Digging Deeper with Javier Carballo

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
March 15, 2018

Digging Deeper with Javier Carballo

Javier Carballo sat down for a chat with us ahead of his new release on Black Wood recordings, the Morning Vibe EP.

The Black Wood imprint is new to the scene, having been founded this year by two friends of Carballo’s. This will be its second release, with David Gtronic’s “Kryptoo” dropping last month. Carballo is keeping up his brilliant form with ‘Morning Vibe’ and he talked to us about the release, the label and much more.

Hi Javier, thanks for taking the time out to chat to us. We wanted to start by chatting about Under Your Seat. How is the night going? What have been the highlights for you with it?

At the moment we are involved in a few projects. We’re not just doing parties but also working as event producers with brands like “Sound Gardens”, “Noche de Brujas” or “Alegoría”, all of which are working really well with a focus on really high level artists.

About Under Your Seat as a night party, we are carrying on with the same personal concept with artists as Vera, Onur Ozer, East End Dubs, Kanzyani, Bara, etc. with exactly the same hope as in the beginning. Moreover, a few months ago we thought it was the perfect moment for the brand to start our own vinyl label. Definitely a really exciting moment for us.

Let’s chat about your association with Vatos Locos. Can you tell us a bit about the concept, who came up with it etc.?

Vatos Locos came from the desire of Hector to connect with same brand of DJ’s that he has been meeting over the last few years and those with whom he had shared special personal and musical moments. The idea was to fuse all our good vibes and our ideas on how to approach the music and how to show it to the people.

David Gtronic (USA) Mahony (Romania), Jamie (Holland), Pinto (Mexico), Chad (Usa), Hanfry Martinez (Spain), all of them contribute their vision and their previous experience to the brand, making it a special and individual experience.

How does playing with those guys differ to DJing on your own? Can you be more/less brave with the music you play?

I play every moment based on what I feel. It’s dependent of course of the venue, how I sensing the vibes of the crowd or just the moment of the night. When I play with the guys, everyone has a personal style but we always try to do our best in any set for the crew and to make of every party a unique experience.

Do you think playing with others makes you a better DJ? And if so, why?

Yes, I think it is always positive to share your time and music with other artists because you can always learn something new. I’m always learning, we should all do it. I love when the guys are playing, it is very enjoyable for me.

Some DJs don’t like playing in a back-to-back setting. Is this something you understand also?

Yes, of course I understand it, not everyone feels comfortable doing b2b. It’s something very special. You are not only playing one record, you need to be kind of connected with the other DJ to do a good set.

Last year at Sunwaves for example, each of us did a two hours set alone and then we did a marathon b2b for 12 hours. The experience was sick and the people went crazy. It’s a good example of how it can sometimes work.

You’ve played some spectacular parties over the years. What would you say you favourite memory as a DJ has been to date?

It’s very difficult to choose just one but Sunwaves was definitely one of my favourite ones, alongside BPM Mexico or one of my extended Berliner sets in Kater Blau.

Do you ever worry that one day you won’t be doing this anymore or is that something you even think about?

Honestly, it’s not something I worry about. I’ve been involved in music for 20 years, first as a resident DJ in clubs in Gran Canaria, then as promoter, making really important parties and now I’m the owner of two music labels and working as an international DJ. I’m sure my future will be in music. Music is my life, it doesn’t matter in what way.

What do you think are the biggest challenges to being a full-time DJ these days? How do you deal with all the travel?

It’s a hard job because it’s not just playing. I also manage my social media with the help of my agent. I supervise all my gigs and I need time to make music and time to listen new stuff to be up to date. Sometimes I get the feeling that I can’t get out of this. When you do other kind of jobs, you come back home and disconnect from the worries and stress. In my case, everything in my life is around music and my career. I’m really grateful because music is my passion but at the same time, I do get really tired sometimes.

With your productions, do you feel pressure when making music to come up with something spectacular these days? Or do you just feel you want to satisfy yourself, first and foremost?

I always try to do what I feel or what I would like to express through my music in the moment. Of course, everyone is influenced by new sounds or trends. The thing is to try to get an actual sound but without losing the essence of who you are and what you’ve always tried to transmit with your music.

For that reason, I recently created my alias “TERMS”. With it, I feel free and fresh, without any pressure, without the sometimes handicap of being Javier Carballo and what the people expect from that name. I feel how I felt 10 years ago, when I started to do music.

What motivates you more then – DJing or creating new music? And were you a DJ first or producer?

At the moment, I think half and half. I’m in a good creative moment and I am loving testing and learning new things and making new sounds. I was just DJ first. For this reason, I think I always have a dance floor vision in my music.

When are you at your most consistent in terms of making music? Do you generally make music in winter or do you have a particular schedule that you adhere to with it all?

Everything influences my moments of making music. I need quiet, free time and my really being in the mood. I definitely don’t like to schedule my creativity.

The Black Wood record is full of amazing vibes! Have you played the tracks out yet and how did each one go down?

Yes, I’m really happy with the result. I’ve been playing “Chunchuneo” and “Back for Good” and the crowds have gone crazy. The break for Chunchuneo is just magic. Last time, I played the Yaya Remix as well and it really worked.

A few weeks ago in The Panther Room of Output NYC, I think it was one of the night’s tracks.

Black Wood is a new Spanish label that you’re associated with. Can you let us in on the story behind the label and how it came to pass that you’re involved with it?

Black Wood is the project of my friends Marcos in Dub and Alvaro Medina, both big names in the Spain scene.

Around 2 years ago, we talked about the label and they said that they would like to have something of mine on it. I really like their music and from the beginning I knew was it going to be something good. Spain needs more labels like Black Wood.

How important do you think it is to ensure your music is released on labels that share a similar ethos to you musically? Is this something you think you become more aware of as you get older?

Absolutely. It’s very important to find labels and artists with the same vibe or style to release your music, in a way they already represent you.

Yes, that’s right. It’s something that you learn with time.

What’s next on the agenda for Javier Carballo in 2018? Have you more interesting tours or releases on the way?

Yes, this year has begun brilliantly. I’m just back to London from Lima and have a busy schedule for the next few months with dates in Mood Club (Gran Canaria), Secret Room (Budapest), Malaquita (Mexico City), El Ausente (Ciudad Juarez), Sunde (Miami) and Apt at Mick´s Garage (London).

In terms of music, I have 2 more forthcoming releases. One under my alias “Terms” on my Underyourseat label and another collaboration with Carlos Sanchez for Blind Vision.

Javier Carballo’s Morning Vibe EP is out now on Black Wood Records. Buy/listen to the release here