Interview: German Musician Paji Releases Debut Album “PAJI” on Katermukke

Hi PAJI, we are very happy to have you with us at House Music with Love. Could you tell us a little about your background and where you grew up. 

Hi! I was born in Cologne, Germany. My parents are Kurdish from Iran. So I grew up with both cultures.

You play many different instruments, what are they called and why have you chosen these particular instruments?  

I started my musical education with the violin. Before I tried other Iranian instruments, but taking my first lessons was with the violin, and it’s still my main instrument. Beside the violin, I play the Tar. It is a lute which is played in Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan. I was very lucky that a great Iranian master lived in Cologne for years and I could learn from him. Later, I got into percussion Instruments: Tombak and Daf. Some years ago I decided to start with the piano to have more skills in the studio and it helped a lot! Now I’m playing a lot with the Kamancheh and Setar. So it’s a kind of a never ending story….

What made you start to play live acts in the electronic music scene? 

Before I spent a lot of time in music studios, first as a musician for other producers to play and record instruments, later as a producer myself. When I felt ready to go on stage with my own project I wanted to play my own music and perform them live.

In just a few words, how would you describe your own music?

Melancholic, Deep, Energetic.

You have an amazing 11 tracker album coming out on Katermukke on December 6th, could you tell us how long you worked on this album, and what software and instruments you used?

I worked almost one year on my album. I used all the Instruments I play myself but invited also musicians to record instruments that I can’t play. I recorded a lot outside the box, but processed a lot with the computer. I worked with Ableton Live and a lot of VSTs. Serum, Omnisphere, Arturia, U-He… Just to name a few.

 What are some important factors you look at when choosing a label to collaborate with?

It’s very important to have a good partner on the label side. They have to support me and my visions as an artist. To have a creative room where I can make my own decisions is very important to me. Every artist is different and so is the music.

We see some great names of well-established artists that you have collaborated with on your album, how did you come about working with these artists?

I’m very happy to have these guys on my album. I work since years with Marko and Arndt from Tube & Berger. I was on their debut album and so I wanted them on mine.

Thomasiom is a multi instrumentalist, composer and producer. I met him coincidentally in Berlin and we started to do studio sessions together.

I met Namito when I moved to Berlin in 2018, but of course I knew his name before. We were introduced by a friend and planned a studio session. There was immediately a good vibe and we produced the track ‘Intoku’.

Last but not least, ‘Wonderful Bones’. Coming from a different genre makes working together interesting. I really like his voice so we spent hours and hours in the studio together. It’s no coincidence that he is on 2 tracks of my Album.

 You have produced a lot of different tracks over the years, which one(s) would you recommend to someone that is not quite familiar with your music yet?

I would recommend to listen to ‘The Old Gods’, ‘Six o Clock’ and ‘Atacama’. I think these older tracks of mine describe my sound very well.

 Could you elaborate on the technique behind your live acts, and what the live acts would look like in the near future?

I play my own tracks in a live version. I can loop parts or stems and improvise on that. So I can create moments and play with the crowd. I play with Ableton Live, Drum Machines and my electronic Violin for now. In the near future I want to bring live visuals to my set and maybe some more instruments.

 You are going to be travelling soon for your upcoming tour, could you tell us a little about any of the gigs?

I start my tour here in Berlin at the Katerblau. After that I play in Aachen, where I lived for a very long time. After that, I fly to Ukraine and Russia, before I start my Asia tour. I’ll play in Goa for New Years and take some days off there before my tour continues in Europe. Really looking forward to this tour!!

Buy link:

Check out a recent interview with Paji on When We Dip

Paji Album Release party on Resident Advisor