A Sit Down With DJ Uner
UNER is one of the most important names of the new generation of Spanish electronic music producers. His musical training allowed him to develop at a very early age a different dance music concept, based on the pleasure for harmony and the search for a unique, personal sound.
Apart from traveling around the world as a Dj, in 2012 UNER is still developing the live performance act, an audiovisual concept in which he uses state-of-the-art software and hardware (from iPads to mini midi keyboards) to explore his most solid, personal side. The artistic expansion of the Catalonian producer will go on during the following months with the release of his debut album where he'll express his way of understanding electronic music from a musical point of view and from the center of the dancefloor. UNER's bound to reach higher tops with the only limit of his music... so there's still loads to see, listen and dance.
"Silence still inspires me, because its when I can be totally connected with myself and its where I find my inspiration."
Best 2012 Producer at Vicious Awards, Newcomer of the year at Ibizas 2013 DJ Awards, three more Vicious Awards , and also a fantastic 2014. How do you see the Spanish scene from your position? Where would you place the national product comparing it with Europe and the rest of the world?
We are still babies if we compare ourselves with scenes like the British or German one, but we are getting better and better. We could not forget the economic crisis here in Spain which has beaten hard artists and promoters and has just made hardest the fight. But thanks to the strength and the faith of the people and artists we are getting better. I dont mean better artist than the old ones, I mean that we are working better, we have more artists with different styles and we are getting out, to the international scene. Also we have to consider that people wants electronic music and its not anymore only the underground scene.
You play live and you DJ, right? Which do you prefer though? Do you keeping DJing so you can keep things fresh?
I only play live about 8 or 9 times a year, in special events or big festivals. I want every time I play live to be new and exclusive for the venue, so its very difficult to have that every week. Also, logistics get harder, it can sometimes be tough to travel with a lot of equipment. Ive been DJing since 2004 and so I travel every weekend. Its something exciting for me because I try to reconstruct each track I play and for me, its like creating music through other peoples minds. What I do now is, I blend both sides and include a live part in my DJ set to play live my own tracks. But all year long, Im 80% DJ and maybe 20% live.
You are known for experimenting with your gig setup. Do you see live performances as important to the UNER experience?
For me, both my DJ sets and my live sets are equally important. Everything has its moment and its magic, so a year ago I decided to blend it all and mix my DJset with my live set (for my own tracks and to be able to dismount tracks of other artists). In addition to being more fun for me, you give music a different point of view: your own point of view. And that allows people to reach deeper into your world.
You played in a live band growing up. What was the name of your band, how did you guys form, and what kind of music did you play?
Yes, Ive been doing live sets with electronic bands from a young age. The first band (well, it wasnt really a band, it was a duo) was called Real Dream and we used to do electronic pop from that era (around about 1994/1995). It sounds a bit cheesy now, but we were 16 years old and our dream was just to be able to play live to people. But thats not the only type of band that Ive been in. Ive played every type of music from classical concerts to music for dancing halls. It was an incredible era because being able to play such different types of music taught me to respect every musician, every style and especially to be inspired by many different formats, even seeing the real side of the music scene, not only about electronic music, but how hard it is to make a name for yourself in any type of music and how easy it is to be mislead by other artists who control the market. A great learning curve.
What do you think has been most important in developing your unique sound?
Staying true to yourself without giving in to trends or the temptation of wanting to be always in the tops and charts of the most sold tracks. I think thats a very common mistake these days, where digital sales have grown so rapidly. The personality of an artist is very important, and making or copying what another artist creates, turns you into exactly that: an undefined copycat. In my case, Ive always wanted to make the music I like, timeless and aiming at nothing but enjoying it and express myself.
If you would like to pick anyone, whether its a musician, producer, singer or artist to work with, who would it be?
If we speak about electronics, Laurent Garnier now and always without any doubt. If we talk about musicians, Paco de Lucía (impossible) or Bebo Valdés this would have been an authentic honor.
You released a bunch of great and successful tracks so whats your favorite thing when it comes to producing your own track?
The most important for me is try to do something different with every track. Of course I have my own sound and personality but Im trying to find a new direction and approach to producing all tracks, atmospheric with feelings and emotions, layers, and harmonies. For me its not about just making music for a club dancefloor, its about what I am going through at that time of my life and how that transcends into my musical output.
Your track Pallene served as an absolute hit for you. Where did you produce it and what was the process like?
Yes, Pallene was a turning point in my career, but I have to admit that a few times I got quite sick of it. LOL
When a track gets so popular, everybody asks for it, everybody wants you to play it, even a few times in the same night and it gets to a point when you want to move on. It was insane. Haha. However Im really happy that its part of my life because, in the end, it allowed me to meet those who are now part of my team, my manager and my friend/brother Alex Montoya and all those who have and are accompanying me on this crazy journey. And, obviously, my reputation changed in the music scene and it got me to places I hadnt been before and it allowed me to meet artists that I now work with. But especially, it taught us a lot about this business.
The genres of music are continually evolving, whats your prediction for the next new musical style?
It is complicated to predict what will happen tomorrow especially if the fans make their choice, their way, but I think the organic vocal deep sounds could be a next step. Even so most of the new sounds have been awaken from their influences from the subgenres of music.
What are some significant developments you see in electronic music right now?
Everything is much faster and easier when it comes to producing. Even DJing, or access to music. At the same time it has also provoked a frequent loss of that humanization factor, making everything monotonous and sound alike, sometimes even boring. I believe we should look for the real sense of everything, the technological advances are there to allow us to create better things every time, not to work less and become robots that just repeat an equation.
What do you think about the music scene in South America? Is it true that the North American festivals and parties are winning positions against the European ones?
The truth is that we are allways wellcome in the American continent. In both South and North America. They are very different places and there are also lots of differences between the East and the West in North America. Its an incredible territory which is growing so fast and theres a lot of people willing to discover and enjoy new kinds of music. As I said before I dont like to compare but what I can tell you for sure is that the power you feel there is awesome. Lots o clubs are promoting the electronic music with really good answers from the public.
What we can say is that there are incredible festivals like the Burning Man that wont be possible to perform here in Europe, because of the logistics and because of the licenses. And it is an special experience that I think everyone should enjoy at least once in a lifetime.
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