On this episode of BulletCast, we bring you the underground house/techno producer duo, DESIGNERZ. With busy personal schedules, Raul Peña and Strada manage to carve out time to work with one another to perfect their unique sound. Since Raul is currently based in Atlanta, GA. and Strada is based in Miami, FL., they primarily use Dropbox to share files. Discover the labels big names like Marco Carola, NEVERDOGS, Stefano Noferini, and Paco Osuna are profiting from. It's time to take a dive with us into the full DESIGNERZ interview and exclusive La Rumba mix on BulletCast.
Thank you for joining us today for this edition on BulletCast. Today we are featuring the Atlanta and Miami based artists DESIGNERZ Let’s get started! Tell me how DESIGNERZ met, fill me in on when and where?
RP: Yeah, so basically DESIGNERZ met on Facebook, social media brought us together. We were on the same page as far as music went, we started off on Tech House and gradually worked on our sound and matured it into a Deep Tech and Minimal Vibe.
How do you find time with your busy schedule to come up with new ideas?
Strada: We always have new ideas, but we don’t have time to make them happen.
RP: Strada is always constantly grinding on the music.
Strada: I work at least five hours a day in the studio. Definitely a rule for me. Every day I wake up and make music and then I go to work. Once I get a music idea going, I send it to Raul, and this is what we have. Every single beat I make I send to Raul to try to get new ideas.
RP: Yeah, he’s literally sending me new tracks every day, non-stop. We always talk about samples we want to use or vocals to rip from tracks.
Strada: Yeah, the sound. I always focus on the sound we are trying to get, especially. It can take a long time to finish an idea, track, or mix. We really care about our sound; we have been biased toward music we made in the past. We don’t really want that again.
RP: We take careful time on what we are doing versus releasing anything we are going to regret at the end of the day. He usually starts out with a track, it might be a minute or two minutes long when he sends it to me. I’ll wrap it up or lay it out and he adds more details. I’ve got more of the engineering background as well. He’s got the mastering on lock. We’re a good team.
Based on that, tell us about the challenging living in two separate states? Any roadblocks there?
Strada: That’s a really good question. We have been doing this for maybe about four years.
RP: Yeah, its three or four years we’ve been doing this.
Strada: I don’t know who came up with the idea to use Dropbox. That’s what we do and that’s what works for us.
RP: Dropbox has been a savior for us. We send our files back and forth on Dropbox and edit and save sessions directly to it.
Strada: We use the same software, the same sounds, everything.
RP: We have matching everything already laid out. So it works perfect, because it's so hard for us to get into the studio together in person.
Strada: *laughs* I think we’ve only been in person in the studio one time.
RP: Yeah, we’ve literally only been in the studio once, and that was me crashing at his house in Miami during WMC.
Can you tell us a little about the La Rumba EP and how you connected with Substrate Recordings?
RP: Strada is like the number one finder of these labels that have a good name that are small but have a tremendous push behind them.
Strada: A year ago, I was tripping about labels. Now I don’t really care about the labels. It's all about having a good sound no matter what label you are on. As long as there is good music, you know? Everybody will find you. Me and Raul release on small labels but that have a lot of support from Music On.
So tell us about what labels or artists you are supporting or who is supporting you?
Strada: We’ve had support from Marco Carola, NEVERDOGS, Stefano Noferini, Joey Daniel, Marco Ferroni, and Paco Osuna, to name a few.
RP: It’s been a lot of big names supporting. We just recently found that Stefano Noferini was supporting both of our tracks in Peru and Madrid in his “Club Editions" appearance. It's been amazing.
Definitely, you guys have been picking up some serious traction. If you could come out on any label, what would it be and why?
Strada: That’s another good question. It’s like I said, the label right now doesn’t really matter. For me and Raul, what really matters is the sound. If I had to pick what label I would say Deeperfect.
RP: Yeah, Deeperfect is probably our next goal for a release. Out of all time, maybe Music On. But we should be able to knock that out.
Take me back a little, when did you guys start getting into House and Deep Tech?
RP: For me, it was about 2011-2012. I had just moved back to Miami from Atlanta. I've been back and forth my whole life. I was just finding out about underground music from Club Space by leaving the hip-hop room once it closed down and finding my way into the after hours. That’s what changed my life as far as finding out what house music was.
Strada, what was it like growing up in Peru? Can you explain any challenges or motivation?
Strada: Lima is like a small town, you know? Where you got little parties here and there. There are not too many people who listen to electronic music. I got lucky because I grew up with these guys who always listened to techno or house. They pretty much got me into the music. When I was living in Peru I wasn’t making music real professionally or anything like that. I have always been listening or surrounded by music or parties. I used to play drums back in the day. I started listening to punk music, heavy metal, Nu Metal, and I played drums for ten years then I got into electronic music. That’s when I decided that this is what I wanted to do. I’ve never stopped since that day.
Raul, can you give me your thoughts on the recent Cuba Travel situation? How is this going to impact you?
RP: As far as being a Cuban American, I haven’t made my way toward Cuba. It really hurts that it’s a long lived situation as far as everybody not being able to travel, and now there are restrictions again. It's really sad and frustrating. I hope we can fight for our way back to what it was. Atlanta had its first flight in some time to Cuba recently.
Absolutely, I am one for world peace. Based on this, what remixes and releases do you guys have planned for the rest of this year?
Strada: Remixes… right now we have one with a guy from Argentina. Personally, I don’t like remixes because it takes away from my creativity. I can’t even describe myself from doing a remix. That’s why right now I don’t take on too many remixes. We usually collaborate with other people.
RP: Yeah, we have a few collaborations in the works with a few friends from Italy and Rone White (from Belgium).
FE: Right now, we have two or three in the works with a friend from Italy and from Belgium.
Thanks so much for joining me today for BulletCast! It was a pleasure talking with you both.