Interview: Nathan Barato
Nathan Barato is a Toronto favourite and has been a staple in the city’s underground scene for more than 15 years.
Early into his career, his ability behind the decks was quickly recognized by industry peers and fans alike, landing him residencies at some of Toronto’s most established nightclubs, including the iconic The Guvernment nightclub, Footwork and Mad Bar. Musically, Nathan’s range dabbles in many genres, going back to his early influences of 90’s garage, and ranging to many spans of house and techno. His music has been released on some of the most prestigious labels in the industry, including Hot Creations, Rekids, Cajual, Saved Records, MOOD, Defected, Suara, Inmotion, Snatch, and of course, his very own Roots And Wings Music.
Now, with a worldwide touring schedule gathering pace across his native Canada and the US, as well as Ibiza (Paradise, Do Not Sleep and Music On) and major events and venues across Europe; ADE, We Are FSTVL and The Warehouse Project to name a few, Nathan Barato returns to Hot Creations with a new EP entitled “Wobble Talk”.
Anticipating the release we caught up with Nathan to discuss the creative process behind “Wobble Talk”, the current scene in Toronto, Ibiza plans, and more.
“I’ve always been a diverse DJ and I love many different vibes”
You have a new EP on Hot Creations (your second on the label), ‘Wobble’ Talk’ coming out at the end of February. What was the very first aspect of the EP that came to you? Was it a certain melody or bassline? Was it a certain piece of equipment?
Well yeah when I put together the drums and bass groove on ‘Wobble Back’ I immediately thought it could be a nice fit for Hot Creations… I made that track about a year ago actually and the sent a rough edit to Jamie. Luckily he loved it and started hammering it right away.
I could also say the same about ‘Talk On’… It has a tougher groove …something a little more for the big rooms. But yeah when I had that bass groove hit those drums I felt like I had to send it to Jamie… He thought it could be a nice add on to the release with ‘Wobble Back’.
As the EP will be on Hot Creations, can you explain a bit about the creative environment of the label? How do you find it coincides with your own approach to creation?
I’ve been a really big fan of the label from day one. I love the diversity.
I’ve always been a diverse DJ and I love many different vibes so it made total sense for me to eventually send music their way, as I’d like to think a lot of the music I make is diverse also.
With a prolific release list on the likes of Cajual, Circus, and MOOD, in your experience, which labels you have worked with really understand both the creative and business side of the business? Is there a label you are particularly keen to be featured on?
I probably sound like I’m kissing ass here but honestly I feel as though Hot Creations is the perfect fit for me. I really feel like I can show them anything I’m making and I really don’t know if it’ll fit for them or not but I always feel at ease to shoot it at them anyway.
From a business perspective, they are super on point. My man Leon is a don and he keeps things tight.
The A side of ‘Wobble Talk’ is the track ‘Talk On’ which features vocals by Sasha Brown. Can you explain a little about Sasha? How do Sasha’s vocals complement the track and vice versa?
Actually that vocal she did was originally for another track of mine. While I was making ‘Talk On’ her vocals from the other one were constantly in my head. So I thought I’ll just slap her vocals in and see happens. And shaboom it sounded great!
Then I started chopping and editing her recording to give it a somewhat percussive feel. I really wanted her voice to live in the track.
She really is quite amazing. I’m a big fan.
What would be the single most vital piece of equipment in the creation of ‘Wobble Talk’ (aside from the computer)?
That track, I used so many different things. My Sub37, an iPad, a bunch of plugins, chopped audio. Honestly I wouldn’t say there was one vital piece other than brain.
As you are from Toronto, how would you describe the “scene” over there? How is it changed/evolved since you first stepped behind the decks? Can you consider it an “underground” style city?
I’ve always found that the Toronto scene was very healthy in that there is a strong local DJ love, as well as many DJs in most common genres coming to town every week.
Yeah, you could say “underground” dance music is very important there. Especially from a historical perspective. We’ve had a very solid nightlife experience for over 20 years now.
I can’t believe we already are planning our festivals and Ibiza season. Can you give us some insight into your summer plans as of now? Will you be back in Ibiza? If so, what dates?
I can’t say any dates at this point but yup I will be back in Ibiza a bunch this summer… I miss that place, it’s so lovely.
I’ve read you have had particularly good gigs with Marco Carola’s Music On? Will you be back?
Ah shit that party is just so good. Really consistent quality week to week. I love playing there – Hopefully I’ll be back.
So far, what are you most looking forward to in 2016? Is it a specific place you will visit? A specific gig?
I’m gonna marry my girl in May!
“Wobble Talk” is available 26 February (12″ & Beatport) & 11 March (general digital) on Hot Creations