5 Minutes With… Chuna & Bjorn Maria

Having just released their Jack In The Box EP on the Indiana Tones imprint, collaborative project Chuna & Bjorn Maria are causing one powerful stir amongst the heads, with an organic sound that is eye catching from the off. We recently spoke to the guys to uncover more about what went into this recent release, plus the path they took to get to where they’re at now…


Hi guys thanks for joining us today! I wanted to begin with your individual history before we touch on this collaborative project. How did you first discover music, what was your first real memory?

Marcel (Chuna): I first discovered music in my early childhood, listening to some german folkmusic and getting in touch with an instrument called „Melodica“ when I was in elementary school. First experiences and memories on electronic music I had at the age of 13 listening to some Gabba stuff and 90s dance tracks.

Bjorn: It was with my dad as a young child in Durban, South Africa, we bought a couple records together.

When was the first time you sat down and began to create electronic music and how did it differ to the sound you produce today?

Thomas (Chuna): I started spinning records in 1996. Three years later I bought my first analog synth, a Yamaha RMX1 Groovebox. Produced some Trance tracks with it like I played and was listening to at that time. You know, up to 140 BPM ;) Today we keep focusing on melodies as well, but combining these with the groove and rhythm of house music.

Your most recent release, on the Indiana Tones label is Jack In The Box. Talk us through how you two worked together on this EP and how did you find it working as a duo instead of a solo act?

Marcel (Chuna) First we were jamming around in the studio, producing a loop, experimenting with the vocoder of our Microkorg XL, Thomas was improvising on the piano and the result was the instrumental of JACK IN THE BOX. Bjorn was offering us writing lyrics and also singing on upcoming tracks. So he came up with that Jack In The Box lyrics and it hits us – we both were completely flashed of his incredible jazzy and unique strong voice. Before finishing the track we met him during a gig (not as Chuna) in Eindhoven, talked about different musical things – a rare thing in modern world today. Meeting people and especially collaboration acts in real life, not only connecting via internet.

Bjorn: I heard the tune first and almost immediately the melody/concept came to mind … the tune had this toy-ish vibe to it, hence the idea of Jack in the Box.

What is about you two that makes it work so well in the studio?

Did you create this EP with a certain crowd, label or club in mind?

Marcel (Chuna): No, we just let it flow as it comes out of us. If there is a base you can work on you can control it and bring it in the direction you want. But we were focusing on creating something danceable.

What gear did you use for this EP, solely software or do you like to bring in hardware too?

Thomas (Chuna): We use Cubase, several VSTs and also Hardware, like in JACK IN THE BOX the Micro Korg XL for the bassline and the vocoder.

Can we expect to see you guys playing together as a duo on the club scene?

Marcel (Chuna): What you can expect is more music together with Chuna and Bjorn Maria and other vocalists. If it will be live in the clubs, we don‘t know at the moment.

Bjorn: I’d love perform this track live, as you can see on fb video been rehearsing already. Already did a couple of sets as a singing DJ.

What is the most challenging thing about working together? And also what is the best thing?

Thomas (Chuna): The highest challenge is to fulfill everyone’s aim and to realize their thoughts on it. But that’s also fun trying this in the studio as unexpected things are happening. For JITB we connected us via Skype and Facebook and tried to realize Bjorn’s thoughts on how his voice should sound like in the track without losing our aim behind it. What‘s also interesting while working together – getting new and different views on things and to try out another working flow as usual.

Bjorn: You get the best of both worlds and good for finding new crowds. Challenging is keeping faith when things turn out to take much longer.

How did you chose who would remix this latest release? Was it yourself or something the label controlled?

Marcel (Chuna): We are big fans of Kellerkind and also Freiboitar who had different releases on Indiana Tones before, so we thought it could be work well, so we asked both of them. The label was giving a plenty of scope regarding that.

Focussing more on the label again, what is it about Indiana Tones that makes it so suited towards your sound?

Thomas (Chuna): We like the whole package Indiana Tones delivers not only to an artist. Beginning on the awesome artwork from release to release up to the great label sound based on Deep- and Tech-House combined with Indie and Nu-Disco. It’s not to be sure to get a great artwork and to find a label which takes care about their artists like they do. As we have created a danceable track combining melody, groove and vocals we thought that could work on Indiana Tones so we sent it to them.

Finally to finish, what is your current favourite sunrise track?

Marcel: Aeroplane & Purple Disco Machine – Sambal (Spinnin‘ Deep) Thomas: Chuna feat.Label Mou – Another Ride (unreleased)
Bjorn: Nicolas Haelg feat. Bjorn Maria – So Much More (Free Download)


Jack In the Box is out now and available to buy here.

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