Interview – Mike Mannix
IU – Thank you, Lupe, for talking to us at iconic underground, how did your love affair with dance music begin, what gave you the itch to mix
L – Production was definitely my first love. I started producing pop music and learning from a group of friends that were pop music producers. It was one of the biggest learning experiences in my life. After that, my life completely changed and I started experimenting with other genres. House music and techno were a style of music that was very present in my life growing up in Madrid, Spain, so when I started producing house and techno I felt like I was finally home. DJing came afterward. As much as I love to DJ and connect with the crowd I definitely consider myself a producer first. I love to create from an idea or an inspiration all the way to a finished product.
IU – Over the course of little more than two years, you have released more than 30 records that’s a phenomenal amount of releases! Can you talk us through the usual production process, arrangement, outboard and DAWs involved and the inspiration that drives you?
I am always making music”
L – I have a home studio so I am producing a lot all the time. I listen to a lot of music and that is what inspires me, it can be a vocal or a melody or a different instrument or just the tone of a track , I try to think of ideas of how would have I done that same idea in my own style and then something different comes to life. In terms of arrangement I always try to go for something DJ friendly, something that would enhance my sets when played/mixed with other dope tracks. I definitely make music straight up for the dance floor. Interns of DAWS I currently use Protools, and my latest secret weapon is the TR-8 drum machine, which I got from my good friend Kerri Chandler. It has definitely made a huge difference in my production, bringing some of that old school vibe to my records.
IU – Who are the artists that have inspired you the most who would like to work with in the studio?
L –There are a lot of people I would like to collaborate with, especially as I discover new artists more and more. Some of those artists would be Skream, Riva Starr, Coyu, Kerri Chandler and much more… (Actually Kerri Remixed my track earlier this year 1000 Watts, but I look forward to collaborating with him more)
In terms of non-electronic music there are a few artists I would love to collaborate with, and in my dreams, that would be Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Bootsy Collins, etc. There are a lot more people that I would like to collaborate with but most of them are already dead. lol I really like old music. like classic rock, soul, funk, good old school hip hop. Let’s just say that they do NOT make them like they used to… (I am starting to sound like my mom) LOL
I love Motown, Soul and Classic Funk Music, Early Disco and Freestyle too. Anything that really has fire and passion behind it. I love things that are authentic. I think that is why I listen to so much older music. The 70’s really speak to me.
IU – Can you describe your style, and why you think it’s gained you a worldwide loyal fan base?
L – It’s hard to describe your own creation/style. I love drums that make you move and bass lines that drive the track, I always think of a kind of jungle sound… a tribal feeling with a bit of gangsta to it!.
IU – Tell us about your weekly radio show ‘The Loop Radio’ and about the launch of your own radio station, Subdustrial, on Dash Radio?
L – I produce and host my own radio show “In The Loop Radio” that airs every week and it’s syndicated in over 30 countries around the globe. Also IN THE LOOP Radio airs on Dashradio.com/subdustrial . Subdustrial is a channel of underground house music and techno that plays all year round 24/7 that I run for Dash Radio. Besides the tracks I carefully curate to play on the station we also syndicate different radio shows from industry heavyweights, to bring you the latest and freshest in this industry. Currently, we have a radio show like Yousef, clap cast (Clapton’s Radio show) Todd terry, Release Yourself by Roger Sanchez, Stereo Productions Podcast by Chus and Ceballos and much more.
Our platform has over 5 million monthly listeners and growing. So you can now download the free app Dash Radio and find us there under “Subdustrial” or listen to us online on Dashradio.com/subdustria. Dash Radio is available globally and you can of course always just go to http://subdustrial.com to check out the player. If you want to hear my radio show on Soundcloud, you can go to http://soundcloud.com/inthelooprecordings
IU – Is dance music a spiritual component in your life?
Music is definitely a big spiritual component in my life”
L – For me, House Music and techno are a mind and body thing that runs through me and puts my thought in order. It can be used as an escape or a way to connect too!
IU – What are your current top ten tracks that you must play in a set?
L – I am always downloading new music so hard to say, but you should go to https://soundcloud.com/inthelooprecordings/sets/itl-radio and check out my top 3 tracks of the week, many times we have free downloads 🙂
IU – How has Columbia refined your style?
I am fortunate that I have been exposed to different cultures growing up, and even more as an adult. I was born in Colombia and I grew up in Spain so I definitely think that the cultures of those 2 places influence my musical taste as well as production and selection today. I remember being a kid and listening to music with my mother, typical Latin music like cumbias and salsa. I am very drawn to tones of that style and I incorporate a lot of Latin percussion in my current production.
IU – Being original and standing out from the crowd, discuss?
L – The secret for is being creative is to use your mind as your biggest tool. With technology, there is so much access for everyone to make music that sometimes the bar is set so low. That is why is so important to master your craft and be true to yourself and your music. I think you have to really push yourself and be very true to your authentic self of what you want to express, rather than what you think is popular!
IU – So whats next on the musical agenda for Lupe?
L – The goal for me is to just be making music. I don’t really have a specific agenda. For me it is about the path, not the destination, who knows what is in store for me? I just try and do the next indicated thing, one step at a time. I have a release coming out this month on Mad Tech called “Can’t Go On” that is on their ADE 2016 release compilation and another EP called “Full Jacking” on my own label (In The Loop). I am working on growing the label and the In the Loop party as we speak. I also have a release coming out on Roush label, Hector Couto’s imprint. But like I said before, the goal is to be walking the path, which is exactly what I am doing my best at each day!