The Avener Talks Sophomore Album, New Single, and Life as a Deep House Icon

"I learn every day in the studio and things just evolve all the time."

It's been 5 years since Tristan Casara released one of the most successful debuts in the history of European Deep House.

Known by his fans as The Avener, the 32-year-old released his infectious debut The Wanderings of The Avener to massive critical acclaim. The album peaked at #2 on the French charts and has since gone triple platinum. The project's lead single, "Fade Out Lines," was streamed worldwide over 200 million times and was certified diamond earlier this year. "A lot of people say 'congratulations' now," Casara said in a 2015 interview with Universal Music Backstage, "so that's a new word for me...and I'm very thankful for that." Casara hasn't released another solo album since, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been busy. "Musical culture is an extraordinary pillar to reinforce one's producing skills," the DJ told Popdust. "I learned to never under-estimate the musical background that the last 50 years offer me."

He has spent the last five years experimenting with and reworking other artists' songs in his We Go Deep sessions, remixing everyone from Bob Dylan and Lana Del Ray to underground deep-house up-and-comers like Grand Garden and Erolflynn. "I learn every day in the studio and things just evolve all the time thanks to [all the possibilities] of computers and technology." Casara is soft-spoken and modest; his We Go Deep sessions denote his passion for pushing the limits of his craft.

The DJ finally released "Beautiful," the first single from his upcoming untitled sophomore album, this past May. "I didn't want to deconstruct the tracks I reworked in 'The Wanderings,'" he said. "[I wanted to] give them electronic modernity without losing that original texture." His latest single is drastically different from anything on "Wanderings" and is completely devoid of the southern blues and deep house fusion that encompassed the entirety of his debut record. "The songs differ from each other in a more harmonic vein," he said. "Some you can dance to, some you feel melancholic too." After being "locked up in the studio," he says his sophomore record will "finally be out later this year." While "Wanderings" catapulted Casara into deep house stardom, the DJ still just tries to make it about the work. "In 10 years I'll probably still be in my studio chair," he says. "But instead I'll be looking over the Carribean while I work."

Globetrotting Dutch-Moroccan DJ and producer R3HAB, aka Fadil El Ghoul, hooked up with Norway's Julie Bergan to deliver a new romantic house track "Don't Give Up on Me Now."

Bergan, a mega-star in Norway, with a laundry list of platinum records, a Spellemann Award (Norway's Grammy Award), a double-platinum album, Turn On The Lights, and more than 320 million Spotify streams, highlights the song with her dazzling, soul-infused voice.

On his part, R3HAB has been featured in Forbes and Billboard. His 2017 debut album, Trouble, grabbed over a half billion streams, while his second album, The Wave, has accumulated 200 million streams in just a few months, resulting in a sold-out tour of North America.

"Don't Give Up on Me Now" is the twosome's first collaboration, and follows on the heels of R3HAB's collaborations with A Touch Of Class, Icona Pop, and remixes for Sofi Tukker, Danny Ocean, P!nk, and The Chainsmokers, among others.

"Don't Give Up on Me Now" opens on vibrant guitars flowing into a compelling house groove topped by the cool, vibrant surfaces of Bergan's voice. Radiant synths ring out bright sonic textures, infusing the tune with wavering shimmers of color. A thumping kick drum and throbbing bass line blanket the rhythm in contagious dynamic pulses.

"Don't you even think 'bout giving up on me now / Don't you even think 'bout walking out of my life / Everything I do, I do it for you / I need you to stay, stay tonight / Don't give up on me now."

Cool and stylish, "Don't Give Up on Me Now" conveys magnetic energy.

Follow R3HAB Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

Follow Julie Bergan Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.