Latidomusic

Mexican DJ Broz Rodriguez Talks Helping Latin EDM Go Global and New Single “Closer”

Broz Rodriguez is leading the way for electronic dance music in Latin America. This month, the Mexican DJ and producer released the refreshing “Closer” with Belgian act Dennis Cartier. In addition to his Latin EDM tracks, Rodriguez is supporting the next generation of DJs in Latin America as the CEO of XDM Records and MDX Agency. In an exclusive interview with Latido Music, he talked about his journey to spinning for thousands of people, his greatest hits, and the ways he is highlighting new talent.

Rodriguez’s love for putting on a good show came from overcoming a family struggle.

“I started as a DJ, not as a producer,” Rodriguez tells mitú. “I started [out in EDM] because I found out that I was good in reading crowds as a DJ.”

Rodriguez is a product of his environment. The Guadalajara native moved with his family to Monterrey because of a new IT job that his dad found there. When that job fell through, Rodriguez supported his father in supplying the city with karaoke entertainment. First, he was setting up and breaking down the equipment and later he playing mixes for those crowds. He adds that was a positive from such a negative moment in his family’s life.

“It was a resilient kind of thinking that we needed to move on,” Rodriguez says.

Burned CDs of megamixes from the flea markets, Napster, and MTV Latin America were outlets for Rodriguez to discover new music, especially EDM. He abandoned his role as drummer in a punk rock band to pursue this other genre.

“I said f*ck punk music and I started thinking digital-wise,” Rodriguez says. He cites Dutch DJ Tiësto’s Elements of Life album as an influence. “He was the first guy to say this is not underground. This is not just drugs. This is a show.”

Rodriguez also put time into understanding the business behind putting on a good show.

Rodriguez grew interested in creating and designing events as he performed at karaoke gigs. He pursued a few degrees in that field while studying in Melbourne.

“I was not just focused on music,” Rodriguez says. “I was also thinking about putting on big entertainment experiences like Pasquale Rotella.”

During that time, Rodriguez was also a voice for Mexico in the Australian EDM scene. He met Carlos Anaya through an internship, who put the aspiring DJ in his first big gig as an opening act for French superstar David Guetta in Mexico.

“I was feeling how the people were accepting the sound, how they were getting into it, sweating, and giving themselves to the dance floors,” Rodriguez recalls. “[Playing shows] is one of the most special feelings in my whole entire life. It’s like being able to control, to be the MC of a moment. I’m very good with crowd control.”

That joy comes through his live sets when the Broz flow comes alive and rubs off onto the crowd.

Rodriguez hits include EDM remakes of some Mexican classics.

Since then, Rodriguez has played shows in places like India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. He’s proudly Mexican in his work with his house music remakes of Latin classics like “Tequila” and “El Jarabe Tapatio.” The latter Rodriguez released last September during Latinx Heritage Month.

“I wanted to try to make folkloric, traditional Mexican songs into my vibe, into my kind of dance floor, and for the clubs,” he says. “You know that DJs are always messing around with things that exist. We make a lot of hybrids.”

Rodriguez adds with a laugh, “We have fun destroying stuff.”

“El Fieston” is Rodriguez’s collaboration with his wife, who is also a DJ.

Another one of Rodriguez’s signature hits is “El Fieston,” a collaboration with his wife Momis Alanis. She’s a Mexican DJ as well.

“The passion and the way she was into dance music for me was wild,” Rodriguez says. “After working with her, we just started having some attraction and boom! Now we’re married. I think she was the first girl that understood my kind of life.”

“El Fieston” was born out of their time together in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It happened when we were having our weekends at home partying during the lockdown,” he says.

When this pandemic is more under control, hopefully, this funky dance track gets a chance to shine in the clubs too.

To help support the Latin EDM talent, Rodriguez launched XDM Records and MDX Agency.

As someone who understands the industry both from an artist and business standpoint, Rodriguez founded XDM Records with Mexican producer Toy Selectah and he also helped launch the entertainment group MDX Agency. Both are channels for Rodriguez to help spotlight and uplift new EDM talent in Latin America.

“We’re always looking to make sh*t happen,” he says.

XDM Records hosts Noches de Dance on Twitch on Tuesday nights. Aspiring DJs can send in their music to be heard and possibly signed to the label.

“It’s a space for upcoming producers, bedroom producers,” Rodriguez says. “We listen to new demos, we give feedback to the artists, and if we don’t sign it, at least they know the opportunity areas that exist in their masters.”

Rodriguez also has a weekly radio show to highlight Latin EDM that includes recent guests like Steve Aoki and R3HAB.

Another outlet Rodriguez has to highlight the Latin EDM scene is his weekly radio show The Happy Hour. The show usually airs on Friday nights at 7:00 p.m. PST/ 10:00 p.m. EST on Dash Radio. Global DJs like Steve Aoki and R3HAB give Rodriguez an exclusive mix to play in the second half of the show. He recently passed the 100 show mark. If you miss any shows, Rodriguez archives them on 1001Tracklists. He reveals that Afrojack and Sam Feldt will be future contributors to the show.

“They know the Latin American scene is important,” Rodriguez says of the support from other DJs. “It’s a win-win situation. They know we’re a movement. When they drop an exclusive mix to us, we have the opportunity to play it for other communities and countries. In the first half of the show, people tuning in can discover Latin talent. It’s synergy. I feel like multicultural relationships around the world are super important.”

His new single “Closer” show more of that camaraderie among DJs around the world.

There’s more synergy between the European and Latin EDM scenes in Rodriguez’s new single “Closer.” He teams up with Belgian DJ Dennis Cartier for the tropical dance track that has a Latin music edge. The two acts can be seen playing the song together in the animated music video.

“One day [Dennis] showed me a W-I-P, a work in progress of ‘Closer,’ and I added some Latin taste to it,” Rodriguez says. “We were looking for a way for Latin music to be accepted worldwide. This is a song that can easily be sung without losing that Latin rhythm. We feel that it’s a cool, chill, and positive song for spring and summertime.”

Broz recently expanded his services with MDX Agency through a new partnership with CAA.

In February, his MDX Agency signed in a partnership with Creative Artists Agency and Global Brands Group. In his announcement of the news, Rodriguez included the hashtag “#UnitedWeAreMoreStronger.”

“This situation is all about knowing how to manage the opportunities,” Rodriguez says. “Just be smart and keep your reputation neat. Don’t f*ck anyone over in terms of business.”

For other DJs from Latin America to watch out for, Rodriguez lists Mariana BO, Mr. Pig, Tom & Collins, and Sinego. As for what to expect next, Rodriguez says there will be more music and that he’s got his first festival of the year and a tour of India booked, but they’re both pending the COVID situation.

“I’m a big fan of thinking in the present tense nowadays, especially after COVID. I think planning is a good idea, but just don’t go so hard on it,” he laughs.

Click here for Latido Music, 24/7 Latin music videos & more

READ: Colombian DJ Sinego on His Potent Mix of Latin EDM and Boleros in “Veneno”

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AQUIHAYAQUIHAY and Lil Benjas Party Until the World Ends in “Grave” Music Video

Entertainment

AQUIHAYAQUIHAY and Lil Benjas Party Until the World Ends in “Grave” Music Video

NATALIE SOSA

Mexican group AQUIHAYAQUIHAY is a vibe. The self-proclaimed “anti-boyband” raises a ruckus with rising artist Lil Benjas in their new music video for “Grave.”

AQUIHAYAQUIHAY recently signed with Steve Aoki.

AQUIHAYAQUIHAY is made up of members Jay-lee, Neqer, Phynx, Zizzy, and Nehly. They recently signed with DJ Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak En Fuego, the Latin division of his growing label. The five guys in the group have been on the come-up since the release of their debut album, 2019’s Dropout. “Grave” is one of the songs on 🙂, or Feliz EP.

The guys go Mad Max in the “Grave” music video.

Not only can the guys of AQUIHAYAQUIHAY sing, but they have lyrical flow. In “Grave,” they blend their R&B sound with a Latin trap twist. Lil Benjas fits in like one of the group members. AQUIHAYAQUIHAY is just looking for a good time and the guys make a convincing case for that no-strings-attached kind of life.  

“This type of happiness [in ‘Grave’] that’s a bit toxic because you’re breaking up an existing relationship, but it’s not your fault because that relationship is already broken,” Zizzy recently told Teen Vogue.

The cinematic music video for “Grave” was shot in Monterrey. The grungy stars of AQUIHAYAQUIHAY are partying in a post-apocalyptic world and they’re not going to let the world possibly ending get in the way of their fun. The guys squad-up with Lil Benjas and move on with baseball bats in-hand.

AQUIHAYAQUIHAY is as unconventional as the band’s rejection of classifications and labels. With the 🙂 EP, the guys also released the 🙁, or Triste EP. Both EPs reflect different moods and are AQUIHAYAQUIHAY’s first releases with Dim Mak En Fuego.

Click here for Latido Music, 24/7 Latin music videos & more

Read: Hey DJ! There’s a CNCO Livestream Concert Coming in May

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Colombian DJ Sinego on His Potent Mix of Latin EDM and Boleros in “Veneno”

Latidomusic

Colombian DJ Sinego on His Potent Mix of Latin EDM and Boleros in “Veneno”

@RICARDOENC / @DARDOMX

Colombian DJ and producer Sinego is kicking off 2021 with his new single “Veneno.” The rising star is helping put Latin EDM on the map while forging his own path in that scene. As evidenced by the intoxicating “Veneno,” he uniquely blends house music with a bolero influence. In an exclusive interview, Sinego talked with Latido Music about working with hit songwriter Dani Blau, his musical philosophy, and how he will go the distance for his art.

Sinego serves EDM with emotion.

“The best music is the music that makes you feel nostalgic, but also makes you dance,” Sinego tells mitú. “I already had that sad part, that nostalgic part [with the bolero influence] and I needed electronic music from the future that makes you dance and actually move. I think my music is like the perfect marriage of the future and the past.”

That sadness is apparent in Sinego’s past hits with titles like “Duele,” “Verte Triste” and “Nada.” In December, he adapted Argentine singer Facundo Cabral’s “No Soy De Aquí” into a wistful yet sensual dance track with Robby East.

Sinego studied classical music at the Conservatorium of Music and there was a time when he was in a punk rock band. All of those elements, that complexity of classical music, that punk angst, and the touch of his electronic mystique, are present in his work now.

“In electronic music, you can morph what’s being said so much with synthesizers and everything that’s electronic, going really deep into every single sound,” he says. “You can actually convey greater messages.”

He’s worked with acts like Bomba Estéreo and Sofi Tukker.

Like the artists who inspire him, Sinego doesn’t want his music just be played. He wants his music to connect and do something for his listeners. Sinego was fortunate to collaborate with both of his dream bands for his remix of their song “Playa Grande.”

“I get inspired by people who are doing something interesting socially,” he says. “Bomba Estéreo, I love that they were able to go mainstream internationally with music that wasn’t mainstream. Sofi Tukker, they’re collaborating with people in Latin America and empowering them. I love those acts that empower Latin artists to go further.”

He helped highlight more Latin EDM acts with the “100 Producers Project.”

Last year, Sinego was also able to embody that pay-it-forward philosophy for other Latin EDM artists. He teamed up with Mexican DJs Broz Rodriguez and Alex Berserker for the “100 Latin Producers” project, where they put together a song made by 100 DJs from Latin America, the U.S., Spain, and Portugal.

“If it’s difficult for people to work with one producer and one singer, just think about having 100 of them,” Sinego says with a laugh. “It was very complex because we had to marry [the work of] 100 producers. I’m really happy about it because in the end a lot of people connected through that project. A lot of bookings happened, so a lot of artists were able to travel to other locations and do gigs and go into Spotify and go into playlists because of that project, so it actually grew the industry.”

His co-writer Dani Blau sings on “Veneno.”

With “Veneno,” Sinego is now showcasing his co-writer, Dani Blau. After starting out as an artist, the Costa Rican singer shifted into songwriting full-time for pop stars like Danna Paola, Sebastián Yatra, and TINI. Her smoky vocals that are usually on demos get to glide over Sinego’s haunting melody.

“As a producer, I think you get the purest form of art with the songwriter singing the actual track,” Sinego says. “The songwriter gave it the feeling. That’s the person who actually felt the track.” Blau adds, “It brings back the genuine, cool feeling of writing music and being able to put it out yourself so that people can hear it.”

The song is melancholic yet alluring. In Spanish and English, Blau sings about being in the throes of a toxic romance. She can’t shake this person that’s no good for her. Sinego admits that he was getting out of a bad relationship when he started producing “Veneno.”

“We always want to write something that has a dark feeling when we write together,” Blau says. “I let the beats and the instruments give me a feeling and we took it from there. The song is a vibe. It doesn’t really matter what language I’m speaking. It carries the vibe.”

That toxicity carried through to the artwork.

@Ricardoenc & @dardomx 

Sinego embraced that toxic vibe down to the single’s artwork. Next to his piercing green eyes are two bright blue Phyllobates Terribilis, the most poisonous frogs in the world. He borrowed the frogs from Dardo, a non-profit that protects amphibians around the world. The org will receive all the profits from the song.

“I was like, ‘Ok, the song’s talking about poison, so I shall get the most poisonous thing on my face, and if I die for the artwork, I die,'” Sinego laughs. Blau adds, “Sinego has to be like the most 360-degree creative being I have ever met. He takes it to a whole other level.”

As for what’s next, Sinego is extending his reach to Spain with an upcoming collaboration with Delaporte. “There’s more videos and music, but that are more politically and socially-connected,” he says. “It’s going to be saying a message against what’s happening in the world. More boleros coming from Mexico and Colombia. And more complex musical concepts.”

Read: 10 Rising Latin Music Stars to Watch For in 2021

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