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Poll 2020: Kura

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KURA claimed the title of Portugal’s highest entry in the Top 100 DJs poll when he debuted in 2014, and the Spinnin’ Records affiliate has remained in the rankings since then. The past year has been typically fast-paced for the arena-filling electro-house DJ and producer, even with the obvious slowdown.
 
Releases over the last 12 months have included his 22 Bullets collaboration, ‘My Love’, the percussive-vocal anthem ‘Gunz In The House’, and the wasp-in-jar energy of appropriately-titled hoover track, ‘Rave’, which arrived during summer. Around the time fans were also given the ‘Holy Grail’ sample pack — a huge library of more than 400 production tools. Having spent months largely in the studio, “working on some different genres” and “having fun making music with no boundaries”, the musical momentum looks set to continue, building anticipation for a return of the live calendar as soon as possible.
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Family, friends, and the gym.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 
 
“We can't take anything for granted. We, as artists, have a privileged position to do what we love the most. Let's just enjoy it.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“I was raised in a very multicultural environment where it is normal to interact with everybody, from a very young age. Music has always been a universal language that makes no racial distinctions — on the contrary, music unites people. Maybe both labels and artists could contribute more by diversifying their musical scopes even further, and bringing some underrepresented artists to the forefront.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“I honestly work with everyone that inspires me, or that I look up to. I don't care about race, gender, appearance.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time? 
 
“DJ Rolando ‘Knights Of The Jaguar’.”
 

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 09:43

Style: 
“Electro, house.”
Best known for: 
“KURA’s signature sound, energetic drops.”
Tune of the year: 
“Michael Calfan & Martin Solveig ‘No Lie’.”

Poll 2019: Kura

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Rúben de Almeida Barbeiro is better known as KURA, Portuguese electro-house producer and DJ who is now a regular face in the Top 100 DJs list. 2019 has been a stellar year for KURA, whose career began in 2005 with his first DJ residency at Bauhaus in Lisbon. Since then, he’s steadily risen to a major level of success with his initial release, the bouncy electro earworm ‘Russian Guitar’ in 2007 immediately catapulting him into the big leagues. 

A steady stream of innovative electro-house on labels like Armada, Cr2, Revealed, Ferry Corsten’s Flashover, and a clutch of minor classics on Spinnin’ Records have demonstrated why KURA is so popular. Spinnin’ has been the home to the majority of his releases this year, including the massive vocal track ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and his edgy, robots-fighting-in-space collab with Jimmy Clash, ‘My Crew’. Well known for pushing the envelope within his genre, KURA has spent 2019 hard at work in the studio: “I’ve been trying new genres in electronic music, exploring myself as a producer, but still delivering fresh and banging tunes to my fanbase. I have a lot prepared for the next year, it’s going to be different and shocking at the same time!” 

 

Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?

“Actually I don’t.” 

What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?

“Being more open about it, having as many examples from the ‘big dawgs’ showing us this is a serious matter and it can hit anyone.” 

Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?

“Personally no, because I’m not the one making the line-ups, but honestly I think it shouldn’t even be a talking subject, everything should be talent-based, never gender-based.” 

What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?

“Well, this was the year that I drove less. Also, separating trash for recycling is a must among my family and I.” 

What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?

“I had a huge collection of Dragon Ball Z toys, it actually brings back so many memories, of times with only joy and no responsibilities.” 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

“Shake Shack. I try to eat as healthy as I can but don’t put me in front of a Shake Shack burger!” 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2019-10-17 12:14

Style: 
“House/electro.”
Best known for: 
“‘Lambo’.”
Tune of the year: 
“Chris Lake ‘Turn Off The Lights feat. Alexis Roberts’.”

Poll 2017: Kura

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Already the highest charted Portuguese DJ of all time, Kura has now been involved in the Top 100 DJs poll for an unprecedented four times, a sure sign that the big room and electro DJ is doing something very, very right. 

Highlights have come thick and fast for the Spinnin’-affiliated spinner, with sold out shows across China, Tomorrowland, private jets to Ibiza and a spine-tingling 35,000 sitting down during a sold out show in his native Portugal. “I did a lot of preparation so I could have every weapon available to respond to the crowd,” says Kura, proudly. And those weapons don’t come much bigger than ‘Police’, his frenetic collaboration with long-time inspiration Hardwell and also Anthony B. 

“This year I've been concentrating on bringing quality music, tracks that I know are going to work 100% on the dancefloor,” says Kura of his success. Prime among them has been ‘Bangalore’, a seismic slice of big room energy that channels Bollywood vibes during its monumental breakdown, while the newly released ‘Sedated’ shows a more subtle, emotional side to his production.

Words: ANDY BUCHAN

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2017-10-17 10:05

Poll 2015: Kura

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It's been business as usual for Kura (aka Rúben de Almeida Barbeiro) in 2015, having placed 42nd in last year's DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll. Despite a slide in the rankings this year, the Portuguese electro-house producer has cemented his position as one of the most in-demand EDM producers in Europe with a raft of new tracks and collaborations.

2015 saw Kura release stadium-sized cuts, 'Oxygen' and 'Collide', on Dutch imprint Spinnin’ Records, collaborated with Dutch producer Tony Junior for a huge track ‘King Kong’, which is being released on Afrojack’s Wall Recordings this month, and he still found time to tour all over the world. 

As well as a string of well-received productions, the DJ and producer has seen his output consistently supported by EDM’s leading lights — including David Guetta and Hardwell, who’ve supported his output throughout 2015.

Not only has last year’s No.1 DJ, Hardwell, been playing his tracks consistently during 2015, the Dutch producer recently revealed during a radio interview that the two producers have been collaborating in the studio. With his next release coming out on Afrojack's Wall Recordings, 2015 has seen Kura become one of Portugal’s biggest dance exports.

“This year has been intense, so much good stuff happening,” he tells DJ Mag. “Travelling the world, new collaborations, meeting new people... I can only remember of positive stuff, the shows keep getting bigger and bigger, and the support of the fans is insane!” 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 12:28

Style: 
“Electro and progressive house.”
Best known for: 
“'The Portuguese'/KURA trademark drops.”
Tune of the year: 
“Calvin Harris & Disciples ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and Camelphat ‘Constellations’.”
From: 
Lisbon, Portugal
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Dallas K & Wiwek.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“I think reading the crowd is the most important one, having the capacity to 'change gears' once in a while, be eclectic and have fun with the people.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“For sure, a lot of people announced the death of EDM a long time ago, and it's still going strong. When the music is good I don’t really believe in genres, I like to listen to everything.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Not really, I love it, wouldn't see myself doing anything else. When I’m not playing I surround myself with family and long-time friends, so I live a pretty normal life, nothing fancy.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I believe the most important cause of our days is ecology. The fate of the planet is something that should worry us all as a species; otherwise there will be no future.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“The club where I started out as a DJ that recently closed — Bauhaus in Estroril, Lisbon.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I believe that is something that is going to change in the next years, there are a lot of good female DJs that are now into music production and that will change the poll for sure.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I personally never used one but I don't really care if someone uses them. For me it doesn't make sense because I really love to make music, so it would be taking away a big pleasure that I have. If you do it you should be open about it, to your fans.”