Home Featured small Feature: Kamilo Sanclemente [Interview]

Feature: Kamilo Sanclemente [Interview]

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Long regarded as one of Colombia's foremost progressive house talents, Kamilo Sanclemente has found a home on Einmusika, Manual Music and Parquet Recordings, while earning continued support from Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, Guy J and Guy Mantzur. We had a chance to catch up with him on the cusp of a new EP for Clubsonica Records. Enjoy!

Hi Kamilo, thanks for joining us, how are you today and what are you up to?

Hello guys, I really appreciate you having me here. Right now, I’m preparing everything for my European tour and finishing a lot of new music.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a DJ and producer? What were some of your early inspirations?

I’m from Cali, Colombia. I’m 36 years old and I’ve been working as a dj 20 years from now. During my childhood my parents listened a lot of music from artists like Pink Floyd, Jean Michael Jarre, Fania All Stars, among others and when I discovered electronic music, those sounds made me feel the same emotions that I felt when I was a child, so I truly believe that is where my love and passion came from.

How has growing up and living in Colombia affected the music you make?

During the late 90s, after the tragic death of my mom, my father was in charge of my education and of cultivating my musical talents. In consequence, he gave me as a present my first production software Tracker. So, I started to develop my creativity and from there on my life changed completely thanks to music.

Taking on account all the difficulties that Colombia has faced due to the war, I got to live the struggles of this violence so music turned to be a kind of escape and relief for me.

How often do you get to play in your home country? Is there much of an electronic music scene in Cali where your based, or do you have to go to a larger city like Bogota or Medellin? Tell us about the Colombian scene.

The Colombian scene is really big, and we can affirm is a consolidated one. However, it is still young and the public is still discovering the different styles and genres that are under the traditional genres such as House, Trance and Techno. That made my process a lot slower because I’m a producer and DJ of progressive house, genre that in Colombia does not has many adepts.

Your career has skyrocketed over the last year, what do you attribute this to? Can you pinpoint a track or release which really set things in motion for you?

After having an excellent 2015 thanks to the results of the released music on that year, I attracted a lot of attention both local and internationally. That’s how I was getting a lot of bookings after that year. My first city where I played outside Cali was Popayan (The White City). From then, my career has been growing steadily and I’ve been achieving a lot of personal goals that have taken me to where I’m now. In 2017 I got my first residency to play in one of the most important clubs of my city, and I got to play more often outside Cali. This 2018, after my first international gigs during my Argentinian and Brazilian tours, I got a lot of attention locally and I’m playing really often at different clubs and cities.

There are two super important things. The first one is the incredible support that I receive constantly from Hernan Cattaneo, a reference in the electronic music scene and my idol. What your main reference starts to play your music is something huge and unbelievable, and that inspired and motivated me to make music as a living and professionally working on it full time. The second factor was hitting the top 5 charts on Beatport thanks to my track The White City. This made my name and my music a lot more visible all around the world. Definitely this was crucial. After this, it has been all positive news.

Do you have a studio routine? One where over time you’ve refined the production process into something that you know works or is every track a different journey in terms of the creative process?

I don’t have a unique way of making music. But I certainly spend every day in my studio working in music, so I think that time has influenced a lot the quality of the tracks.

You have a new EP out this week on Clubsonica Records, tell us a bit about the tracks and how they came together as an EP on the label.

Those were three tracks I made last year. One of them, Homeward, was a track made specially for the show of Hernan Cattaneo at Forja, and I decided to complete the EP and edit it in Clubsonica because I considered it one of the best I’ve made and I wanted to release it in a Colombian imprint.

You’ve also been an A&R with the label for around the past year, tell us what you look for when signing track to label.

To develop this job fairly, I got advice from the A&R of a great label that mentioned me three key factors in order to decide if the music will be released on the label, these factors are the musical composition, the mixdown, and the sound design. The music also must fit in the style of Clubsonica.

Walk us through the making of ‘Homeward’ which is one of the standouts from your Clubsonica EP.

Homeward was made with the clear intention of reaffirming my style and imprint of making progressive house. It’s about combining great melodic elements with strong rhythms and grooves taking the listener into a musical journey while it invites you to dance.

What makes Clubsonica such a great label not only to release your music on but also to work with in the capacity that you do?

The incredible effort and job that Juan Pablo Torrez has made with Clubsonica is admirable. He has taken as an example the way that top labels manage their imprints, and has turned Clubsonica into an excellent and reliable option for artist to showcase their music globally.

You’ve worked with Golan Zocher quite a bit over the years and you too seem to have an amazing studio synergy, cranking out progressive bombs on each and every project. How did you meet Golan and start working together?

First of all I want to mention that the group of producers making progressive house in Colombia are really close together, so we constantly share in our studios information and make a lot of collabs. But the story with Golan is very particular. When I started to listen to electronic music, I tuned in to a local station that on the weekends aired different DJs mixing live. One of them was Golan and definitely was one of my favorites because of his musical style. So, every weekend that he played I recorded his sets on a cassette and he became one of my first references on the local scene. I never imagined that years later I was going to meet him personally and become like brothers. Golan, beyond being a tremendous talented artist, is an extraordinary person that has taught me a lot. This relationship that we have makes that when we collab in the studio we connect in a way that magic happens when we make music.

There are a lot of factors which affect the perception of an artist other than his music these days, social media for one, how much emphasis do you put on stuff like this? and what are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?

Social media is an indispensable tool for a DJ and producer. I think that a correct use of these networks will help you a lot in growing your career. About the industry, I think it is complicated with new artists everyday thanks to the easy access to the tools for producing music. Nevertheless, I’m optimistic about the future of electronic music as it takes more visibility in relation of genres such as Pop and Rock. I feel that soon the industry would be consolidated, more cult and educated and definitely would benefit all artists that are part of it.

You had a seven gig tour of Argentina a few months back which went amazingly well we hear. Tell us about the gigs, the country and why it’s such a magical place for progressive music.

Argentina is the dreamed land for progressive, I think it is "the mecca" of progressive music. Not only because is the country of the maestro Hernan but also for the tremendous musical culture of its public. This tour is the biggest thing that has happened in my career until now. Each city and each show was a magic experience where I met unique and really nice people that made me feel as I was in my home. They made this tour a dream that come true.

Where is else is close to Argentina in terms of passionate fans? Would Hungary and India be high on that list?

Definitely, I think that in Sri Lanka and Hungary live really passionate about progressive house.

Hernan Cattaneo and Nick Warren have become tremendous supporters of your music. Do you think that’s changed how people perceive you as an artist?

Absolutely. Having the continuous support of these two maestros has been fundamental for my development as an artist and to get my music listened in the industry. I consider myself really blessed about this and I will always be thankful to them for their support.

Looking back over your discography, which one of your very first tracks that still puts a smile on your face when you listen to it now, and why?

Angels is that track. It was my first EP as a progressive artist and it is inspired in my mother.

Any plans for the summer festival season? Where can fans come and check you out?

I’m about to go on my first European tour during July where I will be playing in Spain, Hungary and Greece. I’m very happy of being part of the lineup of two of the main progressive house festivals in the world: Day Dreaming and Bloque Festival.

Tell us what we can expect for the second half of 2018?

I still have a lot of dreams to come true and I’m working very hard to improve the quality of my music. There are also some new tours coming so I will be posting more information soon.

'Homeward' is out now on Clubsonica Records. Buy: https://bit.ly/2lF37OY

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