Interview: Paco Osuna

With a career spanning more than 20 years, Paco Osuna is one of the most renowned artists in the industry.

As a DJ he is lively, intelligent and sophisticated, with a deep awareness for sound aesthetics. As the founder and operator of both Mindshake Records and Barcelona’s Club4, Paco’s ambassador approach to the scene is not one for monotony, but rather, accessibility and variety.

In 2016, Paco Osuna will join Marco Carola‘s seminal Friday night Ibiza event, Music On, for the second year in a row. With multiple dates set across the season, Osuna can next be seen on 1 July. Anticipating that event, we caught up with the Mindshake man to discuss Barcelona, Music On, his mentors, influences, and more.

“The sound of Barcelona is free and underground.”

How did you first become immersed into the DJ world and what/who were your original inspirations? Who inspires you now?
It was long time ago, I had my first contact with electronic music when I was 13-14 years old. My uncle was the director of Studio 54 in Barcelona and back then I got a lot of tapes from Raul Orellana, the DJ resident, and he was my biggest influence in those times.

Right now I don’t think I am influenced by anybody new. I have always been inspired by Marco Carola and Richie Hawtin.

You started by playing at Amnesia back in the 90s. What was it like performing there during that decade? Has anything changed since then?
Many things have changed in Ibiza. The techno scene in those days was at a minimum, you could count with the fingers of one hand the clubs and promoters supporting techno. Nowadays the music and the scene has evolved and is bigger, there are a lot of styles on the island but I believe the techno is now the sound with the greatest presence. The 90s in Ibiza were about trance, house or Balearic sounds. Today Ibiza is totally techno within its different variants, more soft, more housey, or harder, but the main sound is techno.

You’ve been under the flagship Music On in Ibiza along with Marco Carola for quite some time. How did your relationship with Marco Carola form and how did it help your sound to evolve?
Well, this season it’s my second year working with Marco for Music On, but we have been friends for many years now. Of course his music has affected my sound, in the same way I was influenced in the past working for ENTER with Richie. I believe once you start playing often with somebody it’s impossible not to be influenced or touched by their style.

Within Music On I have my own place, I play most of the time in the Main Room, far away about what is happening on the Terrace; but once my set is finished and the room closes, I always stop by to finish the night in the Terrace booth with Marco. I like to listen to the music of other colleagues and friends, so always I ask him to give me some of the tracks he plays, hahaha.

How do you and Marco complement each other, and how does Music On match with your own brand, Mindshake?
I can tell you that there is not any other person in the world with whom I feel that the styles complement each other as when I am DJing with Marco. In the past we have done so many B2B sets, and sometimes only by looking at each other we know what we have to do. I have played with many DJs and I love to share sessions or do B2Bs, but with Marco it is always special and unique. Last Friday 17th at Music On we did an unplanned B2B. It had been a long time since the last one we did together and despite the years everything came so naturally and simply. The musical connection that night was something else. I believe that when you feel at home everything comes easily. With regard to Mindshake and Music On, they match perfectly; it’s easy, when you feel you are part of a family, it all comes naturally.

Speaking of which, do you have any upcoming releases on Mindshake?
Yes of course, Mindshake and Music On are my priorities right now. After a few years working for Plus 8 and Minus, this is the year of Mindshake. In 2016 we have been very busy. Early this year Nick Curly debuted on the label with Olimpic EP. In April, Cuartero also delivered his first release for Mindshake, Wavy Distance EP; and this June 27th Sean Random is set to launch High EP, his second reference on the label. We are putting a lot of energy into developing a strong catalogue right now. Besides the music, we are also focusing on the Mindshake Showcases; in May we had a six-date tour in Europe and the US and in May and June we also travelled to Ibiza, Manchester and back to the US. Every tour date is like a family trip, we really enjoy playing together.

In terms of upcoming releases, we will have EPs by artists such as Egbert, Luca Donzelli and many others, but it’s too early to mention all of them ?. I’ll also feature on an EP before the end of the year.

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