By Hilary Rawk
The young and sexy DJ Lazaro Casanova’s relaxed personality and sense of humor makes him charming and impossible not to like. The fact that he is also an accomplished DJ and burgeoning producer—with a resume that includes touring the world with MSTRKRFT, Juan MacLean and more—adds a layer of accomplishment impressive for someone just in his early twenties.
Heavily influenced by the Miami music scene in which he grew up, Lazaro explains that, “Miami has always been big on house music. But it’s gone through different phases of it. I remember the late nineties South Beach was all about tribal house. I think everything down there has either gone proggy or minimal now. The particular scene I came from was with that whole indie rock turned to indie dance remixes turned to electro house. It’s almost as if the mainstream and alternative scenes met each other half way.”
After building a name for himself in Miami, Lazaro explored the Latin market, where his reputation grew faster than even he expected. Comparing Latin audiences to American and European, Lazaro says that, “The Latin circuit is amazing, specifically Mexico. The turnouts and energy levels out there are more than I could ever ask for. In a way I feel like they are ahead of Americans in dance music, maybe not ahead of the Europeans, but definitely ahead of Americans. The Latin audiences have almost become the next generation of dance music purist.”
He shares that being a DJ is great because of the travel. “I fall in love with some aspect of each city I visit. I’m sure if I stayed about two weeks longer I’d be sick of them but it’s just that whole appeal of brand new scenery that does it for me. I [kind of] want to combine each little great aspect of every city and go build a super city on the moon.”
Living in hotels is another perk of life on the road. “I never have to clean up after myself,” says Lazaro. “I get to walk around in bathrobes and use four towels at a time if I want.” He also loves eating in different cities. “I get to try the best burger in each city. I think that one day I’d like to write a burger book…just not now…a magician never reveals his secrets.”
Lazaro says touring is “Probably nowhere near as crazy as maybe a Van Halen tour from back in the day. I will admit there is some ridiculous shit that happens. But I’m not the type to kiss and tell. Maybe one day I’ll write a tour storybook as well… of course the names will be changed. Apparently I want to write a book on just about every subject.”
One of his best travel memories recently was of his trip to Portland, where he says, “I had dinner at a great ninety-dollar-a-plate restaurant. Then headed to this strip club called The Magic Garden, which a friend of mine refers to as the best strip club in the world. This is like a dive bar but with naked Suicide Girls dancing on a small stage. The bartender is this 70-year-old lady who looks like she might have a shotgun back there in case shit goes down. It’s the kind of place you never want to leave.”
Expect to hear some new, original music by Lazaro soon. He says we can expect the first single of the year, “Venganza,” to be out soon on iTunes. It is going to be part of the iTunes/Ultra Winter Music Conference sampler as well. There are some great remixes from artists including Felix Cartal (Vancouver) and House Moguls (Chicago), among others. “The second single is going to show my production going a whole different direction. And this will mark the beginning of my long-term goals. I don’t want to be part of just another music trend; I want to build [an] actual long-term music career. I mean, look at John Digweed, he’s been doing it since ’85, and he is still one of the top in the dance genre.”
Lazaro Casanova joins headliner MSTRKRFT, with LA Riots and the Bloody Beetroots at Vision, 640 North Dearborn, (312)266-1944, on March 8, 10pm-5am. Visit visionnightclub.com for more info.