Born in Haarlem, The Netherlands, Corren Cavini (Corné Kamminga) took his first musical steps at a young age when he began to play the guitar. Sparking an ever-growing passion, he found a love for collecting music, and was soon led to the world of DJing. After making his club debut at fifteen years old, it wasn’t long before he started experimenting with the production side of things. Exposed to the Netherlands rich house and techno scene, he cultivated his signature sound under the alias Corren Cavini.
Over the years, his sound has been shaped by the constant presence of emotion, harmonic tension and warmth, which helped put him on the map as one of the most prominent talents in his genre. Incorporating inspiration from modern art and cinema, he strives to tell stories that are close to his heart through his craft. His progressive ethos sets him apart with tracks and sets that take a vibrant approach to house and techno, while remaining true to his underground roots. Chartering releases on prestigious imprints such as DAYS like NIGHTS and This Never Happened, he also gains support from A-list acts including Eelke Kleijn, Lane 8, Tinlicker and more.
We caught up with Corren Cavini following ADE 2023 to discuss his influences, his journey so far, and his new release on Nora En Pure’s Purified Records:
Hi Corren, welcome to House Music With Love! Where are we speaking to you from today?
I’m currently in my studio in Utrecht! I’ve been working from this space since january and it has been so liberating for my creative process to have a ‘sanctuary’ dedicated to making music like this.
Your new release, ‘Ghosts’ EP, has been receiving a lot of attention. Can you tell us about the creative process behind the title track and what inspired its hauntingly beautiful soundscape?
For virtually any track I write, some form of emotion is the starting point. In the case of Ghosts, I wanted to express the emotions I felt by losing a connection to somebody. The funny thing is that this track has made me connect with a lot of people during my sets. In that way, something that was inspired by losing connection has in some way become a symbol of finding new connections to me.
‘Ghosts’ incorporates classical instrumentation and mesmerizing electronic elements. How do you approach balancing different styles and sounds within your productions?
That balancing act is honestly one of the most challenging aspects of my creative process. I love implementing my passion for classical harmony into deep and melancholic music, but I love fast and energetic music just as much. It feels like there’s a spectrum in between those two extremes, and with every track I try to find the sonic color that expresses the right feeling.
Let’s talk about the EP’s second track. Could you share the influences and ideas that led to the creation of this piece? What inspired the name?
The second track is called Triple Taxation. It is kind of a weird story actually. The first thing you should know is that I’m not the best when it comes to financial and tax matters. When I started writing this track, I had a few situations where I was forced to not only pay double tax but also do a lot of administration which I did not know how to do. This was beyond frustrating to me, and honestly got me in a very bad mood. When I started writing this song, it was to get rid of that feeling. As I was writing it I got happy again, because I focussed on doing what I love.
You started your musical journey by playing the guitar. How has your early experience with live instruments influenced your electronic music production and DJing?
I think that influence has been mainly subconscious. There is one example that jumps to mind. In my youngest years, I was a huge fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, especially their guitar player John Frusciante. The melodies and chords he wrote on Stadium Arcadium and Californication have always stayed amongst my all time favorites. I think in an abstract way you can hear that I have a tendency to emulate his approach in my own music, even though it sonically is entirely different.
Growing up in Haarlem, The Netherlands, you were surrounded by house and techno from a young age. How has your Dutch background influenced your signature sound as Corren Cavini?
I actually moved away from Haarlem when I was two years old, so the impact that city has had is actually fairly minimal.) The impact that my Dutch background has had on my musical development is undeniable. Where in my youngest years I was mostly a fan of rock and pop acts, in my teenage years I started discovering electronic music. In that period in which I started developed my own musical taste, Dutch electronic music was very big internationally. The music of artists like Eelke Kleijn and Joris Voorn influenced my sound immensely and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
Your music is known for its emotional depth and harmonic tension. Can you elaborate on the role of emotion in your music-making process, and how do you capture that in your tracks?
For me emotion is music and music is emotion. Some of the most meaningful moments of my life have been on a dance floor. The dance floor is a place where I’ve cried, worked through emotions and shared euphoric moments with people I had never met before. Good music has the power to create those moments, and the reason I’m an artists is to contribute to that. I think it’s an absolute necessity to be vulnerable and put my emotions into music. How could I expect people in the crowd to be open if I’m closed off myself? Taking that into the studio, almost everything I make starts with the goal to translate an emotion or an encounter I’ve had into music. The way I do that is by starting by focussing on the emotional core of the song, and that almost always means I’m working on the melody and harmony for a long time before I dive into any sound design or drum programming.
You have previously mentioned that you draw inspiration from modern art and cinema. Could you share some specific examples of art or films that have had a significant impact on your music and creative vision?
I think the impact of good art on my music is very indirect. Mainly, it can spark my creative mind or pull me out of my comfort zone. Some examples of works that have left a mark on me in the past years are the movies Asteroid City (Wes Anderson), The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh) and Pig (Michael Sarnoski).
Your approach to house and techno is described as progressive while remaining true to your underground roots. How do you strike that balance, and what do you feel sets your music apart in the genre?
That’s an interesting one. I used to be obsessed with staying underground, whatever that might mean. At the same time, I have always had a tendency to like more emotional and major-feeling music. In recent years I’ve learned to not think about where my music belongs as much and that has been very liberating. I’ve gained trust in my own taste. Now that I’m not worried about if I’m ‘techno’, ‘trance’, ‘house’ or whatever anymore, I have my own sound that I think can stand on its own. Sometimes my music can be more deep, sometimes more euphoric, but because it always comes from my heart it will always sound like Corren Cavini.
Your releases have found homes on prestigious imprints like DAYS like NIGHTS, This Never Happened, and Purified Records. Can you talk about your experience working with these labels and how they have contributed to your musical journey?
All of the labels you mention have helped me enormously, each in their own way. Having the support from the big artists that are behind those labels helps a lot in the creation of the music, but it’s also really nice that they all have their own fanbase. Also, it’s really nice to work with multiple labels because it makes it much easier to find the right musical home for new songs I write.
Many A-list acts, including Eelke Kleijn, Lane 8, Nora En Pure, and Tinlicker, have supported your work. How does it feel to receive recognition and support from some of the most revered artists in the industry, and how has it influenced your career?
I can’t deny it is a great feeling and honor to receive support from these artists. What is even more meaningful though, is building genuine human connections with those people. I’ve known Eelke for almost ten years now and Nora has supported me for quite a long time as well, and it’s amazing to know them as genuinely very nice humans.
Lastly, what can we expect from Corren Cavini in the near future? Are there any exciting projects or collaborations on the horizon that you can share with your fans?
Ooh I always think it’s hard to pick what I want to say when somebody asks me this. I have so much new music planned, both with labels we’ve talked about before and new partners. My next release is going to be in January and it’s one of my personal favorites. But I also am looking forward to a new year with a lot of shows and hope to play in new countries.