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Hot TuneiK [Interview]

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With over a decade as part of the Mexican electronic scene, Diego Carreon aka Hot TuneiK has managed to position himself amongst the best DJ’s and producers in his genre. Over the last few years, Hot TuneiK has been in constant movement, producing and remixing for Proton Music, Sound Avenue, Zero Tolerance and his own Guateque Music imprint, while programming music for some of his country's trendiest clubs and sharing the booth with Guy J, Guy Mantzur, Henry Saiz, Nick Warren and more. This week sees the release of Hot TuneiK's much anticipated debut album 'Awaken'.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Hot TuneiK to learn more about the release of ‘Awaken’, his studio process, future plans, and more. Enjoy.

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

Hola! Everything is great around here, luckily!

Cornucopia - Circles of Clowns

How was your holiday? And what are your plans for the coming week?

All the holidays were so lovely, spending time with the love ones and working! We have a mayor Event in Tulum and Puerto Escondido, both events are launched by my record label
Guateque Music. Thursday Jan 12 at Tulum - Sunday 15th at Puerto Escondido.

Do you consider yourself a DJ or producer first? And which do you enjoy more and why?

I guess I started doing both things at the same time, but I consider myself more as a Producer than a dj. Both things in my life are important and joyful, playing my tunes and watch people dancing is the most satisfiying thing in the world

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

Changes - For this track the first idea on making this track started 10 years ago, I remember talking with Mari-Ana- about the collaboration back in the day and it took me that long yo finally present it. Since that day i started working on some ideas but my sounds wasn't that mature that it is now.

A song for Camila - I write this track for my kittycat named Camila, it all happened when she escaped from home and it was missing for more than five days, i started creating this song before she was missing and during that time i used to play it out loud so she can listen to the melody and find her way home.

We will become one - I've always been a disco music fan and trying to express that type of style is quite fun, the message that it has is profound.

Poema - I write this song for Zero Tolerance Recordings and i got so excited to be able to take my work to another huge label

Anxiety - I consider myself a working-progress on healing against anxiety, This is my way to saying, you're not alone and you're not the only one on this, there's ways to even use this condition for good. Stay strong!

Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your production work and more, please.

I woke up around 6:30 am, sometimes earlier, from that time I start working either on some new tune or a remix, till 8-9 am then ill go workout to the beach with Bongo (my dog) after that breakfast comes. After breakfast i do more work till sunset time, then i spend the whole day enjoying life.

Talk to us about growing up and living in Mexico, how has it affected your musical taste and the music you make?

For me changing my residency to Puerto has changed my life, living here is perfect for inspiration.

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?

I remember when I was maybe 15 or so, I worked at Salamdra and that was one if my first encounters with clubs , walking through the storage room into the club was amazing, i could listen to the music banging in the hallway. Such a wonderful feeling.

Your debut album ‘Awaken’ was just released on your Guateque Music imprint, please tell us about the release and how these tracks showcase your sound.

This Is the first album of my career and it was quite of an experience making it, each track has a piece of what I've been through in my life, be able to express all my experiences and knowledge through frequencies and vibrations is wonderful. All the tracks are specially made with deal powerful messages.

Tell us how it began to take shape? Was there an initial goal of writing an album or did this happen organically in a way?

The thought came like 3 or 4 years ago, but I knew that back in that day my music and my sound wasn't ready for making an album, so i pushed myself to the limit and finally came with this magnificent result.

The album is quite varied in terms of style and design wise it is very warm and organic. Tell us about the inspiration behind the album and why it was important for you to express your thoughts, ideas and feelings in this style of a long player.

I love to take my feelings, thoughts and personal experiences into melodies or frequencies, That's why in my album I decided to express every music style that I love, music is the best healing for the soul and be able to present a playlist of different styles that resonates with me, is amazing! I've been doing progressive house music most of my life and I thought that just focusing in one style wasn't enough.

How did you end up with the final track selection and how did you go about cutting stuff out? There must be a point where it becomes quite difficult letting go of certain pieces?

Yeah, I worked none stop on every detail of every track, I listen and listen to all the tracks again and again and find any possible thing to fix to get to the final versions of the tracks that all of you will listen once its released. It was quite of a challenge.

How difficult was it deciding on the flow from a listener’s perspective?

This was one of my main goals, to design and develop something that you will listen from track one to fifteen. I studied a lot of albums from artist that i respect the most and there's always a great story behind them, just like this one.

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

I love analog gear as much as a virtual ones and for my album there's a lot of recorded instruments like violin, tablas and guitars. I use for my album the maschine, moog sub 37, prophet v and for vsts, massive, diva and omnisphere.

Let’s talk about production for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play? And was there anything that inspired the album?

Life experiences and love are my main source of inspiration, i think it is important to give the right value to music. For me being close to god has change all my mind set and it reflects on my music. I would guess the writing of the album was a long process, now that it’s done what are your thoughts reflecting back on the process?

It was a process that took me between 2-3 years in total, now after all that time being able to listen the whole album and playing it out, is one of the most satisfying thing in the world. The emotion to play album from track 01 - 15 is amazing, I literally cried when I performed to play it. Lovely feeling.

How would you feel about these tracks being remixed? And are there plans for this?

There's a plan to get remixes from most of the tracks, but we will decide that in the future.

Do you think the digital era changed the way we perceive artist albums? Do they still carry the weight they once did or should? Is this something that perhaps depends on who (record label) is releasing it as well?

I think music is general has changed a lot, now there's more singles than albums ,the time and effort that takes writing and designing an album is a big challenge. Although I've notice that less record labels are receiving albums, which in my opinion is weird jaja

What’s the task you enjoy the most when producing and what is something you’d rather have taken care of by somebody else?

I love work on everything, creative process and the technical one for me are both important.

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?

Ok lets see

Sasha b2b John Digweed
Hernan Catteaneo b2b Nick Warren
Guy J b2b Guy Mantzur

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

The full analog system of

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why.

Blade Runner 2046 -The music that it has is so beautiful, im a big fan of Han Zimmer's work.

What’s a superpower you wish you had and how would you use it?

I think god has already giving me the most powerful thing in the world, love and I'm using it for my music and for my daily bases!

In your opinion, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and what made you do it?

I guess, when I was younger everything was a risk, now that time has passed all my decisions are way more solid and strong.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Everything is general, life it self is a gift and it should be celebrate daily, but having all the time for making music and chilling with bongo i guess is my main source of peace and hapinness

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

We have just started the year and a lot of work is coming, a big tour in Europe is coming, I will keep you guys posted!

Thanks for supporting my music, remember to always stay loyal to your word and keep the love in your heart, always, because is all about, love.

Thanks for the interview!! Much love!

'Awaken' is available now via Guateque Music: https://bit.ly/3W8Jk9r

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