Creative mastermind, UNER, has been making major waves in the EDM industry. Being one of Europe’s most acclaimed artists from Spain, the Catalonian musician, DJ and producer has been gaining major recognition in the US and around the world.
UNER discusses his new party brand Umamii, his experiences in the European and US electronic music cultures and more in our exclusive interview.
Enjoy UNER’s Burning Man set as you read our exclusive interview:
Give us a little introduction, who is UNER? How did you get started in the EDM industry? What made you start your musical profession?
I am a bald guy from Lleida, a small town in Catalonia. I am also a pianist and UFO lover. I started studying classical piano when I was 4 years old and I completed my tutoring many years later, learning how to add harmony, chamber and composition. Those were very hard working years, and very intense, but full of joy.
Everything I have comes from that part of my life, it was my education that taught me how to confront many of life’s processes and of course my career as an artist. Jean Micheael Jarre was one of the first artists that awoke my thirst for electronic music, that’s how I started to produce electronic music. Years later, another Frenchman startled me even more if that was possible, and directed my production to dance music, and that man was Laurent Garnier.
So you recently held your first event for Umamii, your new party brand, at Pasha in Barcelona and you have another upcoming event on the 17th of August. What was the grand opening like and what can we expect for the upcoming event?
Yes, it was amazing! In fact, even better than I expected. We are very happy with the results from the first party and the team I have are working so hard to make it happen, I am really proud of them. The format is a little different for Umamii. I am doing the opening set as I want to open for my guests and of course for the first clubbers of the night. It was interesting, as we had a packed club within 40 minutes of opening.
Umamii is all about experiences. We want to stimulate the human senses with multiple different installations, not only the music, but with decoration, smells and interesting visuals. The most important thing is that clubbers come open minded and just enjoy the night and let yourself go! The second party is on the 17th of August, and we’ll be changing some of the installations again, to keep it exciting and unexpected.
Rumor has it that you are working on a new album right now in the USA with some classical musicians and composers in their studios. How is the progression of the album coming along and are there any artists you are stoked about working with?
Yes, this is a project which I have been working on for many years. I am a classical pianist and wanted to show my personal and internal vision of music throughout the last few years of my life and my emotions and experiences that travelled with me. I want the listener to be able to listen to the tracks and know how I felt at that time. The main idea for the album is to approach it with a electronic music edge but combine this with elements of classical music and jazz instrumentals, like a piano or drums.
I wanted to be surrounded by amazing musicians whilst producing this album, and found myself traveling all over the world, spending time with them in their studios for days, writing the most beautiful melodies. They are not electronic artists, so I really admire the work they do, and have learned so much more than I expected from spending time in their studios. It’s going to be a very special and landmark release for me, so it’s not to be rushed and I hope to be able to tell everyone more about this next year.
You have made a name for yourself in the EDM Industry across Europe with a residency at Ushuaia in Ibiza for ANTS for the last six years and have over 13 dates this summer alone in Ibiza. What is it like playing at clubs like these of such grandeur in Ibiza?
Of course playing in Ibiza is the top for any artist. It’s the mecca of clubbing and no matter what clubs close or open, it’s still always the place to go for the best electronic music of today. Whether it’s a festival, club or my own event, I love to play them all. Clubs allow me to play on a much more personal level, and of course they also tend to be more intimate. Festivals bring the party – fireworks, visuals, huge sound systems and so many thousands of people, it really is a moment when you open your set to so many people.
Lately you’ve been gaining major recognition in the USA EDM Industry as you’ve worked with many American labels including LA based labels Culprit and Sol Selectas. You also have upcoming shows in San Francisco and LA at the end of the month. What do you like about coming to the US to perform and how does the experience differ from performing in Europe?
I really love to play in the USA, and it has become a special place for me, as I have been touring here now for almost five years. I love that the scene is still developing here, and crowds are very open-minded as to what they want to hear. This month I am playing in LA and San Francisco, both on the West Coast, which has a really deep connection with spiritual house and techno music; something which I have been passionate about.
People in Europe know more about music, and what they want to hear, and which clubs they want to go to. It’s hard to compare the two, as they are so varied, and even then it changes dependent on the country and even the club. I am lucky enough to get to experience both.
You are an artist who likes to express himself through a combination of senses, something that makes you unique to the scene. How hands-on are you with your sets?
I am in love with music and I want to stay that way. I am not generally concerned about what other artists are doing or what is trendy at any one time. I love to play music from my soul, and hopefully be able to show my emotions through my productions. I feel you can touch a crowd this way, and that’s what music should be about. I have long been a spiritual person and think that the connection between the soul, music and the universe is one which everyone should get to experience. As an example, movie soundtracks are some of the most beautiful compositions out there, and they can capture a moment or emotion in a film perfectly, that’s what I want to achieve.
Besides presentation, what makes you different? Do you have any personal life hacks which you can share with us?
Wow, that’s a hard question! I do not think I have any special life hacks, there are lots of things we all know make life a little easier, but I guess for me, I have a team of people who help me every step of the way. I do have a lot of amulets, to bring good energy, but that’s more a superstitious or ritual type of thing, than a life hack.
You have your own successful label Solar Distance. What can we expect to see from the label in the near future?
Solar Distance is still a baby, but we are working really hard on it year after year. We are focusing on releasing special music from different artists, including those who are fresh and unknown by many. The music and history behind what they produce is more important to me. We have so many good releases coming out from artists including Fernando Lagreca, Uichi and a special VA in October with artists like the Mambo Brothers and of course some new tracks from myself. In 2018, the next step for us is to start with some special vinyl editions.
Rumors recently circulated about SoundCloud possibly shutting down. As an artist and active member of the audio platform community, what are your thoughts on that situation?
Nowadays it’s really sad to see these kind of issues, and even more when we are living in a time when streaming is so important. We are listening to music on so many platforms and devices, it has made it very accessible. Business objectives takes over, like many things, and then platforms struggle to stay operational, which is a shame.
With SoundCloud in particular, it’s very sad as we are all using it for so many things (mixes, sending promos, demos for the labels) and it’s a very powerful tool, which is easy to use. If it does disappear, we need to make sure we have something to replace it, which enables new artists and people all over the world to centrally share and enjoy each other’s music, which isn’t necessarily about making money.
Last question, What is some vital advice for up-and-coming artists struggling in the EDM industry?
Honestly, the best piece of advice I can give anyone, is to always be yourself. That will get you far.
Listen to the latests sounds from UNER’s radio show, Solar: