Lupe: I let my dancing energy make the choices for the making of a track

Today we are pleased to welcome you to our next guest, Lupe!

Making his debut on Anja's Sous imprint this June is Dutch artist and key nightlife figure Lupe. Straight off the back of gigs with Maceo Plex and Alinka in 2021, he will be found gracing the stage at Down The Rabbit Hole Festival in the Netherlands later this summer.

Since 2004, he has organised and promoted his own monthly club events in Amsterdam where he's played alongside Honey Dijon, Cormac, Shinedoe, DJ T and Andy Butler. Residencies came in the form of the globally renowned Red Light Radio and more recently Parish, the queer nightclub in The Hague. Not to forget some special releases on labels including Twirl, Pets Recordings and Love Child Records.

A graduate of film and TV studies, he loves to scan through old productions to find samples or inspiration for his own vocals and this can be found in this stellar 4 trackEP 'Come Through'.

Find out more below!
Welcome to Radio Intense Lupe! We're excited to chat to you today. Where in the world are you talking to us from and what's your week been like?
— Hi all, I'm happily chatting with you from Amsterdam! I live close to the Westerpark area, lucky to live here. Last week was one for family and birthday parties including my own private Gemini birthday party. At another friend's birthday party, legendary disco singer Christine Wiltshire performed her classics Keep On Jumping and more, it was so amazing and great to get to talk with her! I also made a new track I'm excited about, now I'm focused on the new release and my DJ set for this Saturday at Radio Radio, a club and online station as well. I'm playing at their queer night with Eddy De Clerq who is one of the first to introduce house music to Amsterdam in the 80s, and Antoan form Is Burning.
For those that don't know, let's start off with your music history. Can you explain your sound now and how its perhaps developed or evolved over the years?
— Starting off with good 80s dance like Chaka Khan, Prince, italo and hi-nrg on records I borrowed at the library. They had a cool selection there! I remember the scene in the movie Trading Places when they danced to Patrick Cowley and Sylvester's Do You Wanna Funk and had never seen anything that exciting in my whole life! Then a Dutch radio show called Dance Tracks talked about a new thing called Jacking from the US and played Jack Your Body by Steve Silk Hurley. I told my parents I love this music and for Christmas they gave me the Acid House compilation on JackTracks UK that licensed a lot of classics like Armando's 151, Phortune's Can You Feel The Bass and Dream Girl by Pierre's Fantasy Club. So, then I started to buy them records.

My house and techno sound carries those inspirations in its rhythm: percussion with a groove pattern that is kinda cheeky and teasing and can exist in multiple genres.
A former go-go dancer, where did you perform and did this have a heavy influence on your musical journey?
— Yes, it had an influence for sure, it was the era of 90s house with the sounds of labels like Murk, Strictly Rhythm, Tribal America. New York house music was big in Amsterdam. I performed at all kinds of underground parties, one of them was in the Melkweg at a party called Spellbound. Paperclip People's track 'Throw' was just out, and it blew my mind, then I asked the DJ if he could play it right before I got into the dancing cage, which was too low for my height, so I danced low almost duckwalk style!! Ha. So, when I DJ now, I always speak to my inner performer and dancer too.
With releases on Pets and Twirl, how do you go about creating new music for these labels?
— I think the labels that I work with, share some of the same music loves and inspirations as I do so that helps as a start. I always start a track with a rhythm groove, start to dance to it, and that invokes a bassline, followed by melody, lyrics, or samples. It is a very physical state, no overthinking which is backed up by my less-is-more philosophy. I let my dancing energy make the choices for the making of a track.
Your next release is 'Come Through' on Anja Schneider's label. Tell us about these tracks, what's the inspiration, both behind the name of each and their sound.
— 'Come Through' is my encouraging voice that wants to see people let go and move and dance in a way that is the closest to their own nature. On my previous track 'Only Sinners Survive' on Pets, I talked about "Nature provides us with a groove." Everybody has their own individual groove blueprinted in their DNA, I believe. 'Come Through' is step 2 in that process of encouraging people to express themselves physically in the most individual way on the dance floor. The sound is acid as well as ballroom inspired with flangers from current electro and techno.

'Catwalk Trax' – a New York house inspired and samples the voice of Gia Carangi rip, an amazing model who talks about her physical and mental process of posing in front of a camera. I found it very interesting to hear and want to share her knowledge to the world. The process of posing is close to dancing and self-expression too.

'Into Heaven' is about gorgeous disco strings and how they give us this dramatic high. I wanted to bring that to current house and techno as well.

'Lucky Bass' is about being hypnotized by the bassline, a classic dancefloor emotion. I found the bassline right away while making it so that was Lucky, hence the name!
We have read that you take a lot of inspiration from film and TV. Why is this?
— The emotions of good actor's sound great on a dance floor too, it is instant drama, they can empower, entertain us there too instead of sitting at home watching movies on the couch!

80s sample-heavy records from Coldcut or Eric B & Rakim's Paid In Full introduced this to me. For a while I thought I would want to make movies and studied Film at University but the direct physical world of a dance floor gives me more life.
An esteemed resident for both Red Light Radio in Amsterdam and for the Parish Parties at PiP Den Haag. How do you feel as a brand / party they each have contributed to their local music and cultural scene?
— Red Light Radio was one of the first online radio stations that I can think of - not just local but worldwide - that gave all kinds of DJs and artists their own freedom to do what they want. PiP in the Hague is one of those clubs that is getting rarer today, where everything around you does not feel too gentrified yet, a lot of focus on freedom and fun without being judged. Parish will be back in September this year!
You said that the dancefloor has always been a place of self-development – can you explain this to our readers?
— When you're young and start dancing, you simply discover and learn new ways to stand, walk, move, flirt, pose, it gives this liberated looseness to your body language. The echoes of dancing will make your daily life better. It helps with agility and non-verbal communication.
Finally, of there is one hero of your lifetime, who is this and why?
— Impossible to answer! Can it be a hybrid of Prince, Armando, Linda Evangelista, Loleatta Holloway, Madonna, Larry Levan, Green Velvet, Harvey Milk and Grace Jones?