Colombia’s DJs take us into their exciting and expanding scene on FRISKY Loves Colombia
South America has been an underground electronic music hot spot for years, and Colombia’s DJs are ready to show why their country is one of the best. A solid scene that is currently experiencing a rapid growth in variety and style, with ever expanding options to go see live performances, Colombia is becoming a go-to destination for electronic music fans. FRISKY Loves Colombia will take you there, featuring an entire day of genre spanning music from 12 dedicated and passionate DJs that are ready to show off what makes their country special.
Juan Pablo Torrez
We caught up with a few of our featured DJs to get us ready for their special:
What is the best thing about the electronic music scene in Colombia?
Paul Lennar: The best part is a couple of things together, its people, their culture, the so-called groove, the way people dance non-stop in the floor, people get the music in a special way.
Gres A: Definitely, the electronic music scene in Colombia it’s happening for a good moment. The response of people to listen a new projects and more underground music is growing. A few years ago, most people here just listened techno and sounds with little melody, the work of promoters was limited to a group of artists, who visited the country every years. Now, the people are ready to enjoy in a different way the electronic music. In Medellín have, weekly a good shows of different and excellent artists, who every time loves more Colombia and this city.
Our work is to encourage the people to keep growing and show the Colombian talent.
I think there is a big responsibility of the promoters and events creators, because at this point the scene can generate strong changes and that depend of his decisions if this changes are positives or negatives.
With all this information, for me the best thing of the electronic music scene in Colombia it is the moment that is passing where all can change and we have too much to do.
Juan Pablo Torrez: The best thing about the electronic music scene in Colombia is that it is in constant growth. Since around 10 years ago, we have had some up and downs about it, but it is growing strong with great promoters and excellent artists in almost every genre.
Kamilo Sanclemente: I think the best I see in our scene, is its fast growth. I wouldn’t know if it’s growing “correctly”, but is doing it at full speed.
La Femme: Colombia’s electronic scene has suffered a huge development over the past years. More and more venues have opened up allowing the artists to show themselves and perform with more regularity. For electronic music customers is also very positive as now you have a wider choice, venues have specialised and you can find precisely the music you want to hear. This choice is sometimes difficult as you can have over 5 top international artists performing in the city in the same night! haha. It’s really encouraging to feel we were part of this process.
Is there anything you would change about it?
Paul Lennar: I think that us, as Latin Americans, push for more consumption of electronic music, maybe setting folklore and ethnic music from Colombia a little aside, it’s a complicated relationship. Still, people of all over the world can have their minds and hearts with our music through tools like the internet and social media, and still physically live elsewhere in the world, wherever electronic music is massive!
Juan Pablo Torrez: Well, I think I would lie if I won’t want that the scene bigger or if I want that more events of the genre I like where held in Colombia. But, it is all about to give your best in order to the scene to grow. The thing that I would change is that people were more active to give their support to the scene as a community and not as an individual, it would help a lot.
Kamilo Sanclemente: Yes … I’d like to see and live a more passionate for music audience, than just for raving. I believe it’s ok to have a big crowd, but an educated one would be just amazing. Like that we will talk about electronic music culture and a real scene that includes all artists and music genres.
La Femme: The massification of the scene also has its cons. I sometimes feel that electronic music has become a trend, fashion and nowadays there are more and more DJs. Which is fine! the problem is that Bookers and venues not always have the experience and knowledge to develop their duty properly prioritising marketing over quality music. Many of the newer artists haven’t gone through the whole process of growing and gaining experience by steps.
Quality standards should rise not decrease for this developing industry.
What was your first local underground electronic music experience like?
Paul Lennar: I remember it was awesome! First club I ever went to was called Gotica Club in the late 90’s. The music, the sound system, the lightning, everything caught me, and after a couple of years I got the chance to mix live in that same club. I also recall some of my first gigs in other awesome clubs in the city, the Sala Club, Cha Cha Club, and the Cinema, in my hometown, Bogota. Oh, and by the way, shoutout to one of the promoters over there, DJ Gerard, thanks for the support.
Gres A: My first local underground electronic music experience was in 2008, more or less. I remember a beach party in Coveñas, Sucre. I was spending my holidays and my sister, who are dj too, invited me and we could to see some local artists. I didn’t like the atmosphere who lived in the place, because the electronic music scene was not really cast, but it was an interesting experience.
Juan Pablo Torrez: When I started to assist to electronic events in Cali, Colombia I was under-age and I sneak in the clubs, particullarly it was one club called Le Blonde and the other one was called Forum. I was really excited but at the same time afraid that the law come get me, LOL. It was wonderful and was a really great experience for me. In those places were playing some djs that today are great friends of mine and that I owe them almost everything that I know in the art of mixing, specially Leoesco and Samuray.
Kamilo Sanclemente: In 1998 my dad gave me my first software, a 24 channel tracker … That was the gift changed my life. I have no clue what a DJ was at that moment, however, I started to create those kind of sounds and got into them strongly enough, that I made my firsts DJset using my own music at a Club in front of my house back in my hometown, Guacarí, Valle del Cauca.
It was such an amazing experience when they gave me a chance to make an electronic music set with crowd, that after that night, I decided this was what I wanted to do in life … (:
La Femme: I have been DJing over 9 years now. I remember what the local underground electronic music scene was like years ago.. there weren’t enough venues to play. Entering the circuit was very challenging as the electronic scene was so small, there weren’t as many DJs as there are today, quality standards were higher and competition was hard. So getting booked and being able to perform was very fulfilling. It was very exciting to get booked and warm up for the old school top DJs, and receive the support of them in my career.
Where are the best places to go see underground DJs?
Paul Lennar: The best ones right now are BAUM Club, Radio Berlin, and Octava. Those are the ones hiring lots of DJs right now, so they can go mix live to other cities in the world.
Gres A: In Medellín, the best places to enjoy a good music are ‘’Salon Amador’’, ‘’Calle 9+1’’, ‘’Masion Club’’ and ‘’Vintrash Bar’’. Also, we are encouraging people to promote outdoors events.
Juan Pablo Torrez: There are 2 clubs to go in Medellin, Colombia, Mansion Club and Salon Amador. If you want to sit and listen to great music you can go to Baren or Tropical Cocktails. Time to time there’s a place called The Hall that holds some awesome events. In this city exists a very large Techno festival called Freedom Festival run by the excellent crew of MedellinStyle and there is another more progressive oriented called Natural Rave Festival that is earning a lot of followers in a couple of years.
In Cartagena, there’s a really large festival with 2 stages (Main and Underground) which is one of the biggest festivals in Colombia. And In Bogota, you can go to Baum and Octava, there’s another underground festival called Baum Festival made by the crew of Baum Club (the best electronic club in Colombia according to DJ Mag).
In Cali, you can rest assured that you will be hearing great music and dancing in a small but lovely place called Aurora. If you are more into lounge, you can go to Garden Lounge. Sometimes, Eliptica and Rain Club do really good underground events as well.
Kamilo Sanclemente: There are definitely great places in Colombia to visit, list them all would be a bit risky ‘cuz I might forget to name some. But TBT, Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, Barranquilla are great cities to go for a good underground party.
La Femme: Billares Londres used to be one of my preferred underground venues. Baum is obviously one of the venues that has added more to the underground scene. Is definitely one of the best places, it has 2 amazing rooms with a great sound and atmosphere. Octava and Vlak are also 2 venues to watch out.
What do you think the future holds for Colombia’s music scene?
Paul Lennar: Well, we’re still paving the way, we might not be as advanced as perhaps Argentina or Brazil are, but the sound we got is definitely evolving thanks to Colombian producers.
Gres A: My partners and me work’s for contribute of electronic music scene, and we created in 2015 a music collective called ‘’Foehns Group’’. The intention is strengthen the culture and show Colombia like a good country with too much talent. In Foehns Group predominate melodic and envelopes sounds with a good Groove.
Also, the record labels in Colombia are growing. recently I sealed , with my duet partner under the pseudonym ‘’Big Time Chilly’’ in ‘’Sonnet Speciale Music’’. This Label was founded by Fernando Olaya, he is an excellent artist and he is one of the people who represent Colombia in the international community.
Juan Pablo Torrez: I see a really positive future for Colombia. People are being more critic at the time of picking up a genre that they like and leaving the EDM umbrella at a side. Techno is pretty strong in Colombia, but other genres as Deep House, Tech House and Progressive are making its way in the last years. Some really awesome and talented guys are doing great music, being the keys to place Colombia in the global scene.
Kamilo Sanclemente: I think the future brings lots of music diversity, quality and above all, an industry that grows and makes DJs and producers part of a respectable and worthy profession, like others in in life.
La Femme: Colombia has now become a capital for the electronic music scene in South America. It will continue to grow. Colombia is now a solid platform for international and local artists to perform. Also, more and more local artists are working hard and delivering quality music which has enabled more and more Colombian artists to perform abroad.
Is there anything else FRISKY listeners should know before tuning in?
Paul Lennar: Sure, I think these are playgrounds for artists to reach out to other parts of the world, and also promoting radio with their live sets, having the chance to get to audiences from even different countries with stations like FRISKY, and tune in from their phoned, tabs, or even a pc, anytime, anywhere, always, with FRISKY in your pocket!
Thank you FRISKY!!!
Gres A: Yes, I hope you see Colombia like a good country with good people, who want to change the overall look a little for strengthen culture and this style of music. Enjoy the the set and find the deepest…
Juan Pablo Torrez: In my set I tried to showcase some of the Colombian talent and some tracks that will come out through my label Clubsonica Records, be aware of the tracklist.
Kamilo Sanclemente: This year I’m working in my debut album with very interesting Colombian artists. I’m looking for new sounds and also, becoming part of a special artists label called Die feine Mukke together a bunch of great friends. With them we’re building a wonderful surprise for 2017 for all you.
La Femme: I’d like to thank Frisky radio for the opportunity. This DJ set is a piece of who I am. With music I get to communicate my feelings, its an interpretation of my world. I hope Frisky listeners can connect and enjoy my sounds. 🙂
Colombia has so much to offer the electronic music world, I’m excited to hear what all these DJs share with us! Tune in Saturday May 28th starting at 10AM EST / 9AM COT [convert to your timezone] & experience a full day of the best of Colombia.