Anyone with an understanding of the history of electronic music in Spain will be familiar with Sergio Parrado. The producer, promoter, journalist and DJ has worn many hats in his 20 plus years in the industry. Each escapade further cementing him as one of the scenes unsung heroes.
Now wiser and more mature Sergio Parrado, spends his time between Mexico and Europe. A bumper tour schedule means he is never far from a club and his work with Yet! Records proves his undying commitment to the electronic scene.
In order to understand the artist and life behind the headphones, we caught up with Sergio Parrado to discover more about the life of a DJ.
Sergio, you have worn many musical hats across your career. DJ, Promoter, party-goer as well as A&R. Each of which has given you have a fine ear for all things electronic. However, what first piqued your interest in music and made you think this is the career for me?
I think this is the first time I ever had this question, and I like it!
From the first time I bought vinyl, I knew I wanted to do this. I remember perfectly that it was the “Soma 006 Otaku Percussion Obsession”. For some time I had been watching different DJ’s in my hometown. I was amazed by the vibe they created in the club, and that was the reason I got so excited and had to start buying music.
Shortly after that, I bought a Lenco plate with traction belts. I learned to mix, but simultaneously I had to work as a waiter in the summer, on the weekends and during the week I had to also work in a supermarket as a stocker…oohh those times!
Last year saw the inaugural, Meet! festival an offshoot of Yet! records, can you tell us more about the concept & what the hardest part of developing a festival is?
Meet! is mainly the parties where we invite artists that aren’t part of the label. The first edition was a festival but the concept can be very broad. At any moment it can mutate into different things in different parts of the world.
Meet! is a part of Yet! Records that is our main brand. The most complicated thing is the artistic part because it has to be a truly engaging line up so people can like it. If you have a good team the rest will go pretty well.
How do you feel about how much club culture has changed and become more visual, showy, and flashy, with LED screens, lights, lasers and so on?
Is part of the show, right? I try to keep a balance and this evolution is something I never imagined twenty years ago. Even today, the most “underground” is un-comparable and who doesn’t want to be part of it.
I have to tell you that I feel pretty good! I just turned 40 and here I am, travelling all over the world. Meeting awesome people, doing what I like the most and with a project that I’m really passionate about. I am thankful every day because I’m doing what I love.
The fans assume every DJ is always away eternally playing three nights a week to big crowds and earning tons of money. What’s the reality of touring life like and how do you handle the ups and downs?
Do they really think that? I feel so disconnected right now. Well, in my case I’m answering this interview from Uruguay after a long trip ( in tourist class) and with a little bit of jet lag, after that I’m going to Switzerland and everything continues right? that is our job.
Sometimes we play for a lot of people and some others we do it in small clubs. A lot of us don’t earn mountains of money. I have a good life but I’m a fairly simple person. The tours are prepared with plenty of time and after so many years they become simpler.
Although with the time, I have triggered panic and anxiety when I’m surrounded by a lot of people. Unless I’m not in the booth. My wife is my pillar so I can manage this issues and she really helps me with that, she knows me really well and knows this profession. Fortunately she knows how to get me back on my feet.
Has there been a venue, promoter, city or location that has caught you completely off guard recently? In other words, somewhere that has exceeded all expectations?
Naturally, is something continuous, in the last years it has been always for good and it happens all over the world, I could give you a lot of examples but it can be quite extensive. Then you have the bad experiences that can happen to everyone but I have learned a lot from that.
When putting out a track what do you look for in a label? Do you choose the label or does the label choose you?
I can say is a 50/50, sometimes I look for them or it can be the other way around.
Finally, if you could pick three tracks items to take onto a desert island what would it be and why?
I could never live with three tracks! Can I take a laptop, a keyboard and a pair of monitors?