QOQEQA dropped by to discuss their debut album on Kebrada, the rhythm used behind his songs, and what his production process looks like!
Having found his way into the electronic music scene from Peru, Daniel Valle-Riestra aka QOQEQA is an artist who should not go unnoticed this year with his production style which combines Latin folk and electronic music. Last year he pushed the boundaries by creating tracks brimming with tribal music and groovy melodies from his culture, and he continued to ride that wave by delivering listeners his debut album, AxuxA.
Released now on Kebrada, AxuxA features 11 tracks and shows the world that style enriched by the culture of QOQEQA. While he may not be the first artist to champion the blend of Latin elements in electronic music, when it comes to offering listeners sensational vibes and Latin folk he is. one of a kind.
Throughout her debut album, the spiritual sounds used come from her work with harmonica instrumentals and groovy breakbeats designed to make bodies flow on the dance floor. One track in particular, “Kshanti” turns out to be rich in emotion because the piece intends to evoke the feeling of patience and calm breathing. Not only does QOQEQA use unusual sounds in the pulsating electronic realm, but it intends to reassure listeners with its rhythmic vibrations and melodic patterns.
We had the chance to chat with this Peruvian artist and jumped at the chance. After the conversation it is safe to say that we are sure that QOQEQA will live up to great things. So listen AxuxA on Spotify or grab a copy on Bandcamp, and read on to find out more about this rising star on the scene!
QOQEQA flow – AxuxA on Spotify:
Hello QOQEQA, it is a pleasure to speak with you today! We wanted to start this interview by delving a little into your history, what brought you to produce electronic music and what are some of your biggest influences?
Hello ! Since I was a kid I was curious about instruments and sounds, later I learn to use DAWs as a way to write music and explore ideas in my head. Speaking of influences and inspiration, I think of all my friends and producers who are pushing the boundaries of Latin music around the world.
As a Latina who loves electronic music, I loved hearing your unique blend of Afro, Tribal, and Latin sounds. How has your education and culture influenced the style of music you make?
For example, I love hearing Salsa, which is on the radio in every taxi or restaurant in Peru, it teaches me so much in terms of groove, and to play with technique but really get lost in the rhythm. A very important experience around the music that I produce is thanks to the landscapes of the places that I have visited in my country; they all have these different kinds of moods and instruments that go with them.
The Andes are so melancholy, the string instrument and pan flutes make it a lot darker, but I like it, so I tried to mix that emotional information into my compositions. It also translates into my experiences in the Amazon jungle, psychedelic involved or not, there are a lot of trippy situations in nature that make me want to relive that through music, and the joy of the people there is so infectious. that the music is very catchy and colorful.
This year you released your first album, AxuxA, on Kebrada, and it??is an exceptional album of 11 tracks which remains true to your identity. What was your process when creating this album as a whole? Was it created with the full release in mind or were these songs separate projects?
It was in 2018, ‘Animal Chuki’ just ended – a 5 year musical project that I had a duet with a very good friend Andrea. At that time I remember having a few new tracks but they were very different from the music that was supposed to be released on Animal Chuki. I realized that I had to reconnect with myself, with the sound I wanted to share, and with the purpose behind it. A few lonely months passed, just producing and being present, I realized I had eight new tracks. I spoke to a friend Paz, head of Terror Negro Records, and he helped me envision this cut as an album.
At that time Rafael from Dengue Dengue Dengue told me about Kebrada and plans for the future, offered me the idea of ââthe vinyl release but I had to do three more songs. I was traveling to Ibiza for a month so before that I went to a studio and recorded a lot of percussion ideas that I had in mind. Later, in the middle of this island excursion, I opened the computer, cut out the best percussion takes I’ve made, and finished the album with some really rhythmic tracks and a ambient.
I love the evolution of your sound patterns that can be found throughout your entire album, but especially in your track “Kshanti”, what was your specific approach to this song?
This is one of my favorite songs, the word ‘Kshanti’ in Sanskrit means patience. I remember through creating the track I cultivated a mantra of patience and tested it in my life, the crescendo pads of the track evoke that feeling of breathing. I recorded myself by playing the Batas then I deconstructed the pattern to make it a melodic but also rhythmic phrase.
As we dive deeper into AxuxA, the tracks intensify with faster breakbeats and greater instrumental presence, while also incorporating natural elements. What instruments or tools do you use to develop your sounds? What prompted you to use nature sounds in the album?
I think I have an addiction to sonic textures, roughness of metal against metal, woods with smooth overtones, field recordings of vocals with natural reverbs, and I like some watery mirror delays. Some of the organics are true unique samples of Reason’s NN-XT VST skin instruments. Others are me playing acoustic instruments and ambient noises. I don’t know enough about the selection of synths; I think you need to put a lot of effort into the main composition, a journey through the melodies and progressions, and then do a good stereo placement, and the right selection of reverb and delay functions is essential.
AxuxA serves as a big entry in 2021, so what’s it like to be a contemporary artist pushing his limits at the start of the year? Do you have any advice for promising DJs who want to progress in the years to come?
I think you really need to have passion and love for what you do, as well as ideas of purpose and contribution, to give something back to your community and help it grow, so that you can grow together and in a real way. You must want to express yourself and channel your emotions. If you really have it in you, there is no pandemic to hold you back, and a word of advice: create your own language, be authentic, and produce music every day first in your mind and later in your mind. equipment.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the devastating pandemic. The past year has been difficult for everyone, how has the global shutdown affected you personally and professionally?
It’s a mess in the political realm, but because of it, I saw that a lot of people went in there and opened their minds and hearts to an era of spiritual evolution. Personally, I have never stopped making music and it saves me from depression, I also have the opportunity to travel to the Peruvian jungle and the Cusco valley for some yoga retreats and share some meditation sessions. through music.
Professionally I also found a few gigs there, but the main hurdle was vinyl making, due to the Berlin lockdown the factory closed for a while. Overall, I think the time was right for the release, and here we are! The vinyl, Berlin was in a locked condition and the fabric closed for a while. Overall, I think the time was right, and here we are.
Other artists said they gained experience and new hobbies that changed their character in more ways than one. Have you had any positive learning experiences from 2020?
One last question before we send you back for the year. As we continue our journey towards 2021, what goals would you like to achieve? Will listeners be honored with more music as we continue to fend for the rest of the year?
Thanks for the interview, I hope everyone is doing well. If you have listened to the QOQEQA album, I hope you enjoyed it and took a personal journey through it, reconnect and share with others a special moment. Couples of mixtapes with the songs from the album will soon be released, thanks to the Kebrada team, love from Peru.
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