Interview: Lupe

Amsterdam-based DJ, producer, and veteran promoter Lupe has been a long standing figure on the cities DJ circuit for several decades.

Now aiming to further himself as a reputable music maker, the Dutch talent follows releases on Pets Recordings and Twirl Recordings with a brand new EP on Anja Schneider’s Sous Music.

Featuring five tracks in total, his Come Through EP includes four original versions as well as an instrumental edit of the title track.

We spoke to him recently to ask about the new release, how he looks for new label partnerships, and how his time as a promoter has influenced his own DJ sets. Get the full discussion with Lupe below.

Hey Lupe, we hope you’re well. How are things in Amsterdam this week?

Things in Amsterdam are good thankfully, last Saturday I had a blast playing at the Radio Radio club night, this evening I’m going to visit a premiere of a new art show at the amazing NXT Museum, next week I play at Club Lovelee on Thursday. The pandemic made me more grateful for what is possible!

You’re recently released your new ‘Come Through’ EP on Sous Music, talk us through the four originals included on this one?

‘Come Through’ is about coming through to the fullest expression of yourself by dancing, feeling your fantasy.

‘Catwalk Trax’ is about the same kind of physical self-expression but from a model’s experience, it samples the voice of legendary model Gia Carangi (RIP), talking about what goes through her mind while posing in front of the camera.

‘Into Heaven’ is disco-inspired, choosing the sound of dramatic strings that can elevate the dance floor drama – in a good way of course.

‘Lucky Bass’, I made the quickest while playing around with synths: they sounded exactly how I wanted right away, hence the title lucky! Who doesn’t love a big juicy hypnotising bassline.

And it includes an instrumental edit of the title track, what is your reason for adding that?

I grew up in the 80s where lots of 12” disco records had instrumentals and dub versions, so I guess that’s where I got the idea from, imprinted in my vinyl soul haha!

Previously your music has come via labels like Twirl Recordings and Pet Recordings, what do you look for in a label when considering them for a release?

They can be relatively new as well as longstanding labels, I look for the feeling of a creative family. Obviously, I also play some of the music they have released. As a music lover who turned into a music maker, it feels like magic sometimes when the people whose music I have loved for years now return the same love to me, whether they are label owners, DJs, producers, or all of the above.

You have quite a bit of experience as a promoter, how has that role influenced you in your own DJ sets?

As a promoter you’re at the event from before the beginning to after the end of the party, so you literally see the very first visitor walk in to the last die-hards, and then it has to have a happy ending.

After doing more than 100 club parties, both promoting and DJing, it left its marks on me for sure, I feel co-responsible towards the promoter a lot when I play somewhere, realising how important it is that the music should fit the moment.

We all must work together to make it a great night of course, it is a huge honour to get to choose the music for everybody to dance too, after all. For instance, the importance to always have a feel good song or track ready as an encore, to name an example.

Who’s your favourite Amsterdam-based promoter? Besides yourself of course!

Currently I focus all my energy into producing and DJing, around 2017 I left promoting which I had done since 2004. That provided a great platform to get started as a DJ which was never my original plan actually, but somebody had to play at the beginning, so I thought, why not!

I dig a lot of independent clubs as well as promoters here in Amsterdam, they find a great balance between new names as well as more established artists. There are many, and many do nights in several venues, so it is hard to point one out. My advice to people who want to go clubbing in Amsterdam is to check out what nights are happening at these venues or organisations: Radion, Lovelee, Borisov, Radio Radio, Is Burning, Shelter, Paradiso, Garage Noord, Melkweg.

Thanks for the taking the time to answer our questions, is there anything else you would like to plug before we go?

I’m coming to DJ in Berlin, July 23rd at a great location, so join me there! I will let you know more details when I’m allowed to announce on my social media. Love to see you there!

Lupe – Come Through EP is out now on Sous Music.