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Fabian Palacios [Interview]

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The creation of melodic and progressive atmospheres is what Fabian Palacios seeks. Electronic music producer and Dj from Colombia, marked by a musical education of different genres but above all his fascination for harmonies and melodies influenced him to create his own characteristic sound in his Dj sets and then as a producer. Melodies, soft percussions, and continuous progression have led him to create a particular style which are being a trademark. This week sees Fabian making his debut on Canada's Deep Down Music with 'Reborn', alongside a remix from Dowden.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Fabian to learn more about the release of 'Reborn', his musical history, studio process, future plans, and more. Enjoy.

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

Thanks for having me. It is an honor for me,  because one of the goals I had set as a DJ was to appear on this platform so thanks so much!!!! I love Progressive Astronaut!!

I'm feeling pretty good. A lot of things are going on that are keeping me pretty busy. The last track I listened to was a remix that I finished.

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

 This year has been great for me in terms of music as some dreams have come true. El maestro,  Hernan Cattaneo, supported my track Reborn on his Resident radio show.

One of my goals when I started producing was to release a track with a top progressive house label. So, I am thrilled to be releasing with Deep Down Music.

Recently Reborn was supported by a top DJ live (Dj Ruby) and the reaction of the crowd was great!!!

My plans for the coming week, keep working on music and all my personal projects, a lot is going on!

Tell us about living in Colombia, how has it influenced your music taste and direction? Or has it at all? 

Living in Colombia is great!! A lot of culture, great people and great music. It has influenced my music a lot, particularly in the last few years.

Colombia has several progressive house producers that are references in the scene: Kamilo Sanclemente, Giovanny Aparicio, Juan Pablo Torrez, Dabeat, Zalvador, Fernando Olaya, Gux Jimenez, all have been a reference for me.

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?

Well the first city would be Bogotá and we would go to Octava Club, then the next city would be Cali and go to Sonido Central, and the tour would finish in Medellín to Salon Amador and Sonorama.

And the local DJs to hear would definitely be Kamilo Sanclemente. I think he is the best progressive house DJ in Colombia and one of the best in the world. Juan Pablo Torrez, Dabeat, Giovanny Aparicio, Zalvador, Fernando Olaya, Gux Jimenez, Alex Bessofen would also be on the list.

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

Well I’m a very active person with a lot of projects. Since last year I have been building a technology and education franchise in my country. I'm now training to be a trader and recently started my podcast about personal development, a topic that I related a lot with music.  You can find it on Spotify and other platforms with the name ‘Progresion’.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone help you or are you completely self-taught? And what would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

It has been a process between being self-taught and having someone teach me.  The first teacher I had was Dj Care. He taught me all the fundamentals of music production.  Then I start to learn on my own. I got my music production to a new level  with my mentor Dowden. I learn a lot with him and his academy.

To the new producers, first get a mentor who provides guidance, advice, feedback, and support. That’s really important if you want to improve with music production. Second, hard work. Practice a lot. Music production is like every other career. You are not going to be the best in one month. This takes years of practice. As a result, third point is patience. A lot of patience because sometimes you can get frustrated with the results but as long as you keep going, that  is what matters.

You have a new single ‘Reborn’, out this week on Deep Down Music, tell us about the release, and how does this track your current sound? 

Well, this single has a particular story. last year I saw that Dowden released with Deep Down Music. I started to follow them and fell in love with all their releases.

Then Mark, the label manager, contacted me through Soundcloud and we met on zoom a year ago. We became friends and started talking. Mark liked my music and he was open to sending him music.

I sent him some tracks and he fell in love with Reborn. He decided to release it as a single. And then, something that makes me really happy was that my mentor Dowden was going to remix it. So it’s a very special release for me.

And it is very special also because one of my dreams, when I started music production, was that el maestro Hernan Cattaneo would support one of my tracks on his Resident program. Not only did he support the original, but also the remix. So that was something really special.

This track is aligned with my sound. I make tracks with melody because the melody carries the emotion of the track. This kind of sound has a superpower that completely changes your mood for the better. So that was my goal with Reborn: a melody that gives people goosebumps.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of ‘Reborn’?

I have a mix between physical gear and digital. I use a Native Instruments M32 keyboard and use Ableton push2 with Ableton live. I use the Diva synth a lot for the melodies. It is a great synth. You can create beautiful pads, leads, basses, and atmospheres. And also a lot of delay and reverb to create deep sounds.

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

The task that I enjoy the most is creating melodies. I love it and definitely love writing more than mixing and mastering. I prefer that someone else master my music so I can have a different perspective of how they hear it differently than I do.

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

I would want soundproofing and heavily treated room with a lot of gear, especially synths. It would be very similar to Giuseppe Ottaviani’s music studio!

Let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it? 

When I'm DJing, my setup looks really different from the standard one. For me, the creation of a set is not just about playing music. In a DJ set you must understand your audience and the situation in which you find yourself. It is not the same to play a sunset, to a party at night or day. You have to understand the situation but above all, and most importantly, the emotions you want to achieve with your set.

Music for me is an irrefutable magnet. It takes you to places, emotional states, and memories. You listen to it and it generates something in you. It's something instantaneous.

And most important, music has that superpower to change your day and most of the time for the better.

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 me a lot since I became a DJ and especially since I started producing. I pay attention to the details of the music, mainly the melodies that are in charge of bringing emotion to the tracks. Every new track I listen to I pay attention to those details that make them unique and they influence me a lot because I try to adapt them to all my productions.

Producing music has changed my perspective in many aspects because I also like my productions to be listened to in any environment. Not only in clubs but also for people to listen to while exercising, working, studying, and in their daily life.

The world needs positive things and I believe that music can bring happiness and connection to people because it can help us connect with ourselves through music:

"Music is the mediator between the spiritual life and the life of the senses" Ludwig Van Beethoven.

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?

17:00-19:00 Dowden

19:00-21:00 Kamilo Sanclemente

21:00-23:00 GMJ and Matter

23:00-01:00 Alex O’Rion

1:00- 4:00 Hernan Cattaneo

Current top five tracks?

Fabian Palacios – Reborn

Dowden, Ric Niels – Spiral (GMJ Remix)

Cream PL – Spirit

Jerome Isma-Ae – Baharat (GMJ & Matter remix)

GMJ & Matter - EXT 135

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

I love Crossfit and learning trading, but most of all to give value and help people.

Three years ago there was an event that changed my perspective on life and what I wanted. I realized that I want to have a positive impact on people and society, and this has become one of my purposes in life. I think that there is so much information and negative things in the world that being of service to others and helping is very fulfilling for me.

That was one of the reasons I started my podcast. My goal is to share ideas, learnings, thoughts, conversations, and tools that will help you live a fuller life and help you in your personal growth. That's something that makes me very happy and fulfilled.

What does the remainder of 2023 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

On the music side, I will continue creating but above all, I hope to get releases on more labels and continue with the momentum that I have had in this first trimester of the year. I recently finished a remix and I hope to continue achieving those goals that I have set for this year.

Also, continue working with Mark from deep down and make the label grow because I'm also helping him with some things.

On the personal side continue helping people and creating value, with my podcast and the other personal projects I'm working on.

Thanks for having me and to the reader's thanks for your time!

'Reborn' is available now via Deep Down Music: https://bit.ly/41Hap77

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