Home Featured Feature: Chus & Ceballos [Interview]

Feature: Chus & Ceballos [Interview]

16 min read

Electronic music is your passion, it is also your profession and the bond that you two share, when and how did you discover this music style that has become such an important part in your lives?Chus: Music has been part of my live since i was very young because from an early age i would listen to my father's record collection. He was into the classic Disco Sound so i've growd up listening to bands like 'Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Chaka Khan, Donna Summer, Barry White or The Jacksons' to name but a few. I Have fond memories of this music, when i had 14 years old i would take my father's tape recordings on cassette and edit them by cut and pasting, then i started to scratch his vinyl records! So you could say they were my first DJ experience and the beginning of all of this. A few years later, in the early 90’s, i had the chance to travel to Portugal as a resident DJ of a very popular Club in Algarve, Kadoc, and there was where my love for House Music began. I was fortunate to share DJ booth with artists like DJ Vibe, Deep Dish, MAW, Eric Morillo, David Morales, Roger Sanchez, Carl Cox or Green Velvet among others. the 90’s were really inspiring years for me.
Ceballos: I first discovered electronic music through my sister that was a music lover and had an Stereo at home, it was the 80’s, peak time of the techno pop, then I got deep in to it through my group of friends at high school when we did our first electronic music band, we play a few shows at local bars, amazing memories of that times :)

Both of you have consolidated careers separately, as a duo you are one of the most renowned in the world, you are the creators of the electronic style “Iberican Sound” and you run your own label Stereo Productions so when it comes to music, is there anything you can´t do?
C&C: Well, that is the great thing of be passionate and being a duo, the sky is the limit, we love to break boundaries and keep always growing and evolving like electronic music does. But the fact is that as much as we know music, as much we realize there is so much to reach and discover, you need to face music always in a humble way, cause music is endless and there is always so much room to improve and to learn.

How are you able to balance all these facets? What is the most difficult part? And what is the one that makes you the happiest?
The most difficult part is for sure to expend so many hours in the studio trying to make things to ‘sound right’ or the hard work behind the record label, it could be very overwhelming but also rewarding when you finally play that new track and the dance floor goes crazy, that moment is priceless and immediately, everything makes sense.

How would you define the style “Iberican Sound” for someone that doesn’t know it, if that is even possible?
When we started making music together and nobody knew who we were, we realized that we were into the creation of a unique sound, we chose the word ‘Iberican’ from ‘Iberian Peninsula (Spain & Portugal)' since we were very connected and doing collaborations with Portuguese Dj’s (Chus was the resident Dj at one of the most important clubs in Algarve, Portugal, called Kadoc). Our sound didn’t stop evolving over the years, but is a fact that we still maintain our essence, where percussion and rhythm grooves are inseparable elements of our style, the main Iberican touch that identifies us. We really believe that it's very important to have an identity and be true to your values.

Your last release is an EP titled “The Sun” in collaboration with Dennis Cruz, how did you come with this idea? What inspired you to compose it?
 It was one of those long nights when you couldn't sleep, i started up looking for my old percussion libraries on tapes and cds with the only purpose of have some fun, then i realized that those drums i've programmed were something pretty interesting, i showed the arrange to Pablo and Dennis the next day and they falled in love inmediately. When the track was done we thought that a vocal would be fit perfectly and 'Voila', we find the right one! we are extremely happy with the result!

This is not the first time you collaborate with another artist, in fact you did your previous release “Flow” with Oscar L, why do you choose this way of composing so often?
: We believe that music is sharing and is a never ending learning process so we love to sit down in studio with friends, artists that we respect and enjoy some time together swapping ideas and techniques. When you have a music connection with someone is an amazing experience, and ideas just ‘flow' in the lab!


What are the main differences and difficulties between composing only by yourself and doing it with another artist?
To make an outstanding electronic track is a complex work, so when you work tag-team and split the studio job, things become easier. The handicap when you work with someone else is to be in the same page with the track you are working on and sometimes is difficult, you have to be very well connected. When you work alone you just fight with yourself over and over, lol

As we mention before you run the successful label Stereo Productions, what needs an artist to have for you to bet on him/her and his/her music?
Main policy on Stereo Productions is quality music no matter what genre or style. The most important filter is to pick music that we could play on our DJ sets, music with soul and groove, music that speak for itself and really touch our nerve, it must be outstanding in certain way.

As DJs you are known in the industry for your versatility and your amazing skills to read crowds, what has been the most difficult public you´ve ever found? What is your advice in that case?
Thank you for such a compliment! Well, the most difficult public we had to face was the first time we travel to China many years ago, when electronic music wasn’t that popular, we had a couple of bad experiences since people weren’t really dancing, lol, they were gambling on tables everywhere, it was so estrange! The best thing to do in those cases is just to be yourself, play from your heart, that's an universal language that any single human could perceive even if they don’t dance much, lol.

A quick round of short questions:

Last musical discovery:
Rosalia, a new flamenco singer, pure fire, check it out!

A guilty pleasure:

Best club or festival to play / Best club or festival to attend:
The BPM festival all the way down!

Track you´re most proud of:
Luzon - Baguio Track (Chus & Ceballos Remix)

Track that has been in your set the longest time:
Danny Tenaglia feat Celeda - Be Yourself

Finally, do you have any new projects in mind? What can you tell us about them?
C&C: Well, we are focus in Studio so we just signed a new track for Hot Since 82’s label, Knee Deep in Sound, called ‘Ain’t Nobody’, we have a new vinyl release for legendary New York record label, Nervous records title ‘More I Want U’ including remixes by DJ Vibe and DJ Pierre and we also just finished a couple of new remixes for DJ Pierre on Get Physical and Carl Cox for Intec.

Chus & Ceballos, Dennis Cruz - The Sun is out now on Stereo Productions: Download


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