Pioneers of the Iberican sound, Chus & Ceballos have kept the underground movement alive for tribal artists across the globe. No strangers to Toronto, this duo landed in our city once again to be part of the first ever Brrrrr! Winter Music Festival back in February. With a crowd anxious to stay moving, Chus & Ceballos faced the cold and delivered a set that had the entire festival on their feet, dancing away with no regard for the Canadian winter weather. We had a chance to catch up with Chus & Ceballos after their set. Here’s what they had to say:
Welcome back to Toronto! This is your second time our City in just a few months, though you’ve played here a few times before. What do you enjoy most about Toronto?
Ceballos: We love Toronto. It’s a very fun city. We like the vibe – it’s a mixed crowd with people from everywhere, a fun city to play in! We have a good response from the crowd, they’re really into their music and they look at you like “give me, give me!” – they are so responsive, that’s why we like it.
Chus: And it’s very different every time we come here. We find a different crowd, with different people and different ambiance in different clubs. For us to play here in Toronto, it’s really good – we love to play here.
Tonight you played at Toronto’s first outdoor winter music festival, Brrrrr! What were your initial thoughts of this event?
Chus: We heard about Igloofest in Montreal, so we had some idea of this kind of festival, but we didn’t expect a party like this! It’s crazy! Everyone dressing like they’re skiing, dancing when it’s so cold outside – it was a great experience for us!
Ceballos: I think it’s a great concept and a very good beginning. I remember back in the day when Igloofest started out it, their turnout was less than this. I think it’s a great concept for Toronto. The people here like to try new things and like to have fun with some action. I’m sure after this, next year will be even better – people want to have fun in the winter.
What did you do to prepare for the cold?
Ceballos: It was fun! My ass was burning and my cheeks were frozen!
Chus: We had a heater behind us, with soooo much heat!
Ceballos: I was taking off my coat, putting on my coat, taking off my sweater, putting on my sweater – I was feeling cold and hot throughout! But we were definitely much better off than the people in the crowd, so no complaints with the heater behind us!
You guys are known to play marathon sets with a range of genres spanning throughout. What’s your favourite style and why?
Ceballos: Basically house music. But we play from house to techno – the drums are always present. Depending on the crowd, the venue, the festival, we play everything between house and techno – that is our range.
Chus: The only way to play that many hours is when you’re telling a story with music. When you go from deep to house then you make it peak then come down, you become more musical…that’s how we play long sets. It’s like a movie – we build a journey.
We know you hear this a lot, but can you explain to our readers what the Iberican sound is?
Ceballos: When we started almost 15 years ago in Spain, there was nothing going on. I’m not saying we were the first ones, but we were definitely pioneers to explore this kind of sound. We found that it was different – every country has a different sound – we found that the songs we were working on were a mix between the American house and a little bit of techno, progressive, and tribal. So we were looking for a name to catch the attention of the people and we found the “Iberican” sound, like the Iberican peninsula, because our label was based on producers from Portugal and Spain. More than the style, we were trying to catch the attention of the people, to say, “guys we are here, we are from Spain, and this is our sound.”
Since then, the Iberican sound has gone through a huge evolution. That’s electronic music – the sound is always evolving.
Now that you’ve reached such high levels of success and fame, what’s left on your bucket list?
Ceballos: To keep having fun! To keep discovering ourselves and make people happy. We can’t complain with what we do, when you do what you love, and the people are happy you can’t ask for much more.
Chus: Musical wise, maybe to make an album. We’ve never made an album before.
Ceballos: Maybe we are lazy.
Chus: An album is a lot of work – you have to stop touring, so maybe one day we’ll do that.
Ceballos: We’d need to stop for three months and work on the album.
How would you describe your working relationship?
Ceballos: Back in the day, there were more roles, because he was older and I was younger. He was mostly a DJ and I was just a kid crazy about producing.
But then with the years, I got my experience in DJing and he got his in Producing, and the roles flipped back and forth. I’m still a bit more on the technical side and he is more on the ideas – he knows what works very well on the dancefloor.
But I’m telling you, sometimes we are the opposite. He’ll start a track and I’ll finish it. DJing is different – we know each other so well we don’t need to talk, we just know each other well. It’s a question of chemistry, we’ve had it from the beginning.
Chus: Like a marriage.
Ceballos: When two people have chemistry it works, and we have that chemistry…but we sleep in separate beds!
Well we sure hope so! Thank you Chus & Ceballos for taking the time to chat with us! We hope to see you back in Toronto soon.
Anjali Handa – EDM TOR