Hernan Cattaneo on Love, Luck & Living For Music
From taking place only in the darkest corners, under tunnels and in abandoned warehouses, to being blasted into the spotlight of popularity with corporate sponsors and celebrity status DJs, electronic music has seen a dramatic evolution over the decades. While some of it may not have been for the best, the change in electronic music’s role in our culture means that music which has been created from a place of passion, and enjoyed by those who feel it in their soul, is now experienced by an ever-growing audience around the world. We can owe this expansion to those DJs who believed in it since the beginning, never giving up, leading it to where it is today through determination, persistence, and most of all: love.
While these pivotal DJs may not be seen as pop-star celebrities to the general public (thank goodness), there are those who have reached rock-star status among the underground. As a progressive force who changed not only the future of own country’s musical landscape but who continues to spread its influence to the rest of the world, Hernan Cattaneo’s leading role in the underground electronic music industry has been solidified in history. And it’s a legacy that keeps on going.
Known as “El Maestro”, there are few names repeated so often as the inspiration for DJs and Producers to start their own journey into music, especially for Argentinians. Considering that when he began there was barely a scene at all (“People wanted to hear the Rolling Stones in clubs.”) and now the country is known around the world as the best place for Progressive DJs to play, his impact on underground electronic music cannot be overstated. He hasn’t slowed down today, in fact he’s still continuing to make a difference in the industry not only through his influential label Sudbeat and highly respected Resident series (not to mention sold-out shows around the world) but his recent orchestral concert “Connected” at Buenos Aires’ renowned Teatro Colon brought a never before experienced respect to electronic music that proved just how beautiful it can be. While he never expected “to get to this level or to be a DJ at 54 years old traveling the world nonstop every weekend”, 2018 was one of his most successful years yet. It’s easy to believe that with his passion still driving him, and with a balance found between his family and his career, Hernan Cattaneo will continue to keep changing the future of electronic music in the years to come.
Before his sold-out show alongside Nick Warren at Treehouse Miami, and in between his two in-demand boat parties, it was a pleasure to be able to meet with Hernan to learn more about his life and to get his thoughts on the current state of the scene. Any nervousness for meeting someone of such stature was quickly dissolved through his warm, welcoming, and open energy. While you can easily create a long list of compliments about Hernan Cattaneo’s career, talent, and influence, behind it all is a kindness, authenticity, and humility that belies his accomplishments. I believe that the reason he resonates with so many is because of his spirit, and in speaking to him my admiration continued to grow for the thoughtfulness and honesty he expressed.
There is much we can learn from those who have led the journey through the underground, their stories can help us as we navigate the currents of today’s scene. I’m so grateful to be able to share the thoughts of one of those leaders, whose words can guide new generations into the future of electronic music.