Last Saturday, May 6 at the MIF in Rimini I had the pleasure to meet Julian Perez, with him I spent a good hour talking about his life explaining how he changed from Alicante to Ibiza, from office world to dancefloor and clubbing scene.
Clubber Confession: Hi Julian, tell us your beginnings
Julian Perez: Before doing the dj I was working in advertising, like graphic designers and web designers in Alicante (Spain). I worked in this field for a few years from 2000 to 2005, worked a lot and at some point I was fed up with the routine I was following; to wake up every day and go to work for a boss, to satisfy the customers with their many requests, I was little more than 20 years old and that life made me feel old.
At that time I went on vacation in Ibiza, and I loved the vibe there, so decided to move there. I had no idea what I would have done but I certainly would not have done that life anymore. Once I moved, I started doing various works and helped a friend of mine in a construction company.
In Ibiza I went out a lot, so in the meantime I began to be called to play in after parties, parties in the villa and small clubs, at that time it was a good way to show that I was able to mix good music, it worked and slowly put me in. Then I came to a point where I told myself:
“Ok if I really want to do this and have a chance I need to work hard, stop with everything else and create my own sound.”
In summer I was in Ibiza, I liked the energy and have party there, while in winter I was traveling a lot and started working hard in the studio. I watched youtube tutorials to learn, I asked my friends to teach me how to use the gear, I decided that I wanted to do it, and make productions that I could be proud of.
I spent a lot of time in the studio, in 2010 I made my first releases, and I do not know how in the years to come, at some point the wheel started to turn in the right direction and started to get the first gigs, paid and enough to live from this;
Although the period between 2010 and 2012 was a bit tough, spending so much time in the studio I had to do several jobs to survive.
In 2013 everything started to go well, I founded Father & Sons that was a great step for my career, especially to impose my style. The fact that others wanted to publish my music was cool, but I didn’t had the control of my music and its diffusion. With the first releases of the label my records began to be played, even by big names, and people started to get to know me more than for my dj set.
So do you think that producing your own music is still important?
Julian Perez: You know, at times it was very different, but it still remain very important. Someone will start playing your records and you’ll start to be known.
For example, when I was playing in the clubs the resident might tell me “ah you’re the one who made that record, I play your tracks”. With productions, you can make your own style, and people already know something about you, so you may be a bad dj, but if you produce good music you will be recognized for that.
What would you recommend to those who want to make it into the music business and start living from it?
Julian Perez: Well, now it’s almost the same as when I started, there are a lot of djs and lots of producers, even more, but when you do your music, you have your style and people know you about it and it’s good for you.
If I had not done the job I did in the studio, I would definitely not be where I am now. You know, there are some djs that have important gigs even without producing but it’s a lot more difficult these days, even more. You have to be very busy in the round, know the right people, maybe be resident and still need a long time. For me to produce counts 50% of my relationship with music, I really like it, as to make a dj set.
What is your set-up in the studio?
Julian Perez: I use drum machines, pianos, keys, sequencers, synths etc. but I’m not a musician, I do not play drums or other instruments, but I have ear; which for me is enough, I know how put things together and to use my instrumentation to create a track that is ok for me.
Now I use a lot of analog gear, at the beginnings I did not have enough money so I was lending machines from friends or using software, getting inspired by others trying to learn how to create my style and my workflow, to do this I tried so many instruments. Then depending on what I want to create instrumentation change, for a house, techno or tech-
house track I use different gear. For my latest album I used things I’ve already changed, it’s all about the product I want to create.
Are you thinking of a new album? Or some new release?
Julian Perez: The album was a last minute thing, I found myself with 4-5 tracks and I thought: “I could make a double disc album”, so I produced other tracks coming at around 11-12.
Then you know, for me the album made sense to do it because I wanted to close the label at a certain point, so it was a special thing for the latest release of Fathers & Sons. The scope of this label for me was about to release my music and that of my friends, we reached it and felt the need to close this project. I’m going to go back to the studio in the coming months and start with a new project , But I still have nothing in my mind.
What do you like more and less of your work?
Julian Perez: I like to play around, I like the connection with the dancefloor, meet new people, traveling, visiting new places, is something that I wouldn’t be able to stop doing.
Things I don’t like instead are spending a lot of time alone between a trip, sleeping less or nothing, at some point is heavy, maybe you want to have a healthy routine, do some sport , eat at right times, but sometimes it is not possible and sometimes I do not like it. But for me the game is worth the candle, good things compensate for bad things, then when I get booked somewhere for an event I like taking a few extra days to visit the places where I go, in the coming days I will go to Florence, maybe even Rome and Naples.