We Chat with the Big Cat Coyu of Suara [Interview]

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When I first started covering the techno beat for Magnetic months ago, a label continually captured my attention with its high quality releases and unique sound, it was Suara. Yet, the closer I followed Suara, the more intricate and amazing the label became. Its unique style of music with no two releases sounding the same, its fun fashion, its overall positive attitude and vibe. It really grows and you see a very organic creative force that is living, breathing, and growing vibrantly. I then looked further and discovered who was the center of this Suara universe, the Barcelona producer Coyu.

Smart, happy, talented, eclectic in the right ways, driven, compassionate, and just an all around great producer who deserves every ounce of success he has earned so far, and will earn in the future; This is how I would describe producer and Suara label head, Coyu, in a sentence.

From a foundation that saves street cats to a party in Ibiza, Coyu has cultivated a label that over the past six years has become a renowned brand and fixture in the electronic music industry. Not to be pigeonholed into a genre, but with a love of diversity and innovative songs that bear elements of deep house, tech house and techno, Coyu prides himself on his adherence to quality, both in his own productions and with the label of Suara.

Now, without further ado, here is what came about with my chat with Coyu.

How is everything going with Suara’s residency in Ibiza?

We are pretty happy, it’s our first time doing a weekly party in Ibiza. You can imagine there is a little bit of pressure, but the party is going very well. The first weeks went great, BoOom, it’s a really good time.

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Where do you find the time to produce, DJ and run such a strong label?

It’s not easy, it’s tough. You know, you have to find time for everything because it’s very important time for my career. I have to choose very carefully all the work that I do, especially in the studio. I think my strength is in the studio, I can do a lot of productions in a very short time, and I think the quality of the productions are still very, very high.

So I can’t do it all myself, I can delegate it and my team can do some of the work for me. Thanks to my team I can really do all the stuff, put on the party, work in the studio, and listen to music as well for Suara.

How do you feel right now about the Coyu sound? It sounds to me like it’s very strong!

It’s a tough question because I think I am a pretty eclectic artist. I love deeper stuff, it depends on the night, it depends on the time I have to play, the place, the club, the city, the country. My sets are very very different.

In the studio it’s something similar, I am going to release a remix of Imprint of Pleasure, the most successful track on Suara. It’s different than other stuff that I have done in the past.

So Suara is all about music and cats. Can you tell us a bit about these two values? How long have you been a cat lover?

Well, my girlfriend is a feline vet, she works with animals, especially with cats. When I was a kid, I never was a cat lover, but a dog lover. After my girlfriend, I have realized that cats are so beautiful, I love them so much. Now, at home, we have a foundation for street cats as well. We love cats and that’s why they are in my posts all the time, and that’s why we try to pay them back something, that’s why we have the foundation.

At the beginning of my life, I was a dog lover, and actually I still love dogs. I am a cat lover, but still a dog lover.

I have noticed that you take this philosophy a bit further with the Suara Foundation. Can you tell me a bit about what the foundation is all about?

We are just trying to give back something. The scene now, Suara is a lover of the cats, so we want to support them as much as we can. Paying vet costs, and now in Ibiza we are going to to give some money to cat hospitals and shelters, and some benefits of the party in Ibiza go straight to the cat shelters and that operation. You know, we love cats, so we try to help them.

Suara has seen some strong releases so far this year, what further releases do we have to look forward to this year?

Well, the Imprint of Pleasure is going to be one of the biggest releases of the year, but after that we have very strong records as well like an EP from Pete Tong. Also, these records from Ramiro Lopez, and of course Dosem’s album, which is going to be released the 22nd of September. It’s going to be our second album ever, the first one was released three years ago. Now, Suara is much stronger than three years ago, I think it’s a perfect moment for releasing the albums, for the label. So we have a very strong schedule and we are very excited!

Recently I have seen you post that your residency in Ibiza has been a dream come true, now that you’ve been in the swing of it for a few weeks now, does it all still feel like a dream?

It’s the first time, and on the first day at BoOom the billboard had all the names of all the artists that will be playing at our party, and I realized that the whole thing is Suara only. When I realized that Suara had a party in Ibiza… I had been working a lot for three months on the party, on all the posters, with all the people, and on all the stickers about the party then when you realize that it’s really happening, a party in Ibiza. That’s something that a few artists can say they’ve done.

It makes me feel extremely happy. Extremely proud of the work we did and the last six years because the first record Suara was released on the 10th of July 2008, and it’s officially been six years since we started.

It’s a dream come true, not only for me, but for my team and all the people that work on Suara. It’s something that is really nice and we are extremely happy with it so far, and I don’t think it will be our last time in Ibiza. I am pretty sure we will have a successful season here, but more successful seasons in the future. For me, this is a long term thing for Suara, we want to be one of the biggest brands in the music industry, and so we’ll be here in the future.

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How do you see Suara evolving over the coming years? What is Suara’s guiding philosophy?

Well we don’t have a guide, we are just trying to keep working hard and get good releases that we have so far. That’s all.

Yes, I have some goals and things I want to achieve in the future, as I told you, I want to be one of the biggest brands in the industry, but Suara, we always lead step by step, you know? It’s a long term career. We are trying, and fortunately it’s done well, but if it’s not we will keep trying and trying because that’s our aim, be one of the biggest brands in the music industry and in the scene.

So, fortune may vary, but just be working, trying to keep releasing quality music, and of course develop the brand, the parties. Also doing more parties not just in Ibiza, but around the world. Also, maybe open the brand to fashion, we are selling t-shirts, hoodies, and bags. We are trying to sell fashion, and I think we are on the few labels doing fashion, and we are not just selling the name of Suara, but try have quality and amazing design. I think that if we get into fashion, that will be something that is very very important for the future of the label and the brand.

Who are some of your inspirations?

It’s day by day, you get inspiration from anything, from people or from a conversations that you have with some people or listening to music from other artists. I don’t get inspiration from any specific place or person, I just like to do my job, and when I am in the studio I like to sit down and try to do something quality.

Who should we be listening to right now?

On the label, maybe some of the things that are more related to Suara like Ramiro Lopez, Edu Imbernon, Dosem, but I also like music from others, I’m very eclectic. I like deep house artists, tech house artists, techno artists, and even more artists that release more electronica or music more for listening at home. If you check out my sets, you will see there are very different kind of names and artists.

What is your opinion on genre? Is it something a producer should consider when making music, or should you seek to create something unique not attempting to fit within a specific category?

I think it is very important to make something you are very happy with. When I sit in the studio, I don’t know if I am going to do a house track or a techno track, I just sit down and think, and watch the flow, the flow of that moment, what is my mood in that moment because some days I am more interested in deep sounds, or more groovy sounds, more mellow sounds. I don’t care about genre, I just do what I like to do and sometimes it’s techy sounds or something more warm.

Which do you see as bigger right now, techno or tech house?

Totally tech house. If you check beatport top ten, today you can see maybe five tracks. Also tech house is quite strong because if you go to Ibiza or some of the main cities in dance or electronic music in Europe, and you will see that tech house is big. You only have to check the lineups in Ibiza and you will see that tech house is the main sound, but of course deep house, or what people call deep house nowadays is a trend, it’s strong. It’s been strong for the last maybe four or five years.

I am getting a little bit bored of that sound because it’s always the same, you know? But it’s super strong, but for sure techno is not as big as ten years ago or fifteen years ago, but there are still a lot of people that love that type of music. I love techno, I’m a technohead, my background is very close to techno.
So there is a place for all the sounds, and that is why we release on Suara techno, tech house and deep house.

And be sure to catch Coyu on his latest tour this August! I know I'll be dancing my cat paws off at the Monarch in San Francisco come August 14!

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