With a worldwide dj career, a showcase of four Danceclub Magazine awards, an internationally renowned label group and a cool personality, Dj Pena is one of the leading portuguese progressive djs in the world. Pena is a musical lover. Open-minded but demanding, mixes intense and hypnotic sound atmospheres with invigorating and pumping beat explorations, taking elements across the spectrum of electronic dance music, from progressive to tech house, techno to neo trance, filtering them through an eclectic spiral emotion.
Please tell us about your background? Where you are from?
Actually, I’m a fully qualified lawyer but around the year 2000 decide to go all in for the music, opening a record label and becoming a dj. I´m from Lisbon, Portugal
Your family and how the connection with your background and your family got you into the music industry?
My family is not artist/musicians related but i always had a passion to listen and dig for music, it was a big musical melting pot, 80´s, 90´s pop, acid house, breakbeat and rave culture mixed with my biggest musical influences of Sonic Youth, Einsturzende Neubauten with all grunge/sonic rock and industrial panoplia. Basically Flow was for many years a solo project(label, dj, events) but nowadays, or a few years ago, discovered that to do something 100% right, you need to go for it 100% and not just multitasking, so i have a few people that help me on this venture. Of course, it was a shock for my parents to leave the lawyer world but nowadays they fully accept and are quite satisfied with the live im living…
Is this your first time playing in Bali? If not where have you played before?
No, I think i played the first time maybe in 2006, just dont remember, the first two times i played at the late and famous Double Six Club, then Mint, Pyramid, Jenja, Karma Kandara and of course Koh a few months ago too.
How about Koh then, what can you tell us about the legendary late night spot that is going from strength to strength?
I can only say that when i played i Koh the last time, i just loved it, the crowd is intelligent, open and goes for it until the end, you can be creative musically too, the F1 sound system and DJ booth as pure quality and just had an amazing time played there. Its Bali´s underground and techno club on it´s best…
What have you heard amongst yourself and your fellow producers about the scene in Bali currently?
I love it and in the end, its really good that a night ends up earlier than in Europe, the clubs in Bali are rocking with key international dj players that are doing his Asian tours, the clubs are solid and vibrant with fresh music for already a few years, plus there´s some great promoters that held some amazing quality parties in some creative and tropical spots around the island and on top of all, the local djs, from Balinese to expats are really top notch. There´s a great variety of music being offered, from clubbing techno and tech(or edm) by night to more laid-back afternoon and sunset vibes.
Your current top 5 is?
Don´t have any current top 5, I play many tracks, at this precise moment im checking more promos to play this weekend and many of the names i never heard off too. Music and djing although is about making people dance, is all about discovery and surprising the crowd and create special moments that people can take home.
What was the first record you purchased on vinyl?
Good question but im sure it was when i was really young, so for sure some 80´s pop music.
How do you see this first record influencing your sound today?
Actually might have somehow influenced, maybe in some pontual vocals i can throw in a set but my style is more deeper, hypnotic from techno, progressive, tech dubbed trippy house, i always try to create a story which is always different in my sets due to my tendency to improvisation and the venue or time i play.
Where do you see technology heading to in the next 5 years in the DJ booth? Its come along way in the last 5 years so its exciting times ahead for a frequent travelling international DJ of your calibre?
For sure, for me the equipment is just a means to an end which is making people to dance, how you do it, just doesn´t matter. Digital is super practical and light, you can be very creative with loops, edits on the run, fx, etc. Im glad im not playing cd´s any longer, was so tiring to be burning cd´s all the time and then becoming just pollution-garbage after a while, also vinyl has a new hype and i like playing but when you are travelling abroad its just not practical and economic.
Whats next for Pena after Bali?
After Koh in Bali, a small festival in Darwin for the first time, then Symbiosis in LA and InnaVision in London couple of weeks after. And maybe a Shifter party in Bali after…