Over the past few years, Blair Suarez together with the rest of the Mason Collective has played some of the world’s most iconic venues and released on some of best labels in the industry. We caught up with the Manchester born artist to discuss his first solo EP as well as some of his favourite aspects of DJing.

Hi Blair, thanks for taking the time to join us. We’ve been following your progress for some time and it’s been great to see how much you’ve excelled over the last few years. What’s the motivation that keeps you driving forward?

Thanks man, appreciate it! I think it’s just for my passion for it really, I’m always striving for more and when you love what you’re doing it’s not hard to stay motivated. Cheesy but music is life.

You’ve had success from both DJing & producing. What’s your favourite aspect of what you do musically and why?

I love it all if I’m honest. I would say between the two I’m a DJ at heart and a producer secondly.  I love  the whole aspect of Djing from digging for music, to creating a vibe in the club, and seeing people enjoy themselves, the energy you get from the dance floor is just something else. At the same time I love being in the studio and there’s just something really special about creating a piece of music and seeing a crowd go crazy, dancing to what you’ve produced.

Tell us a little bit about the journey over the last year or so? How have you grown and what were the biggest turning points that pushed your career forward?

I mean the last year or so has been very different to say the least but it’s definitely been a big year of growth. The past year and the pandemic just gave me some time to refocus and work on set things which usually i wouldn’t have had the time for. I took the time out from gigging and being so busy to try and learn new things, new things musically like production techniques but also things outside of music too. Although the year’s been pretty stagnant, I’ll be able to push my career forward more with the things I’ve learnt during the lockdown.

Your next release dropped this week on Zest Records, what made you choose this label?

Zest is a top upcoming label, i think one which fits my sound and style too which is important. It’s like a sister label to Libero too which is one of my favourite labels in general so it was a no-brainer. 

You’re best known for being part of the Mason Collective, what made you decide to release this solo EP and can we expect to see more solo work?

I often work on a lot of music solely and I think it’s always good to express your own personal style. My solo stuff is a lil more minimal and different to the stuff we make as a collective so it’s good to show that side of my production too. 

I’ve got a couple more solo EPs coming out later this year and some edits I’ve been working on to release too, so yeah more solo bits pending! 

You had some awesome gigs playing with the Mason Collective, what’s been your favourite moment of your career so far?

It’s hard to put a finger on one particular gig, the likes of BPM, Hideout, Amnesia have all been so good it’s hard choose one but I’d say a standout moment for me has to be playing b2b with Loco Dice in London, that was just super dope. 

The scene is going through a really difficult stage in its life cycle at present. What are you doing to stay mentally upbeat and positive in your day to day?

To be honest I think staying fit and exercising has kept me sane for the past year or so. It’s definitely been a difficult time but going for runs and to the gym whenever it’s been open  and possible has been good for my mental health for sure. At the start of lockdown I was going for a run or doing a work out literally every day and that definitely helped  me keep upbeat.. Sometimes you just need that release and working out definitely did that for me. I’m just glad we can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel for the scene which is keeping me positive now! 

Outside of music, what do you like to do to relax?

I feel like I don’t do much outside of music if I’m honest haha. My relaxation time is probably when i’m in the gym or training. That just gives me that me time, that couple of hours when I’m not looking at a screen or my phone.  Aside from that it’s COD and Football. 

If you could pick any artist, any genre, past or present to collaborate with; who would it be and why?

If it was literally any artist it would have to be Michael Jackson, he’s the king and the best artist we’ve ever seen in my opinion. I still bump his albums to this day. More realistically though and present wise its gotta be the Martinez brothers, I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from them and always looked up to them both production and DJing wise,  any sort of collaboration with them would be a madness. 

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring artists right now?

It would probably have to be, be original. I think for upcoming artists it’s good to have your own style especially production wise and not always follow what the crowds doingIt’s important to be yourself.  That’s how you stand out at the end of the day and nothing comes easy so hard work and dedication is definitely key too! 

Lastly, anything else you are excited to share with us?

Got a whole lot of music coming out this year, as mason collective and solo bits too so look out for all of that. There’s some pretty serious parties i’m waiting to announce too that i cant say too much about yet but the second half of year should be a good one for sure! 

Blair Suarez – Made Real EP is out now on Zest Records

Turn it up & enjoy!

– Charlie