Luis Lopez is an electronic dance music (EDM) veteran and the true definition of a tastemaker. The man behind the acclaimed World Dance Music radio show on Los 40 Radio, Luis Lopez, tells us all about what the music means to him — and, of course, the listeners. The immensely dedicated Latin American fanbase is extremely interactive with Luis on social media, especially Twitter, where they can be found live tweeting with his radio show. If there’s one thing in particular that Luis Lopez is responsible for, it’s proving that music is a universal language. There’s no stopping great music from reaching the masses, and Luis Lopez is a testament to that.
Luis Lopez has been a DJ since he’s 15 years old. If WDM and Los 40 weren’t enough, since their successful inaugural edition in 2017, Luis also hosts the annual World Dance Music Awards in Mexico. His impactful and continuous contributions to the scene need not go unrecognized. From his ventures in Ibiza and Miami, to Amsterdam’s ADE and beyond, Luis has an undeniable passion for what he does — and for the music. Fortunate enough to have an audience who cares tremendously about what he does, Luis reveals some of his recommendations for those hoping to break into the music industry. And, as cliché as it might sound, it all starts with following your dreams.
The Nocturnal Times sat down with the extremely-busy and supremely-dedicated Luis Lopez to discuss his very beginnings exploring dance music and how he got his start with Los 40. We divulge deeper into his impact on World Dance Music, performing, awards, dream collaborations, and much more in this exclusive new interview.
The Nocturnal Times: How and when did you first begin exploring dance music? Did your upbringing influence your decision to pursue a career in music?
Luis Lopez: I started to deejay when I was 15, my brother Javi, was a local deejay in my village called Requena (Valencia). The day he had to go and do his national Military service, I took over the deejay booth and I was successful from the start, so the manager of the club offered me the job.
My older brother, Leo, had a large selection of vinyl records so as soon as I could get into his bedroom I was listening to stuff like Supertramp, The Beatles, OMD, so yes, my brothers were the ones who introduced me to the world of music.
The Nocturnal Times: Were you always musically inclined? What were some of your very first musical talents?
Luis Lopez: Yes I was, from a really early age I really loved music. My first idols were The Jackson 5. In fact, the first record I bought in my life was ‘ABC’. I had to buy it through a catalogue and when it arrived in the post I was really nervous to see it… In reference to deejays, I have always followed Roger Sanchez closely, Erik Morillo & David Morales. You could say I have house music in my veins!
The Nocturnal Times: For those who are not already familiar with what you do, can you explain to the readers of The Nocturnal Times what your day consists of?
Luis Lopez: My weekly daily routine consists of music and more music. Normally, I take it easy on Mondays because the weekends are busy deejaying and traveling.
I will check my inbox and reply to people as well as listen to music people send me like record labels…
I get lots of stuff daily and it is impossible to listen to everything so I have to end up selecting labels that are usually the ones which have the better tracks which are usually hot and trending.
Later I prepare my radio program, which goes out to 12 countries, therefore I have to record them adapted to the country which will broadcast my show. All this can take up a lot of my time as I include interviews, contacts with deejays, etc.
The weekend, as you can imagine, is as busy as the week – that’s how it goes. Party all weekend, non-stop!
The Nocturnal Times: You have been working in music since the early 1990s. What can you share with us about what changes you’ve experienced in the scene over the years?
Luis Lopez: Woah!
Everything has evolved so fast, but I guess the definitive change in music has been the Internet. We could say that this has been decisive in peoples’ habits where consumers are concerned and the change it has caused has had an influence on how we value music.
From my point of view, music was valued highly in the past. But as we can get most releases quickly nowadays at the click of a button and upload to our PC or our mobile phones, it seems that our passion for music has changed to a certain degree.
Multimedia has eclipsed the market and now many musical artistes in the EDM world who looked towards the dance floor before, now focus their attention of their music towards the Internet and digital platforms because they think that there is more probability of success on the Internet.
However, radio is a fundamental format where music is concerned to give maximum exposure to hits, whereas digital platforms appear to lack that feeling which radio transmits to the public and I believe that deejays and radio presenters are beginning to realize this situation.
Unfortunately, it seems that the music for the dance floor has become abandoned and this is something I feel we need to address before it is really a serious problem for the clubs.
The Nocturnal Times: In 2002, you became the director of the World Dance Music (WDM) program. What are some of your goals for the programme and what do you aim to achieve with the show?
Luis Lopez: My great ambition has always been that the show was and still is a reference in the world of dance music. To work for a great network of radio stations like LOS40, this has permitted me to achieve this ambition.
I would like to point out that it has been incredible for me to present the World Dance Music Awards in Mexico. Which was in March of 2017 and that it was its second consecutive year that our global dance music awards was dedicated to electronic dance music, which I never thought would be so spectacular and with so much respect towards the music industry, in Mexico, with David Guetta, Steve Aoki or Martin Garrix performing live.
The Nocturnal Times: Your radio program World Dance Music has grown immensely popular in South America and Spain, it’s now a reference all around the EDM world, what’s your secret for this success?
Luis Lopez: The success is the ability to try and create a great musical programme weekend after weekend paying attention to the finer details involved like production, musical selection, the latest information of what is going on in the dance world, always bearing in mind my personal intuition.
We try to invite guest deejays, with the majority of big names having dropped in on my radio show with some of them, more than a few times over the years.
By inviting musical artistes to the shows we always try to maintain a credibility more than opting for fame which can result in what I call an ‘illness’…
I put my heart and soul into each show I do by trying to discover the best of the best in music for our listeners so that they become enthused as much as I do with this genre of music I feel so passionate about.
For me it is very important to share my experiences of what I feel whenever I listen to new music. For example when I visit Ibiza and hit a party like the ones in Pacha discoteque, or Miami discovering Nikki Beach or even Amsterdam at the ADE. These experiences are what make me passionate and which I hope I will be able to continue doing if they let me.
The Nocturnal Times: Are there any artists that you tend to gravitate towards or look forward to their new releases the most?
Luis Lopez: Yes, I have a few favourites… For example, Zedd, Alesso, Don Diablo or Calvin Harris of which I tend to like nearly all they do but it is the music that I go for rather than just an artiste.
The Nocturnal Times: What are some of your dream collaborations (vocalists or DJs)?
Luis Lopez: I could name quite a few, but I prefer to be a realist. Right now, I have just finished a track with the Colombian Ortzy who resides in Holland. This guy is pure talent. And on the track, we used an American singer named Sunnie Williams. She is a 10 when it comes to singing and collaboration. The song is called Children of the Sun and will be released on Warner Records on the 8th of June this year. Naturally, I am really excited about its imminent release.
The Nocturnal Times: Coming from a music veteran such as yourself, what are your favorite genres apart from dance music?
Luis Lopez: I love Indie music, actually, Indie dance music. I also enjoy ‘New Pop’ that fuses with electronic music which has a tendency to renew itself.
All this serves to fuel my listening and also Latin music. Something I always listen to when I travel to Latin America, which is quite often and this serves the purpose to remind me of good experiences that I have enjoyed when I am there.
The Nocturnal Times: Because you go through tons of new music on a regular basis, we want to know what music you’re currently liking the most. If we were to check your Spotify/iTunes, which artists or albums would we likely find you listening to?
Luis Lopez: I am not an albums type of guy, I believe this loyalty to follow one particular musical artist has long gone in me. I am more orientated to music in general. Neither am I a Spotify or iTunes person. (Nevertheless I can take a look from time to time at various music charts to see what’s going on…) I usually discover genres, trending music and new music from the stuff people send me as well as record labels who let me have stuff on a regular basis. We are connected to all the great record companies nowadays and my authentic passion is to listen to radio stations all around the world. I could quote the best stations on this planet which help me detect a certain energy coming from those cities where certain music is extremely popular. That is what inspires me a lot. To dance, what motivates me is Deep House and Future House music.
The Nocturnal Times: You reach over 1 million listeners each weekend with World Dance Music (WDM). What are some long-term and short-term goals you have planned for the future of the show?
Luis Lopez: Not long from now, my plan is to be in Ibiza and do some summer specials (Deejay club night sessions) at parties, clubs and basically move around and enjoy the scene there. I have a summer residency on the island at the legendary bar, Mambo. This place is iconic on the island, they have a radio studio which is the nerve centre for me to connect with the world and let everyone know what’s happening throughout the island. The team with Javier Anadon at the head of operations is the best team you could hope for on the island of Ibiza.
So my long turn plan is to keep the vibe Electronic Music as alive as possible.
The Nocturnal Times: Can you offer any words of insight or wisdom for those aspiring producers, DJs, or those hoping to one day be in a position such as yours?
Luis Lopez: My recommendation is to follow your dreams because they can sometimes come true. If you really want to be dedicated to this world of music, you need to involve yourself and give all you’ve got and let yourself be identified by your work which you will become known for by your musical identity. I believe we live in times of maximum musical creativity, however I also believe these are frustrating times as well in the music industry.
It seems that all the right tools which we have to help us all create music nowadays is at our disposal but we are not devoting the necessary time to bring out the maximum potential of what we aim to achieve. It is all very well to look at the mega stars of today and see what they do with music, but everyone should design and decipher their own musical sound and later take it to another level through their own vision of what they want to achieve, something I believe which is fundamental.
The Nocturnal Times: Fast forward 20 years — your name is the topic of discussion. What are people saying about you?
Luis Lopez: I am fortunate that my audience is very involved in what I do and so, they compliment. Electronic Music for Latin people is like a feeling that if you have it, it will be with you forever. But what I really like is when they blame me for the fact that they like EDM so much.
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