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Interviews BeutNoise. Photo: @ando_armando_algo BeutNoise. Photo: @ando_armando_algo

BeutNoise: your statement from the jungle

It's noon in December. Since I last saw him, Sandro Vila's career —which is to say BeutNoise's, which is to say Sharllot's— has skyrocketed with the publication of Kong EP under one of the most influential dubstep labels in the world. I watch him walk towards me on syncopated beats, and I think that if dubstep had a physical form, it might as well be that of a gangly 20-year-old with an androgynous face covered in dark curls. Since I last saw him, Sandro has moved his study—his room—somewhere among the trees. From there, he uploads dozens of daily statuses to WhatsApp and feeds his Twitter, to which he added a new description. 

— What does your bio say on social networks?

-He says "I come from the jungle / trained to break gorilla necks. Humans, meh, easy”. It was the first thing that came to my mind, because where it all came from — a network called Discord, where I communicate with people and music producers from all over the world — they were calling me “Tarzan” or “jungle boy” because I was hairy. , Cuban, and everyone told me “you live in the jungle brother,”… And I said, I think I'm going to use it, and if I'm Tarzan, then I was raised by gorillas, and I'm going to project myself as if I were a gorilla.

"Would the jungle be Cuba?"

—No, the jungle I have in mind is an X jungle in an X zone, it doesn't matter. 

—So first comes that concept and then the name of the EP?

-Yes. It all started in early 2020. I didn't even have a name, just an idea of a character, which wasn't related to a monkey or anything like that. It had no logo, just an idea that came from musical contrast and very orchestral stuff, mixed with dubstep. The original EP had four songs. The gorilla ended up being a visual and musical mark, because if you listen carefully to the tracks you realize that they always have a very tribal carving, although in some it is a little more subtle and in others more “in your face”; but it is always there, in addition to the visual. 

Sandro said to himself: to get to a big record label, what you need is for them to talk about you everywhere and attract a lot of attention. He sent the EP that he had almost finished in February 2020 to several and none were interested. He says he got a little depressed until one day he received a message on Discord from someone who called himself the A&R (Artists and Repertoire) of Disciple, one of the most important independent labels on the international dubstep scene. Sandro, who had often fantasized about releasing his music with Disciple, thought he was being "burned", and ran to verify the sender's account. It was Vishal Bhanderi, Label Manager and responsible for finding new talent for the label. 

—“Asere, what turn?” He didn't tell me that, but you understand me. "I want to show you something," I told him. "Come on, shoot", and I'm like: "Cogecogecogecoge". "Come on, yes, it was formed, what do you want to do with this?" "A disc". "Ah, okay, send me more." “Let me finish them”, and when I sent them to him a week later he said: “Wait, send me more”. And I: “More?”. “Yes, more”, and I: “well, now what do I do with my life?”. At the time I started to do another theme and another, and in the end I had six.

***

“I found BeutNoise earlier this year [2020] through a friend. I started following his work and fell in love with his tropical style. Not having a core following and a very interesting background made him the perfect candidate for our first build called Round Table Reinforcements Vol. 1. This music compilation featured artists underground of all the world.

“The plan from there was to release a BeutNoise EP once we introduced it to our audience. This worked perfectly and I think makes him the first Cuban artist to release with Disciple. Kong EP It has had a huge impact on the fans and other producers as well,” Vishal Bhanderi writes to me.

BeutNoise. Photo: @ando_armando_algo

BeutNoise. Photo: @ando_armando_algo

And yes, Sandro became the first Cuban artist to release his music with Disciple Round Table, Disciple's sister label that publishes and promotes the work of lesser dubstep artists. mainstream. A label for those unknown to dubstep, like BeutNoise. 

—It's a dream come true in plan: I never thought it would be so fast, I didn't expect it, I didn't believe it until I saw the cover and everything. 

He immediately deleted the music that was hosted on the platforms. He became a completely new artist and began to count listens. Until today, Kong EP add 46K in streams among its six songs, more than Sandro had obtained with all his music together before. 

—How much have things changed for you and what has impacted you the most in this process?

“The fact that it's real. I had been joking with all my friends: Ñno, asere, can you imagine if I suddenly came out on the Round Table and everyone was like “yes brother, you are going to see that one day…”, but I never thought of doing it from Cuba. 

—And on the other hand the impact on the people who have heard it… 

—In Cuba the impact has been minimal, really. There are many people here who follow me, but compared to the Americans [sic] who follow me… there are four. In any case, not all the time I have access to Spotify to be able to check it and see if they are listening to me in Cuba or not. 

Yes, we can confirm something: BeutNoise has entered the radar even youtubers Americans who have reviewed the EP and have published video tutorials to sound like him, to learn to do dubstep like Sandro does.

BeutNoise · 𝗞𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗘𝗣 (Out on Disciple Roundtable)

—Why, among so many genres and subgenres that electronic music has, dubstep?

—I am a very peaceful person, but I have that dark side that everyone has, and I want to divert it that way, because I also always liked loud music, and among many other reasons, for the community. In other genres of electronica around the world, the community and the way the labels are projected towards the artists are much more elitist. Besides, I always liked challenges, and the most difficult part of electronic music is dubstep, due to the fact that all the sounds are designed from a sine wave (sine wave). From there you can exploit your capabilities and your ability to design a sound from scratch. You can get, for example, two hours in less than 30 seconds. It takes too much, much, much tweaking to make something sound really good. It is a super demanding job of many hours buttocks and it is very nice to see how you are giving life to a sound that someone cannot replicate exactly the same unless you teach them how (if you remember).

***

One day—or one night, Sandro doesn't remember exactly—Sharlot appeared. An androgynous being, like him, with whom he began a relationship that lasts until today. How they met is also unclear: born from the collision of two comets, Sharlot arrived from Saturn to study humanity and somehow acquired a taste for whispering music to Sandro. He has been doing it for four or five years and he always talks to her about the same thing: about love, about couples. To give him a voice, Sandro began experimenting with his own, adding effects to it until the machine “broke in half”. He did one song and then another and another, and as he composed, Sharllot began to lodge in some part of his body. Sandro says that sometimes he talks to her, tells her what she is doing right or wrong or what is going to happen according to her in that relationship.

Sharlot. Photo: Rolando Cabrera.

Sharlot. Photo: Rolando Cabrera.

He then became his alter ego. Or BeutNoise's. 

“Sharlot is a project in which I make music chill —It started as a way to create music for my girlfriend at the time— and from which I've wanted to do many things, always related to experiences with couples. Since I'm a mess, I'd love to have a songwriter write me the lyrics, because if you look closely, the lyrics are a phrase that is repeated four times, and that musically can be empingao, but it's just a sentence. To be able to carry it out, I would like to succeed as BeutNoise and save enough money to spend it all on Sharlot”, he laughs.

—How is your creative process? What moves you? 

—Very random, but I have various templates so to speak, various ways of thinking when doing something. In dubstep, for example, the most interesting part really is when it breaks, and that's where I usually start. So how it comes about is almost mathematical, I say: I'm going to take such a time, design a battery or choose one of the ones I have saved, and from there I start designing sounds —polishing them is very similar to sculpting—until I end up with four sounds , and the pecking to have more until I achieve a pattern that lasts twice as long as it had. I begin to change that pattern a little so that it is not the same, and so a loop of that bit, which I duplicated by changing the second so that it is not the same, but a variation. Then you go to the beginning: how I want it to start: heavy, soft, melodic, with a voice, and then I put it in a sampler. To that I put I don't know how many thousand effects, violins and so on, so on... I'm going to expand it, automate it, and then I finish the intro and the first drop… Dubstep as such has its way of being louder than many other genres, brighter, more powerful. You have to match that in everything you do. For example, if you are going to use violins, you cannot use the classics of the symphony orchestra, you must use the classic violins of the symphony orchestra plus I don't know what, I don't know what, I don't know what...  

“When making music for documentaries and movies, it's more about seeing what they want to project and when I can generate intensity. You have to think about emotion, that is a very important thing: what emotion do you want to convey in this song”.

—I was saving that question: emotionally, what is your ideal state to create music?

“Always unstressed. The concentration and isolation that you have is very important, you can finish arguing with your father —which happens to me every day—, but you have to sit down to DJ because you were doing a song and you can't let that influence you. It depends on very simple things like the temperature, the ambient sound, not being hungry (laughs), not being sleepy and if there is some stimulant it doesn't hurt (laughs), because I'm very susceptible to alcohol.

Let us say at this point, for those who do not know him, that Sandro Vila studied music from the age of four until the piano became the "exercise of a muscle" and he stopped saying things to him. That at that moment he understood that making his own music was the way to go and he left the National School of Art to sit for hours tinkering with programs and playing at sounding like Skrillex. That he learned by touching buttons, he says, downloading a video from time to time in Wi-Fi parks and designing the sounds he dreamed of. And it's embarrassing to tell, but BeutNoise came out of a little serious conversation between friends and comes from the fusion of words beautiful and noise.

BeutNoise. Photo: Rolando Cabrera.

BeutNoise. Photo: Rolando Cabrera.

How does one go from there to being a professional DJ? 

“When I was in school, the head of the Isa Composition Chair, Juan Piñera, a very, very intelligent and quite crazy man, had already been told about me, and they told me to go see him because he could help me. I sat down and he told me: I'm going to take you to the National Electroacoustic Music Laboratory. I went there and there were some kind of auditions in front of Piñera and four other people to decide whether to include musicians in the catalog and, eventually, to give them a company and pay them. But before ʽeventually' they already made you play, and I saw it as half good, half bad because I had the desire of the century to play —and obviously I'm going to do it, even if it's free—, and the first time it's fine, but after I played in the Salón Rosado about 30 times, there came a point where I didn't”.   

—In your opinion, is there an electronics movement in Cuba?  

—Today more than ever, but more than a movement, a community. Today there is Classroom, which is the largest electronic community in Cuba, and is an independent group of producers who live together on Telegram (they should be on Discord, I've already told you, but Discord is a little more "gaston" of data). There are artists like SEED, Jaidpit, Nemesy, Insike — the Cuban producer who has really mixed electronic music with Cuban music —… for me they are the guys. It is the only Cuban electronics community where they really help each other, a site closed to spam and focused on the evolution of each member as a professional. The truth is that I have heard from others, but I have gotten into it and they do not have the quality and seriousness of Classroom at all. It is a good place to enjoy serious talks or not with other producers. The truth is that, for me, if there is a future for Cuban electronics, it is there. 

—How do you conceive your shows? Is it something you think about or that comes up in the heat of the show?

—I am a perfectionist, which is something very difficult here because if you had a work team that responded to you, at your same speed and knew what you want, then yes; but when you depend on people who don't know what they're doing, when your name is even misplaced on the screen... I always focus on let's check everything quickly, but the basic thing is the music. And yes, I always have all the concerts completely prepared depending on the place, on what I want to play. 

—Which process do you enjoy the most: creating the music, playing…?

—I don't like playing, that's what happens. I do it as part of work, but I don't like it.

—I find it strange to hear you say it, because on stage you see yourself enjoying yourself as much or more than the people.

-All is performanceI have everything in my head. I want to touch the Kong EP, I'd like people to download it live, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it sounds on the soundcheck, how it looks on the console, but so far I haven't felt very comfortable playing it, because I've spent so much work doing it, technically speaking, I don't enjoy it because I arrive and I have to worry about everything. I am like a study person, I like to DJ and make music. I would like, for example, to go to a concert by a DJ from here and have them play my songs for me to listen to, it would fit me.

Cover of Kong EP.

cover of Kong EP.

—Going back to the EP, did you ever think that this was going to be your letter of introduction to the world and did you arrange the songs seeking to sound more universal?

-Completely. In other words, not so much in sounding universal, but rather in creating a specific, unique sound, and that would also be a brand in all senses: aesthetics, slogans and, above all, in music, obviously. when it came out Kong EP, many people in the comments said: "this is not an EP, it's a statement:”, and yes, in fact, what I wanted to make was a statement: this is me, I introduce myself.

—What are the points in common between the artist you "were", who had a work with which he already said things, and the artist you are from Kong EP?

—The orchestral part from before is present, but now much more from a percussive sense. Really at the moment there are very few things in common, because I stopped being so similar to others and I took a completely new system when it comes to working. The sound I'm going for now is more percussion based as well, even with harmonies and melodies working as percussion. In addition, it is always present my background having studied classical piano, that is always there, you listen to the songs and you realize it.  

“I think you're going to improve constantly, but that's like a starting point and I'm never going to be upset with it. I'm going to be like, ʽokay, it was two, three, four years ago, but I can still hear it,' you know, because there's music of mine that I can't hear anymore and I actually deleted it. From there I will begin to evolve all the time, always from the same tribal wave, which I will try to respect in every way. It's almost a forced foot to do the songs, it's like: here I can put…. Oh, right, I'm a monkey, wait." 

Diana Ferreiro Journalist and editor almost all the time. Addicted to ink and the color red. He writes less than he wants to and listens to more sad music than he should. "Coffee, beer and perreo" as a mantra. More posts

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  1. Mandy Sorzano says:

    Never stop documenting this beautiful Yam process of young Cubans in music, thank you for your incredible work

  2. BeutNoise says:

    💙 Lots of love from the jungle 🌴🦍

  3. Martín Moya says:

    This interview has reminded me how similar journalism (well done) and poetry are to me. Thank you AM:PM

  4. Yanet says:

    Congratulations my cousin, you have a natural talent, I wish you many successes in the future

  5. Manuel VR says:

    You are a great Beutnoise!!! Greetings from Chile

  6. INSIKE says:

    I would like to see more interviews like this!, thanks to monke sandro for mentioning me <3

  7. Margarita says:

    Grande BeautNoise, the least DJ !!
    Talented and beautiful, blessings dear Sandro.

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