Local Rockstars: Daniel Sanchez is ready for a long weekender

Local Rockstars: Daniel Sanchez is ready for a long weekender

Jan 26, 2012 |  by  |  Event, Music
About the author
Caroline (25) is a writer, an expat enjoying life at its fullest in Amsterdam and a girl born to party. She makes her Friday night plans no later than Monday morning and enjoys drinking verse muntthee just as much as hot-people-watching in the city.

Whether you went out last weekend to check out an uber-geeky beat magician or a depressingly awesome indie rock band, we all know there’s always some serious musical talents rocking around the Dam. You might not recognize them all yet, but don’t worry, you will soon. In this series of interviews we talk to remarkable artists about their music and their inspirations.

If someone is half Spanish and half Dutch, he most likely won that certain kind of party gene by default. That’s probably the reason why Daniel Sanchez (27), DJ and founder of BlaBla Records was already setting up his first big parties at the age of 15. From Thursday until Saturday, he is celebrating the 5th anniversary of BlaBla in Studio 80. And before he gets that long weekend started, I met up with him to learn why underground events like BlaBla are just as important for the electronic music scene as David Guetta.

You work as a DJ in Amsterdam and you’ve been organising events like BlaBla and Rotzooii for years now. When did you first know that this was what you wanted to do?
“Back in the days, I was like every other 13-year-old kid who thought being a DJ was really cool. I used to collect a lot of flyers from all kinds of parties and I was going to the record store every week to buy vinyl. I started to organise parties in Bussum when I was 15, but only for friends and people from the neighbourhood. It soon became bigger and that’s when I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

Your plans are to expand and go abroad with BlaBla. How do you want BlaBla to differ from other international parties like Sensation White? 
“I want people to see BlaBla as an underground event. It’s less commercial than parties like Sensation. If you only think about money you have to play a different type of music. I want to keep it more underground and support young and upcoming artists as well as big names with my events.”

The next big thing always starts underground.

What makes underground DJs and their music so important for you?
“I think the underground scene of upcoming DJs who are playing at secret locations is really important for the electro scene and for exploring new sounds. The next big thing always starts underground. It’s extremely important to invest in those artists. Unfortunately, a lot of venues have been shut down in Amsterdam and it’s hard to find a good underground location. I think Studio 80 is the perfect compensation for that though.”

What do you think about non-underground, but more commercial parties then?
“Well, there is two things you have to consider. First of all, the audience and the music you are playing and secondly, what people expect from you. I want people to feel the music and I would never play something I don’t like. I actually don’t care if people say something is too commercial, as long as it’s good.”

So would you say artists like David Guetta are good DJs?
“To be honest, I’m happy that artists like him exists in this business. They open up different doors in many parts of the world where electronic music is not big yet. People like him are a starting point and a good connector. And who knows, once people get to feel the sound they might be open for new ones.”

What type of music inspires you?
“I really like Aphex Twin and D’Angelo. As you can see, these are two completely different genres. It’s not like I listen to techno all the time. I get inspired by melodic sounds like R&B too.”

Your brother Juan Sanchez is a DJ too and you sometimes perform together. Have you guys ever competed against each other?
“We actually didn’t start our careers together and our sounds are also totally different. For Sensation White we did an exclusive duo performance, but in general we are going separate ways. We’ve been in this business quite a while and we are good together, but we know how to leave each other alone as well.”

Are you performing abroad a lot?
“I recently played in South America, at Mysteryland in Chile. It was amazing. I played an 8 hour closing set there. I think that going international is exciting and the number of clubs you can perform at is never-ending. On the other hand, people have this romantic vision of DJs performing abroad. There is a lot of good events, but it also happens that you end up getting to a party and asking yourself what the hell am I doing here.”

What’s your feeling about BlaBla this weekend?
“It’s been a very busy time for me to set up the whole event and I’m really looking forward to it. I might take some days off after it. It’s going to be a mad weekend.”

Daniel Sanchez is an Amsterdam-based DJ and event planner known for organising big events like Rotzooii and BlaBla. He will be hosting the 5th anniversary of BlaBla at Studio 80 this weekend. The line-up includes Extrawelt, Rauwkost, Arjuna Schiks, Juan Sanchez, Dorine Dorado, Andre Hommen and more.


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