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We have the pleasure of speaking with Opulence co-founder Cali Lanauze. Opulence’s EPs are known for their smooth, enticing house cuts always teeming with the best in house and miminal for remix duties. We find out more about the label, Cali’s musical upbringing and what the future holds for Opulence…
Hi Cali, how are you?
Hey guys, everything is good ….thanks for having me!
Tell us bit about how you came to form what is Opulence. What’s the story behind the label?
About a year ago, I came up with the idea to Jonny Cruz to start a new label, brand and everything in between. After a LOT of work (him bringing his contacts and me bringing mine) and a lot of brainstorming we organized everything and got together some of our best friends and favourite producers to get on board and just bring something new to the table starting with different tastes in music to a different type of artworks, etc., etc. Now we are onto our 3rd release which is a single from each of us and we brought the amazing Ryan Crosson and Mike Shannon to step into remix duties for the tracks.
We’re digging the new EP and the choice of remixers. How do you come to work with such a wide array of artists when it comes to your EPs?
Like I said, most of the artists right now working with us are close friends so we try to line them up with the choice of remixers that really makes sense. For example, Ryan Crosson did two amazing remixes from my track “Come Around Three” and he really worked those original parts so well but obviously putting his signature touch and groove. Same story as Jonny’s “Pseudo Reality” with Mike Shannon remix, it is an acidic bomb!
Whose your favourite that you’ve worked with on an EP?
I’m really happy and proud of everything we’ve put out. Our up & coming releases are getting better and bigger so I’m pretty excited for the near future but James Teej’s ft Greg Paulus – Life Goes On out on 002 is one of my favourite tracks, as is something so different than what labels are releasing nowadays. Dan Ghenacia’s remix in that EP was also a big one last summer in Ibiza and it has that classic deep house cut that we don’t see a lot these days.
If you could have any artist on your next EP, who would it be?
There’s so many great artists & music out there but I think maybe a Barac EP, Perel (DFA) or my all-time favourite and my dear friend Roman Flugel.
What’s the scene like in Puerto Rico? What affect did growing up there have on your sound and career?
Puerto Rico’s scene is quite different and strange, I guess, but it is my home. It’s a small scene (200-500ppl approx.) but people here like to party and have a great time, I’m always going to try to bring something fresh and innovative as I feel the obligation to. I’m really grateful, I still feel the support from everyone here.
Were you musical growing up? What inspired you to take the dance music route?
Yeah, since I was a little kid I always wanted to be a ‘musician’. Even when I was in third grade, I had sort of a “band” and played the guitar. Nothing serious of course, but I’ve always been into music, dancing and everything above but after I discover the music business I got into it more. Dance music came in my life when I was in high school, I just bought a DAW, started making some beats and the rest was history. Also, I was quite ‘active’ with the networking and everything, but I didn’t consider it as an actual job, it was just me with 16 years old making techno and sending them to Richie, Carl Cox and all these big guys which I got some amazing support since back in the day.
Where do you take inspiration from before going into the studio to lay down a track or EP?
I’m the kind of guy who can finish an EP in one week but then I’m one month without laying some beats or working on some tracks. I guess my inspiration comes from all sorts of places. Good Dj Sets, movies, relationships, trips …it can come from everywhere!
What’s your favourite club to play?
In no such order, I can maybe say
– Flash – Washington DC
– Panther Room, Output – Brooklyn
– Electric Pickle – Miami
And to party?
I was in Montreal the last three months and I have to say Stereo Bar and Stereo are on top of the list. The way they work and how everything is set up in those two rooms is something magical. Shoutout to Nadir Agha aka Ostrich for the amazing energy and work he puts on to this club. He’s also coming up on the label with an amazing remix we can’t unleash yet.
Where do you go when you want to relax?
We have some of the best beaches in the world in Puerto Rico, so beach and coconuts are always a great idea. I’m also a foodie so going out to proper restaurants and food joints with some great company is also on top of my list.
What do you enjoy doing outside of producing and DJing?
I’m really into the business side of things so outside of these, I’m just booking and selling artists. Lately, I’m getting into booking other genres and opening new doors. I’m also a big basketball fan so I’m always trying to go and play some ball with my friends and working out.
What does the future hold for Cali and Opulence? Any further goals or ambitions to achieve?
Next month is the launch of the biggest release of Opulence which is a collaboration from Jonny and me with some big remix support. We have a big Guido Schneider and Daniel Dreir EP after and we are bringing some new and unknown names into the label. I’m starting some collaborations with some other of my closest colleagues so I’m pumped with that. Besides that just working and like I always say, trying to bring something new to the table, make good music and good memories.
Come Around Three is out 11/4/2018! pre-order it here: https://www.beatport.com/release/cali-lanauze-jonny-cruz-ep/2251771