Diego Bernal Interview

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Diego Bernal is a beatmaker from San Antonio, Texas, whose music extends beyond the boundaries of hip-hop instrumental, a fact which led him to sign with a label of electronic music. Bernal was born into a family of educators, activists and intellectuals, leading him to be an attorney for a national civil rights organization of their country.

With two albums released - Besides and For Corners - Bernal's music seems to walk the fine line of pure instrumental beat, without the need to flirt with the rhyme, since the intensity of complex beats and fulfills the job of creating the perfect ambience of classic rap. Samples outgoing and harmonically precise blend of Latin music in his compositions as works worked quite unusual.

Nice guy, accepted this interview by e-mail, in which he talks about his career, influences, digital music and even on the start of production of their third album Here for Good.

Robazz: Tells a little of its history, at what stage of your life you began to create beats? How did this happen?
Diego Bernal: Thanks, man. I started making beats in high school, just for fun and with basic DJ equipment, nothing fancy at all.  It was something I loved and did for many years, just for myself. It wasn't until much, much later that a friend of mine, Ernest Gonzalez, who owns and operates Exponential Records, convinced me that the material I had stockpiled might make for a decent record.  I never expected things to go in that direction, but I'm really happy they did.

Robazz: How do you define your music style?
Diego Bernal: In my mind it's instrumental hip-hop, but I realize other people hear it a variety of different ways, and I like that.  At it's core, it's beat music.  We can toss labels around all day, but at the end of that day, all we have are beats... with a Latin undercurrent.

Robazz: Your recordings are distributed free online. How do you think that the distribution of music today?
Diego Bernal: You know, I'm really happy I don't have to depend on sales to live. I know artists with much more successful and prolific careers than I do and they still struggle to make ends meet. That said, I love how music is passed around and able to so easily travel around the world (our discussion now is a testament to that), but I also think that people should remember that if you want more from an artist, you need to spend a little money.  You like the first album from someone?  You want a second? Buy their record.

I think digital music is great, but I also think it creates a culture where music is disposable.  People listen to something once or twice, or for a weekend, and they're done with it. That's why I create albums, projects and not simply one-off songs, because the listening experience is more in-depth and thoughtful.  I don't want to be a weekend fling, I want a full-on romance.

Robazz: In describing the album For Corners on website says: "The music is dusty and layered with Latin soul, from the triumphant blasts of horns to the laid back groove of lowrider melodies" so which the influence of the latin music your history & what are the most significant influences for your music?
Diego Bernal: I grew up around hip-hop, pop music, country, heavy metal, Motown, Philly Soul, and Latin music. Being from San Antonio, we always blend our genres together.  Soul and funk from the State's has been mined to death, so I thought I'd put a little of me in the music, and that's what you get. If you cut me open my albums are the sounds that would spill out. If the Native Tongues remixed my neighborhood, these two albums (For Corners, Besides) are along the lines of what I think would result.

Robazz: The standard question, do you know something of Brazilian music?
Diego Bernal: I know a little.  Not a lot, and not enough.  Hook me up, tell me what to listen to; I'm all ears. 

Robazz: What have you been listening lately?
Diego Bernal: Mexicans With Guns, Flying Lotus, Led Zeppelin, Sharon Jones, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Trio Los Panchos, DJ Dus and the El Michels Affair.

Robazz: Tell us about the next projects in your career.
Diego Bernal: I have a few remixes I need to do, and then I really think I'm going to start working on the third record. I wouldn't expect it until early 2012, so enjoy what's out!  I'll give you the working title I have right now, though: "Here for Good."  It sort of captures my life both in and out of music.

Robazz: Leave your message for the brazilian beatmakers & fans
Diego Bernal: Believe in yourself.  Treat it like art, not commerce.  You're good, better than you know. Most importantly, find a sound that's yours.  If you do that, everything else is easier.