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​Ricardo Villalobos: "You can't become a DJ when you're 20 because you think it's cool"

The minimal pioneer opens up about his passion for music

  • Harrison Williams
  • 10 August 2017

Berlin-based DJ and producer Ricardo Villalobos says becoming a DJ can’t be forced just because someone thinks it’s the cool thing to do.

In a recent interview with the Guardian, the minimal pioneer touched on how a strong passion for music is required to become a DJ, which can’t be sought out, rather it’s ingrained in a DJ’s entire life.

“People playing records have to be DJs their whole life. It’s not like you can become a DJ when you’re 20 because you think it’s cool. You are touched by it; you cry because of a rhythm. Me, I’m crying all the time.”

When watching Villalobos in the DJ booth it’s obvious he’s in love with music due to the amount of energy he uses, often dancing as hard as anyone in the crowd. He says this is simply how he reacts to music: “I’m a hyper-kinetic guy, I have a lot of energy – I can be a DJ even without drugs”.

His passion for music has brought him much success, but now, age 47, he’s becoming more concerned about his family than his DJ career.

He added: “My wife is not pushing me to earn more money – she says what they need is me, as a father, to be there. It’s really nice, it’s rescuing me from trying to be more successful. Because I really try my best to not be more successful. I’m anti-promotion, anti-internet.”

Today Villalobos is one of the most beloved DJs in the industry with regular appearance at clubs and festivals around the world, but perhaps his devotion to his family will mean less gigs. That said, he recently released his latest album ‘Empirical House’ on [a:rpia:r] and judging by the warm reception, it’s clear dance music is his first love.

Harrison is Mixmag's East Coast Editor. Follow him on Twitter here

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