Why have you chosen Dubai as the place to launch your album, Perceptions Of Pacha?
It’s a very special place – I’ve played there six times, and each time I see something new and great! The audience is also very good – it’s a mixed crowd that you won’t find anywhere else – and playing at 360° is such a lovely experience, with the open air and sea all around.
How long have you been producing the album? How much work has gone into it?
It took seven months of non-stop work. I even stopped DJing. It was hard work, too – I remember one of the longest sessions was when we recorded the live strings for the song ‘Siempre’, which took 10 hours! It helped that my wife is patient – I’m just lucky that she likes music so much too.
OK, tell us all about the sound of the album.
I’m a house DJ and everything I’ve produced before has been house music, so I wanted to produce something new. Listening to the album, you will hear acid jazz, bossa nova, funk, Latin and so on. It’s like a journey: it starts off more mellow and musical, and at the end it’s more clubby and techy. Some of the songs had 80 different tracks, causing people to call me crazy or ask if I was Quincy Jones! But I love new challenges.
What are your three favourite tracks on the album and why?
The first is ‘Soñando Contigo’. This is the one that has got the most feed-back. My friend, the great singer Concha Buika, wrote the lyrics and recorded the wonderful vocals. I played the demo to my wife and when I turned to look at her, I saw that she was crying, and I thought, ‘Wow, we’ve done something very special here!’ The second is ‘Siempre’, which is like classical music on a deep house track: instrumental, mellow and powerful at the same time. The third is ‘Ache Pa Ti’, which means ‘good luck for you’. It is based on traditional African spiritual music that was brought from Africa to Cuba by slaves, and I recorded it with Cuban friends and the pianist Isis Montero.
What can we expect from your upcoming set?
A journey through all the music I love. The most wonderful thing is to get the people on the floor dancing and feeling the same way as I feel. I will play tracks that I’ve just finished, new remixes from my album tracks and new and old-school songs from my favourite house producers.
Joey Negro will be joining you as his NYE party was cancelled. What do you think of him?
He is a maestro and one of the reasons why house music is alive. His albums under the name The Sunburst Band are masterpieces, and all the releases on his label Z Records are house music gems. I haven’t had the chance to meet him before, so I’m very excited to hear his DJ set and to play with him.
What was the best night of your career and why?
Air in Tokyo was amazing – the audience was so friendly: feeling, dancing and moving to all the music I played. At one moment I couldn’t help crying because the emotion was so big in that room. I closed the party with ‘Joy And Pain’ by Maze and everybody was singing the chorus and clapping their hands like it was a live concert. When the song ended they wouldn’t allow me to leave the DJ booth! It was so amazing.
Kiko plays 360° on Jan 17