The name Bojan Orama may not sound familiar to you, but you surely know Wawa. Not the gas station chain, the Polish production team behind massive tracks like “Sombrita,” “Promiseland,” and “Never.” The future house bug bit Bojan and he has been releasing some sick remixes of club anthems like Size 9/Josh Wink
“I’m Ready,” Junior Vasquez
“Get Your Hands Off My Man,” and Bump/No Control “I’m Rushing.” His recent mashup of “Apache,” “It Takes Two,” and “Work” buzzed around the UK as did his original track “Freak It.” With his update of “You Used To Hold Me” getting approval and an official release from the legendary Ralphi Rosario, Bojan is a DJ/Producer to watch for 2016.
RS: How did you and Wiktor meet up?
Bojan: I was DJing with my friend at one of Warsaw’s clubs and when I went away for two months. He asked Wiktor to join him. When I got back, Wiktor stayed with us and that’s how we met and started working together
RS: Where did the name Wawa come from?
Bojan: We tried different names for our project but they were lame. One day, we were driving in Warsaw with Matthew Roberts, who is King Unique from Defected, and he noticed the cab passing us with the name WAWA. He said that because we are from Warsaw, that ‘Wawa’ name sounds cool. So we took his idea.
RS: Wawa was a unique team. You were able to release underground tracks as well as do successful major label commercial pop remixes. How were you able to achieve this balance?
Bojan: Actually I never really thought about any balancing. I think that was partially because of Mark Bowden from Hyperactive who was getting us remixes he wanted to keep WAWA as a cool sound and also because most of that stuff was initially for UK market where at that time they really hated the cheesy sound. Also people don’t really realize that when a producer is asked for a remix and if it’s not a spec mix, ninety percent of the time the label chose that producer because they want this producer’s sound. For example when they schedule a release, they will want to have three remixes in three different styles of club music. If they liked your previous track or remix, they will ask you do the same thing but a little bit different, but preferably the same.
RS: Which Wawa remix was the most challenging?
Bojan: I don’t really remember! The most challenging work is when somebody asked for a remix or production but they don’t really know what they want. So you do lots of revisions ending far away from where you started. This happened a couple of times and it’s usually a waste because the results are never really good.
RS: Why did you decide to leave the team in 2014?
Bojan: We haven’t been in studio working together for a couple of years already so I decided to close WAWA. Wiktor didn’t want to do it so I left him this project.
RS: Your real name is Michal Bojanowicz - how did you get Bojan Orama from that?
Bojan: I use my nickname Bojan taken from my surname since primary school way before I started DJing. When I decided to start solo career as Bojan, it turned out that this is a very common given name in Bulgaria and in the Balkans. So in 2015, all versions of Bojan were already taken on Facebook, twitter and soundcloud. I had to find name for urls of social pages. I used to change things by adding the suffix -o-rama because I heard it in anime movies. I decided to add it to Bojan. I looked up on the web to make sure it doesn’t have insulting or explicitly meaning. I found out that -o-rama means great so I kept it . Most of my decisions are kind of random when it comes to inspirations.
RS: What was the biggest challenge of going solo?
Bojan: Starting from scratch and finding fans on my new Facebook, twitter and Soundcloud. The funny thing is that many years ago, we did and interview and when asked who would you like to remix we said Madonna, but we never did Madonna mix as WAWA. I got an official Bojan mix of Madonna this summer.
RS: What is the strangest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?
Bojan: I haven’t been asked any really strange questions but when we traveled a lot as Wawa we did many interviews and sometimes the interviewer didn’t know about us and wasn’t really into EDM at all. Those were very awkward interviews.
RS: What is the polish dance music and EDM scene like?
Bojan: It’s different in different cities. In Warsaw, it’s mostly commercial radio sound and not really inspirational. Sometimes I think that when EDM took over it also brought many random people who don’t really like it but who want to be trendy. Some of the spirit in club music is gone because of it.
RS: How do you describe your sound?
Bojan: I remember when a friend told me that he can recognize my tracks and I was surprised because I didn’t thought they had a distinct sound. Anyway, I think my sound is quite energetic because I would fall asleep otherwise.
RS: You’re doing a lot of future house remixes of big and classic records. Are you worried about the labels or artists coming after you?
Bojan: I don’t really care that much anymore. The music business has changed over the last couple of years and there are zillion of bootlegs around. I’m just one of that zillion producers doing mixes. A couple of times, I was on the other side when my work was sampled without permission and sold. At least I’m not selling these mixes.
RS: Have you heard back from any of the artists regarding your remixes?
Bojan: In fact yes. I got a soundcloud message from Gramma Funk, the original singer regarding my bootleg of “I See You Baby.” I thought she was upset because I pitched her vocals down, but she said it was cool. Also recently I did mix of “You Used To Hold Me” and thanks to a friend I got in touch with Ralphi Rosario. I was a little bit skeptic because I didn’t know how he would react but it turned out he really liked that mix and it will be the official release soon! It’s surreal that I will have a collaboration with the house music legend.
RS: What inspired you to rework Ralphi’s classic?
Bojan: Most of the mixes of classics I do are my personal favorites from the past. From time to time, I just got the inspiration do a mix of a classic. Sometimes it doesn’t work and I get back to that idea after some more time. That was the case of “You Used To Hold Me.” I did a first approach in May but I wasn’t really happy with it. I reworked my mix almost from scratch in December and that is the version that Ralphi liked.
RS: “Apache” is getting a lot of buzz. You put the vocals from Masters at Work on top of the Sugarhill Gang classic. How did you think that up?
Bojan: Sometimes when I watch NBA games, DJs plays classic dance and hiphop tracks and I got inspired by that. That was the case of mixing “It Takes Two” and doing “Apache” track. I didn’t know it was from Sugarhill Gang but I knew Switch used that sample in "A Bit Patchy”. So I looked up for who Switch sample and found out the original track sampled also by Sugarhill Gang was “Apache” by Incredible Bongo Band.
RS: Don Diablo is one of your many fans. If you could collaborate with him - what would you do?
Bojan: Don Diablo supported two of my tracks “Freak It” and “Apache’ but I guess it’s the other way around. I heard about him around a year and a half ago. There was a lot of buzz around Don Diablo and I thought who is this guy I need to check him. I really got into his sound. He basically brought that house music feeling that I was missing the last couple of years. I was always fan of dope underground sound with pop elements. I never really got into big room sound but deep house vibes were always too mellow for me. So when Don Diablo started his rise I was very happy about it because he brings the sound I enjoy back to the music scene. Surely I’d love to collab with him, but I never really know in advance what I would produce.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Bojan: Thank you for supporting me and my sounds!
Interview conducted February 2016.