One of the buzz artists in the States right now releases ‘So High’ on Sanchez’s Brobot label
Interview : Dan Prince
Lupe welcome to DMCWORLD, where in the world on planet dance are you today?
“Right now I am in my studio in Los Angeles. I’ve been working on some new beats all weekend long and now taking some time to talk to you and DMCWORLD Magazine!”
You have the Buzz Chart office going crazy at the moment thanks to your incredible ‘So High’ track swinging our way on Junior Sanchez’s Brobot label. Talk us through the sound and making of the track…
“‘So High’ is my first official release. I have been working and producing tracks for some time now, but ‘So High’ is my first track that makes me feel like I found my true sound. I knew that I wanted my first release to be one that helped me to define my direction as an artist. It’s really interesting because the week before I created ’So High’, I spent the whole week in the studio with Roger Sanchez out here in LA. Roger was working on one of his upcoming releases and I got to watch his process for a few days. It was an amazing learning experience and very inspiring. When I was writing ’So High’ I was digging deep inside myself to find just the right groove, the right sounds, and the perfect dirty bass line for this track. I wanted to create a track that I would be excited to spin in my sets that had just the right vibe and pumped the crowd! ’So High’ just came together like a little magic moment and everything just felt right! When I finally got the track almost finished I was jumping around the studio dancing to it, and that was it. I sent the track off to Junior Sanchez and he called my manager back the next morning and was like “this song is dope, I wanna put it out on Brobot! “…I was so excited, I was beside myself!
I interviewed Junior today by coincidence…
…one of the kind things he said about you was…” when I really started to listen to her productions I was blown away by the passion and the realness that she has for this craft, man she’s one to watch out for sure.” So, what are your thoughts about that little comment?
“Coming from a legend like Junior Sanchez, I feel very honored that he even listened to my tracks and more so that he believed in me and the record enough to want to release it on Brobot. For me releasing music alongside artists like Chocolate Puma, Todd Terry, Harry Romero, Alexander Technique, Human Life and of course Junior, is a huge honor. To hear Junior’s belief in me as a songwriter and producer is beyond inspiring. Junior is not only a true pioneer in House music , but an incredible DJ, producer, businessman, and above all a true friend. One of my favorite things about Junior is his no bullshit approach to life. Bottom Line…Junior Sanchez judged my music on its own merit, and not as music that was made by a girl, which is the biggest thing I could ask for. I feel really honored to part of Brobot family.”
Over in the UK there are a few female DJs who have also had past careers in the adult industry, I can’t think of one who likes to mention it though. You however have not tried to cover your history at all…?
“I have nothing to hide, nor am I ashamed of any of my past. All the experiences that I have had in my life both good or bad have made me the person I am today. I left that part of my life behind 3 ½ years ago and like everything I do in life, I have never looked back. Music has always been the most powerful force in my life and once I began doing music professionally, I immersed myself completely.”
You were asked in an interview recently when it was you decided it was music that was your future, you said “two years ago”. So what happened, what was the defining moment when you thought music was going to be your new life?
“Music has always been in my soul since I was a little kid growing up in Colombia and then Spain. Three and half years ago, I resolved that If I wanted to pursue my dreams of making music my life, that it was NOW or NEVER. There was no one “turning point” per se, it was to put it simply – a conscious decision that If I were to take my career seriously, I would have to put 100% of my time and energy into music and ONLY music!”
The obvious question comes next. How difficult in what is primarily a male industry, was it for you to be taken seriously –
“Well, I don’t know how you can measure how serious other people take you, nor do I care. All I can say is that my love for music is very serious to me, and I love what I am doing and I hope other people enjoy it too. It shouldn’t matter what your gender, race, religion etc. are. All that matters is the music. The universal language that breaks down all barriers!”
Who were your big friends starting out that helped you make your dreams come true…?
“Well, I definitely have built a really strong extended family in the house music scene. To be honest, I have never been surrounded by so many positive people, that are all connected by something bigger than each of us…the music! Junior Sanchez of course was the first person to take a chance on an unknown artist, and is releasing my first single. He is a very dear friend. Junior is really passionate and honest with me about my career and the fact that he is like a big brother that will tell you what’s up for real is the best thing for an artist. Roger Sanchez has been one of my biggest supporters and closest friends of mine and my family in this industry from day one. I have learned so much from Roger about so many things but especially about production. He is such a talented person and also very straight up, which I appreciate a lot! There has been a lot of Love and support from a lot of really cool people like Todd Terry, Alexander Technique, Blaqwell, Human Life, Austin Kramer at Sirius XM, etc…“
What did your family think of your shift in careers, do any of them come to your gigs?
“My family is very proud of me and I am very close with my family. I hope they can see me spin someday either when I come to Spain to perform or next time they come to visit me in the USA.”
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
Destiny – Sonny Fodera and Cajmere
Angel – Noir, Hayze
Hot – Level Groove
Get Loose – Stacey Pullen
Walls Come Tumbling Down – Route 94
Percolator – Cajmere (Jaime Jones Remix)
Get Down – Level Groove
Dangerous Thoughts – Roger Sanchez
In My Heart – Route 94
Liv it Up – Blaqwell
“And of course I’m playing ‘SO HIGH’!”
Okay let’s rewind for a moment, you really do have an intriguing history…it really was inevitable you ended up in our industry! Brought up with next to nothing in Cali in Columbia, your family soon moved to Madrid where you discovered music. What were the sounds/artists/genres you can remember from back then?
“Growing up in Cali Colombia my family always played Latin Music, (Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia). Artists like Celia Cruz,Tito Puente, or El Grupo Niche, etc. When I was a teenager in Spain my friends and a lot of people I knew were really into Bacalao music. When I started going to clubs with my friends and I discovered people like Erick Morillo, Roger Sanchez, and others, I fell in love with House music. Erick has always a been a big inspiration for me. Dance music was really big in Spain while I was growing up and seems like it has always been the soundtrack to Spanish Nightlife culture. So, maybe you are right and it was inevitable that I ended up in the dance music industry!”
It was whilst living in Madrid you discovered Ibiza! What are your memories from that time visiting the white isle?
“One summer while I was in High School, me and my best friend were very fearless, and we decided to go to Ibiza on our own – with almost no money beyond our plane tickets. I have to say that It was the wildest trip I had ever been on. We partied for days and barely even ate or slept! Sleeping on the beach, dancing for hours on end, visiting Pacha, Space, Privilege..,I almost don’t remember any details, just flashes of the best time of my life!”
Who are some of the DJ/producers you are digging at the moment? Interesting to see you at Avalon in LA last week checking out Sasha…
“I’m really digging Oscar G, Sonny Fodera, Level Groove, Marco Carola, Adam Beyer, Hot since 82 and others. I am out checking out DJ’s in LA several nights a week when I’m home!”
Miami WMC now seems but a distant memory. What were some of your ‘take home’ memories from the craziest week in dance music…?
“Wow. Well this was my first year at WMC and I can’t wait till next year. Some of the best moments were playing at Hyde Beach at the SLS Hotel at the Brobot Party alongside Todd Terry, Chocolate Puma, Alexander Technique, Junior Sanchez, Harry Romero, Human Life and others! Just being surrounded by music 24/7 was an amazing experience. Being able to see every DJ imaginable and mingle with do many different people was incredible. Seeing Marco Carola at WALL was incredible. Roger’s gig at Set was super cool for his launch of Under the Radar too!”
What are the records that…
Reminds you of your childhood and of a broken heart…
“Without a doubt “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals…and the Jim Croce version of Cats in the Cradle, because It brings up some very real emotions for me!”
What is coming out next from you studio wise…?
“I’m releasing a track called ‘Drop the Beat’ on INHOUSE Records in June and a song called “Feel it” on Brobot Records after that! I am the kind of person who is always infatuated with my latest song, which at the moment is untitled but all I can say is that it is really Dark, Trippy and Nasty! Right now, I am working in my studio all the time, writing, discovering and learning! I guess I am a perfectionist like that like I want to learn all the time and grow. Well enough especially for my own work is never good enough.”
So we head back to yours on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Who are some of the artists you spin us to mellow and chill the mood…?
“My vibe when I’m spinning is really deep, dark and funky with latin undertones. I’m not the kind of person who plays a bunch of different styles. Maybe since it’s Sunday we play some Murk to chill the vibe without losing the funk!”
A quote from a superstar DJ this week…“a DJ has to have a piss every time before he goes on the decks, and if somebody tells me that’s not nerves they are full of shit.” – do you get nervous before DJing?
“I get really nervous and excited at the same time EVERY time I am going to get on the decks in front of people. The adrenaline is kind of drug. The day I was playing with Roger at Setai in the WMC, I was so nervous I almost didn’t leave my hotel. My manager had to literally drag me to the gig and I was so glad once I started spinning, I had a great time! After every set, I laugh at myself and wonder what the hell I was so nervous about, and then ironically, I am just as nervous the next time I have a show! LOL.”
Where are some of the big shows you are looking forward to this summer?
“I will be playing around a lot this summer in Miami, NYC, Vegas, LA,Chicago, San Francisco and many other places. I hope to make it out to see a lot of cool DJ’s in different places. I am spending a lot of my summer in my studio in LA focusing on my production!”
And finally Miss Fuentes, what one piece of advice can you give to the thousands of aspiring producers wanting to follow in your footsteps in the music world…?
“I don’t know if I feel qualified to give anyone advice on THEIR lives, but what I CAN say is that for me, I do my best to stay true to the music I feel and the music I love, whether I’m producing or spinning. This is the only life I have and I don’t want to waste one second of it with anything that is not 100% authentic to me!”
Thank you Lupe. Hopefully see you in Ibiza this year!
“Thanks for your support Dan, See you in the DJ booth or on the dancefloor!”