For those who don’t know yet, Alizzz (Cristian Quirante), is a young producer and one of the most exciting and effervescent electronic artists from Barcelona. The Catalan Alizzz has experienced a rapid acceleration over the last year, culminating with his recent Sunshine EP on Diplo’s Mad Decent sub-label Jeffree’s. As an artist he is really emerging beyond spanish borders and this weekend he played at the well- reputed Sonar Festival in Barcelona. DRY MAGAZINE met him at Sonar 2014 just before what Alizzz calls “the biggest gig so far”.
What has the last year been like – It seems like you are travelling a lot at the moment?
It has been a great year so far. A lot has happened since I released my EP ’Sunshine’.
I have a lot of gigs. I’m not used to travel a lot and I really don’t like planes, but now I have to deal with it, because of the many international gigs I do.
Do you fear planes?
A little, maybe… A really don’t like them! But I love to play gigs so I have to get used to it.
How would you describe your own music?
What I do is to take RnB and rap music and sometimes indie and bring it to the club.
I mix it with house and up-tempo beats.
How did you start mixing and remixing rap and RnB into EDM-music?
I have been listening to RnB my entire life, but have only done electronic music myself for six or seven years. I used to play the guitar and I have played in an acoustic band for many years, but at some point I got a fair level of producing skills and began making my own electronic music.
What are your influences in music? You have some kind of Rustie and Hudson Mohawke inspiration in some of your tracks.
That was a big thing in my life when I first heard about Hudson Mohawke – the first album ‘Butter’ was incredible to me.
More than a million plays of your music on Soundcloud – are you facing an international breakthrough right now?
Yeah, I never expected that to happen! I start getting more and more gigs outside of Spain. I’m playing some gigs in Germany, did some in New York and I will play in Japan in September and I am seeing some interest from Australia too, but I would not call it an international breakthrough yet.
What do you enjoy the most – producing or performing?
I’m more a producer than a DJ, but I can’t make a living out of my producing right now. I enjoy both – producing and DJ’ing is a great combination, but I definitely spend more time producing.
Are you making a living out of your music today?
Yeah, actually I am. I would say I’m a full-time musician today, but it’s a new thing to me and I used to be a computer programmer in a tele communications firm until last year, but had to quit because the gigs kept ticking in.
Can you mention a few artists here at Sonar you really like?
Yeah, I would really love to see Bryan Hemsworth – we are homies from the Internet. We met once. MØ is an exciting artist and Massive Attack is brilliant. I used to hear them all the time with my girlfriend so it reminds me of a lot of good stuff.
It must be a special thing to you playing at Sonar festival here at your hometown of Barcelona?
Yeah, it’s my biggest gig ever. That’s the performance I’ve prepared the most. I took out the entire week just to prepare for Sonar. It’s something very special to me. I have been working extra hard on this set.
What do you think of the scene of Barcelona? On an international level you have DJ’s like John Talabot Pional and Headbirds reaching higher and higher.
Yeah! There are some great people here representing Barcelona worldwide.
If you could perform with anyone in the world – dead or alive – who would that be?
Haha. Yeah that’s a tough one. I have always loved Jeff Buckley’s music. I would love to meet that guy. He was so awesome. I know that today my music is totally different than his, but he has always been something very special to me. His album ‘Grace’ is absolutely outstanding.
How did you become involved in electronic music?
It has been a long journey. I started doing electronic music because I attended a festival called Festival de Benicàssim. I was there to watch Radiohead and Blur in 2002. In the nighttime the festival hosts some cool parties where a lot of DJ’s are playing. Those DJ-sets totally changed how I was thinking of electronic music. Especially a DJ called Michael Meyer from the label KOMPAKT was playing and it was just such a great set. I was blown away and it really motivated me.