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Robbie Akbal

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A veteran of the electronic scene in Mexico, now residing in Berlin, Robbie Akbal is a DJ, producer, and label owner. Not only the founder of the widely respected label, Akbal Music, Robbie has also been signed to several highly respected labels like Get Physical, Culprit, and Crosstown Rebels. How would you describe the type of music you create? It's a blend of house music that sometimes can be deep or tribal, organic twisted melodic groovy music with always an edge. If you had to choose one — festival, intimate or big venue? I personally love intimate venues with a 200-300 person capacity. You’ve been releasing music since 2005, it’s easy to look at a DJs career starting from their first release, but it’s safe to assume that you were working on your craft well before that. Can you tell us about the years prior to releasing music, what it was like for you coming up? I grew up in the restaurant/club industry, my father had clubs when I was a kid so I grew up next to instruments, turntables and records. Also my brother had a huge influence on my music taste as he was the first person that introduced me to electronic music. You launched Akbal music in 2006. Nowadays it’s extremely popular for artists to start their own labels, but it’s safe to say you were way ahead of the curve on this one. What was pushing you to start a label so early into your career? Have there been any surprising rewards or challenges you’ve faced in owning a label? I started the label to release my own productions and then it grew organically. It has been a great challenge in these 15 years, the music waves have been changing and we have evolved with the time adapting to each cycle. Although you now reside in Berlin, you came up in, and are a veteran of the prolific house scene in Mexico. Could you give us a bit of a history lesson on house music in Mexico? How do you feel the scene there has shifted in your time as a DJ? Has it changed for the better or worse you think? I think Mexico has a lot of great talented artists that are making waves all over the world. It's funny that now that I reside outside of Mexico, I find myself getting more gigs internationally than when I lived in Mexico. You eventually made the transition to Berlin. What prompted the change of scenery? While Mexico is generally known for a more ethereal, tribal rhythm sound, Berlin is generally known as the techno capital of the world. How does your sound fit in there and is there anything you’ve noticed about the electronic scene that you feel is different to other parts of the world? Yeah so i've always wanted to live in Berlin because in Europe, it is the capital of electronic music. A few years ago the opportunity came to move there and I jumped on it. I think it is a great hub to connect with a lot of artists and also to easily fly around Europe and Asia for gigs makes my life easier. You first released with Crosstown Rebels in 2017. I have a couple questions about this. First and foremost, how did you connect with Damien Lazarus and how did that impact your career? We always had friends in common and a good relationship. Over time, I've sent him some demos and he told me he was playing some of the tracks. Suddenly, while at a Day Zero event [Damien Lazarus’s event brand] I visualized some music to be played there and I went to the studio straight after, feeling very inspired from the event and produced a few tracks. Afterwards I sent them to Damian and a few months later got signed to Crosstown Rebels and he invited me to play for the Sprits release party in London. The Crosstown Rebel sound seems to be the popular sound in places like Tulum these days. Do you feel that individuals like Damien Lazarus have brought more awareness to the unique scene/sound in Mexico, or is it just increasing the popularity of traveling to these destinations to party? For sure that event is such a high standard in all production levels and a unique experience that for sure attracts many people. Damian is a genius; everything he produces is great! Are there any young upcoming DJs that you want to shout out? From Mexico, Alberto Hernandez, Hole Box, Vite, and Argentina Cocho, Facundo Losardo as well. There is a fresh generation of very talented artists in Central/South America that I’m very excited about. How do you feel the state of house music overall is right now? Heading in a positive direction? Sure always evolving and sounds are being recycled but always with a better age.

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