We sit down with Cuban DJ & producer and Space Miami resident Malóne to celebrate his recent release on Club Sweat ‘What Is Ritmo’. We discuss his musical journey, the scene in Miami, his inspirations and more…
Hi Malóne! Great to have you here with us? How are things with you right now?
Thanks for having me, it’s great to meet you. Things are great at the moment, I just returned back to Miami from my European summer tour. Just kicked off my Space Miami residency, but more importantly just became a dad for the first time which has been pretty insane but really amazing at the same time.
How has your 2023 been so far? What have been your highlights?
2023 has been a great year. A year of a lot of chances, growth, but all positive. One of my fav highlights of the year so far has been being able to have my first spring and summer headlining tour combined with some really proper opening opportunities. Being able to travel all over the world for the first time solely for shows has been pretty surreal.
How did you come to be a Space Miami resident? Tell us about this trajectory?
I have lived in Miami my entire life and can’t even count how many times and for how long I’ve been going there. I think like any scene, making a name for yourself starts with networking and being out and visible and always supporting. Playing with different promoters throughout the years that gave me an opportunity early on to establish myself in the industry and make a name for myself really helped. I represent my city to the fullest… The owners and team at Club Space are the same. and they appreciate that. They are amazing to work with. Our synergies are very much aligned and from the moment they gave me my first opportunity, I made the best of it.
How does it feel to play in that iconic booth?
To be completely honest and not biased… I personally feel it’s the best room to play in the world. The sound in the booth is already one of the most proper insane sounds I’ve ever heard in any booth, so that does help a lot lol. Since I have been around for quite a bit, I know the history of that venue. I have seen so many titans play there and have witnessed first hand myself from the dance floor sooo many legendary moments. So it really does mean something to me, and I have so much pride in being able to play that booth. NEVER TAKING IT FOR GRANTED.
Any specific parties / moments playing in that booth that you cherish?
The 2 that come to mind funny enough are complete opposites. First time I was asked to close the Space terrace was on a Thursday of a holiday weekend. The headliners got off around 3:30/45 for some reason and it kind’ve caught me by surprise and went in thinking I will probably just play a couple hours til the room emptied out since it was a Thursday. Party ending going til almost 10am… No one left, energy in the room was out of this world and it was truly one of those sets/moments I would never forget.
And the second one that has really stuck with me was most recently. My official residency kickoff a couple weeks ago, I played a 5 hour opening set. Pretty rewarding as a DJ to be able to take a room with not 1 single person in it and build it all the way into prime time peak hour moments. I feel like those types of things aren’t appreciated as much anymore. Longer sets, proper journey and story telling as how it used to be. Was definitely a night I will never forget.
What would you say the scene in Miami is like at the moment? Better than ever, or the opposite?
I think the scene in Miami is in a really great place. On any given weekend you can catch some of the best artists in the world performing, of any genre really. I think on the big weekends like Miami Music Week, F1, Art Basel and such, Miami really separates itself from the rest of the world as the #1 place in the world to be. So many people from all over the world have been moving here, a lot of artists from our scene have moved here recently as well. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your music? Who are your idols?
I grew up in a very musical family. My uncle was a DJ in Miami in the 80s and taught me how to DJ when I was 10 years old. I grew up listening to The Bee Gees, my mom’s favorite group of all time, with a combination of 90s salsa (one of my fav eras of music of all time) . My idols as it pertains to DJs have always been the same 3 since I first got into dance music or more so “underground dance music”
First DJ I ever saw in Ibiza – Luciano for a 4 hour set in the DC10 garden for Circoloco (huge transitional moment for me). The Don Marco Carola, and The Martinez Brothers.
What three tracks never leave your USB at the moment?
– Malone – En Su Lugar – One of my first tracks I ever put out which has had such a resurgence as of late. I always like to close my sets with this track. It has never failed me, and is still holding strong even 6 years later.
– Marian Hill – Down (Franky Rizardo Remix) – One of my fav tracks of all time. I love digging back and looking at old playlists and bringing back older tracks into my sets these days and this track goes absolutely off every single time. It’s still relevant and will always work. As pure of a house track as there is IMO.
– Chus & Ceballos, Dennis Cruz – The Sun – One of those tracks you can play anywhere in a set, whether you’re opening , headlining or closing.
Are you a gearhead? What is your studio set up like?
I am not, I am very digital. I have my Komplete Kontrol S88 midi & Apollo interface, along with a couple other AKAI controllers. Eventually I would love to expand the gear once I can build a full on studio with more space.
What music do you listen to outside dance?
I still listen to my old school Salsa. As well as some 90s freestyle and old school hip hop.
What do you like to do to release outside of the booth and studio?
I was a baseball player / athlete my entire life growing up so I am pretty active and consistent with working out and getting in the gym. I have also been playing golf for about 15 years, it’s one of my favorite things to do to disconnect and get outside and refresh my mind.
What can we expect from Malóne in the upcoming months? What should we be excited for?
The next couple of months are going to be very exciting. I have some massive collaborations coming out with Blondish on her brand new label AbraX, and one with Hugel on Insomniac. I am also going to be launching a new project that I’ve been working on all year that I can’t get too much into detail about but it’s something I’m really really excited about.
As far as shows go, I will be closing down the terrace a couple times in the next couple of weeks. have a legendary B2B with Stephan Jolk at iii points festival in Miami, followed by Halloween in Brooklyn, EDC Orlando, Time Warp After party and finishing the year strong with 2 massive b2b shows with Insomniac at their new underground festival in Vegas/LA.
Follow Malóne HERE.
Grab your copy of ‘What Is Ritmo’ HERE.