Ramzi Eager @ Let Loose, London
Ramzi, a French artist with Tunisian heritage, has made a significant impact on the music scene. He is not only the co-founder of Let Loose, a renowned party in London, but also the founder of Eagervision Records, an independent vinyl and digital label known for its innovative and authentic underground releases.
With over 14 years of experience as a Label Manager, DJ, and Producer, Ramzi's unique style and versatility have played a crucial role in revolutionising the vibrant East London and underground music scenes. His sets, events, and label releases have contributed to the ongoing evolution and growth of these artistic communities. Ramzi's passion for creative percussion dates back to his early years. During his teenage years, he drew inspiration from iconic acts like Daft Punk and the sounds of 90s house music. Additionally, his fascination with oriental music, influenced by his visits to Tunisia during summer vacations, further shaped his musical journey.
Driven by his deepening inspiration, Ramzi decided to move to London to share his music on a broader scale. Embracing the vibrant East London underground scene, he became a prominent figure by organising and headlining numerous successful parties at venues like E1, Lion & Lamb, the Egg, and Ace Hotel. Fueling his passion for production, he established Eagervision Records in 2015, providing a platform for emerging talents to express themselves and nurture their musical development. We’re delighted to host Ramzi on our live mix series, as he provided us with a brilliant mix from a recent Let Loose event. We also caught up with the main man himself recently to learn more…
Going back a bit, how did you become involved in DJing and in the dance music promotion scene in London?
I have been DJing, producing and playing percussion since I was a teenager. In Paris, it was more about developing and challenging myself as a dj by playing in every type of venue you could imagine, from small clubs and community events to big outdoor festivals.
But moving to London at 21 was like a reset for me. I stopped playing in gigs and started to go out dancing instead to get inspired by London’s underground music scene and the way the crowd connected to the music.
The desire to play hit me again after a few years but I didn't see myself growing as a DJ “brand”. At the time, I just wanted to play and share my music while connecting with other artists. I realised that the most natural way to achieve that was to create a label and organise my own events.
What inspired you to start Let Loose?
It came very naturally, we never really pushed for it. I have been friends with Alejandro and Julian for almost 10 years and we developed a deep interest in digging records, sharing music and playing together for pure pleasure at home or at private events.
More recently I met Lucas at a party and we ended up playing the whole night together. We got amazing feedback about the music, but most of all the feeling it created. We clicked and I then introduced him to Ale and Julian.
We had a common love for minimal & house music but also something different to bring each thanks to our different roots (we come from Spain, Germany, France and Tunisia) and experiences with underground music.
We then decided to create a party that would reflect the ideas we had and enable people to let themselves go, and then leave with nothing but a smile. Let Loose was born..
You’re also involved with the Eagervision label. Can you tell us a bit about that one and the story so far and the difference with Let Loose?
I founded Eagervision in 2015 as I particularly enjoyed connecting with producers on artistic projects as well. At the label, we developed some sort of old school way of releasing music and albums where we really think about the story of each release and exchange in a very open way with producers so we can get the best out of them.
It was fascinating to me to see what you can achieve after building a close but honest relationship with an artist. We started by releasing digital releases and remixes and then moved to vinyl with 3 records featuring talented and innovative artists such as Alffie, Octave, Constratti or Silat Beski. We try to release music that touches people’s souls so it was amazing to see the response and feedback we got from people and DJ, with plays at various festivals including Sunwaves.
The label has been quiet recently as I have been focusing on other projects but I will definitely release new vinyls soon. Regarding the difference with Let Loose. Let Loose is an independent event brand and Eagervision now focuses exclusively on releasing music.
You’ve held events in an array of London-based venues, including Bow Bridge, The Goose & more. Is moving the party around a conscious thing? And how important is the venue to the party?
Finding late licence venues that have intimate vibes is difficult nowadays in London. We definitely want to make people live a different experience every time but we would also love to go back to some of these venues.
To me, there are many details that make a party good enough, great or amazing. The venue, the soundsystem, the security (very important!), how people look after each other... So when we pick a venue, we make sure we are on the same page on all these points as we really want people to dance without feeling anything that would distract them from the musical journey.
You are about to run your first event in Portugal in the Algarve. Can you tell us more about it and why you chose Portugal?
We have two close friends who live there and have been telling us about this amazing spot on the beach and how it would be amazing to do a ‘Let loose’’ there. It was initially just a long term project but they came to our last party in London and we spontaneously created a Whatsapp group together during that night to actually make it happen! We love day party vibes and the beach so it was a no brainer for us..
What sets London apart as a vibrant hub for dance music culture? What challenges do you face in organising and promoting dance music events in such a competitive market?
Brexit happened, Covid happened, and the rent is still increasing here. There must be something with this city that people love..
I think especially artistically, London is one of the best cities for new ideas to flourish. It is international, people tend to be more tolerant, and more open to new sounds. However, things have definitely shifted in the last 5 years. There is a lot of competition and people’s expectations in the underground scene have (rightly) increased.
I think the key is to inspire the people to come to the party and try something different. Things have completely changed now with instagram being used much more. You need to somehow reflect your identity and the vibes you will create at the party with just a few coms. But let’s not forget the most important thing: make people enjoy the party so they come back…
Every promoter has a moment of clarity where they ask themselves why. Have you had that moment of doubt yet? And how have you overcome it?
I had moments of doubt when I was promoting events by myself. As soon as this feeling hit, I decided to focus the label on releasing music only as that was something that felt more natural. Promoting events by yourself can take away the fun. Some people do it but given my personality, I didn’t enjoy it that way any more.
Now with Let Loose, there are four of us involved and I enjoy it so much! You get different perspectives and can count on each other which really adds value.
Your events are typically soundtracked by your residents, and you usually steer clear of guest names. Is this a conscious decision or has it just organically grown this way?
Good question.. We wanted to take things step by step and really develop a brand, a signature vibe and sound. It was important to us and we were very keen to stick to this vision at the beginning. We now may look at inviting a guest at our next event as a natural next step as we do want to always innovate for our community. So stay tuned!
Any specific criteria you look for in your residents? Are they friends first and foremost?
Yes it is basically the four of us. But we don't exclude inviting more friends or upcoming artists also in the coming parties to play.
Was there one moment where you felt you were onto a good thing and that you’d rally gathered momentum? Can you share any memorable moments or highlights from your experiences as a promoter in London?
I think one of my best memories was when we had this mad idea of organising Eagervision rooftop parties at Ace Hotel in Shoreditch (it has since closed). It was a 5 star hotel that had an amazing rooftop and a huge cube with a very high ceiling. At the time, no one had brought Funktion speakers up there to play underground music.. It was really an unexpected mix. We would see the clients of the hotel in the lifts wondering what was going on on the roof haha
We had a few amazing parties and It was really special cause the place was unique and we knew it was not something that would last. We were just there at the right place and time.
As a DJ and promoter, do you get to relax on the night much? Does this affect how you play?
I learnt through the years that it is very important for the promoter to be present and enjoy/dance with everyone. It is fine to be busy but we come back to the real reason a promoter promotes parties. To me, I don't promote parties to make money. So if I am not there dancing and enjoying, there is no point. There is always a bit of stress/excitement before I play, especially if something is not right like the turntable is not working (classic!). But eventually, thank God, I get to relax when everything is set.
Obviously, your state of mind impacts how you play and it's fine but it is important to not forget that people are there to dance and we have to deliver.
You’ve provided a mix here for our live series. Can you talk us through where it was recorded and the vibe you were going for with it??
I recorded this mix during the last Let Loose at Bow Bridge which can give an idea of the sound I play, even if each set is of course different. I tried to create a smooth and organic progression, but always with the focus of creating a story and going through different vibes. I hope you guys will enjoy it!
How do you stay connected with the crowd and local dance music community and gauge their interests and preferences?
I think that it is very important to stay humble as a DJ. DJing can be the easiest and most complex thing in the world, it depends on your expectations and how much love you put into it.
I obviously have an idea where I want to take them but this can evolve while I play. I try to observe people. If I feel that they are enjoying a type of sound I have just played, I may play these vibes for a bit, in my way. If I feel something does not quite work, I try to react quickly.
I think people unconsciously feel if a DJ is connected to the crowd. I also like to drop a couple of stand out tracks or “hits” in the set that everyone will remember. It is a way to trigger memories and touch as many people as possible on the dancefloor while creating contrast.
What role do you think social media and online platforms play in promoting and marketing dance music events today?
They are very important but.. I also feel like a lot of decisions are made last minute nowadays except when people really want to see a specific artist. So you have to promote effectively through socials, especially in the last TWO weeks.. People need to be aware that something is happening so they know where to go if they feel like dancing.
How do you handle the balance between commercial success and maintaining the underground integrity of the events you promote?
I think it is important to break even or be profitable so you can reinvest, but we definitely don't put the commercial aspects at the core. We want to share our music and create memories, most of all.
We had one of our best parties on a boat with 100 people and people still talk to us about it. For us the underground integrity takes priority. I think it is dangerous when money impacts any creative process, so we always have to ask ourselves the right questions: why are we making music or running events?
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to do the same as you?
Experiment, be curious, perfect your art, do it with love. Remember also that people do feel when someone is honest, authentic and truly passionate about something. It is not because nowadays, there is a lot of competition as producer, dj or promoter that you cannot create something unique that truly represents you.
What’s next for you - personally and professionally - that you’re really excited about?
Let Loose Portugal! You can check our insta if you want to join us there for the last weekend of June.
Apart from that, I bought this Loop station that allows me to make beats and loops with my voice and Cajon. It is fun but I am not good at finishing my own tracks haha If someone is looking for analog loops, contact me, that may force me to deliver!
Keep up with Ramzi Eager on Instagram