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Camilo Montezuma [Interview]

20 min read

Camilo Montezuma is originally from Pitalito (Huila) and has been a DJ and Producer since 2009, currently based in the city of Cali. Founder of the Concept One Collective. Currently a resident of LA Fabryka, Co-founder of The Zoo Festival, and is an inexhaustible promoter involved in the growth and development of the Cali electronic scene. This week finds Camilo making his debut on Sun Theory Music with 'Reborn' alongside remixes from Julian Millan and Flaminik.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Camilo to learn more about the release of 'Reborn', his background, nightlife in Colombia, creative process, DJing, and more. Enjoy.

Hi Camilo, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hello, currently my sound is based on tech house influence & progressive -Minimal, the last song I heard, actually is an old one, but the best for me, it was Knights of the Jaguar – Dj Rolando

How has the start to the year been for you and what are your plans for the week?

I have really high expectations, this is the first release from 14 productions that will be soon out on all the streaming platforms, I hope everyone enjoy them.

Take us through a typical day when you’re not travelling, what does a day in your life look like?

Normally i’m at the studio making music, sharing with my family and also working on other projects, lately I’m trying to make working put part of my daily routine.

How did growing up in Colombia influence your music taste and direction? Or did it all?

Colombia is a country of many nuances and with a lot of sound variety, the Latin flavor that is in us I feel has been very important when it comes to making music. That's why I always try to integrate sounds like Tech house and at the same time work with melodic atmospheres.

What are some of your best memories from first going to clubs? Were there specific nights or sets that really made you feel you wanted to pursue electronic music?

My best memories, when I saw Joseph Capri Atto for the first time back in 2011. In an emblematic club in my city. And the best moments are the ones I have managed to have sharing the stage with the artists I have always followed and admired.

If you were a tour-guide for nightlife in Colombia, what would be the clubs you’d take the people to see and what local DJs do they need to hear?

DJs: Julio Garcés, Julio Victoria, Kamilo Sanclemente, Julián Millán
Clubs: The Violet Frequency in Cali, Octava in Bogota, Sci in Medellín

Being a Cali resident, how would you say the nightlife differs from Cali to the other major cities in Colombia? Or is there a difference at all?

The city heat and the musical influence that is more towards salsa.

Who else from Colombia inspired you when you first discovered electronic music? And what was it about their DJing or production which led you to pursue it yourself.

Since I was very little I have always been passionate about it, I have always been inspired by being a DJ, I have always watched videos of Dj Sasha, Marco Carola, Carl Cox among others and I have always been passionate about the world of djing.

Being more of a tech house or progressive artist how would you say these genres go through certain trends the way melodic house and techno does? And if so, how important is it to stay relevant with these trends?

I have always believed that as a DJ we must have defined styles but be eclectic when it comes to mixing, and that is where our work makes sense, managing to integrate various genres and making sure they are the right ones for the moment.

You have a new EP ‘Reborn’ out now via Sun Theory Music. Tell us a bit about the release and how it showcases your current sound.

Reborn is a very inspiring EP, I really tried to express my feelings melodically, with percussive bases, and with Groove. I really feel that it has been one of the best productions I have managed to do so far.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions and more specifically your ‘Reborn’ EP.

I work with a Komplete 6 audio interface, Ableton Push 1, 2 JBL monitors. I actually created the track using mostly the native tools of Ableton Live, I used very little external VSTs like Diva, BassLine101, and Dune3 to make the synths. And for equalization and effects, Shredspread to make mono, Kickstart to make sidechain and vallhalla for reverb and delay.

Talk to us about where your inspiration comes from, and was there anything in particular which inspired the tracks on this EP?

The interstellar soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. From there I was inspired and also from the poem that is recited throughout the film.

This is your first EP for Sun Theory and also your first release this year, what was it about the label which made you comfortable to do an Original project with them?

I really like the professional quality of Julián Millán, his tracks that they have on the label and I feel very grateful for allowing me to be part of this excellent label

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

The mix, what I likes most is the mix, I am very meticulous about making sure each sound is where it should be. What I like the least is making the model since everything has to be repeated over and over again and sometimes that generates monotony for me.

You’re a resident DJ at La Fabryka Cali and have been a fixture of the city's nightlife for some time. Tell us about your approach to DJing and programming a set please.

Yes, La Fabryka was a very nice experience, I am proud to have been part of a club that marked many generations and contributed so much to the local scene. If I'm honest, since I started I've never prepared a set. I curate a lot of music and I always have it ready, but every time I get on stage, I just play what I feel at the moment. My mixing technique is based on mixing at speed and supporting strong bases with melodies.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks, and perhaps also your work as a producer?

It has influenced everything, my work as a DJ throughout all these years has given me a very valuable tool and that is knowing variety in the entire musical spectrum, hence my greatest pleasure in making a good mix. It has also helped me polish my sound and know very well what I want when producing.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

Rodríguez jr
Marco Carola
Martínez brothers
Loco dice

If you are not DJing, producing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

You would find my at home making a nice BBQ and sharing with my girlfriend.

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life?

Surely I’d be an engineer or a business administrator.

Current top five tracks?

Bontan - Despacio
Camilo Montezuma - Reborn
Fioretti - San Pol
James Whelsh - the Way (Nick curly remix)
Baldo - Ride the night

What are some of your favourite TV series? Both recently and all time?

Foundation - Altered Carbone - Caballos Lentos – Silo

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Apart from music, sharing with my friends and cooking makes me really happy.

What does 2024 hold for you in terms of releases and gigs? Anything you can share with us?

This 2024 comes with big releases, more than 14 new productions made with much love.

'Reborn' is available now via Sun Theory Music: http://tinyurl.com/bdfznuwv

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