Coyu talks journalism and a life of touring

Running one of the most prolific labels of dance music ‘Suara’ in Barcelona, garnering praise and accolades for his unique House and Techno sounds, releasing stamping tunes from under other heavy weight labels such as Get Physical, Tronic, Cocoon to name some… to simply a Cat loving soul running the non-profit organization of Suara foundation which is dedicated to helping abandoned and helpless Cats. The master blaster Ivan Ramos is one of the most talented artists of the current European music scene. Meet the daringly eclectic music innovator we all love as Coyu..

As we settle down to talk music, machines and animals I unfurl the incredible success story of the Catman/ Atypical Farm boss bit by bit, in a Decoded style exclusive…

Can the floor shifting, chart busting cassette of Technotronic back in the day, simply be one of the reasons to the emergence of our current Techno super-star, apart from German and Ibizan dance music that influenced his young mind? Coyu quips “When I was around 15- 16 years old, I started to listen to music from Ibiza, CD compilations from Amnesia and Space. Suffice to say that I really really started to enjoy the music. And so began my search for that type of music on the internet. Thereafter I went on to buy my mixer, 2 Technics turn-tables, I bought Vinyls and so on” which for the most part sums up how the ball started rolling…

I prod him to tell us about where he picked his DJ name from and he rambles “Actually Coyu comes from the name ”Coyuko”, which was on a CD from Amnesia in Ibiza and I got to listen to it. One of the tracks was about a man called Coyuko, and in those days of messenger and internet explosion, I started to use it as my nickname. And then it just sort of stuck, because my friends picked up on it, and began to call me by that name. Around 18 years of age, I was also working as a music journalist for a magazine called ”TRAX” as well as leading a double life of attending college, studying Political Science. Anyway, it was one of the biggest dance music magazines in Spain, and as I was already using my real name in this writing business. That’s when I decided to use Coyu for my music and DJing career”. With a music journalism background, he’s interviewed almost every big name which includes artists such as David Guetta to Loco Dice. He confesses that this experience helped him a lot to understand how the electronic music industry worked.

When asked about the music scene in Barcelona, the fervent believer in minimalism says “the place has always had a good club scene, lot of the clubs are open from Thursdays to Sundays, offering up underground music”. The globetrotting biggie of Techno also mutters “Spain ten years ago, didn’t have much money, but in the current scenario it’s a different matter altogether. It’s going through the best time. So many artists are doing just so well…for example Uner, Dosem are playing at the best parties and work with the best labels”.

For the ones who don’t know Coyu’s initial tryst with music saw a large amount of likeness towards the Minimal side of Techno. Getting exposure to the likes of Ricardo Villalobos’s music works moved him from within, even so the handiwork of Plastikman. More-over his stint in Berlin living, made sure that style of music make a huge impact on him, plus spending time at the studio producing, honed all of his music skills to the maximum.

Coyu’s international acclaim as producer arrived in ’09 with El ‘Baile Alemán’ release on liebe detail alongside his partner Edu Imbernon. Artists, media and clubbers supported it with equal accolades, as the track quickly went on to become one of the biggest dance bombs of all time.

In the here and now, the globe has returned the favor vis a vis his vast talent; scratch the surface and he reverts matter of fact “Yes I am touring constantly to North & South America, Europe, Asia and it’s tough, but I’m extremely happy”. If I inquire about when the moment was, he thought he’d really arrived in the dance scene; Coyu does not hesitate to say “It has been a step by step process. Summers of 2013/14 have been really busy for me, playing in Ibiza and America. People started liking my productions, and in fact fans in India have shown the most enthusiastic support recently when I toured 5 cities. In my Facebook, India tops the list really”.

In these times of fast paced music entertainment packed with pyro-technics and bang bang sets, I pose a question that asks him to choose between a cozy club environment with extended plays vis a vis festivals where you get the crowd in to a fine sweat with speedy short sets and he says “I love both. It’s fantastic when you play in front of ten thousand people at a festival and you get to do 1 hour and take out all your big hits. At the same time, I am also keen to play 4-5 hours in a small club. I feel you can play deeper and better, and be more underground. I am happy doing both, whether it be a big festival or a small club”.

Racking up an exciting residency at Ibiza’s Booom, Coyu is clearly enjoying the stint “I could never imagine that I would be a part of this. It’s crazy thinking about how much one has to do for the party in terms of promotions. Speaking with the club, etc, it is a lot of work. Plus, it’s our very first year. I am not very happy, not everybody knows about us as yet, and Booom is a new club. On the other hand you have big clubs like Amnesia there. So we have to work much harder. At the same time, I am also quite pleased because the season is going very very well”.

Switch the topic to his role, in helping cats with the ‘Suara Foundation’ initiative and he immediately comes back with “For sure, for sure. If you check my Facebook or Instagram I’m always posting about Cats. Not only am I active in Barcelona, now helping cats in Ibiza as well. My girlfriend is doing a lot of work, but I try to help out as much as I can. A lot of people know me so I do try to let them know what we are doing and get them to help so we can get the foundation to grow bigger”.

Ask him about how technology is over-powering the personal touch of a DJ in to an immaculate robotic package and nice guy that he is, reasons “Yes maybe. Actually, I think so too. Everybody can play everything. Australia, Spain, Brazil, India it could be anywhere, it’s hard to find artists who are doing special or unique music…Earlier on, when I started to go out to clubs, I remember some DJs would actually put a long ambient track in a Techno set. Nowadays it’s unheard of, people would get bored instantly. Earlier they would wait for the drop, or the breakdown or the kick. People are not as patient, as it was in the past”.

The self-confessed Vinyl lover, couldn’t be bothered about CDs, thinks light and goes with the times, making memorable outings with the no nonsense Traktor, Laptop and mixer/ controller setup. Also, when I think about what Coyu has achieved already on a global scale, it goads me enough to ask him if he sees himself pushing uncharted paths from hereon. The big cat confirms “that whether it’s my music style or Suara for that matter, I want to be part of keeping an open mind and to release quality dance music through the label.. The kind which makes people dance, that’s it”.

Now to sign off with the million dollar question about any upcoming collaborations or albums in 2014/15… “Last week I collaborated with Moby and for me was a great thing that I got the chance to work with him. He is probably my favorite Producers of all time and so it was a dream come true in that respect. Then there’s my work with Ramiro Lopez whose one of my best mates. I have just released on Defected with a singer from Los Angeles. I’m very happy to have worked with them as they are one of the best House labels ever. Plus I have an EP release with Pete Tong coming up. Furthermore, I want to release my first album in 2015, maybe in next spring…about April. I still have to work a lot, I have some tracks finished…but yeah lots remain to put it together”.

On that positively exciting musical promise we thank each other, as it’s time for me to shuffle off to the distinctive sonic stamps in dance music which more often than not, include the groovy strains of Coyu’s music magic. He is undisputedly a major figure in the movement of House and Techno, an artist the world over can never get enough of.

All aboard the ‘Coyu’ train, shall we???

Track list is unavailable for the mix due to it being a live recording

About the Author

Priya is based out of Mumbai and is a DJ/Producer plus contributor to Decoded Magazine, plus hosts her own monthly radio shows in multiple music channels internationally.