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Nicola Cruz is a producer, musician and DJ, born in France to a South American family. Currently he can be found living in Quito, Ecuador, in the heart of the Andes. His career began as a percussionist, and it was this same interest in rhythm that lead him to make forays into electronic music. In his music, Nicola seeks to express the passion he has for the mysteries of his land, with its diverse cultures, landscapes, rituals and sounds. It is because of this that his music radiates an intimate understanding of nature, from the lush organic quality of his sound, to the gentle resolve of his songs. From this musical connection between past and present, traditional and modern, an ongoing South American movement has arisen, exploring the local indigenous and Afro-cosmologies through a carefully crafted analogue sound.
The cornerstone of Nicola Cruz’s production is his debut album, ‘Prender el Alma’, released in October 2015 on ZZK Records. From atmospheric opener ‘Sanacion’, the 10-track album journeys through short, sharp acoustic guitar riffs on ‘Puente Roto’ and the percussive ‘La Mirada’, to the electronic ‘Prender el Alma’. Down-beat ‘Equinoccio’ gets a vocal kick from Ecuadorian singer Huaira, ending with the blissful, lo-fi ‘Cocha Runa’ featuring Tanya Sanchez. ‘Prender el Alma’ ebbs and flows through a range of production of local sounds, feeling like a digital awakening. The electronic scene has been waiting for someone like Nicola Cruz: to date the Ecuadorian has played some huge events such as Sonar (Argentina), Trópico (Mexico), BIME (Spain), Oslo World Music (Norway), Comunité (Mexico) and Boiler Room last January.
He has also opened for the Icelandic electronic duo Kiasmos in Barcelona and Madrid, opened for Nicolas Jaar at Bogota’s Estereo Picnic, and even taken his sound as far as South Korea where he played at Pistil Club. As for accolades, the adventure has just begun. Nicola’s tracks have been chosen for “Song of the Week” on the French radio station FIP, and on the influential American stations KEXP & KCRW, as well as his debut album featured among the 20 best electronic music albums of the year on THUMP (USA).
2016 is set to be even busier for Nicola Cruz: in April and May he will be on tour in Israel, Turkey, Portugal, Spain, Germany and France. After he will hit the summer festival circuit in the northern hemisphere, including a stop at Sonar Barcelona. In addition, in August he’ll debut ‘Prender el Alma’ on American soil. But the greatest musical challenge for the Ecuadorian lies in a new format for his show: in March he will play for the first time with a live band at a show in Quito. And if that’s not enough, later this year will see the release of an album with remixes from the likes of Chancha Via Circuito, Dengue Dengue Dengue and beGun among other international artists. The global conquest of Nicola Cruz is already in full swing.