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In conversation with Toronto-based techno DJ & producer, Heatscore

In conversation with Heatscore

Maintaining a creative edge, this Toronto Native has developed a sound which is hard to describe but easy to listen to. Originating from the Toronto metal underground community, Heatscore incorporates unique musical influences to his music. From Deep House grooves and heart pounding techno, to nostalgic guitars and progressive vocals. Heatscore takes his listeners on a journey from the beach to the club.

Connect with Heatscore on Soundcloud | Spotify | Facebook | Instagram |

Hey Aldo, I hope all is well with you?

I’m good Claudio, thank you very much. Hope you are well also. I’m just trying to stay safe like the rest of the world. Luckily I’m not in quarantine alone, I’ve been spending time with my family and dogs. Just hoping for the best for the world right now and all the families that have been affected by this pandemic.

Where are you from and what do you find inspirational about where you’re living?

I was born in a small town called Limache in my native country of Chile, South America. I live in Toronto, Canada and have been here most of my life. It’s a beautiful city and has been expanding like crazy over the last 15 years, it’s like a mini NYC they say.

Every little aspect of my life here in Toronto has been inspirational to me in one way or another. I find the diversity of cultures in this town forces you to open up to different musical styles. You can be chilling with some hip hoppers during the day, walk by a soca music bar in the evening with speakers blasting out their windows and then head out to a techno club till 4am – it’s crazy. 

You can be chilling with some hip hoppers during the day, walk by a soca music bar in the evening with speakers blasting out their windows and then head out to a techno club till 4am – it’s crazy. 

I think the fact that I don’t have a lot of family in the city also inspires me to keep writing music so I can travel the world, and more specifically South America. The goal has always been to be more connected with my family and I’m grateful that music can provide me this opportunity.

For fans who don’t know much about you, could you tell us a bit about your music background? How did you fall down the music rabbit hole?

I started playing music in the Toronto metal scene. I created a band when I was about 17 years old and I did this for about 10 years. We played a ton of shows, sold merch, toured the states a bunch of times, and partied like we were Motley Crue lol.  It was good fun! I was the rhythm guitar player, the main composer, band manager, booking agent, etc.  I also helped out with lyrics and vocals whenever it was required.

The band was where I got the bulk of my experience. I was able to be mentored into having a better understanding of the music industry.

My brother got me into playing the guitar and listening to heavy music when I was about 14. Learning Limp Bizkit, Deftones and Nirvana songs. My brother is in a band and like every other kid in the world, I wanted to be like my older brother. You can say I fell in the rabbit hole right away because I was always more intrigued with writing my own songs as opposed to playing other peoples. 

As I got older my desires and musical tastes started to evolve. I wanted to think about more of a long term career vs a short term career, and wanted my music to be recognized on a global scale without all the logistic problems of being in a band. That’s when electronic music came into the picture. I started producing on logic with my novation analog synth and began experimenting with different genres. Post band, I released a bunch of material under different aliases on my SoundCloud account. Around that same time, I also started to think about opening up my own record label. I felt a need to help talented young artists who really never get the chance, or understand how the industry works. 

I launched Lazuli Records in 2017 and started to release downtempo, deep house and progressive house under the Heatscore alias. Eventually, I started to experiment with techno music, which brings us to today. I fell in love with the genre and it’s the main form of music that you’ll hear from Heatscore today.

When did you start DJing/producing – and what or who were your early passions and influences?

You can say I started producing electronic music around 2013 and DJ’ing in 2016. My early influence in electronic music was Skrillex. He was the guy that took me away from the guitar lifestyle. I felt I could relate to a guy like that, and he helped me to realize the endless possibilities of electronic music. I was always into guys like Moby, who were electronic but versatile in their styles.

Growing up I remember listening to the same things as the rest of the world, Vanilla Ice, Kris Kross, House of Pain, Cypress Hill. I also always had a big appreciation for pop music. I loved Michael Jackson, Ace of Base and UB40. I remember buying Much Music (Canada’s MTV) Dance mix tapes when I was a kid and loving them!

I then started to follow bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam. My musical taste eventually got heavier with bands like Pantera, Deftones and Bring Me The Horizon. I went through the whole new metal era and ended up finishing my band career writing brutal deathcore (a mix of death metal and hardcore). To be honest, these influences played a big part in who I am.  This is why I sound the way I sound, and look and talk the way I do. Overall I’m just one big music fan. You’ll catch me at a Lana Del Rey concert one day and dancing to Nicole Moudaber the next.

How would you describe your sound and style?

My sound and style has always been a little bit on the dark side. I don’t really like to listen to or make “happy” music. Unless I’m on vacation listening to reggae or something lol.

My brand and lifestyle have always been deep, dark, sexy and hard.

My brand and lifestyle have always been deep, dark, sexy and hard. When writing, I write primarily in minor keys. I try to create a lot of emotions in my music and I like to bounce between complex song structures and simple structures, depending on what my desired outcome is. I maintain a level of complexity within my songs, until recently, where I’m going to focus on making some sonic magic. My newer unreleased material has a lot more space in it, it’s a little more cosmic sounding with really epic synths and growls.

What’s your creative process when writing music? Do you have an idea in mind or do you somehow experiment and see what’s coming?

It’s always been a little different depending on where I am in my life, my influences, my desired outcomes, etc. Sometimes I like to experiment with sound design to create new and interesting sounds and tones that I feel represent the Heatscore sound. Even when I’m experimenting with sound design I am always conscious of what I’m trying to create.

I always like to think ahead and plan things out properly, there’s always some sort of underlying process with everything that I do. Sometimes, I record vocal melodies and guitar riffs on my phone. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll become Heatscore songs, it’s just about staying creative and always having something on the go. 

Currently, I’m working on a much cleaner sound, with defined melodies and perfectly placed low end growls with lots of breaks and drops. The last couple of months I’ve focused a lot on creating synths sounds that I’m planning to stick within the long run. I’m stoked with what I’m doing right now, and it kind of kills me not to be able to release all my songs right away.  It’s all very exciting.

Tell us about the workshop you did with UMEK recently. What was it about and what did you learn from this master?

Primarily, we discussed the music industry. I wanted to really pick his brain since he’s already had so much experience within the scene.  I wanted to learn more about his business and songwriting approaches. Since he also has his own label, I wanted to hear his thoughts on sending out demos vs releasing music yourself.  It was all very insightful and he didn’t hold anything back. He was extremely honest, which I really respected.

He also went over some studio and production tips with me. He listened to some of my new material which he really seemed to enjoy, and offered great advice on minor details which will make a huge difference in my music. It was a pleasure to have him act as a mentor, even if it was just for a few hours.

I think the main thing that I learned is to just always trust myself and what I’m doing, I’m not too far from where I want to be.

Give us an insight into what we can expect from Heatscore over the next few months.

I have a bunch of music lined up with my label Lazuli Records for the next few months.

On May 31st I took part of a remix album. It’s for a song called Silver Lining by Dutch and Belgium duo BENEPACT. It has a Depeche Mode esque style. I really love the vocals on it, so I was excited to be part of this.

I have a single called “Frequency One” which is coming out on June 19th and I’m going to be a part of the Lazuli Records “We Own The Night V.A Vol 2” album scheduled for Oct 2nd. That’s always super fun because I get to work closely with my label mates.

Essentially I’m always pushing albums for my label and writing new songs. I’m always launching careers and helping out other producers.

I have some collaborations scheduled with Karim Alkhayat, who is doing great things, so I’m excited about that. And three more with label mates Christian Nati, Esdae and Marchesan.

I’m always updating my content on YouTube as well, and I offer music industry insight videos whenever I can and share my DJ sets and favourite tunes. By the end of the year the industry insights will become a podcast series, so keep an eye for that.

When this Covid thing is over, our plan is to officially launch Heatscore in to the touring circuit. There will be a bunch of shows and parties happening in Toronto, Mexico, Brazil and Latin America. This is where we want to target along with my neighbours, the United States.

I also have some merch coming out very shortly and some streaming appearances to connect with fans in the meantime.  I believe one of those streams will be with you guys! And hey, since you’re asking, maybe now is the time to announce that I’ll be releasing “Awakening” with Tanzgemeinschaft.

TGMS: yes! We have that one on our roadmap.

What makes you intensely happy?

Right now, I’m super happy because I get to launch the careers of so many young artists. I get to pass on my knowledge to them. What has worked, what hasn’t. I speak from experience, having branded a few different projects already, so it’s always nice when I make a difference in someone’s life – it’s an intensely satisfying feeling, especially when they tell me that I inspire them and push them to do better. I view myself as kind of a captain for a sports team, and I’m extremely competitive. Seeing my colleagues progress is the best feeling, it drives me to do more. That’s what makes me intensely happy, that’s what gives me my adrenaline and keeps me going.

For what would like to have some more time?

I’d like to have more time to write music. This is the Achilles heel of running your own label. There’s just not enough hours in the day to do things.

Thank you.

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

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