Jeremias Aparicio a.k.a Katzen was born in 1986 in the city of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
At the age of 3, he began to relate to music through the arrival at his home of a piano belonging to his great grandmother. He take piano lessons during the primary period and continue with the study of the instrument in the Bachelor of Fine Arts where he also became interested in percussion instruments.
After graduating from high school, he continued to play percussion, keyboard and drums in reggae bands.
Katzen decided to dedicate himself to composing in an electronic format emulating reggae sounds and creating reggae and rap beats.
In 2015 he became interested in Deep House music, Progressive House incorporating Dub influences beginning to create a personal sound that quickly identified him in his country.
Hello Katzen, thank you for your time for this conversation.
We read somewhere that, when you were 6 years old, you studied piano in a private way and attended a music school, later, at age of 12 you entered the Baccalaureate of Fine Arts where you continued to study piano. Can you talk a little bit of that period? What happened when you finished high school and musical education?
I was 3 years old when my mum inherited a piano from her great aunt. My mum had studied piano for a few years and could play basic stuff. As a young boy, I watched my mum play and imitated her (fragments of sonatas, for example). I could play, rather than read music. At school I had to catch up, by learning theory. Over the last years of high school I got in touch with percussion and drumming. I eventually became interested in reggae.
Has your family had any connection with electronic dance music or any other forms of arts? Did they encourage you to follow your chosen career path or did they think that DJing and electronic music does not guarantee good income like any other ”normal day time” jobs?
My family has no connection with electronic music. My mum was probably surprised but she was proud to see me play in Reggae band when I was 15.
However, I bet she still doesn’t understand what DJing is really about. My brother is very supportive.
Do you remember the main reasons for the decision to become a DJ and producer? Do you think it was a track or maybe an event that you have attended?
As a member of a band, it was my job to play, plan rehearsals and explore musical arrangements. So I guess this is how I started to ”produce”.
First I picked some reggae songs and tried working on their backtracks and recording my own vocals and arrangements. I came across a software, which is the one I still use. At that time I felt like doing this on my own. I gradually became interested in progressive and deep house.
When and which was your first production ever and now that you are listening to it, do you still feel satisfied with it or do you believe that you have done great progress and in which ways?
Some years ago I made a song for my wife, ”Happy new year, Laura”. I’m satisfied because I think that was the first step.
How long do you stay in your studio and does each session has as a result a great track, or you find that after hours of hard work, the track not good enough to be released and is this something that disappoints you?
I used to devote 3 or 4 hours a day at the computer. Nowadays it takes me less time. It depends on the work I have to do. I have learnt to cope with anxiety. When something goes wrong, I start over but I don’t get frustrated.
When addressing some of personal life’s experiences through your music do you find it emotionally difficult to re-listen once it has been released?
Once released, I love re-listening to each track, it brings the feeling back. As I listen, I feel the emotion that sparked the track in the first place.
When taking the first steps into the industry as an upcoming DJ and producer, many challenging hurdles present themselves along the way, which for an artist can be rather counter productive. Can you remember any of those challenging moments, and if so how did you combat them?
Covid lockdown has been a hard time. Some clubs are still closed, so there are fewer places to show my productions. I could do that online, of course, but nothing compares to the energy of a live show.
If you had to recommend one album for someone looking to get into electronic music, what would you give them?
I would recommend: Stimming – Alpe Lusia ; Katzen – Identidad (the album)
Are there any other activities you like doing except producing and listening music? Any favorite hobbies to pass your time?
I love spending time with my family, my wife, kids and extended family. I also have fun with friends and their families.
What does ”progressive” mean to you?
Progressive means a way of threading music mixes, so that the energy can flow naturally. Progressive is a style where deep harmony can coexist with groove’s melody and rhythm.
Tell us about your upcoming projects. Do you have anything exciting planned?
I would enjoy touring around Argentina, playing my music. I would also like to travel to Hungary and Serbia, I have friends there and I’d love to share beautiful moments with them.
I hope to keep creating music, I would like to add vocals and drumming.
In the future I would like to create my own record label, in order to launch my music and also my friends (whom I’ve been teaching production and DJing). This label would envolve deep house, progressive, down tempo and organic house.