Aleja Sanchez is a Colombian DJ, producer and label owner of Northallsen Records. We were talking about her musical development, the origination process of her recent album and some other interesting topics… Remains to mention that Aleja will be part of a project on Affin in Autumn.
J: How do you see your development as a DJ & producer in the last 3 years, and why you decided to found your own label?
A: The last three years have represented a stage of learning and maturity. It has been a period of growth and awakening. Actually I feel deeply fortunate and very thankful. I have worked with deep love and dedication and I have learned to believe in myself.
About Northallsen, I can say that it also marked the beginning of one stage, when the label was born I quit pretending to be what others artist are, I quit pretending to sound like other artists, I found myself and I found a channel to communicate my personal message. I’m a biologist by profession and I try to create my own relationship between music and nature, so, I try to do my own philosophical reflection about our role on the planet through my music. The label is the channel to communicate those reflections. That is the Northallsen’s entire reason of being and existing.
J: With your album “Ocean Hypnosis“ your sound opened up for electronica. How did the production of this album change your working process in the studio?
A: Ocean Hypnosis is the result of a deep introspective process, a personal exploration. It took me several months to finish it. The production process was different because I felt deeply free in composition terms. I wanted to communicate with my music, so, I concentrated in an important way on the musical composition and the harmony of each track of album, on it hidden message.
It was an interesting technical and artistic exercise to me, and from there, I’m working with much more attention to small details, I have paid even more careful attention to each reverb, to each delay, I’m working more deeply in the audio panning to generate depth in my music, and of course, I’m working in my musical compositions to create emotions in listeners.
I am aware that I still have a long way to go on the musical production, but I keep working on it, I feel very satisfied with the Album and with the learning process that I have developed during it production.
J: Is there any software or hardware you always use to produce music? Can you describe the setup you use?
A: Yes, there is. I have worked with NI Massive Synthesizer a long time ago; it is a very good wavetable Synth. About my setup, it is very simple. I use a Midi keyboard, Thonet & Vander monitors and studio headphones AKG, they are very useful tool for me, to work on special details. About software I use Waves plugins and I’m beginning to work with Reaktor, I’m very interested to learning more about blocks.
J: How is your personal life in Bogota? You also seem to love nature, do you often have time to go somewhere to free your mind from daily work?
A: My life in Bogota is like that of any person, I live alone and it allows me to be one hundred percent focused on production and the work related with the artistic direction of my label in all dimensions but also in my project as artist. I workout every day to relieve the tension generated by my job, I am a person who stresses easily and I am very demanding of myself, so I have found in workout a good way to releasing stress and keep my mind and body relaxed.
About nature, I really enjoy it, so I try to visit places where I can get away from the bustle of the city, however, I would like to do it more often, sometimes I find it difficult due to timing issues.
J: Can you describe the electronic music scene in Colombia?
A: Recently, an article about the Colombian electronic scene was published, in my opinion, it is a well-written article, focused on a small part of our scene, however, there are much more people who have worked long time ago on the construction of the electronic music scene in Colombia.
Currently, the Colombian electronic music scene is going through an interesting moment, there are many groups of people in large and small cities working and promoting electronic music in different genres. There is a constant concern to present high-level proposals and lately I find more academic spaces around electronic music in the country.
However, we are a relatively young scene, we are still learning, we must continue working to export more Colombian artists to the international circuit, we have to work to achieve higher level in the Colombian record labels and we must to work in the protection and education of the people around substances use, is our responsibility as “scene”. We must also work around projects that link electronic music with the cultural development of the country, so I think there is a lot of work ahead.
photo © Jesuz.Nu
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