's such a major track but I feel I did a good job, I did something different. It was just a pleasure, because when I first started buying house music, Strictly Rhythm was my go-to label, I'd always be like, "let's see what's on Strictly". There's so much quality across the different types of music from my heroes. To be on it - and to be asked to be on it - was just a dream come true.
What excites you most about the future releases on Hot Creations?
I do a lot of the A&R - probably about 80% - for Hot Creations. The versatility excites me, the label's huge; it speaks for itself, but a lot of people who don’t listen to the label have preconceptions about what's coming out. Then I'm playing music from the label in sets and big DJs are asking "what's this?" And I say it's coming out on Hot Creations and you can see their faces change - they say "oh, I didn't realise!" When Jamie brought me on as the A&R he realised I have a very versatile taste in different types of music - house, techno, tough, electronic stuff. That's what we wanted - Hot Creations was always intended to release any type of track as long as we thought it was good. We didn't have any pigeonholed ideas about how our label would sound. We just ask: is it good? Would I play it? Then I sign it. There's loads of good music coming out - a new one by Audiojack which is amazing, it's been killing it all summer, Vibrate with Kevin Knapp on vocals that one's a rolling, hypnotic techno number. Lots of stuff by Jay Kermis I've got a new EP coming out myself and Jamie's got lots more music coming out too. The next year's looking really strong.
"Playing fabric New Year is like a dream come true - it's my favourite club on the biggest night of the year."
What can we expect from you and your music?
Lots of different stuff! I've got my own label coming out, 4ThirtyTwo which I'm really excited about. I'm keeping the releases very small, maybe three or four a year, between me and a couple of select artists that I can't disclose. It's very cosmic, it's going to be something special. Vinyl with lots of cool artwork - I've put a lot of love into it. The tunes I'm making, I'm more excited about than any other records I've ever made. It's going to be totally different from Hot Creations. It's something I'm really proud of.
What do you enjoy most about playing on your home turf in London?
So many things... #1 is definitely being able to go home after the gig without having to go to an airport! #2 You're with all your pals. #3 Although there's being a lot said about the scene in London at the minute with the venues dying, but the vibe will never change, it's wicked. The crowd are very up for dancing but at the same time, it's an educated crowd. You can play stuff in London that you could never play anywhere else! I love playing in London, it's my home city. I'm not from there originally, but I love it and I love playing there. Playing fabric New Year is like a dream come true - it's my favourite club on the biggest night of the year.
With New Year coming, do you have any resolutions? What do you want from 2016?
Discipline! That is my main resolution for 2016. I've been thinking a lot about it, I've been going really far in this game and I'm really happy, but I can sometimes get carried away with the party lifestyle. I'm always going to be a partygoer, but I'm not good at turning it off and going home. I'm going to be a lot more disciplined with my health and exercise, as well as getting in the studio and getting my head down. I want to be in this game for a long time and I know what I need to do now. I love the job itself, so it doesn't have to be a party.
Finally, what was your highlight of 2015?
My highlight of 2015 was playing so many dream gigs. I played so many dream gigs in the summer - closing DC10 terrace with Jamie, closing DC10 inside room many times by myself, playing 3 terraces before Marco Carola and being asked to play for an extra 30 minutes by Marco Carola because he was enjoying the music. And being asked to do a remix by someone like New Order was absolutely massive. There's too many highlights to list, but those are the ones that come to my head now.