Willy Sanjuan – “I Will Play For Food”
Willy Sanjuan is a deejay, producer and remixer from the city of Barcelona. With more than 20 years of professional experience, he has represented Spain in over 33 countries. As owner of MOLACACHO RECORDS and an international deejay, Willy has released songs under a breadth of labels, including Bedrock, Fluential, Juicy Music, S&S Records, SFP, Catch 22 Recordings, Nympho Soundz, Paradax Records, Chicayork, Good Time, Royal Drums, Houseworks, Vendetta, Housepark,… just to name a few. His hard work in the music industry puts him among the most respected DJs in Spain. Below you will find an exclusive Q&A by S&S.
S&S: What’s your style of music? How do you describe it?
Willy Sanjuan: House Music all night long! I like to take people literally on a tour. My style is house music but I’m not closed to an specific kind of house music. I really love to explore all the richness and variety of sounds and styles present on house music. The part of the set I enjoy the most is the warmup. I used to play long sets of about 7 or more hours back in the days.
S&S: Who or what was most instrumental to you when it came to music?
Willy Sanjuan: I listen to all kinds of music and I enjoy all kinds of music too. I can spend hours listening to new age to meditate and keep my mind calm or I can also play a rock and roll record out loud. When it comes to the dance floor the instrumental Louie Vega’s or Eric Kupper’s are a must for me. Dub versions of soulful house tracks by Chicago’s heroes are also part of my set. I personally love E-Smoove’s aka Eric Miller instrumentals. On the other side Deep Progressive Sounds like the ones played by my fellow Tenaglia on his marathons were very inspiring for me, too.
S&S: What drives you creatively?
Willy Sanjuan: Experience. Thanks to my job as a DJ I’ve been able to travel more than 30 countries. From Europe to United States and Canada, from Ibiza to Dubai or Russia, from Barcelona to Mexico, Central and South America. All of those countries have had a very strong influence on my way to feel the music and spending time with locals drove me into different directions and taught me another way of understand different types of music. I think my creativity is a fusion itself. It’s a cocktail of different cultures and a perfect mixture between my inner soul and my experience around the planet.
S&S: How much does your audience influence you and your music selection?
Willy Sanjuan: In a more than 20 years music career I’ve faced multiple audiences with very different taste when it comes to music. I’m not playing for the people, sorry. People need to understand and feel house music the same way I do. I’m not a teacher but I’m not a jukebox either. People need to go clubbing with a wide open mind. If they don’t their experience is going to be frustrating. It’s awesome when you go to a club and the DJ discovers you a new world, a new way of feeling and understand music. We need to be fed by other experiences. If you want to listen your top 40 you’d be better stay at home and save money for something else.
S&S: What artists or genres do you listen to when you’re not working?
Willy Sanjuan: I’m completely in love with Sade for example. Her lyrics are meaningful and the music is superb. I’m also into classic symphonic and progressive rock and I spend hours listening the sounds of Alan Parsons, Pink Floyd and those guys that rocked the 70’s and 80’s. I specially enjoy 80’s bands since that sounds send me back to my high school days when I was trying to break up in the business already. Memories, it’s all about memories.
S&S: Do you have any favorite memories of growing up with your family?
Willy Sanjuan: Sure I do. My parents broke up when I was a small kid and I lived with my Mom for some years. Then I moved with my Dad when I was 13 and we were to live in The Canaries for 3 years. I lived in Gran Canaria, and island noth west of Africa that is a Spanish territory too. Those years with Dad taught me a lot of things I would have never found out living with my Mom and two sisters.When I was at college I had my own company of mobile DJS for parties and stuff. One day at 3 am I entered into my Mom’s room and told her I wanted to be a Club DJ instead running the company. She looked at me between surprised and sleepy and I promise her to be the best or at least die trying it and her face got relaxed, smiled and kept sleeping.
S&S: Is there anything you would like people to know about you?
Willy Sanjuan: Music is something you never retire of but in the last two or three years I move very seriously into photography business. Photography has been always my “hidden” passion and I took the decision to do it for the rest of my life. I don’t think I will be playing music out on my 50’s or 60’s so photography is my retirement plan (still some decades left for that though).
S&S: Are there any charities you are working with or excited to tell us about?
Willy Sanjuan: When I was living in my hometown of Barcelona in Spain before moving to Mexico in 2011 I was very actively working for “Fundació Arrels” (Roots Foundation). I was doing one event a month at Hotel ME in Barcelona where I asked people not doing bullshit guest lists but coming to the party with some canned food, pasta, rice or whatever had no expiring date. Along with my wife and some friends we put all the food together and I personally brought the food bags to this foundation since they look after the homeless people living in Barcelona. The name of the party was HOMELESS and the campaign “I WILL PLAY FOR FOOD”, not getting money for the gig but committing people to add their 5 cents in the form of one or more pieces of food. I can’t do this in Mexico at the moment but I would like to do it again in a place I know that food or eventually funds are going to go to the right place.
S&S: Are there any questions that you wish people would ask you?
Willy Sanjuan: I’m open to whatever people want to ask me. I’m like an open book and I don’t believe in the classic concept of privacy. You ask, I’ll answer. Is that simple. I love sharing my life with the right people.
S&S: And on the flip side of that, are there any questions or references you wish people would stop asking or using?
Willy Sanjuan: New generations are kind of lost and I’d like they got interest again for deep and nice music instead listening to crappy sounds all day. I know what I’m willing is kind of a utopia but I still believe in people so eventually someone is going to realize this society needs a real and profound change and that change starts from the roots of the society which is young people, educated people.
S&S: What artist(s) have you been the most excited to work with?
Willy Sanjuan: I was commissioned for doing a remix for Alex Syntek, a Mexican pop artists along with Ana Torroja from the famous Spanish 80’s band MECANO. I always loved her voice and have it in my studio was a dream for me. On the other side working with Grammy Nominated Eddie Amador back in the days was great for me. I also wrked with my BFA DJ Disciple on several times and we both learned a lot from each other. Nowadays we are more than brothers. He lives in New York
S&S: Are there any artists that you dream of working with on a collaboration?
Willy Sanjuan: Well back in the days I dreamt about collaborating with lots of big producers. Years passed and I’ve managed to work or collaborate with some of my young age heroes. The day Steve “Silk” Hurley agreed to remix my track Live for Life with Papa Joe Aviance I couldn’t even believe that. We were talking at almost the same level, from producer to producer. I got almost all of his records throughout the years and now I’m a usual producer at S&S Records. That’s an accomplished dream, too. No, to be honest the producers I dreamt to collaborate with in the past some of them are my friends now. I’ve been never into the fan zone but I always dreamt to collaborate with a heavyweight of the Chicago House Sound (those records were always expensive imports back in hometown).
S&S: What can we look forward to next from you?
Willy Sanjuan: I have several projects with both my label Molacacho Records (we are celebrating 15 years now and we are releasing the hits of the label throughout the years during 2015) and I’m going to keep releasing with S&S Records as long as they make some room for my projects, you know.
S&S: What legacy would you like to leave?
Willy Sanjuan: I never wanted to become a rich guy doing music and never expected or looked for fame by any means. I’d love people felt respect for what I’ve done in the past, what I’m doing now and what I’ll be up to in the future. You can buy likes, views, or your own tracks but any of those things are gonna get you respect. You can’t buy RESPECT, you have to earn it, you need to deserve it and that’s the only purpose of anyone’s career in life.
- GRAMMY® Nominated DJ Steve “Silk” Hurley “Remixes Live” on the new NS6ii - November 3, 2017
- Ralph & Louie – “Our Fans Are What Most Drives Us” - September 29, 2017
- The 4th Annual House Music Block Party Recap - August 31, 2017
- Steve “Silk” Hurley & Shannon “DJ Skip” Syas at SAE Cultural Impact Awards - August 28, 2017
- 11th Annual Global Mixx Game Changer Award Recipients Shannon “DJ Skip” Syas & Steve “Silk”Hurley - August 24, 2017
- Steve “Silk” Hurley Live @ CFP Chicago - August 18, 2017
- Ralph Tresvant – Inside The Ride Radio Show - August 2, 2017
- Various Artist – Ain’t That A Beach Vol.2 - July 18, 2017
- City of Chicago :: Millennium Park – Chicago House Music Party - June 3, 2017
- Steve “Silk” Hurley & Cece Peniston Live @ Chosen Few Music Festival 2017 (Chicago) - May 24, 2017