Coyu on Donald Trump, Suara’s New Fashion Store, His Favorite Genre and Playing in Los Angeles

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
October 27, 2016

Coyu on Donald Trump, Suara’s New Fashion Store, His Favorite Genre and Playing in Los Angeles

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It’s ADE and Amsterdam is buzzing. The mid-October air is crisp cold yet everyone is still biking as if it’s summer out. I am rushing and weaving through late-morning traffic as, admittedly, I am running late for my interview with Iván Ramos, artist name Coyu, due to some unforeseen complications I ran into that morning.

Walking into the Miracle Management hub for ADE week I am greeted warmly by both Coyu and Bruno, who was kind enough to set up the interview during one of the craziest weeks of the year. I know Coyu doesn’t have much time — he is running a label and has a Suara showcase in Amsterdam that night, is opening a fashion store in Barcelona, oversees the Suara Foundation which benefits cats and of course is a successful producer and DJ in his own right. Literally just over a week following the interview (this weekend) he is scheduled to play Suara showcases in San Francisco first and then in Los Angeles for Underrated Presents’ Minimal Effort Halloween — a one-day festival in the heart of the city’s downtown area.

Suara Min Effort

To say that he is a man always on the run would be an understatement, and while the fact that I am a tad bit late doesn’t help my cause, he is as welcoming as he can be and we immediately get right down to business.

When did you arrive here in Amsterdam?

Today, an hour ago actually. I am leaving after tonight (date for Suara’s ADE showcase) and going back tomorrow, it’s crazy. We are about to open a physical Suara fashion store.  I have a ton of interviews and things going on for today – half of my staff is here and half of the team is over there.

How big is the Suara team now?

It’s becoming bigger all the time. We are around 15 people now working directly with Suara. We have the music and parties, the label, the foundation for the cats and now the fashion. We are a very big team right now.

Why did you decide to get into fashion, how did the idea of the store come about?

The thing is that we do all of the colors of our artwork by hand paint. Everything is hand painted – we don’t google and don’t find anything already made. We have three designers and have everything hand painted so I said, “Why don’t we make something bigger?” and realized that we should open an online store and start selling fashion. We were selling hoodies, leggings for girls, caps, shirts, it was a natural progression and after three years online we decided to open the first store in Barcelona in the center of the city.

I know that you have this new track out on Drumcode with Ramiro called ‘Clap Your Hands’ — can you tell me how the collaboration with him started?

We have been friends for a long time and we have always been trying to release on Drumcode because we are big fans of Adam Beyer and of his Drumcode sound, his label has been the biggest in techno over the last 5 to 7 years. It was always a wish for us – we did a track and sent it to Adam. I used to always send a lot of my stuff to him when I produced techno but he didn’t answer and he didn’t reply back to me so I would decide to release on Suara.

A couple of months later I sent Adam a few tracks. Tracks I was about to release like a remix on Turbo for Tiga and other work. Literally five minutes later I got a reply from him, “Man that ‘Clap Your Hands’ track is amazing!” I was like, “I sent that to you two months ago!” (laughs) and he told me immediately he wanted to release it and I was like let’s do it, let’s go, sure sure! I asked him if he wanted me to release some more tracks for him with it because I know he is used to releasing 3, 4 even 5 tracks per release but he told me that he thought it was enough, that the one track was super powerful and that they had everything they needed for a release. It was very fast, it was amazing. I always wanted to work with Drumcode and now something magical happened there.

This will be your fourth Suara showcase at ADE right?

Yes this will be our fourth time and we’ve had amazing partners, amazing moments and great lineups these past four years. ADE is always good to us. We do very, very well . We have a strong promoter working with us here and this party should be good. There’s huge response and a nice lineup with Claude vonStroke who is super popular especially in the States, but we also have Huxley, Tube & Berger ,Dosem and more. I think it’s a strong lineup  It’s an eclectic lineup, we have the more techno sounds like Ramiro and Dosem so I think it will be a very interesting mix of house and techno. That’s actually what I feel I am like, as is Suara.


That’s very interesting as it was one of the questions I was going to ask you. Your sound has a lot of versatility ranging from techno to tech house and of course the original Suara signature house sound.  Do you put yourself in a box as far as genres or do you like to keep your artistry more open-minded?

I am becoming closer to techno. My roots are techy. I was a techno kid when I was 17-18 and I really always grew up around techno, especially American techno like Daniel Bell, Plastikman for sure, Robert Hood, those kind of artists – the more minimalistic and intelligent techno. But then I got closer to house. Not closer but got influenced by other areas and now I think I am coming back to techno. If I could do 100% of what I want to do during a set, which sometimes is difficult depending on the crowd in front of you or if they book you for a house crowd then you have to play that, it would be techno. I used to love playing house and tech house and still do, but if you really ask me what I love to play and I have the chance to decide the perfect set I would say techno right now. But I still love house of course.

How do you vibe with your crowd to know which sort of genre direction to take your set in?

Well wow, it depends where you play, the city, the club, the sound system, the crowd. Pfffft… you have to be there and feel it and you have to take in consideration where you’re playing, the kind of music the warm-up DJ played before you or the lineup – if you’re playing with 2 or 3 other house DJs then of course you will steer toward house but if you’re on a stage with Adam Beyer then you can go towards techno. It’s more about that specific moment.

How do you keep track of what must be thousands of tracks with each genre? You must receive a ton of demos, releases, reworks.

Being an eclectic artist with interest in techno and house I like tracks that are groovy, deep, colorful, proggy but also dark. It’s difficult as we receive hundreds of thousands of demos and promos, I try to follow what I want to play in every single moment. When I find a track that I really love for sure it may be part of my arsenal and I may have a few classics I like to play here and there but I am not the kind of DJ that will play the same tracks often at all. I try to put in the work to listen to as much as I can whenever I can.

Minimal Effort is next week, not your first time playing in LA. Where do you see Los Angeles as far as the underground dance music scene right now?

I think it’s growing a lot. It’s my sixth time playing there or something. I started with Monday Social and then a few months later for Groove Cruise, I played for Pete Tong’s party, I played Inception at Exchange LA, HARD Day of The Dead always with bigger and bigger crowds. California crowds are always very good to me. I am actually very happy with my success in America as a whole, I feel very close with the crowd, with my fans and with the entire American techno and house movement. Specifically in LA I feel very comfortable and I sense that the crowd there really likes what I am doing so I am super excited to be back at Minimal Effort next week and to bring Suara with Edu and Dosem. The lineup is amazing with Tiga, Jonas Rathsman, Pete Tong – it’s a huge lineup so I am very happy to have the chance to host one of the stages of Minimal Effort this year.

Coyu_PressPhoto_2015_05_SDYou’ve done some awesome big remixes in the past and have a huge one coming up with Moby. How did that come up?

I have been a huge fan of Moby. Actually he is my favorite artist ever. Play and 18 are my favorite albums ever as well, and so you know I remixed one of his tracks a couple of years ago already and then my management and his management got closer. They asked us actually, they are now allowing some artists to remix some of his biggest tracks. I wanted to pick one of the classic ones and I choose ‘Natural Blues’ – my favorite track ever. Maybe ‘Go’ or ‘Porcelain’ are bigger ones but for me ‘Natural Blues’ is phenomenal, it’s my track. I feel very proud to have had the chance to work with someone like him not only because he is a musical magician, he is amazing, but also because I like the way he thinks politically, socially and with his animalistic views. It’s a huge honor.

While we are on the subject of politics. as a big cat fan how do you feel about Trump’s infamous words, “Grab Her By The Pussy?” Are you political at all?

(laughs) Of course I am political in my views, I actually studied political science. I am a bit scared for America if Trump gets elected but I think, for me, he is a funny guy but what’s interesting socially is that you can have someone like him having the chance to run for President. It’s crazy. You know House of Cards? All the Trump shit… House of Cards is nothing when you compare it to everything you see with Trump.

Actually one of our t-shirts is called “Trumpy Cat.”  It’s Trump with a cat in his head, it’s one of our t-shirts that did really well.

One last question about a subject that means a lot to you. Obviously anyone that follows you knows that cats have a special place in your heart with the foundation you’re running, the money that you’re raising. Why cats? I am assuming you had cats growing up?

It’s actually because of my girlfriend. She had cats growing up and I was more of a dog lover. Then she introduced me to the cat world and I fell in love and now cats are a huge part of my life. I feel very very close to them and I think they are incredible creatures.

Minimal Effort Halloween Final

Don’t miss Coyu and the Suara showcase this coming Saturday at Minimal Effort: Halloween

Tickets are still available online

Connect with Coyu: Resident Advisor | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | SoundCloud

Connect with Suara: Online | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | SoundCloud