Exclusive Interview With Monoverse
Monoverse, also known as Santos Torres hailing from New York City. He is no stranger to the music game with over 10 years already. He has had the pleasure of working with some of the biggest in the trance world like Aly and Fila, Stoneface and Terminal, Markus Schulz , Paul van Dyk, Gareth Emery and more. Monoverse also has a unique following on his twice a month podcast called “Monoverse Radio” on afterhours.fm
MMW , always a fan favorite, I see you escaped the cold weather and another snow storm. What is your favorite part of Miami?
Especially Miami Music week, there is so much going on, it’s super intense. I came here about four years ago and there was two trance parties. This year there is quite a few shows I want to go to. It’s tough, there is so much going on, and you can’t do it all.
Who and what inspired you to follow your path in music?
I originally found Paul Van Dyk sets when I was about 12 years old, hugely influential for me. After that I just kept digging and I found myself tuning in to A State Of Trance on a weekly basis. Some of the big A list artists have been very influential, especially at a young age you are extremely impressionable. You might see videos of Armin and Tiesto live and say “I want to do that!”
That is a weird age to get into trance, I feel that trance is more of a genre someone would show you, for more of a mature audience.
This is kind of odd, I used to play videos, semi professionally. That is actually how I found trance. People would make videos of themselves playing and put trance in the background, I always thought it was awesome. I found it by accident.
When you’re not making trance music, what is your favorite genre of music to listen to?
Hmm.. that’s a really good question. I would say right now, I listen to a lot of post rock and ambient stuff. It’s such a departure from trance. Where trance is formulaic sometimes, you find these genres that really don’t follow a specific arrangement – it’s super unique and experimental. Right now for me, that’s been super inspiring.
Another favorite genre for me is called synthwave, its 80’s inspired but made currently – it’s super awesome. I have a weird affinity for the 80s, even though it was before my time I love that sound.
Do you prefer big festivals like Luminosity or small events like tonight?
They both have their perks, like even Luminosity is kind of an intimate event. I have played EDC and Tomorrowland for example and those are massive festivals. They both have their upsides but I am more partial to intimate events because I came up doing local support stuff in New York. Small clubs, 200 people, the fans are right in front of you. I think I am more partial to that then the big festivals.
In life and in music, what would you say your biggest struggle is and how did that shape you to be the artist you are today?
I would say it’s a really tough act, it’s tough to balance normal regular life. You play gigs and it’s weird hours then you have to go back to your regular daily schedule. It’s always hard, I think really this has shaped me. You have to have more structure and previously I had no structure. I learned you have to be regimented. That has really helped in the balancing of the two.
What track was it that got you noticed?
Oh, good question. My releases on Coldharbour did really well, that’s because Markus Schulz would play it in every live set for two years straight. People would find it through that. I also had a track called “One Way to LA”, which won a future favorite on A State Of Trance. I think that was the tipping point and people were starting to find my music a little more.
How did you become part of the FSOE movement and what are your plans for the future?
I started in FSOE signing to FSOE excelsior and I have been working with them a lot. Maybe the same time I was working with Coldharbour , it just so happened that Aly and Fila had requested me to open. They heard my music, I played a back to back with Sied van Riel at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. That’s really where it started, then I was working with them on the label.
It was a very natural organic thing, it just made sense to keep working with them. I was playing more shows with them, eventually Fadi asked me to head up the new label for progressive trance under FSOE. Obviously, that is a no-brainer for me, that is where we are at now. With the label my plans for growing is, finding unique music that maybe nobody else is signing. The artists I am signing sometimes tell me someone previously passed this up. I say, why not take a chance.
What are some pre show rituals?
I really don’t have any. I much more prefer just showing up and winging it. I think again it comes from that New York DJ background. I had to learn to read the crowd and not just stick with a set track list. I try not to come up with a game plan for the most part. I just come with tracks I am really loving at the moment. The night before I start wrapping up music in my USB . The rest I just figure it out, wing it.
I feel like sometimes it’s better not to plan, when you plan ahead so much there is room for error and a lot of pressure.
Exactly, and you never know what track is going to do well with what crowd. Sometimes I play a dud and then you know to stay away from tracks like that because it’s not going to work.
Do you prefer the New York trance scene or trance out of state or in different countries?
I would never say I prefer one over the other, they all have their own little perks. The New York trance scene has been part of my life for over 10 years now. That really has a special place in my heart. Right now NY is kind of on a downward trend, we aren’t have as many shows as we used to. It comes and goes, every city is different. Some cities really surprise you, I played a festival in Fresno once and here I am thinking it’s in the middle of nowhere and nobody is going to come, but it was packed and it turned out amazing. You really never know.
The craziest thing you’ve seen during one of your sets?
I haven’t seen too many crazy things during my set, but of course I’ve seen some crazy stuff at clubs in general. Although I do have one story and maybe it’s not so crazy since I understand this guy . He wanted to give me a USB during one of my sets and he said “Here’s my music, I want you to hear it”. This went on while I was playing, I told him “Cool, I’ll try to not lose it and I’ll listen to it “. He comes up to me later and asks “Bro, you going to play my track?” I responded with “I don’t think I am going to do that.” You don’t know what’s on there, it might be complete crap, you never know. He was a little furious, he really wanted me to hear his music and play it that night.
If you could go back to back with any Dj, any artist, dead or alive who would it be?
There are a few that come to mind, I am a huge Eric Prydz fan, that would be amazing for me. There are a lot of guys I would love to play with. For example, Carl Cox because he’s a legend. Imagine that! In the trance world, Markus Schulz open to close, and Fadi from Aly & Fila has been doing more extended sets as well. He’s got some of the best taste in the full spectrum, that I have heard in a while. So, I would love to play with him as well, maybe one day. I don’t want to force him into anything, you know?
Is there anything else you want to tell us about?
Yeah, we have some stuff coming up both with the label and shows. Keep an eye out, if you want to check out the label and what we are doing, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. We also run a label podcast called “This is Parallels”, it’s hosted by various artists on the label. I just really love pushing these guys , that were going to release music from , or just ones that I support. So yeah, check it out.
Thank you Santos (Monoverse) for sitting down with One EDM and Apex presents during FSOE Miami.
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