When did you start DJing – and what and/or who were your early influences?
My passion for music began in Lisbon, in the early 90’s. My first memoirs revert to our big family get-togethers when my uncles and aunties played fascinating melodies from a K7 player and dance the day out towards sundown. It was amazing!
My first encounter with the “DJ’s world” occurred in 1996, during my summer holidays in the UK, and through my cousin Dj Boss (Gerson Marino). I used to help my cousin, with the setting up and sound checking in his club, Discoteca Sabura. I was fascinated by the DJ scene – the speakers, the lights, hundreds of CD’s, the artists and the DJ’s I look up. At the start of the night, my cousin would let me play at the club and I would do the warm-up with Old School Brazilian Rhythms, Morna, Coladera and much more. It was surreal… I was a 16-year-old youngster and I would be on the decks feeling like a superstar…
What are your pre-set rituals or what you do to prepare for your set?
Music is part of my day-to-day and preparation is ongoing if I am honest. I focus on having a good night and making the crowd dance and enjoy the moment. Before a gig, I tend to listen to unmarked tracks on my playlist to get my imagination going. I think there is nothing better than skipping your iTunes and finding that ‘dusty’ track that has been sitting there for ages waiting to be played (music lovers and DJ’s will understand).
Nevertheless, knowing my crowd is essential and I always make sure I am prepared to please the mass with a vast playlist to cover all musical tastes. If it’s the case of a first time in a venue I tend to communicate with the promotors and define expectations. I also do my research and I am fortunate enough to have a network of DJ’s (friends) willing to support and exchange experience.
What’s been the best event that you’ve ever played in and why?
I have been fortunate enough to play in numerous places across different cities. It’s difficult to isolate as each experience brings a different emotion.
I guess my travel to Mozambique in 2014 to attend one of my friend’s wedding, and play at Coconut club was a highlight; a mind-blowing location with 35 degrees all day long, surrounded by friends, family and such humble people, all of this plus the most amazing food you can ever taste, I mean… what else?
The highlight of this trip was the fact that I had the pleasure of exchanging knowledge (it was more him talking and I listeningJ) with one of my Icons – Dj Joao Reis. It was an incredible experience that I will continue to treasure.
What advice would you give to upcoming DJ’s?
That’s a tough question…
I think I would start by talking about technology and the easy access to becoming a “DJ”. I don’t believe that the fact of owning a PC and a controller doesn’t make you a DJ. In my humble opinion you have to Invest in knowledge and learn how we got here (music background) in the first place.
If your aim is to become a DJ and to craft a DJ title, don’t forget the basics of musicality and the meaning of what you are playing. Learn the distinction between musical genres and tracks, learn the music tempos and melodies. Learn to read the crowd, the dance floor and never forget that you are the ‘master’ in the club so you have the ability to change a person’s mood.
After your job is done, be humble and take feedback but having said that don’t limit your DJ sets to what others say or want to hear; believe in yourself..
Finally, don’t compete with DJ’s but with yourself. There is nothing more gratifying than ending a party knowing that the DJ’s as a team, have done an excellent job and everyone enjoyed.
Outside of music, what else do you do to relax, hobbies & interests?
Outside of music I tend to be working on my day-to-day job and focusing on my career, so there is not much time to relax. I guess I am a bit of a workaholic.
When I have time, I like to spend it with friends and family, but I also love the peace and quiet of my home every now and then.
I love sports, even though I haven’t practice much lately, and capoeira is my ‘sleeping beauty’. I stopped practicing many years ago but is still with me everywhere I go and every time I hear the instruments my heart beats faster and I want to jump around.