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Sergio Parrado

Interview: Sergio Parrado

To understand the development of electronic music in Spain, one of the names that can come to your mind is Sergio Parrado. With 21 years of experience, he has become a classic inside this ambience living between Spain and Mexico.

He started his career in the mythical club “Camarote” in the late of 1990’s and this allowed him to enter in the competitive Spanish market. In 2000 he opened his own club named “Conga” with tech-house beats and he has the opportunity to invite artists like Dylan Drazen, Steve Bicknell, Hector Sandoval (Exium), Dani Casarano. In there he would initiate a labour relationship that made him travel to Chile, where he would change his whole vision and start working with more organic sounds, it was born the “micro-house”.

Currently, he is writing for DJ MAG SPAIN</a,> (“Focus On” and “Around the World”) where he talks about labels, their music and the artists that have been there.

As a producer we can mention him in labels like Bedrock, Lapsus, Trapez, Kinetika, Brise … and besides that he manages his own label (My Little Dog) for almost a decade. We highlight the connection he has with his audience, the exquisite selection and the technique to always transmit positivity and good energy on the dancefloor.

We had a chat with Sergio Parrado about his endeavours in the scene so far.

Sergio Parrado

How is your summer going so far?
Well, I’m very busy with
YET! Records and the performances, but as always it has been entertaining

You are around for quite some time now. Tell us about how you ended up with playing and producing electronic music.
I started at the age of 16 playing commercial music in small bars in my city in which they didn’t let me play Techno. I remember that when the owners weren’t there, I took advantage and played some techno … until they found out haha. When I turned 20 I got hired as a resident in “Camarote”, one of the first techno clubs in Spain and in that time it had a lot of names, so it became easier for me to get in the national circuit and subsequently to make my own music so I could show it to the world. At first, we used to send cd’s or tapes to the addresses given on the cover of the discs but it was really complicated and they took a long time to answer. I was tired you know, so I took a flight to Barcelona and I stood in the doorway of Decoder (a distributor that doesn’t exist anymore) and I promised myself that I wasn’t going anywhere until I got a distribution contract. That’s how I could find my first label called Minijack (it doesn’t exist any more). After that, I created My Little Dog (10 years ago), and today I’m being an A&R manager. Image and artist of a great label that is just starting but it has a lot of potential, YET! Records. For me because of all the experience I have built upon in 22 years sure helps. It could be said that it has been a natural process and I’m very thankful.

How has your music evolved over the years and how was/is it influenced by external factors (experiences in life, other artists, events, new taste)?
The evolution as I mentioned in the previous question, has been given naturally, but something did change when I went to Chile for the second time a long time ago and I stayed there for three months. In Europe, it was techno or house music but in South America, a new sound was flourishing, something warm and organic mixed, let’s say that in that moment of my career it helped to open my mind.

On the other hand, I’ve always tried to travel a lot and I’ve been fortunate to have been able to live in different countries such as Ibiza, Perú (Lima and Cuzco), Chile, Playa del Carmen or Mexico City, so much more than only artists that have influenced me. It’s the expression that each place has.

What were the first types of music you tried to make?
Techno, without a doubt. When I first started producing music I was a lover of English sound, more specifically the sound that was done in Birmingham. And I also had my house music phase (but only playing it). As I mentioned in the last question, everything changed when I went to Chile for the second time.

As a curiosity, I still have the first mastering which was going to be my first release, but it didn’t see the light of day … it was 140 bpm Techno.

What are currently your main challenges? What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music that makes it interesting for you?
I really like this question, since my life is full of challenges but above all, goals. Right now my main goal and that of Jee Bear (the other A&R at YET! Records) is to consolidate the brand in the next years. The first reference was made by me with the collab of Chinonegro and the remix was done by Adapter and it reached the top 8 in sales which is really good.

Right now big things are coming with friends such as Ray Okpara, Sascha Dive, Kenny Glasgow, Joey Daniel or Sirus Hood. But we also focus on our own family like Sergio Bennett, Lucien le Grub or Adapter himself.

Relating to the question of playing and producing, they are two different things but at the same time they connect with each other, naturally, I love being in touch with the people. Being in the studio is more personal and intimate, I have a lot of music that hasn’t seen the light because I’m very fussy with the things I make but I do play it on sets. So you can see they are totally different.

Do you feel there was a “breakthrough” point after which suddenly things changed for the better and brought you to where you are now? If so, what was it and why do you think it happened?
Well, as I said before my breakthrough was Chile, but If I have to mention other ones I would say: Camarote, My Little Dog, Ibiza, Cuzco (Perú) and now YET! Records

Being a musician is quite demanding and also requires a lot of travel. How do you relax when you’re not on the road, and what is your ‘ritual’ when you get back into the studio?
Now I’m living in the small town that saw me grow, so relaxing is not that difficult. On the other hand, I love going out with my dogs because in here you have a beautiful natural environment, also I like watching movies with my girl or watching a good series like The Sopranos, or Game of Thrones (which we hooked up very fast), so we need to watch good stuff haha. When I have the time I go playing basketball which is my favourite sport or reading about conspiracies or alien stuff among others. About having a ritual when I come back to produce, I wait for the inspiration to come which happens to appear after 12 hours of getting locked in the studio for a month.

What’s it that you’ve got planned for the year ahead? Any new music or collaborations you want to talk about?
It’s a year full of hew projects that I don’t know where to start, I’m really happy.! So stay tuned!

With some many things at hand, where do you draw your creative influences from?
The inspiration can come from different places or moods, mainly I got it in the day, I love to make music in the day. But when I feel more accomplished is when I travel or share things with the music of other cultures. One of my favourite places of inspiration is Perú, more specifically the Inca’s Sacred Valley in which I lived for a season. When I go there, I stay for some days because I really love it. This place it’ll be a before and an after and I’ll be always grateful. Talking of some other musical influences, I like these artists: Public Enemy, Sex Pistols, Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Circulation or Oscar Mulero … the list would be wide.

Lastly, do you have any advice for young producers who are about to experience their first bit of success?
I always say three things: patience, constancy and respect!

Thank you so much!

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