What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
When it comes to dance music, there are few bigger stars in Brazil than Vintage Culture. Although Paraguayan by birth, the 26 year-old is considered an honourary Brazilian thanks to his long association with the South American country.
He’s been a household name in South America for years, but his appearance in last year’s Top 100, in which he entered the top 20 for the first time, was recognition for his blossoming global reputation. This year, further proof arrived when he made his first appearance at the gargantuan Tomorrowland festival in Belgium, following it up with a headline-grabbing performance alongside Martin Garrix at Ushuaïa in Ibiza. He also made appearances in Mexico and the United States, while the next few months see a string of big gigs across Brazil.
2019 has also seen one of his biggest and most infectious tracks yet: ‘My Girl’, a co-production with Fancy Inc that made merry with samples from Eddie Murphy’s sing-along 1985 pop hit ‘Party All The Time’. It shouldn’t work, but it really does.
Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
“Yes, but this is something that still needs work. The process needs to evolve further, especially how the royalties are distributed.”
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“I think a lot is being done through all the awareness generated, but I think there's more to be discussed. It’s a lot to do with the gold rush and all the pressure that has come together with the EDM boom.”
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“Definitely. I organise a series of festivals in Brazil for 200,000 people called So Track Boa and we are always looking into all aspects of how we can balance all kinds of inequalities — it also applies to accessibility, racism, homophobia and sustainability. It is important to understand each region's reality.”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
“So far it's been all about trying to avoid plastic as much as possible and general recycling and diminishing waste production.”
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
“Definitely my dad's [combine] harvester. We lived on a farm. I used to sit in that machine and dream about driving it when I grew up!”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
“Partying never ends!”
DJ style: “Big room-infused deep house.”
Best known for: “Remixing remarkable vocal-driven classic songs and becoming a pop star in his home country, Brazil.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Rüfüs du Sol ‘No Place’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “CamelPhat.”
Vintage Culture makes yet another leap up the poll this year, following a jump of 23 places in 2017. This time he’s up another 12 and has finally broken into the coveted top 20. Well, what do you expect after the year he’s had? “I was able to bring my music to amazing places such as Rock In Rio Lisboa (Portugal), Ushuaia (Ibiza), Mysteryland Festival (Amsterdam), EDC (Orlando), Lollapalooza (São Paulo),” the Brazilian tells DJ Mag. Back in his homeland, VC’s also supported Martin Garrix for four dates of his tour. And his own Só Track Boa label parties haven’t been doing too bad either, hosting events in World Cup arenas around the nation — some reaching up to 20,000 attendees!
VC adds that he’s also enjoyed working on “lots of new music and collabs, meeting Adam K — a new friend and great studio partner from Canada — and shooting nice and inspiring video clips.” Sounds like a pretty great year to us, and now his Top 100 DJs placement can be the icing on the cake!
Words: BEN HINDLE
The special connection that Vintage Culture feels with his crowd is one of the most important aspects of his life, and he tries to let his fans know that every day. “Being chosen by the people tells me that I am doing something right and motivates me even more to keep the pace of heavy touring, hard working, and making more and more music,” he explains to DJ Mag.
It's been a heady year for him, opening up Martin Garrix's Ibiza shows at Hi and Ushuaia, playing the closing of the massive Rock In Rio and pulling the biggest of crowds to Lollapolooza's electronic music stage. And his So Track Boa label parties are also going from strength to strength across Brazil. “It's just amazing and I cannot be thankful enough,” he says. Electronic music in Brazil is seriously taking off right now, and he's clearly super-proud to be a part of it.
VC firmly believes in seizing the moment, as well as creating it, and with this in mind he's just started his own clothing line called VNTG — well crafted and designed garments. “On the production front, there are many tracks coming out or about to come out that I feel very happy with.”
Plans for 2018? “Basically, to keep on doing what I have been doing so far and growing both personally and professionally in the process, sharing love, friendship and the mantra of my life: good vibes!”