Dennis Cruz over the last couple years has been rising the charts across Beatport in the underground house and tech communities. With fresh sounds and solid beats he is never far from the top, and has loads of new singles and EPs that come out every year. With releases on labels such as Solid Grooves, Lemon-Aid, Snatch!, Stereo Productions, Toolroom, Relief, Saved, Suara, Deeperfect, Glasgow Underground and Suruba X, it is no wonder he has received awards and nominations for Beatport’s 3rd Best Tech House Artist, Resident Advisor’s 2nd Most Charted Artist of 2016 and Spanish Artist of the Year in 2016.
He has garnered support from Marco Carola, Erick Morillo, Joseph Capriati, Nicole Moudaber, Paco Osuna, Roger Sanchez, Umek, Nic Fanciulli, Stefano Noferini, Technasia, Los Suruba, Timo Maas, Yousef, Jamie Jones and Pan-Pot, among others. Cruz has played all over Europe, across the Americas and even made it out to Russia and Australia. His rise to the top has been through a combination of talent, skill and outright diligence.
What made you want to be a DJ and producer in the first place, where and when did you get into the music, what parties and labels?
When I was 16 I started going to parties in Madrid and I fell in love with electronic music, my friend from school had two Technics and one mixer at his home, so i started playing there. Since then I couldn’t stop djing. I started to produce years later when I studied sound engineer.
What was your first real performance as a DJ?
Oh, it was a contest in Madrid. It was run by this one good club at the time who was running a contest. I literally got there and played for maybe about 20 minutes for the round. I made it to the second round but never made it to the finals, though it was pretty good first experience playing for a live crowd. I remember that it was on vinyl and I was really nervous. It was so difficult to place the needle in time for the first beat!
It seems now, in 2018, you are living a life you may not have imagined having when you were 17. How does it feel – to be here today?
There are a lot of things that I could have never imagined that are happening now – traveling a lot around the world and meeting a lot of people. I am very happy, sometimes the worst part is traveling – the planes, this and that. But, I am really happy now, I am living my dream, you know?
I know that you have worked with Chus & Ceballos a lot this past year. Your EP, ‘Mad’ and collab with them, ‘Sun’ were both released on Stereo Productions. What is it like to work with such an influential duo?
For me, it is really good. I have been following them since I was a kid, you know? And now, we are like a family at Stereo. Friends and family. I was just playing with them in Chile earlier this month. It was an amazing time! I am so grateful for them and that they have been helping me a lot. I could not be happier.
Do you feel the same working with Solid Grooves?
Yeah, Stereo’s my Spanish family. Solid Grooves are my English family. It is different – I think Solid Grooves is much wilder in everything and always fun, while Stereo is like the wise older sibling that take care of you. You know, “Don’t do this, try this instead….” It is a great balance of support between the two.
Talking about support, does your personal family support your unique career?
My mom is my biggest fan. My family has always supported me since I was a child. They bought me my first mixer, my first speakers and are always there for me. Sometimes I go home after being on tour and my mom is listening to my music! I am like, “Hey, mom, please stop!” Haha, you get tired of your own music, but she is so proud of me and I am really happy about that!
You play in the UK a lot – how do you like playing there vs other places in the world? Are crowds different everywhere, do you think?
I love playing in the UK, every crowd is different and each country is different in regards to the styles of tech-house they like, I have my own style but always try to adapt a little to get them going crazy!
Have you got any tips on where people should go for the best food, music, cultural things? Do you explore the island yourself?
I have been many times, I absolutely love it…for parties you have to come to our Solid Grooves Thursdays at Vista Club Privilege, you can’t miss it! For beaches my favourite is Cala Saladeta & Cala Bassa, also you need to see Es vedrá & the sunset at Punta Galera, Sundays at Benirras are also amazing where you can find many people drumming till the sunset, truly amazing vibes. I would suggest trying the many restaurants in the smaller villages of the island where you can eat Mediterranean food.
Back home in Spain, is there a good scene, good parties, lots of new young talents coming through, do you know? Anyone we should listen out for?
Yes in Spain we have a good scene an lot of good artists. Young talent you should listen to are Yamil, Daniel Lera, Piem, Ms Bianca and Luixar Kl.
You release a lot of music – what inspires and influences it, how do you make each track different?
Making music is about emotions, you could make a happy uplifting track one day, and other day make something a lot darker depending on how you feel at that particular time. I have a lot of influences from funky soul and latin music.
You got nominated as best DJ and producer from Viscous mag – what does that mean to you? How does it make you feel?
I’m so happy to be recognised as one of best producers of Spain, but the most important thing is when I go out to the club and see everyone enjoy the music.
How do you like to relax away from music, how do you like to spend your money?
I love to run, go on my bike, drink some beers with my friends and go on holidays to relax and disconnect.