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Ramon Tapia: “Hard work and never giving up is kind of my life motto”

The techno realm is notably competitive, but Ramon Tapia recognises that the key to an artist's resilience is sheer hard work, unwavering determination and personal growth amidst self-doubt

  • 19 October 2023

You studied jewelry and diamond cutting; a highly meticulous job that requires a lot of focus and time is slow there. But techno is fast pace. Did this impact your music part, if so how?

Not really my music has always been an expressive tool for me, I can do what I want, when I want and how I want! And just as with making jewellery I get zoned in quite fast even tho time always goes fast in the studio haha before you know it's bed time again.

You were working part-time in a record store and you mentioned that this was one of the places that introduced you to the techno scene. How did this impact your career when looking back? When working there, did you meet any legends?

This was a huge impact for me as I started off playing hardcore and gradually moved towards techno and having a steady flow of records from all around the world (any styles) coming in pretty much shaped who I am today! And of course I met many legends from Cj Bolland to Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos to Scooter. So I saw many pass by and to be really honest I really miss those days.

Let's talk about Detroit techno? Which part of Detroit techno influenced you?

Mostly Jeff Mills and Underground Resistance as they were so far ahead of their time, if you listen to those tracks now and think about that these were made 30 years ago, that just blows my mind. But there are much more influences than only Detroit for instance these guys got influenced by Kraftwerk etc etc so the loop is endless and that's how it should be.

Strictly Rhythm… What does these two words mean for you? What was special about it? Could you elaborate on the journey of the compilation you curated for the label?

It reminds me of a milestone in my career, Strictly Rhythm always been a huge house label and when they asked me to do this compilation / album I was ofcourse all in and I think it worked out well in this time I was making mostly house and tech house so you can imagine that this was a big thing for me in that time and looking back to it I still love all the tracks i did on that release.

You also did a lot of remixes. What would be your 3 tips for artists when making remixes?

Hmmm good question there are so many things to look out for but I would say: 1) Less is more... 2) Keep at least a bit of the essence of the original, a short stab or a vocal snippet can go a long way... 3) Sometimes resampling the original can do wonders or at least that's what I do...

We know that you are a person who believes in being humble. What would you recommend to the upcoming artists from that perspective?

Well it's true and kind of simple, there is always somebody better than you in anything you think you are good at, so stay with two feet on the ground which will be hard enough already if you get some success, never forget where you came from and never forget becoming number 1 is easy but staying there takes hard work and perseverance.

Today, the techno scene is more competitive, knowing that you are one of the artists that passed the test of time, tell us how you achieved this?

Did I achieve this? Haha! Hard work and never giving up is kind of my life motto so I think that's the answer right there. But believe me I had my struggles and then mainly talking about what I'm thinking in my head, am doing this right or wrong, is this the right choice this and that I mean I'm and artists doubting is also part of the game I guess, but you have to push yourself past this and grow.

You also own your own label Say What? Recordings and you also have a track with the same name; did the track influence the label and how do you do manage all these things together?

The track didn't really influence the label to be honest, the name was chosen when we were brainstorming and voila here we are after 184 releases.

You can imagine this would be a handful to manage it all just on my own, but my wife is pretty much my partner in crime in this! She manages the label, creates the artwork etc etc so she is the one who has to get all the props here.

I mostly only handle the A&R part of the label and even that can be a lot of work by times but we love what we do and that's what matters the most.

And the last question: Where do you think techno will go in the near future?

You never know what's gonna happen next but i have the feeling we are going into more funky / jacking techno again, a bit more straight forward like in the 90's but who am I to say what's the next big thing.


Take a listen to Ramon Tapia's top tracks below and follow him on Instagram.

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