After a string of dancefloor oriented EPs, DC Salas explores different stimulus, drawing inspiration from his live act and diverting away from the club to explore the more melodic aspects of his sound in his debut album 'The Unspoken' on Biologic Records. More than just the usual LP format, the album structure is used here as a method of storytelling, using the spontaneity of live music making to express varying emotions without restraint. We sat down with Diego for a chat.
Hi Diego! Tell us something about yourself for the folks who don't know you - yet. Who are you and how long have you been making music?
“Hi there! I’m Diego Cortez Salas better known as DC Salas. I’m a 28 years old Belgian DJ & Producer. I live in Brussels (1040 RPZ) and started making music 12 years ago, at the same time I was learning how to DJ. I released my first EP ‘Peru’ in 2009 on Doctor Vinyl Records. I’m involved in other musical projects like Polar, Mugwump live band and Los Niños Del Parque. I also host a radio show and manage a record label called Biologic Records with Abstraxion.”
What does a day in your life look like? When do you make time for creating music?
"I’m working as Social Media Strategist for a digital agency in Brussels. If I don’t have plans I’ll start my nightshift: producing music, recording podcasts, etc. Of course my weekends are the complete opposite: playing at night, resting during the day. Sometimes I take a few days off to keep the creativity flowing. It makes me enjoy every minute in the studio at their fullest."
What inspires you as an artist?
"My art is emotionally driven. Music is the best way for me to express what I feel. So when I’m trapped in them feels, making music will help me. But I’m also inspired by loads of other artists, music producers and visual artists. To name some: Arnau Pi, Tom Galle, Géraldine Georges, Parra, The Beatles, Roman Fluegel, DJ Koze, Kevin Parker, The Beatles, Red Axes, Young Marco, the Deewee family and many more."
What can you tell us about the liveband?
"The liveband is Martin Grégoire and me. We met last year at Dour Festival, he was playing there as Glass Museum and I was impressed by his way of playing. As we have some common friends, we started to discuss the idea of collaborating pretty fast. And then here we are! Shout out to my dear friend Liz who came up with this idea. My friends of Joy Wellboy also worked on the album and we made 3 tracks together. They performed with us during the album launch event in Brussels. And I hope I’ll manage to get them playing with us as many times as we can."
You rehearsed at Beursschouwburg for 7 days straight, what was that like?
"Actually, we did 5 days in a row then 2 later, but it definitely was intense. You have to know that it’s my favorite venue in Brussels: the soundsystem, stage, art direction, philosophy, staff… Everything is perfect there. We really felt like this was home during the time being. We couldn’t dream of a better way to prepare our show. Big shout out to Vince, Ruben, Frank and the whole crew."
How was the live premiere of your LP?
"Pfiouw, one of the best moments of my life! It wasn’t only a big step in my musical career but also in my life. An album is very personal and this one was made to express some of my deepest emotions that I couldn’t get out in another way. I closed a chapter now. A few of my closest friends shared the stage with me that night: Coline made her first Belgian appearance and Anthony aka Mirror Minds played a set with me. Other talented artists completed the line-up: Lawrence Le Doux and Alfred Anders from Crevette Records. A lot of friends were there, and it was reassuring to see them take some hours of their time to support my project. Also, I can tell you the karaoke after party was as hard as the party itself!"
Why did you choose to release it on vinyl?
"I’m a DJ who fell in love with music through this format. I still buy a lot of vinyl because I love the object, the story behind it and the artwork. It was a natural decision for me. A vinyl is an object that stays, that endures through the years. I wanted to literally hold this project in my hands."
How is this release different from your first, Peru?
"In a way this LP is the closest to Peru than my other projects, which are usually more club oriented. I had deeper things to express and I think I went back to a certain melancholy and a more melodic approach. But these two records were obviously made in different periods of my life. Peru was all about love, naivety and passion. ‘The Unspoken’ is more mature, it’s all about healing and being stronger."
Why choose Calo Falco as your lead single? What’s so special about it?
"I road tested all the album tracks a lot before choosing the single. And the reactions about ‘Cala Falco’ were the more intense than any others. I also wanted to pick one of the tracks that I made with Joy Wellboy. The lyrics are perfect and meaningful, it’s a legit piece of my story. Maybe more intense than the rest of the LP. And by the way: Cala Falco is a wonderful place on earth!"
What do you like the most about this album?
"I love the fact I could involve as many friends as I could. Friendship was one of the key pillars of this album: from the mixdown, to collaborating and choosing the artwork. I also like that it showed me how music could help me to go further."
What’s your creative process when making tracks?
"Sometimes I’ll start off with a beat, sometimes with a melody. There’s no real structure to it. The most important thing is that it stays natural. I produce music in a very instinctive way, to really capture what I want to say. And then comes the structuration phase, where I re-organise my work."
What’s the common thread throughout the album?
"The common thread could be the need of expressing a story. The album is melodic, nostalgic and hopeful. The common thread is that all of these mini stories helped me to go forward."
Where are you playing this summer? Are you playing solo or with your band?
"Well, Im playing DJ-sets at festivals like Pukkelpop and Paradise City. You can also catch me twice in Charleroi, once in Mons and a few times in Brussels. And I can announce it officially now: we’re going to do the LP release party at Fuse on July 8. Block the date in your agenda!"
The Unspoken will drop May 21 on Biologic Records. Follow the man on Facebook for more updates.