Who’s afraid of 138?! An exclusive interview with Aly & Fila!
During ASOT600 in Den Bosch we had the honor to interview some of the artist in the pressroom. One of them was Fadi Wassef Naguib, beter known as Fila of the Egyptian Trance duo Aly & Fila. We had an very pleasant conversation with him, and he took a lot of time to talk with us. We asked him about his set earlier that night, his musical career and much more.
Fila, you played at the ‘Who’s afraid of 138?!’ Stage tonight. How did it go?
It was really good! There was a big hype about this stage, and everybody was talking about it. So, I was very happy to be part of it. It’s our trademark sound, the banging, uplifting stuff. When I started the place was full and people were getting crazy. There was a great vibe!
Did you prepare anything special for tonight’s set?
Yes, I didn’t want to play the same tracks every station is playing, or other artists on the stage were playing. So, I played a lot of new tracks that we signed to SFOE, and new stuff from our forthcoming album ‘Quiet Storm’ to make it a more exclusive set.
Is there communication between the DJ’s about what you’re going to play?
Actually no, but there are some kind of common rules. I will never play a track of someone who’s playing before or after me. For example if I play before or after John O’Callaghan, I won’t play his big tracks like ‘Big Sky’.
How did you prepare yourself for tonight? Are there any rituals you go through?
I have my lucky sleep, take a shower and that’s it. I do this every week. So, I’m used to it!
Armin played a lot of your tracks in his radio show. What did this mean to your musical career?
Armin helped us a lot. Let’s say we thank 30 to 40 percent of what we are to Armin. He is the one that promoted us and showed us to the world. A State of Trance 300 was the first time we played on one of his ASOT events, and ever since we’re playing with him. He’s always supporting us. To be honest without him we wouldn’t be the same.
And your own radio show ‘Future Sound of Egypt’?
It’s growing now! And I’m happy to see there are more and more listeners every week. It’s on more FM radio stations right now all over the world. So, it’s getting bigger and we are excited to see what the next few years are going to be like.
You’re a duo together with Aly. But you’re touring alone. Can you tell us why?
Aly has a problem with his ears since 6 years, and he cannot be exposed to this kind of loud music. We work together easily in the studio, that’s no problem because we control the sound.
Who/what inspired you two to become DJ’s/Producers?
The movement of trance in 1997 and 1998 with Paul van Dyk, Thrillseekers, Chicane, Armin and Tïesto. The Magix CD’s where absolutely magical back then, and we loved this music. Especially Paul van Dyk, After seeing him live we got so inspired by his music. And we said: Let’s start doing it for fun. Just for fun!
Can you tell us something about your first gig together with Aly? Where was it and how did it go?
Our first international gig was at A State of Trance 350. Because Aly couldn’t make it to ASOT 300, he didn’t get the visa on time. People still say: ‘We saw you together at 350. Why can’t we have that anymore?’. We’re very sorry, but it’s out of our hands! It was great to tour together, and it was also a lot of fun to play b2b with Aly. I miss that time!
What are your favorite tracks at the moment, and most important did you play them tonight?
Yes, one of our favorite tracks is from a new duo from Egypt called Fady & Mina. I played it tonight. It’s called ‘Ninja’. And it’s a rockin’ track! One of our other favorites is a track by ourselves, from the new album. It called ‘First Sun’ and it’s pure melodic, and I can say it’s a proper follow up for ‘Lost Language’. I’m sure all of our fans will love this one.
What can we expect from the new album?
The new album is very varied. The BPM of the tracks is between 128 and 140 and the album even contains some chill out tracks. It has a big diversity, and that’s exactly what I like about the new album.
How long did it take to produce this album, And when can we expect this album?
The first album ‘Rising Sun’ took us 1,5 years. This new album took us almost 2,5 years. It will be released Mid-June!
Did you produce this new album together?
We worked a lot separate in the past. Because I have a studio, and Aly has his own studio. But for this album we moved together to the same studio. Before we were sending each other messages like ‘Listen to this’ on Skype. While we both live in the same city! So we said: Let’s make one studio for us together to work on the album. And every week when I came back from the weekend, I went to the studio all the week days to work on the album.
What is your favorite part during the production of music?
Installing a new VST, Synthesizer or plugin. After that trying the presets and find a cool sound! It even gives us ideas for the melody, new sounds inspire us. I really love new gadgets and it makes me feel like it’s Christmas. I always check the new stuff, and when I find something cool I can’t wait to buy it!
How would you describe the unique Aly & Fila Sound, and what makes it so unique?
It has two sides. 1. It’s very melodic. We always make sure we compose a really strong melody. 2. We mix it with strong beats and bass line. Not to dreamy, just a good balance between melodic and banging! I think that’s the special thing about our sound.
And what are your musical influence?
Aly and I have almost the same background. We both learned to play the piano when we were kids. When I was 17 I started learning music theory. After that I got my sound engineering diploma. That was my study.
Aly’s grandfather is a great and famous musician in Egypt. So, it’s in his blood!
What do you see as the highlights of your musical career?
I would like to say this year! A new album coming up, and off course the FSOE 300 tour. I can’t wait for the summer!
What’s next for Aly & Fila?
Well first of all the release of our second album Mid-June! Beside that the FSOE 300 celebrations. We already announced Prague, Amsterdam and Mexico. And we will announce more cities soon. Maybe we will release the third part of our compilation series “Future Sound of Egypt” by the end of this year. But only if we have time, and enough special track. If we don’t have special tracks we won’t do it. I has to be special for the collectors!
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