Exclusive Interview with El-Setos on Deejay news
Since starting my blog last year I have had the privilege of interviewing several International DJs, getting inside their head and seeing a glimpse of their Super-star lifestyle. Its such an honour to experience. But this next interview gives me the same honour & privilege to bring to you, my good friend El-Setos. Growing up in The Netherlands in the 90s, Leon had plenty of musical influence from Dutch dance acts such as 2Unlimited, Alice Deejay and The Venga boys, to name but a few. With a taste for music he started up a small mobile disco at school partys ( as did Dutch DJ supremo Fedde Le Grand ) and decided that music was going to be his career path from then on.
Was there a specific moment in your life when music really touched you, and was it this experience that made you pursue it as a career?
It's hard to point out one specific moment, as a kid I was always more attracted to radio instead of TV. Sitting on the back seat of my parents car listening to the classics they played. Later on, on my own stereo at my room. Copying the latest top 40 hits on your cassette-deck, I really could spend hours doing it, instead of watching TV or playing outside with other kids. Back then I wasn't able to discuss the popular TV-shows with my friends and classmates, but I could name all 40 hits and their remixes. *Geek alert* I guess! My father is the same, he also prefers listening to music instead of tele, so it's not weird I had the same interests, listening to all kinds of music. Listening that much made me aware of the message and power of music, you can party and you can just dream away on it. Realizing this made me wanna do something with music. Of course that's were the problems showed up...I couldn't sing or dance, resulting in a DJ-career.
Where did the name El-Setos come from?
After becoming more serious with the DJ-ing, going from 12 gigs a year to the current 120, I realised I had to create a more catchy name then my own one. DJ Leon doesn't really sound that professional. At that moment I played a lot of tracks with Latin-infuences in my sets, so my friends figured it needed to sound that way. One of my best friends came up with the idea to simply translate my name in to a 'Latin language', since we couldn't think of an other name. El-Setos is nothing more than my name in Spanish. The 'El' stands for the first letter of my name 'L', Setos is my last name translated. Later on my sets changed to more progressive house and trance so the link between my name and music is gone, but to change your name everytime your music evolves is a lil' hard to do of course. ;-)
Describe in 3 words how music makes you feel.
Tough question.... it all depends on how I feel and what I'm listening to, music is equal to emotions for me. I can dance my ass off on some strong uplifting house music, but I also cry my eyes out while listening to a movie score. Good music, with soul, touches me in every fibre, it gives me peace and happiness. So in three words; Peace, happy and emotion.
Do you feel privileged to be able to do something you really love as a job?
Absolutely! I can't imagine how it must feel to go to work while being unhappy with it, I regret the people who have to suffer that every day. I chased my dream and took the chance when it appeared. It's a privilege to do this job, a job some many young people all over the world want. That's what I tell myself when I have a bad day, that somewhere on earth young people are praying to get some DJ-gigs and I must feel blessed to get this many.
What is the best thing about your job? Travelling? Meeting new people?
One of the best things is being surrounded by happy people, people who wanna get out and celebrate. Travel is also on the plus-side, well mostly... I hate waiting, and guess what, travel has a lot of waiting, but it's fun to see a lot of new places, countries and cultures. The best thing of course is working with music, that's where it all started and why I'm doing it. Nothing can beat the great feeling of exploring new tracks and people go crazy on it!
What is your favourite genre of music besides EDM?
I love all kinds of music! In my childhood I listened to a lot of classics with my parents. When I grew up I enjoyed good pop music and movie scores. As long as it's music with passion I can enjoy it.
Who, musically, has been your biggest inspiration?
Well, you've heard this before I guess...but an artist as Micheal Jackson really is a childhood-hero! Later on when I started DJ-ing, guys like Armin, Ferry and Tijs were already well known stars, just like them I had a lot of inspiration from Ben Liebrand, he's like the godfather for EDM. Unbelievable what he has done! I guess it's thanks to him, the Dutch are conquering the EDM-scene. Things he has done 20 years ago became our standard and those things are still today, with a far better technology, very impressive!
And lastly if you could advise someone who wanted to start a career in music what would your best advice be?
Follow your dream, work hard and believe in yourself! If you don't believe in you, who will? Be original and realistic. Top-DJ's all started as warm-up DJ's in shabby clubs, it's a long way but the travel to the top is worth it!
Editors note: Thank you so much Leon for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. You must be so proud of how your career has turned out! I hope the UK side of the business works out well for you, and we hope to hear you play over here sometime soon =)