Miami club fiends have known and loved Spanish DJ duo Chus & Ceballos for the past decade, with their sexy, tribal sound gracing the hottest nightspots all over town, but especially at Space, where they’ve held a residency for many years. And the guys – Jesus Lopez Esteban and Pablo Ceballos – love Miami right back: They’ve even created a groovy new compilation mix dedicated to the Magic City, called “Miami 2015.” Check them out at Ultra Music Festival on Saturday, where they’ll offer a different vibe from the fist-pumping headliners on the main stage.
You guys aren’t from Miami, but you’ve played regularly here for years – what do you love about the city?
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We might not be from here, but Miami feels like home. It’s probably due to our Latin roots. We’re Spaniards born in the Mediterranean, and have the hot blood flowing through our veins. There’s so much to love about this city – the weather, the beaches, the multicultural people and the fusion kitchen; it reminds us of Spain. But what we love the most are the nice people and amazing crowds who continuously come out to our events to show their love and support for our music.
When did you first play at Space, and how did you become residents?
Our very first time performing at Space was during WMC in 2004. We had just finished a remix of “Baguio Track” by Luzon for Deep Dish’s label Yoshitoshi Records, and Sharam and Dubfire invited us to play at their official Yoshitoshi event, which was held at Space. It was an amazing experience and it marked the beginning of a prolific and successful relationship between us and Space Miami.
How many times have you played Ultra, and what was your first experience like there?
So far, we’ve performed twice at Ultra. First was in 2004, and the second in 2013, and they were both amazing experiences. We were extremely lucky to play during the sunset – connecting with the crowd, the music and the beautiful sky was truly an unforgettable experience. We’re very excited to be back this year at The Resistance Stage – the most cutting-edge electronic music area – alongside many other underground artists. We’re really pumped for our performance this year and we promise not let our fans down, so everyone be ready!
What does it feel like looking out over a crowd of thousands, knowing that what you’re spinning is making them go crazy?
Having to please a huge crowd is a big responsibility, but being able to do so through our music is a very unique and special, almost mystical, experience for us. We as artists really value a strong connection to our crowd, so interaction is a key factor during our performances. When we truly feel a strong bond with the audience, the music and everything else comes to us spontaneously.
Love your new CD “Miami 2015” – it’s got that groovy tribal sound with a sexy vibe. What inspired you to dedicate it to Miami?
Thank you! We really appreciate it. We’ve been working on this album for WMC for a long time now. The compilation album is an annual release, so it’s a project we’ve spent a lot of passion and commitment into developing. We feel like it’s a true reflection of the hectic Miami life.
As we’ve mentioned before, we are deeply rooted to our Latin heritage, so it’s essential for us to reflect that influence in our music. The drums, rhythms and groove are inseparable elements of our sound.
Will we hear a lot of it during WMC?
Oh yeah, definitely! That’s the goal. We hope that everyone will be playing these tracks during the conference, and we’ll also be sure to spin it at our events like the Stereo Productions Showcase at Space, The Sunset Yacht Party, The Pool event at the National Hotel and also Ultra. So to answer your question: it’s a definite yes!
Do you have a lot of new stuff to break out?
We’ve prepared a few secret weapons. We are fully loaded with new mixes, remixes, edits, mashups and bootlegs. We’re ready to amaze our fans, and we promise not to let you down!
Do you change your sound at all depending on what city you’re performing at?
The music is our message, so it changes according to different variables such as age, venue, time, culture, date, etc. Also, depending on specific cities and different countries, location is a big deciding factor, too.
Do you guys like to party during your free time during WMC, or is it all business?
WMC is that time of the year where we get the chance to meet up with other industry friends, colleagues and professionals in the business, but it’s als
o a time where music fans all over the world get to gather in a beautiful environment to enjoy themselves, so this makes for a perfect balance between work and leisure. We always like to stop by other artists’ events to gain exposure to different sounds because we believe that we still stand to learn a lot from others.
What’s been your wildest moment during WMC?
Well, the wildest thing we’ve ever done was play UMF right after finishing up a 12-hour marathon set at the Space terrace two years ago. That was one for the books. But after that, we both slept for the same amount of time. It was crazy.
Is there anything that you would change about WMC?
We love WMC, but it is a pity that it only lasts for a week. We have a whole season in Ibiza every summer from the end of May till the end of October, so why not try to do something like that in Miami during the winter?
How did you two meet, and what made you decide to team up?
We both grew up in the same neighborhood and shared a similar love and passion for music. But because we each had our own styles, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that we decided to try making music together, and it’s been pure magic between the two of us ever since our very first track. We realized that our different styles and personalities actually complemented each other very well and that’s been the key to our success all these years.