Jose Nunez's Facebook Wall
A lot going on for me today!
My remix of Sied...
A lot going on for me today! My remix of Sied van Riel ft. Alicia Madison "Gravity" is out now on Beatport! Download your copy here:...
My remix for MOXIE KICKS' "Soul For...
My remix for MOXIE KICKS' "Soul For You" is up on wavo.me!Moxie Kicks - Soul For You (Jose Nunez Remix)wavo.meListen to Moxie Kicks - Soul For You (Jose...
Had a lot of fun with this one..
Had a lot of fun with this one.. Brand new remix of MOXIE KICKS's "Soul For You"! Listen here:...
Los Angeles! I'm playing Secret Night...
Los Angeles! I'm playing Secret Night Society at Beso Hollywood August 1st! For more information and tickets click here:...
My July mix is here! Featuring new music by...
My July mix is here! Featuring new music by Harry 'Choo Choo' Romero Official, DOORLY, RIVA STARR, and more! You can stream it now on...
With a lifelong love and curiosity for new music and technology, there was never going to be an alternative route in life for producer Jose Nunez. Born into a family of musicians ("nobody was musically trained but my uncle would play guitar and my father would sing"), Jose says that his Latin family upbringing understandably shaped his outlook and musical character.
"We always had a party and music was the centre of my life," he continues. "I tried a lot of instruments dabbled in piano, guitar and drums! but I also picked up learning to DJ at a young age. That was my starting point."
So it's fair to say that Jose's musical path started at the age of eleven. He had a tape deck for recording music from the radio, bought a Numark two channel DJ mixer for 40 dollars and his mother bought him a belt drive SlB 100 technics turntable. I would record songs on the radio to my tapedeck and mix them with few vinyls I could afford. Finally I was able to purchase pair of used Techniques from a friend for 80 dollars and now I had the ability to mix from turntable to turntable... all that was needed now was a pile of vinyl purchases to play on them.
"At that time, the music was rock'n'roll, classic disco and Hi NRG and at the same time we had the freestyle and the beginnings of hip hop and it was all getting mixed up. I was the kid learning at the back!" No schools or mentors just something you picked up from the streets. And this is where the key to his character was born. "I want to know how things work, how they operate," he smiles. "And once I do, I want to manipulate it! I'm very intrigued, I always have been."
The next step was the same route as every other key DJ before him: a few wedding DJ shows and rather than just learning how to mix, learning how to make the actual music he loved. " was going to college and one day I saw a commercial. I was always intrigued by the echoes and blends: as a kid that was amazing. But because I wasn't a certified musician, I didn't know if I could get into that. Then some friends did a demo and I figured I could do the same so one day I went to a recording studio and joined a school, The Centre For Media Arts, did courses for engineering and programming, made some money for equipment and did demos for all the cats in town. And one thing led to another."
Of course, as anyone who's followed Jose's career will know, his musical path would be defined by a meeting with the future boss of the Subliminal label, Erick Morillo. "I met Erick in Grammar School!" he laughs. "Back and forth, he would DJ, I would DJ, and our paths kept crossing." Meanwhile Jose started his own studio and moved on to manage and engineer at Quantum Studios in New Jersey where he assisted Grammy winning engineer and producer Andy Wallace ("he taught me a lot of the ropes, especially in an SSL (Solid State Logic"). Gaining Erick Morillo's trust, he was commissioned to engineer several projects for him on Strictly Rhythm. Then he engineered and produced 'I Like To Move It'. Everything that followed came out of that."
In 1997, Jose had his first gig in Cleveland and he realised that making music and DJing would always be intertwined. "It just happened!" he smiles. "I wasn't thinking about being an artist. My style of music comes come from a style that started very minimal and the thing with us is we can push sound to the next level. We come from the same place as Louie Vega, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles." Jose's first record 'In My Life' was "soulful, jazzy, tough, it had samples and an r 'n' b vocal. It was a collaboration and that's what made it stand out." Key singles like 'Bilingual' and 'Air Race' would follow, showing a canny knack of melding Jose's house and disco sensibility with soul vocal and pristine production.
Music, real music, is what defines Jose Nunez as a producer, engineer and as a DJ. As with so many of his peers, legendary producer Quincy Jones looms large as an inspiration.
"I've seen the Quincy Jones bio eight times on the Biography channel!" he laughs. "Quincy Jones for me is inspiring. I grew up listening to 'Thriller' and Donna Summer. Quincy and Giorgio Moroder: they had so little to work with but when they morphed with vocals and melodies, they created something from nothing. It was all hand-written music but it was a big operation. Quincy Jones came from a very musical background but he worked with a lot of rappers and made it work. He went from jazz to pop, he would do it all."
Fast-forward to 2011 and Nunez is involved with two sides of his career: one as a solo artist making music like 'Dance Again', Believers' and the forthcoming single 'Afterworld', which he describes as "dubsteppy house with a buzzy, edgy sound and my Latin tribal feel" plus two further projects with Morillo and fellow Subliminal wingman Harry Romero. The first is called In The Screen and has an Everything But The Girl vocal vibe with singers like Rachel Starr.
"There's a magic with every hit record we've done. The biggest records as us three, everyone brings something different to the table and it happens so easily. And we just happened to finish a record!" The second project is Sympho Nympho. "The original idea was us being the artists, doing something that hasn't been done since C & C Music Factory we made records with Dizzee Rascal, Pitbull, 50 Cent and Craig David already. It's definitely music for the radio - it's pop with a twist on a modern sound."
As the worldwide success of David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia and original house superstar Erick Morillo will attest, America is ready for everything dance music has to offer. Everyone from Snoop and Diddy to Rihanna and Chris Brown wants a piece of the electronic pie: and Nunez is ready for them. "To be honest with you, dance music was big in the early 80s but we always wanted to cross over. David Guetta opened the doors for everyone in the US but now we have a doorway to put our foot in and we want to come back." His dream collaboration? Beyonce. "Her vocal skills are amazing! She does every music style and captivates me every time."
25 years on from those initial cassette deck experiments, Jose Nunez is busier than ever. He's still an in demand producer and engineer, he has several key shows at Subliminal in Ibiza this summer and he still works closely with Shawnee Taylor, his favourite in-house soul vocalist. "Me and Shawnee have worked together for a long time and we have a system going and it's automatic," he nods. "If I say it's good, she knows it's good but we also both know when we need to do another take it's like an assembly line! We have a lot of records ready to go, some for her album, and maybe even some for mine."
Like his heroes, Jose doesn't want to be defined by one sound or style. "We're just not going to make the same style again and again," he concludes. "Right now the sound we're making has a dubstep trance flavour. It's soulful but with a Latin tribal backbone. We can still evolve with the times."