Artist Spotlight

Francisco Allendes

Chile

What genre would you describe your music as?

Retro Futuristic Martian Groove

Where are you from?

Chile

What age did you start DJing?

21

If you weren't a DJ, what would you be doing for your career?

Astronomer

What's your favorite artist/style of music outside of dance music?

Frank Zappa


Francisco Allendes describes his music as retro-futuristic Martian groove. A definition without constraint. Because he says, "Anything can be done in the Martian way." It's a way for the Chilean artist to compress a library of influences into a unified sound.

He discovered his passion for gorgeous soundscapes at eight-year-old. A neighbor who was obsessed with classical music shared tapes of Mozart and Vivaldi with him. Enamored with their complexity and beauty, he set his heart on learning the violin.

Unsure of his dedication, his father said no. However, his mother tried to get him lessons in secret. The secret only lasted a day, he says, because they did a terrible job of hiding the violin.

His parents became his most ardent supporters. His mom would drive him all over Chile to perform with youth orchestras. He is incredibly grateful for their support.

“I started taking classes and right away they both were very enthusiastic for me," He explains. "Of course to have this support from the family is a lot because I know many people that don't have the support from their family. And this already cuts your legs if you don't have love and support from your [family] to do what you want.”

The neighbor who first unveiled his passion for music wasn't the last of his friends to guide his musical journey. His eldest brother introduced him to rock music and took him to his first concert, legendary guitar virtuoso Steve Vai.

But it was a friend who gave him two of his greatest musical gifts. Francisco joyfully remembers his friend Camila a flutist in his youth orchestra. She introduced him to Bjork and gifted him his first guestlist experience.

Camila was so obsessed with Bjork that she learned Icelandic. When Bjork came to town, Camila and Francisco snuck into her hotel. They managed to speak to a violin player in her orchestra who was so impressed by the young Chilean girl's Icelandic he invited them to the concert as his guests. The first time Allendes heard Bjork, he was only two meters from her.

With such a patchwork of influences, Allendes continued to learn instruments and explore. He bought a guitar and a keyboard. And as high schoolers do, he joined a band. But he was struck by how different he was from his bandmates.

“Every band that I was part of I was the more committed.” He said. “I need to find a way to do my music on my own. I don't want to be dependent on a drummer that likes to go party on Friday night and doesn’t come to rehearsals. Real rock and rollers, they come even if they didn't sleep.”

So he started to make weird noises on his computer. He figured that so many of his idols found pathways to sound through synthesizers, so why not him?

A couple of years later, he ran into Camila again on a bus coming home from school. After catching up, she said four words that would change his life, “Do you know techno?”

Allendes was already DJing. Well, kind of. He was a selector. He couldn't mix records yet. So the idea that anyone could play music on three turntables was mind-bending.

Camila’s boyfriend was a DJ, and she brought him to his first event. When he heard dance music for the first time, he realized the weird beats he made weren’t too far off. So, he decided to focus on recreating the sound of the dance floor.

Allendes was dedicated to his craft from the gate. Even at eight years old he was determined to make his passion a profession. However, he always retained a sense of realism. He made a deal with himself that if by 30 he wasn’t successful, he’d quit. He was only a few months shy of losing the deal.

He already had an attempt to live in Spain under his belt by the time he released the Llovizna EP on Luciano’s Cadenza imprint. It was huge to be validated by such a luminary in Chile’s house music scene. The songs were hits, but he still had trouble getting the proper visa to live and work in Spain.

Six months from his 30th birthday, he got a random Facebook message from a girl who worked in Ibiza. She wanted to help, but the claim seemed too good to be true. He was used to getting messages from producers looking to collab. It turned out that she was a talent buyer for legendary Ibizan USHUAÏA, and she wanted Francisco to be a resident.

“My first summer in Ibiza was very painful,” He says. Because he worked at one of the clubs, he was able to go everywhere. And he took full advantage. But he quickly realized that he couldn’t party like a tourist for the rest of his life.

He limits how much he goes out. He exercises five times a week. And his kids help keep him balanced because no matter how late he’s out, he gets up at 7 am to get them to school.

Throughout his career, he depended on the help of others at every step. It’s been his community that has had the most impact. And if it’s taught him anything he says, it’s that you must be humble.

“So many people want to come in the scene that has a vision of something that is not real. And this can really can make your head go cuckoo. So, it's very important to be humble. I want to do this until I die. I mean, maybe sixty, seventy years. So, I have to be healthy. I have to be focused. I have to be humble. I have to be thankful.”

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