Last time we featured Sishi Rosch, the Guatemalan-born producer was living in Barcelona knocking out darkly funky, future house tracks shot through with urban grit. Already co-running two labels, Digital Delight and Sultry Vibes, his work had also been snapped up by the likes of Exploited and Jackmode. Since then, he’s moved to Miami, feeding off the city's unique energy and locking himself away in the studio to emerge with Interplanetary Jamz, an album of spacey instrumental hip-hop.With the announcement alongside this of a new label, Close Encounters, which will be an exclusive outlet for his work, we joined mission control to quiz him before his he rockets for the stars...
Why trade Barcelona for Miami and how've you been settling into your new home?
“I decided to leave Barcelona for a couple of reasons actually. First one was because I actually was getting a bit tired of the whole Barcelona vibe. I lived there for seven years and during my time there I actually loved and still love that city, but I definitely thought that it was time for a change of ambiance. Second of all, Miami was calling out my name badly. I have been going to vacation to Miami since I was a very young boy and have always loved Miami's vibe. I think that Miami is quickly becoming one of the go-to cities in the world for electronic music. There's lots of untapped talent over here and the city and weather are absolutely gorgeous. I definitely feel at home over here and have made really close friends over the years here who actually are like brothers to me, like the Mr. Nice Guy posse and the Miami Rebels and Link Miami crew.”
There's an annual focus on Miami during WMC but what's it like the rest of the year in terms of parties? Is the hip-hop scene on a par with the house scene?
“To be fair, I just moved to Miami back in October, but from what all my friends that live in the 305 tell me, and from what I have seen so far, it's a year round thing for amazing parties down here. The hip-hop scene is huge, definitely way bigger than the house scene, even though there has been a really big expansion of electronic music over the past few years. If you go out to South Beach on a regular weekend, you can pretty much find what you are looking for easily, whether it be hip-hop clubbing or house music parties.”
Your house productions have always drawn from the attitude and sounds of hip-hop. Which was your first love? And having made your name as a house producer, why did you decide now was the time to put out a full instrumental hip-hop album?
“My first love was definitely hip-hop. I remember being nine-years-old and blasting Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and A Tribe Called Quest, among many others from my bedroom sound system. Being influenced by my older brothers and constantly vacationing in Florida really left a big impression on me, and my musical tastes. I decided to put out a full instrumental hip-hop album because it was something I have always wanted to make. I love producing house music, I actually am infatuated with making music, hence me having three labels to release my output on, but this hip-hop album was also a goal of mine that I have had for years and moving to Miami was the perfect time to do so. I immersed myself for four months in strictly hip-hop listening to really get inspired to complete my album and make it sound right.”
In terms of your DJ sets, will you be starting to play slower track or is hip-hop strictly for before/after the club?
“I like to vary my sets as much as I can to be honest. I blend in a hip-hop track here and there on some DJ sets. I haven't had the chance to do a hip-hop set because 100% of my gigs are pretty much headlining clubs where they absolutely go bonkers for house music and they ask for more upbeat rhythms. I'm pretty sure I will have the chance to bust out some hip-hop sometime during the year, or maybe in a beach party somewhere, depending if the time and place is appropriate to do it.”
The final track 'Exotic Robotics (The Booty Track)' has a Miami bass vibe. Is the sound still alive in the city?
“Miami bass has always been alive in Miami. Not sure it has the biggest audience, but it's definitely still kicking. I have been listening to Miami bass on the radio for years. Every time I have gone there up to this date, they still play a lot of it on certain radio stations. My good friend Jesse Perez, who is actually from Miami, is one of the best purveyors of Miami bass in my opinion. 'Exotic Robotics (The Booty Track)' is actually the bonus track on my album. I also have gotten a lot of inspiration from DJ Deeon from Chicago, who is a monster in making booty music and has been doing it for years, a bit faster pace but definitely bad ass.”
You already run two labels, Digital Delight and Sultry Vibes. Why set up a third, Close Encounters? And what's forthcoming for the two older labels?
“I opened my third label Close Encounters with my label mate Diego Moreno. The reason for opening this was strictly to put out our own exclusive material. We grew very dreary of looking for labels to put out our music. Instead of wasting so much time looking for the proper label to release our music on, we're not accepting demos from absolutely anyone and making our music even more exclusive, meaning if you want to buy a Sishi Rosch track, you will probably have to purchase it through one of my three imprints.”
Close Encounters and Interplanetary Jamz; have you ever seen a UFO and do you believe that we're not alone in the universe?
“Ha, what a great question. I actually have seen some very weird things in the sky over the past few years. I strongly believe that we are not alone in this universe. The idea of life just existing on planet Earth is not only ridiculous to me, but also absurd. There are billions of planets and galaxies in our universe and to believe that we are the only living things in all this space is just being close-minded. I have an obsession with the idea of life outside of this planet, [and I’m] constantly reading books and watching documentaries on extraterrestrials to the point where I actually consider myself a connoisseur on this matter!”
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.