Born in France to proud South American descent, Nicola currently lives and works in Quito, Ecuador, in the heart of the Andes mountains where he had developed a deep passion for the Andean landscapes, their cultures, rituals and rhythms.
His music radiates an intimate understanding of nature, from the organic exuberance of his sound to the soft cadence of his songs. We had a chance to talk to him ahead of his Miami and NY gigs. Here’s how it went.
Electronic Groove: Hi Nicola, it’s a pleasure to be able to talk with you. How’s 2016 been so far?
Nicola Cruz: Great year, lot’s of music, just as I like it.
Electronic Groove: What were you initial steps in the electronic music scene. How did you get involved in music production?
Nicola Cruz: I started Sound Design in Music Production school. The physics of sound, acoustics has always been a big passion for me. I love the traditional studio work, recording, working with machines, being patient to feel the subtle changes in a mixdown…
Electronic Groove: When did you first start producing dance music? And how long did it take you to find your own sound?
Nicola Cruz: Around 8 years ago. I was never really searching for ‘my sound’, is something in constant change. Now it sounds like this, let’s see how it sounds in 10, 20 years.
Electronic Groove: You’ve flawlessly blended electronic music with folk music from the Ecuadorian Andes. Where did this idea come from?
Nicola Cruz: Thanks for that. It just happened naturally, made sense as I’m always in a constant music exploration, and my inspiration weights heavy in Ecuador and South America.
Electronic Groove: You are linked with deep sounds artists like NU, Bedouin and YokoO. Currently who you consider is your biggest influence as a Dj and Producer?
Nicola Cruz: Well… Matthew Herbert (as always), J.Dilla, Brain Damage, Andrea Benini from Mop Mop, Quantic, among others.
Electronic Groove: You’ll soon be playing in two great parties for Bespoke Musik; Miami with a night session and New York in a boat party. How are you preparing for these totally different venues styles?
Nicola Cruz: I always wait till the sound to make a final decision, see the place, meet the vibe. I feel like playing current worldly influences, what I’ve been listening, new discoveries from around the globe. My own unedited stuff also.
Electronic Groove: Will the New York gig be your first boat party?
Nicola Cruz: I think so, yes…
Electronic Groove: Tell us a bit about the scene back home. What can we expect music wise if we take a trip to Quito and the rest of Ecuador?
Nicola Cruz: Well very interesting upcoming projects, glitchy stuff that experiments with other sides of Ecuadorian folclore.
Electronic Groove: Any recommendations on where to go when in Quito?
Nicola Cruz: Downtown of course, it’s an amazing piece of colonial architecture and history.
Electronic Groove: You recently played at Sonar Festival. How was the experience of playing at such an important musical event?
Nicola Cruz: Interesting, it was one of those festivals that puts you in this mood of extreme professionalism and you need to run various tests before performing, so its very techy. Huge crowd.
Electronic Groove: Did you hear any new acts that caught your attention?
Nicola Cruz: Not necessarily new, but for example I love this turkish band Insanlar, which perform at day time. Also I wanted to see Acid Arab.
Electronic Groove: And to finish, what can we expect in terms of new productions for the rest of the year?
Nicola Cruz: Theres an EP ready which will be out eventually, but can’t reveal any details yet, and lots of remixes this year.