This past weekend, we had the absolute pleasure of covering Ottawa’s Escapade Music Festival. Among the long list of memorable moments, we had the undeniable honor of interviewing the remarkable Chus & Ceballos.
We can’t thank them enough for taking the time to step away from their truly captivating and very special back to B2B2B performance with Mark Knight and Technasia in order to sit down with us to discuss their defining moment as a duo as well as the related challenges, what they have in store for their upcoming sets, their favorite workout track, and much more.
There are many reasons why Chus & Ceballos are legends in the dance music industry. This exclusive interview reinforces that, as they have shared some wonderful insight on the overall progression that they have witnessed over the years around the world. You will definitely want to check this out!
Out of everywhere that you have toured, what is your favourite destination based solely off the energy in the crowd, and why does it stand out from the rest?
We have to say that Canada is one of our favorite countries; probably one of our top three in the world. Canadians don’t realize how big it is for dance music. We are very regular in cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa – which we come maybe less, however, we love to come here for Canada day! Apart from Canada, we love to play in places like Ibiza, New York, Miami, LA, and our home [i.e. Spain]. [That said,] we especially love to play in Toronto and Montreal. Stereo in Montreal is a temple where people to go to dance, have fun and to listen to music. It’s very magical.
Speaking of traveling, you’re playing the Mid in Chicago, the Sunnyside Pavilion in Toronto, and the Kingdom Nightclub in Austin this summer; do you have anything special planned to ensure that each stop is memorable for the attendees?
For us, every night is like a new night – we try to put everything that we have into the performance so that everyone has a great experience. People only have the chance to see us perhaps every two, or three times a year. For most, only once a year, so we try to do our best. We are famous because of that – because we put our heart into everything that we play.
Since you’re constantly touring the globe, are there any particular workouts that you love to do while you’re on the go? What is your go-to gym track?
We listen to so much music on the weekends, and then go to the studio for production. When we’re in the studio we play the music loud; so when we are not working (playing and touring), we don’t want to pump up the music too much. We love the sound of the silence, haha. However, if we do, we like to listen to something very chill and mellow. We don’t have a particular favorite. Also, my ears are so smashed because of all of the music during the weekends, that I don’t really listen to anything. We encourage everyone to use their ear protection because it will definitely have an effect on you over the years. One of our favorite things is to simply be out in fresh and open air – no music. Just connect with the outside.
Without a doubt, you have distinguished yourselves from the other producers in Spain by your professionalism and iconic sound. In your opinion, what do you think is your defining moment as a duo so far, and what makes it stand out above the rest?
I think the defining moment for every DJ that “makes it” is when you find our own sound. A sound that everyone can recognize and can connect with, that is. We love when people say “Ah! That sounds like Chus & Ceballos!” – that’s a great thing. When you find your way, your path, and your identity, essentially. From the very first time that we were in the studio, we were playing different styles, songs coming from different places – however, the most important thing for us was to be together. When we were [messing around in the studio], that’s when we found the American sound. Throughout the years, we have tried to keep our distinct sound. It’s very easy to lose yourself. Nowadays, it’s always changing – some days it’s electric, then it’s EDM, then electro…so we work hard to keep our own sound.
What do you believe is the most difficult aspect about performing as a dual act, and how do you make it work despite this challenge?
It’s definitely to find the balance. Not everybody can play together. You need some compatible personalities. For us, we really compliment each other since we have known each other for more than twenty years. We met because we lived in the same city. At that time, not many people made dance music, which made the music industry very small; however, it allowed people to meet each other quickly, back in the day. Today it’s a massive thing. [In the past,] dance music was not very popular, and there weren’t many DJs. Sadly, back then, a DJ was known as a loser, placed in the corner, that made less money than a waitress. We consider ourselves pioneers in the industry. Back in Spain, everyone knows each other, we’re a big family. I remember, because of the way that it was, my family asked me “are you sure that you want to be a DJ? Musicians don’t have money.” [That said,] if you believe in yourself, you can reach any goal.
Since the 2018 World Cup is currently happening we have to ask: which player would you love to bring on stage to help the crowd have an absolute ball (no pun intended)?
Pablo Ceballos: Haha, I’m a big fan of Isco [i.e. Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez] because he plays soccer like he’s dancing. He really flows! It would be great to have him on stage!
Chus L. Esteban: I would love to have the coach! I would want to bring him on stage so that he could mix with us. Now, that would be a ball, haha!