Exclusive Interview With Illustrious Belgian Music Maestro – Aytiwan

Exclusive Interview With Illustrious Belgian Music Maestro – Aytiwan

Under the esteemed guidance of Aaron Sevilla, the trailblazing Sunset Gathering label from Mexico is thrilled to unveil its latest auditory gem, “Isimanga.” This remarkable Afro-House endeavour results from an exceptional collaboration between Aytiwan, the illustrious Belgian music maestro, and Lizwi, the prodigious South African vocal talent.

“Isimanga” transcends mere musical composition to become an auditory journey. It weaves the vibrant essence of Afro House with enchanting melodic cadences and a narrative of wonder.

Aytiwan has made a name for himself within the spheres of Afro-House and Afro-Tech music, revered for his unique blend of hypnotic rhythms and captivating soundscapes that have enthralled audiences worldwide. Riding on the wave of his previous hit “Iphathi,” Aytiwan infuses “Isimanga” with his signature creative zest. His contribution promises to propel the track and the genre at large to unprecedented levels.

Hi Aytiwan, welcome to Soundrive! Where are you right now? 

Hello, and thank you for having me on Soundrive! I’m currently in my creative space at home in Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium. It’s a place rich with history, nestled comfortably between Waterloo and Brussels.


Ahead of the release of ‘Isimanga’ on Sunset Gathering, can you share the inspiration and creative process behind it? 

The inception of ‘Isimanga’ came on the heels of the success of ‘Ilanga’ and the completion of ‘Iphathi.’ In early 2023, fueled by the uplifting momentum, I was driven to create a sound that bridged melodic house with the spirited essence of Afro House. Lizwi, whose voice has always captivated me, was the artist I envisioned to bring this piece to life. As I laid down the foundation of the track, my intention was to infuse it with an infectious positivity that mirrored my own feelings at the time.

I carefully crafted the synths to resonate with the energy I sought and left ample room for Lizwi to weave in her magic. The final piece fell into place during a family holiday, where even my sister, upon first listening, recognised the distinctiveness of the vocals and the track’s lasting impression. Her validation was the sign I needed to know it was ready to meet the world.

How did you connect with Lizwi, and how did you work together throughout the production? 

I reached out to Lizwi through Instagram initially to gauge her interest in a new project. It quickly became clear I was engaging with someone extraordinary. When I sent her what was essentially an 85% complete track, I had no specific demands. She had complete creative liberty. After booking her studio sessions, she sent me a video clip of herself in the studio, singing and dancing, a moment of pure joy that she shared with her engineer.

Receiving her vocals was a delight, and from there, I put the finishing touches on the track. Throughout the entire process, we kept in close contact, which was a joy in itself. Getting to know Lizwi, understanding her kindness and positivity, and experiencing her soulful contribution to ‘Isimanga’ – it’s been a rare and beautiful journey. Working with Lizwi was not only an artistic collaboration but a soulful exchange with a kindred spirit whose positivity and kindness imbued every note of ‘Isimanga.’

What can you tell us about your background and musical journey so far? 

I’ve been navigating the DJing landscape for over 24 years now. My beginnings were humble, mixing tracks on my computer with the most basic of tools and creating tapes for friends, all without the luxury of modern software like Traktor or Rekordbox. As soon as I saved enough, I transitioned to turntables, immersing myself in the world of vinyl before progressing to CDJs, Serato, and beyond. My taste in music has always been eclectic, from house music to hard techno at festivals, and I’ve even found joy in UK alternative pop bands and hip-hop.

Originally producing under the alias Nico P, my sets always had an Afro flavour, peppered with rhythmic vocals and percussions. It was a natural progression to fall in love with Afro House, which led to the birth of Aytiwan. What a journey it has been, indeed! A transformative journey that continues to be an exploration of sound and soul.

Belgium isn’t typically associated with Afro House. What draws you to the genre? 

My attraction to Afro House stems from an enduring appreciation for its foundational elements, like those found in the Africanism project by Bob Sinclar. The genre speaks to me on an emotional level—its blend of emotive vibes, soulful voices, and dynamic rhythms connects deeply with my inner being. It’s a style that transcends typical house music boundaries and captivates even those who might not typically gravitate towards house music. Despite Belgium lagging slightly behind its neighbours like France and Netherlands in Afro House, I’m committed to nurturing this scene.

ON Sundays at Spirito in Brussels by my friend Lexx, Urban Jungle by Kaudron, and Massaï Club in Liege (where I’ll be playing on 9th Feb) keep the spirit alive. My friends MO:YZ and their Afterwatt events contribute to this lively scene as well… there’s a burgeoning movement here. I also champion this genre monthly on Belgium’s national radio during the Tipik Party show by Alex Klimow, spreading the rhythmic gospel to a growing audience.

How did the release with Sunset Gathering come about, and what has it been like working with Aaron Seville throughout the process? 

Sunset Gathering reached out to me following the release of ‘Ilanga’, expressing admiration for the track and Enoo Napa’s remix. At the time, I was already committed to ‘Iphathi’ and had no demos to share. However, once I had ‘Isimanga’ ready, I knew they were the right label to approach. Their passion for music, combined with their striking artwork, always resonated with me. Collaborating with Aaron Sevilla has been an absolute pleasure. He’s not only a remarkable talent from Mexico but also a consummate professional, always responding swiftly to my queries, making the whole experience incredibly rewarding.

Exclusive Interview With Illustrious Belgian Music Maestro - Aytiwan

Do you have any specific studio rituals or things you like to do to prepare you creatively for writing music? 

When it comes to creating music, my focus is paramount. I ensure there are no distractions, dedicating several continuous hours to the process. My most creative moments often come at night during weekends when my DJing schedule is clear. The ritual begins with experimenting with my favourite synths, searching for inspiration to craft the leading sound with my go-to VSTs like Arturia, Diva, and Serum.

What can you tell us about the local nightlife scene where you are and in wider Belgium? 

Belgium’s nightlife scene, while transformed from its zenith in the ’90s and early 2000s, still thrives with a vibrant undercurrent of energy and passion. In those days, we were known as one of the top destinations for clubbing—renowned venues were plentiful, and the music scene was at its peak. However, the landscape has changed; clubs have been replaced by shopping centres, like the beloved ‘La Rocca’, and the club culture has made way for the rise of festivals. Despite these changes, Belgium remains a hub of activity with fantastic clubs and venues that transform into pulsating party scenes.

There’s an undeniable shift towards festivals, but the love for clubbing endures. The atmosphere when playing at the right venue is electric – the Belgian crowd is as enthusiastic and receptive as ever, which makes performing here an absolute joy.

What are your goals for 2024? 

For 2024, my main goal is to deepen the journey with Aytiwan and Deep In Your Soul, to continue evolving, and to create connections with amazing talents like Lizwi and Aaron Sevilla. It’s the beautiful encounters and shared energy in this industry that fuel my passion for all my projects. Of course, securing thrilling bookings and spreading joy through my music is paramount, with the hopeful addition of some international gigs.

What can we expect from you over the coming months? 

In the months ahead, my schedule is packed with thrilling new ventures. I’m collaborating with an array of incredible vocal talents, such as Nomvula SA and Nes Mburu, and you can look forward to fresh remixes by illustrious artists like Argento Dust, Chaleee, Native P. and JabzzDimitri, to name a few. My creative energy is also being channelled into producing under my own label, where I’m remixing tracks that resonate with my Afro-House ethos.

There’s a particularly special project I’m eager to unveil—an unofficial remix of a track by a globally renowned alternative rock band that’s very close to my heart. This track has significant personal meaning, and the initial response from the dance floor has been nothing short of electrifying. I’m looking forward to sharing the complete version once it’s perfected. Stay tuned for this and many more musical stories that I can’t wait to share with you all.

Download/stream it here: https://songshare.com/track/yzv4heba.

Connect with AYTIWAN

FacebookInstagram | Spotify | SoundCloud

Isimanga | Soundrive

Soundrive Music

Soundrive Music has earned a reputation as the foremost global hub for all things EDM. With a presence in over 125 countries, it has swiftly become a trusted and esteemed source for electronic dance music news, reviews, interviews, and features catering to DJs, artists, and labels alike. Beyond its extensive coverage of the EDM scene, Soundrive Music provides a platform for aspiring DJs and artists to showcase their talents. Through a diverse range of events and collaborations with leading industry players, it creates opportunities for emerging talent.

From breaking news and cutting-edge music releases to in-depth interviews with industry titans, Soundrive Music is committed to delivering the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on the world of electronic dance music. Soundrive Music’s headquarters are located in London, United Kingdom, founded on April 19 of 2016 in Helsingborg, Sweden by Jacques Maurice Julie and Darren Johnathan Bezuidenhout whom are also the owners of esteemed UFO Network.

Connect with Soundrive on Social Media

Facebook | Instagram

Soundrive Logo 2023


Our Services