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Poll 2019: Carl Nunes

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Guatemalan DJ and producer Carl Nunes promised us changes to the way he works when we spoke to him last year. And this year, his fourth in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll, he’s stayed true to his word. 

“I had the most productive year putting together some of the plans I had envisioned throughout my entire career,” says Carl excitedly. The end result is NuCulture, Carl’s fiercely open-minded, genre-less label, which solely aims to put out “fresh yet elegant tunes for all music lovers”. He continues: “We’ve got many incredible projects in the pipeline from artists across different genres and continents. I can’t wait to present them to the world.” 

And that new perspective has been reflected in his own music. While he’s always had melody and hard-hitting beats at the core of his best work, ‘Hong Kong Flow’ and his two-track ‘Gold’ EP, released on Nu-Culture, saw Carl move into slower-paced hip-hop/trap/EDM territory. Lead track ‘Million’, in particular, marks out a (b)rave new world for Carl, his label and his artist evolution. Change is good, very good in fact. 

 

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

“My team helps me with that… Although I’m not sure if all my setlists have been submitted.” 

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

“We could start by all being more open and humble about it. Asking for help whenever we need it, and letting others know it’s OK and normal to need help. It’s also crucial to be more conscious of each other and offer support if someone looks like he or she need it.” 

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

“I have many DJ friends from the opposite gender and support their music. I’m aware of how severe this gender imbalance is on line-ups, among other things. Unfortunately, I feel most of us haven’t done enough to influence it going the other way.” 

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

“Cycling has become my first choice of communal tool when I’m not touring.” 

What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?

“I would say a soccer ball!” 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

“Anything with caramel.” 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2019-10-17 10:48

Style: 
“From A to Z and nothing in between.”
Best known for: 
“That I come from an exotic place.”
Tune of the year: 
“Marc E. Bassy ‘Jump For X (feat. 070 Shake)’.”

Poll 2018: Carl Nunes

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From: Guatemala City
DJ style: “In-between progressive vibes and Latin influenced music.”
Best known for: “Being from an exotic country, Guatemala!”
Fave tune of 2018: “‘Mi Gente’ by J Balvin is such a big track.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “My bros Jenaux and Tom Enzy.”

With the release of his single ‘Guatemala To Paris’, Carl Nunes says it all. One of Latin America’s finest exports, Carl enjoyed a full-throttle world tour in 2018; reaching destinations including China, Indonesia, India and Mexico. His collaboration with Courtland ‘Wild One’ has also provided a catchy sing-along anthem for plenty of his fans all summer, especially at intimate gigs in his hometown of Guatemala City.

This year he’s also been spending lots of quality time back in the studio. “Focusing a lot on the music that is finally about to start being released,” Nunes tells DJ Mag. “Also refreshing my career — there are really no rules for us anymore. We have all the tools to create and put our art out there, so I’m going to bring the most true and honest side of me. Expect many changes!”


Words: ANNA WALL

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 12:48

Poll 2016: Carl Nunes

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From: Guatemala
DJ style: “Somewhere between progressive, future bass and techno.”
Best known for: “Never doing his homework at school.”
What’s the next new big track? “Shaun Frank 'Let You Get Away' feat. Ashe & Jenaux 'Get It On'.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Shaun Frank and Jenaux.”

He’s been steadily rising up the rankings for several years, but 2016 sees Guatemalan DJ Carl Nunes level up and break into the main Top 100 poll. After years of earning his DJ stripes across central America and delivering euphoric, trance-infused house that’s been supported by the likes of Avicii, Aoki and Hardwell, his dedication is finally being recognised.

The timing is perfect: this year he’s smashed out a series of festival-primed skin-tinglers on Armada’s Trice imprint with fellow rising talents Apek and Husman, and behind the scenes he’s also working on raising the profile of Central American electronic music at large with his own brand, We Are.

“I’ve been setting up pop-up events here in Central America and I’m also about to release the first EP on my label with many talented artists from the Latin America region,” he tells us.

In the meantime, Carl’s on something of a personal anti-genre mission. Like all artists in it for the long game, he refuses to be pigeonholed. “I’m taking influences from progressive house, techno and future bass, but I have been looking at music from a different perspective,” he explains. “I'm currently evolving my sound. Everyone needs to get out of the comfort zone, we learn so much every time we do!” 

What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“Blending genres and working on my brand We Are.”

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“People like Laidback Luke, Richie Hawtin, James Zabiela and DJ Craze are perfect examples of seriously-skilled DJs and they really do get worshiped for that!”

What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“YouTube Banana DJ set now!”

If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“I make whatever music comes to me, and that's why I love making it.”

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“I think artists really need to open up and make the music they want to make, rather than sticking to one genre and what fits.”

WORDS: DAVE JENKINS

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 13:43