James de Torres, a talented artist born in Madrid and having lived in influential music cities like Ibiza and New York, has developed his skills under the guidance of well-known trance musicians.
Photo credit: James de Torres- Instagram
His love for trance music was sparked during his teenage years, with Tiesto and Armin van Buuren being major influences for him in the 2000s. Taking inspiration from these icons, James has created captivating melodies, exciting drops, and powerful basslines that follow in their footsteps.
In recent years, he has embraced a more progressive and melodic techno sound, adapting to the changing music landscape following the impact of COVID-19. Exploring new musical territories and experimenting with lower production BPMs, he has shifted his focus away from the trance scene. With a collection of 30 tracks already released, James is ready to captivate listeners with even more music in the near future.
EG had the opportunity to interview James de Torres and gain insight into his projects and upcoming releases. In the interview, James shares his journey, recent experiences, and plans for 2024.
EG: Hi, James! Welcome back to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been since we last spoke? How did you wrap up your year?
James de Torres: I’m happy to be back on board of such a prestigious magazine. This 2023 has been hectic. I have been working with the Vintage Culture team, so we have been traveling to many festivals during the summer. That helped me recap a lot of new music knowledge and overall see what the crowd wants and what I can give to the crowd in production terms. After the summer, I decided to close in the studio and make a lot of new music that will be coming out in the next few months. I am very happy and hope that 2024 makes a difference in my DJ career.
EG: So, how has 2024 been treating you so far? Any highlights or resolutions you can share with us?
James de Torres: This first month of the year has been busy behind the computer, with lots of emails to close as many contracts as possible. This same week, I have had 3 releases and I have been able to sign another 3 EP’s, so I am very excited. So far, so good. 2024 is going to be an amazing year, I can tell. My biggest resolutions are to play more gigs and release more music. I will be doing my best to achieve both.
EG: So, it seems like February is shaping up to be quite a month in terms of releases for you. Congratulations! Can you take us through your next releases?
James de Torres: Thanks for the cheers. Yeah, ‘Perseidas,’ ‘Sentido,’ and ‘Shadows’ are just the beginning. Like I said before, I was able to close a few more releases, so at least 5 more tracks will be coming out in the next few months. I expect these three new releases to catch the eyes and ears of new fans and people from the industry who can see my potential. I know I am a really good DJ, and I am really looking forward to showing it to the world.
EG: ‘Sentido’ sees you linking up with Nihil Young. What was that collaborative process like? Is this the first time you guys came together to make music? Did you share similar inspiration, or bring your own ideas to the table?
James de Torres: Nihil Young, I must say, is one of the most talented producers I have ever seen. Working with him is easy; he makes things easy, and our personalities fit perfectly to understand each other. We made a few more projects, but this one was our favorite. To be honest, Nihil is a machine when producing. I love the fact that we worked with some Spanish vocals that I can understand and fix. But to me, the best part is the drop that he brought to the project. We are inspired by similar ideas, and that makes it easier to work. I am sure we will keep bringing more music in the future.
“I expect these three new releases to catch the eyes and ears of new fans and people from the industry who can see my potential”
EG: What was it about Velvet Mode’s ‘Shadows’ that caught your attention as a remixer? Did you have a clear plan as soon as you heard the original mix? What sort of things do you look for when selecting which track to remix?
James de Torres: This is a funny one because I met this guy in Miami who is a friend of my besties, and he was like, my brother has a music label, you should do something together, and that label is Lelantus, which is cool. So that’s how I got in touch with Sesli, one of the Co-Founders. While making some music for the label, he suggested that I make a remix of a future track of theirs. When I received the list of tracks they were going to release, I knew ‘Shadows’ was going to be the one. I liked the dark voice, the snare in there, and the bass. When working on the tune, I added some new sounds and worked with some other references that I was really enjoying at that time, so that’s how the ideas were popping up. When selecting a track I want to remix, the first thing I think is, what does this song have that I cannot make or is not in my own productions. I want to take advantage of having something different in my hands, something that another artist has been able to implement in their own music.
EG: You also mentioned the release of your original single, ‘Perseidas’, which will be out on ZEF Music as a part of their ‘Kaleidoscope Vol. 1’ VA. What’s ‘Perseidas’ about? Is there a concept or particular inspiration driving this one? What can your fans find in this one?
James de Torres: I worked on this one during summer break, that’s why it’s called ‘Perseidas,’ which is the star rain that happens in Spain in August. I really liked the synth sound, a bit like Stephan Bodzin we can say, and decided to build the track around it. I hope I can get a Moog soon in the future (laughter). It’s more focused on melody and a chill vibe rather than smashing the club.
EG: Stepping out of the studio for a bit… Over the past years, we’ve seen a huge rise in acts or concepts that depend on these immense screens and eye-watering visuals. Do you think this enhances the musical experience? Or is it taking too much away from the actual music?
James de Torres: I would say that yes, it’s taking too much away from the music, but it’s what the market needs. Nowadays, social media is the big thing to get your music out there. You look for videos to go viral, and having a production with not only screens but also flames, CO2, confetti, people are going to record that, post it, share it, and that’s where your music is reaching the world. So, unfortunately, now it’s not all about music, but about ways to catch the attention of listeners who are obsessed with social media. I would love to play soon in Watergate in Berlin, a non-videos politics club, I love that. But on the other hand, if one of my tracks is played in an Afterlife show, for example, it will probably go viral because of the visuals, and that will help my career.
EG: Talking about this topic, the use of AI in music has become quite common after its initial introduction, which raised many eyebrows. What’s your stance on this? Have you contemplated its possibilities? Do you find any potential uses enticing?
James de Torres: Well, I haven’t used AI for my music yet, but I have used it for many things. I love how it is integrating into every niche. I am also a photographer, and Photoshop has provided crazy tools to improve the edits. In terms of music, I know Nihil has been playing with it and has created some astonishing vocal materials. You should ask him about this someday, haha, or maybe he’ll kill me for saying it.
“I am trying to reach out to bigger labels, but it is also important to continue releasing music with the ones I am currently working with, as they are amazing”
EG: Finally, can you provide some insights into what’s next for James de Torres? What’s in store for 2024? Where can your fans catch you next?
James de Torres: As I mentioned earlier, after these 3 songs are released, another 5 will be coming soon. I am very happy about that. I am trying to reach out to bigger labels, but it is also important to continue releasing music with the ones I am currently working with, as they are amazing. In terms of DJing, you will mostly find me in Spain and at some festivals during the summer. Miami Music Week will also be an important event for me. Just keep an eye on me because I know things will work out.
EG: Thank you so much for your time, James! We wish you all the best for the future. Take care!
James de Torres: Thank you for having me. I hope to be back soon with more incredible news :), and congratulations on the great work you are all doing.
EG: Thanks for your kind words James.
James de Torres’s ‘Diaspora’ is out now via Area Verde. Stream and download here.