Home Interviews Feature: Leo Perez & Dhany G [Interview]

Feature: Leo Perez & Dhany G [Interview]

24 min read

Hailing from Panama and Cuba respectively, Leo Perez & Dhany G have been frequent studio partners since first collaborating on a single for One Of A Kind in January of 2019. Subsequent releases for Balkan Connection, Bevel Rec and Droid9 have all been sensational and built a great creative synergy between the duo. Now launching their Nature Rec imprint together we catch up with Leo and Dhany in this exclusive interview. Enjoy!

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

Leo: Hello, friends of Release Promo, All fine here! The last track I listened to was Jesuan M - Varsovia (Original Mix) .

Dhany: Everything super here, relaxing at home with a drink. The last track I listened to was the Sand Isle remix of Malkov's "Deepnes", released by Rynth.

Tell us where in the world you are and what are your plans for the coming week?

Leo: Well, Dhany is in Cuba and I'm in Panama. Next week we plan to work in the studio on several pending projects we have together and continue with the launch of Nature Rec.

So Leo is from Panama City and Dhany is from Havana, Cuba. Talk to us about growing up and living in your respective countries, how has it affected your musical taste and the music you make?

Dhany: Leo and I are like neighbours, we live in America and we have that influence from Afro rhythms and all the natural vibes that surround us every day. That feeling is what we are passionate about and we capture it in our productions.

Do you get a chance to DJ much in your home countries? And if so what are some of your favourite venues to play?

Leo: In Panama I have had the opportunity to play in almost all the electronic music clubs for more than 18 years. My favorite place to play is in Playa Venao, the vibe is incredible and also Silo Club in Casco Viejo in Panama City is a place that I really enjoy to play in.

Dhany: Unfortunately, in Cuba, there are still no real electronic music clubs. Still, I have played in most of the electronic parties and events, but if you ask me about my favorite place, I would say the beaches of Miramar. The views are amazing

Who are some of your early musical influences?

Leo, Dhany: Hernan Cattaneo, Luciano, Steve Lawler, Pink Floyd, John Digweed, Guy J.

Tell us how you initially met and eventually decided to start working on music production together.

Leo: We met through a track by Dhany called Cloto, I liked it a lot and I wrote him congratulating him and since then we have had a very good relationship, I even invited him to play in Panama and in the short time of his visit we locked ourselves in the studio to do music.

Dhany: That´s right. Our musical connection was so strong that when we first worked together in a same studio we released Jade, our first hit under Balkan Connection label, which peaked at # 63 on the Beatport Progressive Tracks.

Do you have different roles in the production process, and given that you live in different countries do you ever get to spend time together in the same studio?

Leo: We always work remotely, but we flow very well because we know where we are going without wasting time, we have good communication and that makes work easier.

How have you been dealing with COVID-19? How has it affected your daily life, music production and overall inspiration to write new music?

Leo: This has been horrible for me because I live from music and the nightlife business, luckily I focused the first months of the pandemic on producing music and centering everything into music and I did not let anything from outside affect me, but at some point we will have to start over and reinvent ourselves since the party and nightlife in our countries are very far from reopening.

Dhany: The time of the pandemic has been a severe blow. But I have found time to further explore my skills and where I want to go. So in the end, I have managed to take advantage of this crisis.

What is the current situation with the pandemic in Panamá and Cuba? Arethere any clubs or small events happening yet?

Leo: The covid has hit very hard in our countries, we are at the reopening stage. So far there are no open clubs or big events, only some restaurants that have dinner accompanied by music for a small number of people.

What is something you do now (regularly) that you did not before COVID-19?

Leo: Right now I am involved in the kitchen of my small business that I opened a few months ago.

Dhany: I started to work out and I´m keeping it up.

Once nightlife eventually resumes globally what kind of effect do you think this period in our history will have on the clubbing experience?

Dhany: We believe that the audience and people in general will be more aware of who is by our side, we will take care of ourselves more and learn to enjoy the events in a more socially and responsible way.

The launch of your new Nature Rec label is this week. Tell us how that came to be and what your vision or inspirations are for the label.

Leo: This has been a dream come true, for many years I dreamed of having my own Label where I could release my productions and be able to invite artists of the genre that I liked their music and one step at the time it is happening, this includes me talking to Dhany and inviting him to be part of this great dream. Our vision is to become a great label and release the best exponents of the Deep House and Progressive House genre as well as the new talents that are connected with the groove and natural vibe.

Dhany: Exactly as Leo says, it is a dream come true and I'm very happy to be part of it and very grateful to Leo for counting on me to make it happen.

The first release on Nature Rec is an excellent single by top Colombian producer Kamilo Sanclemente. Tell us about the release and why Kamilo was a great artist to represent the label’s first release.

Leo: Kamilo and I became good friends since a presentation of him in Panama, it was Nature's first party as a promoter and I loved the music he produces and we managed to talk about my plans and goals with the Label and he thought it was excellent to be able to collaborate with a track for the first release of our Label.

You guys have collaborated on one of the remixes as well. Tell us how you approached that remix and the production process behind it?

Dhany: We enjoyed 100% of the creative process of this remix since it was for our label. It was time to get the sound we wanted (Groove and Trip), always with the Nature touch and what better way to do it than remixing the great Kamilo Sanclemente.

What are your plans for the label going forward? Anything you can tell us about?

Leo: Our plans are to be able to enjoy every moment of the label's releases with great artists and remixers, to be able to position it in the top 100, as well as mark a new sound in the market.

What advice would have for an artist hoping to sign their music to Nature Rec?

Dhany: The advice we can give is to send us their promos with good sound quality, preferably mastered and in streaming link like Soundcloud and to maintain on the line and genre of what we are releasing.

A successful partnership is generally based around balance and compromise; how do you manage these things within your productions and also running a label together?

Leo: Dhany and I have had a very good relationship in the work we have done together, each one has their role in the studio and within the label, and we have had very good communication, and most of all, the high level of commitment we have with this.

Dhany: Everything flows perfectly. We respect each other in terms of production and regarding the label, each one of us brings in his proposals and then we decide which one is the best for the label itself.

What’s a piece of gear or software that always gets used when you’re writing a track?

Leo, Dhany: Ableton Live, the best.

Is there a movie you would have loved to have produced the soundtrack for? And if so why?

Dhany: The Matrix, because it is the most amazing film of all times.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Leo, Dhany: A good book, movies and of course family.

What does the remainder of 2020 and early 2021 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

Dhany: We have signed a release with Droid9 and we have several projects in progress. Also we are working in a mix compilation for SLC-6 Music and we are already preparing the second ep of Nature.

The first release from Nature Rec is available for pre-order now: https://bit.ly/3mcd3Ns

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