Jan 12, 2022
4 min read
Hailing from Malaga, Spanish artist Cuartero began producing at just fifteen in 2009. He achieved rapid success and, by 2015, was awarded Best Newcomer DJ at the DJ Awards, Best Tech House Artist, and Artist of the Year at the Vicious Music Awards in the following years, among others. Beyond the decks, he's a skilled producer, recognized by industry peers, fans, and labels for his rhythmic acumen and slinky basslines.
A little over ten years from the start of his career, he boasts releases on major labels such as Hot Creations, Moon Harbour Recordings, and Waveform Recordings. His sounds have increasingly developed, maturing in-depth and seriousness alongside his career. His most recent release, "Static Sea," in collaboration with East End Dubs, embodies this maturity in the form of a high-energy, moody after-hours groove.
Cuartero also curates two well-respected labels, Sanity and Cuartero Concept. Founded in 2011, Sanity features energetic deep tech and tech house tracks with a clear intention of prioritizing talent over fame.
Cuartero Concept, founded in 2017, is a vinyl-only project dedicated to elevating more underground sounds. He's worked with heavyweight techno names, like Bodeler and Cocodrills.
A man of few words, he seems surprisingly disinterested in vanity or self-celebration. Cuartero has built a serious legacy, one that remains unadulterated in its commitment to platforming raw talent and nothing else.
You grew up in Malaga, a cultural hub in its own right. How do you think the city itself influenced you to pursue electronic music? Did you hang out with particularly musical people, or was it a passion you developed individually?
Well, I started with a group of friends, but very soon, I started to go deeper into it and fully got involved on my own. My father was a great influence as well, and he supported me heavily.
What is your relationship with the dance music scene in Malaga now?
It is excellent! The community is very thankful. We actually do our own events in Malaga as well, and they have been a great success.
How did you go from rapidly getting noticed to rapidly becoming internationally acclaimed in such a short period? What were some crucial moments that propelled your career?
I think the main thing is perseverance, hard work, and dedication. With regards to international recognition, I think that my track "Mama" or my first EP on Desolat, "Abandonado," were important moments for my career.
How do you feel you've evolved in your production over the years?
Something that I demand of myself every day is to evolve yet maintain my essence. Currently, I have been adding more minimalism to my style.
Similarly, your labels seem to reflect different sounds. Cuartero Concepts seems more experimental with Romanian micro-house style influences. How do you view the relationship between Sanity and Cuartero Concept?
Sanity is focused more on minimal deep tech, though the label has changed a lot over its ten years. Concept is still relatively new, and I am taking it slowly. For Concept, I want to look for a special sound, but I will take my time to find it.
How did the collaboration with East London producer, East End Dubs, come about?
Well, I've been working with East End Dubs and their label for the last few years, and I had wanted to do an EP collaboration with them for a while. So we decided to do it, and it was fantastic!
What is your production method when it comes to collaborations with new people?
It depends. Sometimes we do it online and send each other ideas, sometimes in person, in the studio.
Your first residency in Ibiza was around 2014. How has your relationship with the dance music scene in Ibiza evolved? Is it a special place for you to play?
My relationship is still great. I've lived there and still have lots of good friends there. They have always welcomed me very well, and I feel at home there. Playing on the island is always very special to me.
Would you rather watch your favorite football team play or play a set at your favorite festival?
Play at my favorite festival!
Festival or rave?
Paella or pizza?
Would you rather start a new project or finish an old one?
New project.. hahaha!
Three words to describe your first-ever live set, however informal it was.
Nervous, Illusion, Innocence.