Audio Key Architects the winners of the best dj of the month contest january 2024

The origins of the two artists’ adventure

This is the story of Nico and JR, two young men in their thirties from the Paris region. JR, a musician by training, and Nico, an electronic music enthusiast, wanted to share their universe and launched the aka project at the beginning of 2023.

The highlights of their career began with the release of their first song, “Arcanes”, in June. After that, they had the opportunity to perform in Parisian bars and clubs, and ended their first year with a highlight: their participation in the Lamano festival to celebrate the release of their fifth single, “Nova”, on the Teoxane Production label.

Harmony of Differences

The two brothers came from very different musical backgrounds. JR was more rock-oriented, while Nico leaned towards rap. However, if there was one track on which they consistently agreed, it was Deadmau5. Over time, techno has become an increasingly important part of the brothers’ lives. Nico first started mixing for friends in 2022, while JR contributed to several electro projects as a composer.

At Nico’s nightclub premiere, he asked JR to compose an introduction for his set. It was through this experience of co-production and shared symbiosis that they felt the need not to stop there, and began to compose their songs collaboratively.

From Melodic Techno to Bold Exploration: Nico and JR’s Sonic Journey

Their musical style, as DJ/producers, is rooted in Melodic Techno, but they also explore more powerful or darker sub-genres, adding a diverse touch to their project.

As for their musical influences, Nico and JR remain open to all genres of electronic music. They don’t let themselves be limited by a specific major artist, and simply produce what they feel passionate about at a given moment.

Over the course of their careers, they share their highlights, as well as songs that are currently inspiring them, such as Stone Van Brooken’s cover of Meute, “Rej”. Of course, they don’t forget to promote their own creation, inviting listeners to discover their track “Dune”.

In terms of the creative process, the duo take a relaxed approach. They choose a chord color to set the mood, design the bass and drums, then let the atmosphere rest before returning to finalize the track.

For production, they currently use Logic X, but plan to switch to Ableton next year to integrate a live set into their performances. JR, as drummer, adds a personal touch by recording some of the percussion at home. Their equipment also includes a Dave Smith.

In the live performance arena, Nico and JR approach DJing with adaptive flexibility, adjusting their sets to suit the moment, the crowd and the venue. As artists, they aim to immerse the audience in their universe, creating sets that start with their first and end with their last track. The aim is to build a fluid journey between these two extremes, offering an immersive and varied experience to their audience.

Audio Key Architects answered our questions:

1. How do you see the electronic music industry evolving over the years?

As in all industries, the pace is accelerating, with more and more independents. Today, it’s easier to distribute on platforms and use social networks, which considerably intensifies competition.

2. What are the current opportunities and challenges for emerging DJs/producers?

From your point of view, the main challenge is to stand out from the crowd without strictly following trends, while retaining your authenticity. Electronic music has enjoyed considerable popularization, and even without an established fanbase, it’s possible to find opportunities to perform, whether through open decks, collectives, competitions and so on.

3. What advice would you give to young artists looking to break into the electronic music industry as DJ/producers?

. Master production processes to create quality pieces.

. Manage your image, your communication and your presence on social networks.

. Make connections, network, exchange with other producers/DJs and get active in the community.


Ultimately, the sonic journey of Audio Key Architects ( Nico and JR ) is not only a musical exploration, but also a lesson in the power of brotherly collaboration, open-mindedness and authenticity in the artistic quest. With an eye to the future, they continue to build a bridge between musical extremes, offering their audiences an immersive and varied experience, establishing their distinctive imprint in the vast landscape of electronic music.

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