Exclusive Interview with KURA
KURA is an up-and-coming DJ & Producer from Portugal. He was ranked #42 on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list in 2014 and he was awarded as “Best Portuguese DJ” in 2013 & 2014 at the Nova Era Awards (by the Portuguese radio station Radio Nova Era). He is best known for his tracks "Makhor" (released on Revealed Recordings) and "Blow Out", "Collide" & "Namek" (released on Spinnin' Records). He will make his Thailand Debut at DND Club.
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with KURA, shortly before his performance at DND Club on 30th September.
Where are you answering these questions?
I’m in my studio in Lisbon.
You are an up-and-coming DJ & Producer from Portugal. You were ranked #42 on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list in 2014 and awarded as “Best Portuguese DJ” in 2013 & 2014 at the Nova Era Awards (by the leading Portuguese radio station Radio Nova Era). How did you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place and how did you get into DJing and music production?
I was introduced to dance music through Carl Cox’s Fact 2 compilation. I was around 11 when I heard Cox on a classmate’s Walkman. This would become the first dance music CD I bought. In the early 2000s I started going out to clubs and got introduced to a lot of music that I came to love the disco filtered French touch of Martin Solveig, Modjo, Black Legend, and of course, to the big beat of my all-time musical heroes, Daft Punk. I began selecting and playing records at the high school's radio station and by 2005 started working on a skate shop that owned a pair of turntables and a mixer, so I started practicing every day. After that I started to play regularly on parties I'd organize and eventually landed a resident DJ place at Bahaus, a very well know club in Lisboa. Having to play regularly before a crowd created the emergency for music production – I needed my own edits. I needed to change what I didn’t like or thought wouldn’t work on a dancefloor. My first bootleg was a version of Sydney Samson’s “Work It” on Hardwell’s remix crossed with Bob Marley and soon after other DJs were asking for the bootleg. After that I upgraded my music production software to Logic Pro 8 and made my first original track, “Russian Guitar” that was picked up by none other than Portugal’s first and finest label, Kaos Records.
You produce Electro House & Progressive House. How would you describe your own music in just a few words, what is distinct about it?
It’s energetic, emotive and happy music, that’s what distinguishes my music.
This year you have released a series of highly successful tracks, such as "Makhor" (on Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings) and "Blow Out", "Collide" and "Namek" on Spinnin' Records. What other tracks, remixes or mix-sets would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?
I’d recommend that people research my discography by visiting, among others, my Beatport artist page and this way get to know my music throughout the last 5 or 6 years. Also they can visit my Soundcloud where they can find bootlegs and other material not available on stores. Or even my YouTube channel where you can find music videos and also some clips of my performances around the world. And, last but not least, follow my Facebook and Twitter to get all the news first hand.
What is on your agenda for the near future and what are you currently working and focusing on?
Music wise my next release will be on Afrojack’s Wall Recordings and it’s a collaboration with Dutch producer Tony Junior on a track called "King Kong". It will be available on Beatport on October 5th and on all platforms on October 19th.
Then there’s ADE, Amsterdam Dance Event, one of the best weeks for the industry as everyone gathers in Amsterdam to do business meetings and party. I’ll play at a party on October 14th along with Tony Junior, MAKJ, Bingo Players and others. After that I’ll head to Italy and Switzerland where I’ll play Sundance Festival along with Axwell & Ingrosso.
But before all this I’ll be leaving for Asia for tour and I’ll be in China, Le Nest, Shenzen on Sep. 25th; in M2, Xangai on Sep. 26th; Nova Club, Nighbo on Sep. 27th; and then off to Thailand for the first time (very excited!) to play DNA in Bangkok on Sep. 30th; On October 2nd I’ll be in Chaos, Manila, The Philippines. And my last gig will be in Taipei, Taiwan, for Springwave Festival on October 3rd. Asia, see you soon!
Looking back on eventful and equally successful years, what were the best and the worst gigs you ever played and what were the funniest things that occurred during any of your performances?
I’ve been very fortunate and have had amazing and memorable gigs but if I’d have to pick the very best I’d choose Meo Sudoeste Festival in Portugal, BH Dance Festival in Brazil and the DJ Mag Top100 Party in Turkey, May 2015, where I was totally surprised to find such a great crowd with an amazing vibe in an event that was flawless in every sense of the word.
The worst and funniest come together! I was playing in a festival this summer and the generator collapses for 5 or 6 minutes and people kept singing and shouting! When the music returned I explained what had just happened, and resumed my performance. When I start playing the régie guys decide to play some music at the same time I was playing, so I had to turn off my music to ask the guys to turn it off. It was unbelievable, but the audience stayed with me all the way through this ordeal, which turned a worst-case scenario into something funny and laughable.
You live in Lisbon - the capital and the largest city of Portugal. What can you tell us about clubbing and nightlife there? Do you have any nightlife related suggestions for first-time visitors?
Lisbon is a great city, as any capital it has a lot of people and nowadays also a lot of tourists so it isn’t hard to find amusement anywhere in Lisbon, and also due to great weather we can enjoy the outdoor food and drinks longer than most European countries. Nightlife is more alive from Wednesday to Sunday morning (yes, we party late!) and the place where you can find more options is along an avenue called 24 de Julho (24th of July) where there are lots of bars and clubs. As for Clubs I’d recommend Lust in Rio, Lux and Main, the three of them offer a variety of good music and they are always fun.
On 30th September you will make your Thailand Debut at DND Club. Have you ever visited Thailand before? What can the Bangkok crowd expect of your upcoming performance?
I’ve never been to Thailand before, I just landed there for a flight connection once, so I’m very curious as other international DJs have said great things about Thailand’s nightlife, so my expectations are very high! I’ll throw a party, KURA style, we just need you all there! See you soon.