Luciano interview

Swiss-Chilean DJ on his global upbringing and ‘flowery rhythms’

Interview, The Knowledge

How would you describe your sound?
My sound is organic, based on warm paths and flowery rhythms. It’s percussive and generous.

Tell us about your life to date.
I’m 33 years old. I’m the father of two beautiful kids. I run a company called Cadenza Music based in Geneva, but I have people working in Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Ibiza and Paris. I DJ around the world at the weekends, then sometimes I do what I prefer – composing and producing.

You were born in Switzerland and raised in Chile. How has your international upbringing affected your music?
It never affected my music, it affected my time. I have less time than before for everything I do because I’m on a constant home run, let’s say. Absorbing other cultures is something that is so, so important because everywhere there is something to give and learn. It’s really inspiring to listen to music from other continents.

So what inspires you to make music?
I get inspired by music in general. When I was little I used to isolate every instrument in my head in every track – I used to listen and try to reproduce it. I’ve always been inspired by jazz, South American or rock music – every instrument is an inspiration, and a deep dish for music. Everything I do is based on emotion, so when I compose, I do it because I want to take an emotion from my soul and reproduce it in sound.

Your native Chile has links to a very distinct roster of world-class DJs: Ricardo Villalobos, Dinky, Chica, Alexi Delano… Why do you think Chile creates such talent?
It’s all about experience and inspiration. Chile is a country with a lot of both, and its people are thirsty for culture. After [living under a] dictator we all needed something to live for, something that had a meaning, and music was a cure in every aspect, from rock to techno, from [poet Pablo] Neruda to [composer] Violeta Parra. Lots of young guys like me started to get inspired, and suddenly, while we weren’t conscious of it at the time, we had a crew of constructive, creative people. This is when Chile became a country of inspiration for us.

What do you admire most in music today?
The evolution. Music is a gift from our sensibility and we’re able to translate this into sounds. It’s a gift from foreign frontiers and we should love it.

You’re known for appealing beyond typical dance-music fans. Why does your work transcend the genre?
I think it’s because I’m a musician. I’ve been trying to feed music from a young age.
Luciano’s most recent album, Tribute to the Sun, is out now.

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