An interview with Nicola Cruz
Nicola Cruz is an Ecuadorian electronic producer, musician and DJ. He has become one of the most heard artists at ecstatic dance events. We got in touch with his record label ZZK Records to ask him some questions.
TM: Tell us a bit about Andes Step (your style right?) how did this develop and how would you describe it?
Nicola: So… Andes Step was at first just a mock at the huge amount of unnecessary sub genres that exist in music now a days. However it backfired because in a way it really describes what I do in 2 words: Grooves inspired in the region where I come from. Stories from the mountains.
TM: Which of your tunes should we listen to first, and in what setting should we listen to it to get the vibe?
I Feel ‘Puente Roto’ is complex but complete approach to what I do, because it fuses a story of tradition, represents the palette of colours I like to use, and has this right amount of sound design that makes the song really expresive (I feel). A good setting would be a nice pair of headphones (Grado Prestige series will do), home, mint tea, lamp light, sofa.
TM: For the music you release now, do you play any instruments in the studio or do you sample them from other musicians?
I play, I sample, I record. I love the experience to be always different. I’ve always played percussion, so in a way that’s the main motto in my songs. But I also consider sampling as much as an instrument for electronic music as a drumset or guitar or bass would be. The combination of all this worlds keeps it interesting
TM: When did you start getting to a point where you felt you developed your own unique sound?
I feel I did that with my sound design, even when I used to make techno. I try to make my songs as expressive as possible through sound.
TM: What do you think about the music scene in Ecuador and in general in South America right now?
It’s blooming very fast and strong. Lot’s of interesting things happening all over. We are at a point where everyone in the continent wants to establish their own signature, and this generates a huge amount of creativity; we inspire and get inspired by each other here.
TM: Who used to be your music heroes and who’s on repeat now?
I’m not much of an idolizer, maybe Matthew Hebert, huge fan of him. Right now Owiny Sigoma Band are on repeat, back to Devendra Banhart and Femi Kuti.
TM: What’s the favourite gig you gave so far, where was it and what’s the venue/ event you dream of playing one day?
Best gigs for me are always where a whole experience happens. This meaning decorations, a motif, food, etc. I feel that’s where you can really connect or relate your concept of music to. For example, 2 years ago a festival called ‘Nomade’ at the southern part of Chile, a hidden and sacred place in the middle of the mountains, where my music became much more powerful because of the influence that the place caused in me and the people. But yet again, playing at Kater Blau Berlin and loosing the notion of time because you create this surreal experience is also very special.
TM: What are important things that are coming up for you as an artist?
Mainly, the amount of opportunities and places I get to present my music. Is always nice, inspiring and refreshing to tell this stories throughout the globe, see reactions, speak this universal language.
TM: What would I do if it wasn’t music?
I would be a Marine biologist