The global electronic scene has generated a generation of Artists with Identity, Alex Efe is in that nomination as DJ/Producer in constant growth. His musical influences within Rock, Synth Pop & Wave have led him to create a characteristic sound, in addition to transmitting in each session, his experience and musical knowledge of him, where the public appreciates and stands out. His music has been released on respected labels like Electronic Groove, Faraway Scope, Transensations Records, Melodic Beats, Droid 9, etc. with the support of important references such as Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, Sahar Z, Emi Galvan, Cream, Nishan Lee, Mariano Mellino, Ezequiel Arias, among others.
Surely, that passion that characterizes him will bring more opportunities, thanks to his eclectic and versatile style that allows him to venture into different soundscapes, with the freedom not to be framed in a single style, this is one of the main attributes of him as a DJ. He is currently on the FP Beats Agency artist roster alongside artists like Analog Jungs, Norman H, Gustin, Juan Pablo Torrez, Ewan Rill, Nishan Lee, Cream.
In his country, he is considered one of the main exponents of the Progressive House genre, participating in the main clubs and festivals. Currently he is co-owner with his friend and colleague Diego Berrondo of Clubbing MVD & Progressive House Uruguay.
Many DJs and producers reached for electronic music by listening to and being inspired by bands like Pink Floyd, Massive Attack, pop music from 80s and so on… If you had to recommend one album for someone looking to get into electronic music, what would you give them?
There are many albums that I would recommend, regardless of the musical genre, I am going to mention Global Underground, Renaissance Series, Northern Exposure, some that have marked and influenced my taste in electronic music.
Let’s take readers closer to your beginning. You were playing in various clubs cutting edge at the time with pseudonym ETHNIC and since 2005 you begin to appear as Alex Efe. Can you describe to us that period under your first pseudonym?
It was really my first pseudo, when I presented my first sessions in vinyl format. A beautiful time, where the dynamic of the DJ was very different from today. I grew up watching the decks and the cassette turn, which led me to awaken a restlessness that I managed to develop over time.
Nowadays, whenever I can get together with friends, I share not only the music of that time, but also appreciate the magic of turntables again. Many moments of communion and communication with the dance floor.
What was one of the main reasons to start a new musical journey as Alex Efe?
Actually I wanted to call myself by my name (Alejandro Figueroa) but the name was very long, and a great colleague from my country, Nicolás Silvano (Logiztik Sounds) suggested Alex Efe to me. Since then I have adopted it as my own and I do not regret it.
Which one do you prefer, DJing or being in the studio?
It’s a great question. Right now, and due to the global situation after the pandemic, I immersed myself in the studio, where I also managed to connect, study and learn from many DJs/Producers of all the world. In addition, together with my partner Diego Berrondo, we managed to capture several projects.
Being a DJ is a personal liberation, a way of transmitting information that we receive daily through music, but I must also admit that creating music for tracks is something that I like more and more.
Now I am at the crossroads of finding a balance, because my true essence is as a DJ, and I think many people like that part of me.
Technology, as it were is at it’s best in this decade. What are you favorite pieces of music equipment?
Personally, I believe that technology simplified many things for which we ventured into various formats. Personally, connecting the public with the dance floor, interacting and generating atmospheres and hypnotizing the public is the true essence of the artist (DJ).
What are some of the considerations that go into deciding which track to play next? What makes two tracks a good fit? How far do you tend to plan ahead during a set?
My sessions, if they are with time to be determined, it can be a planned idea, but in general I really like to do long sessions, where I can manage the imprint and I feel that I can capture or combine rhythms, since I define myself as a Versatile DJ within genres but always with a progressive trend.
What are your thoughts about remix work, do you enjoy putting your spin on other artists releases? How do you decide for which track you will do the remix?
Considering myself a versatile DJ, I try not to fall into structured models with sounds that define me. When it comes to remixing, I try to give it my touch but far from falling into the same demos, in short, innovating is always good.
The idea of remixing is always to listen to several previews of the project to see if it generates inspiration and good vibes. I think that to take on the project, that original idea condition must be given, or there must be some sounds that arouse my interest, ideas come at the time of working.
How would you define the job and describe the influence of the DJ? How are the experience and the music transformed through your work?
Much more committed than the general public assumes. I can offer my opinion from my humble place, where the priority was always music. Likewise, in other times it was a choice, a way of life and a passion, but perhaps being a DJ today is something very common and within the reach of many due to globalization.
In this sense, there is certain (in some cases and without offending) competition that is unfair. Where promotions, publicity and image play more than the expression itself. Likewise, and thank God, there is an educated and restless public that understands. Personally, it’s something cultural and some artists need to transmit that spirit to maintain something of the Underground.
Coming from Uruguay, tell us a little bit about electronic music scene there? How do you rate its overall place within a wider international electronic scene?
The scene in my country has grown virtuously in recent times, as well as new producer artists with recognition on the global scene. Although my country is facing one of the reference scenes such as Argentina, Progressive House is not the preferred genre.
In short, from our place together with Diego Berrondo as champions of the Uruguayan genre, and thanks to the impulse of new DJ/Producer emerging, little by little the genre is gaining ground with new proposals.
The music or sound that is categorized as “Progressive Music” has changed and grown in various ways. What do you think about this decade of “Progressive Music”, and also about next decade of it?
I hope that it is above all respected. I am more interested in the contribution you can make to the scene in my country. Be a motivator and an example for others. There is no specific time to be an artist, as the saying goes, the path is made by walking and I was lucky enough to go through several processes, evolution, sharing with others, which allows me to share my experience with the new generations in this aspect.
Honestly, I don’t like falling for music labels. Although the Genre has “changed” with other currents like Melodic Techno & Organic House, I personally prefer to select the music for its sounds. I believe that this is something that those of us who have been around for a while should transmit to develop in the new generations, so as not to be so structured. I share what Master Hernan Cattaneo said in an interview, ‘‘Progressive is more a way of passing music than a genre in itself.”
Over your ten years of experience on the electronic music scene, what has been the most memorable moment?
I really had many memorable moments, but I keep the power to connect and grow together with great colleagues. Thanks to technology, today we can work remotely, meet real artists and exchange experiences. That is a great treasure for me.
Specifically on memorable moments, my presentation with a great reference from Bedrock (One of my favorite labels) Sir Nick Muir, an inexplicable sensation was seeing a video of the edit made with Diego de, Guy J playing in Woodstock by Maestro Hernan Cattaneo, knowing to another great and influential artist like brother Ricky Ryan.
Do you have any unusual or interesting hobbies outside of music?
Luckily not, my life revolves around music.
What plans do you have for the rest of the year?
And more than plans, it would be a dream to be able to travel and present myself anywhere on the planet. Music gave me that opportunity in South America where I had the honor of exhibiting in Argentina, Chile and Paraguay. I hope I can make some dreams come true.