We had a chat with Portuguese electro house DJ KURA, who is currently ranked #40 in DJMag’s Top 100 DJs list, on the recent release of his big room bass house single ‘Rave’, his pre-show preparations and rituals, and eagerness to get back on stage for fans.
Released on Nicky Romero’s Protocol Recordings last week (July 3), KURA’s new nostalgic single draws upon both bouncy, big room house and electro house sounds from the early 2010s. EDM fans will definitely enjoy this old-school, throwback that slaps as KURA weaves in strong basslines with energetic melodies that will definitely put your living room and/or bedroom floor on fire as you start your party-ready weekend.
‘Rave’ marks KURA’s first single release on the label following his remix of John Christian’s 2014 track, ‘Next Level’. He track collaborations with big name DJs such as Hardwell, Laidback Luke and Tony Junior have enjoyed millions of streams on Spotify, and with his focus on more independent tracks, we cannot wait what he has has in store for us during this crazy year of global quarantine!
AL365: Hey KURA, thanks for taking time to chat with us. How have you been doing during quarantine? What have you been doing with all the extra time at home?
KURA: Thank you for having me! During this quarantine, I’ve been making a lot of new music, gaming, working out, watching Netflix, just enjoying a little bit of quality time with my very, very close family. This is pretty much it, taking some time off, keeping productive, but also just enjoying life in general.
AL365: We heard that there will be a release coming up called ‘Rave’. Can you tell us a bit about how that track came together?
KURA: The track came together because I wanted to make something that reminded me a little bit of that old school sound, but with the new and polished sounds that we have now. Also to make something we can produce now in terms of sound quality and sound design, but to catch the older vibe with the fresh sounds. This is the idea and ‘Rave’ is a pretty straightforward track that is mainly focused on the drop. It’s very straightforward and I’m really, really happy about it.
AL365: Were you nervous putting out a new track and wondering how it would be received?
KURA: Sure, I’m always nervous about that. It’s because you post a preview here and there, but you don’t really know the actual outcome of the track or people’s perception about it, so I’m very nervous and even curious. That’s what’s fun about it, actually.
AL365: You have played at some of the world’s biggest festivals like Ultra, Tomorrowland, ADE, etc. So how do you plan what you’re going to play in each set that you do?
KURA: Normally when I play these bigger stages or even ADE (which is normally small clubs because everybody plays a lot of shows), but the thing with big festivals is that I’m playing a lot of new music, giving people something that they don’t expect, and at the same time creating something solid as a DJ set and as a performance, to surprise the people that go there and watch you. It has to be a special moment, so I make sure I bring a lot of new music, new mash ups, not only from me, but also from my peers, my colleagues, my DJ friends; I always try to gather a lot of crazy and new stuff for the crowd.
AL365: Do you have any traditions or rituals before your performance?
KURA: Actually I do, I always wear a ring that I normally don’t wear, but prior to the DJ set I put it on my hand. Before I go on stage, I take if off and I give it to my tour manager. Also, I have to go with a certain pair of shoes, a certain type of underwear, my wallet has to be on my right side pocket, then I have to take it out and give it to my tour manager too. So, it’s like a big ritual… Yeah! (laughs) It’s a thing. I’m a very superstitious person, so…
AL365: Recently you played a special set for Minecraft Festival, what was it like performing for thousands of people who were not in front of you?
KURA: It’s crazy times, man! We have to adapt, we have to look at new avenues to showcase what we do and to reinvent what we’ve been doing for the past years. Playing for Minecraft Festival was a fun experience, specially because I’m also a gamer and it was pretty funny to see the different types of interactions you can have with music, which basically connects everybody.
AL365: What’s the craziest thing you put on your rider that they’ve fulfilled for you?
KURA: Actually I’ve never asked for anything really crazy… Back in the day we had like a PS4 on our the rider and when most of the promoters asked us if we really needed the PS4 we always said “Oh, no, don’t worry about it”. One time we went to a festival, I think it was Wakelake Festival [July 2017], and we arrived last minute because we had to catch a private jet since we were coming from Ultra. So, when we arrived at the venue, we had the PS4 set up with FIFA and everything and we just played for like one minute, because we were so tired and just wanted to get on stage and play. It was funny, it was the craziest thing I ever asked because we ask for the usual food and drinks, you know? Red Bull, water, basic stuff, nothing fancy.
AL365: What are some of your passions outside of music? Do you still have the time and energy to pursue them?
KURA: I like to work out a lot, I love to go to the gym, I love to play football, I love to game, I love to play FPS games. I have time for everything. I love cars too. I’m a big, big car enthusiast, so these are my passions outside of making music, playing and traveling.
AL365: What are you looking forward to for the rest of this year?
KURA: I’m just looking forward for this year to resolve itself and that we can quickly move on to the next one because this year was crazy. I mean we don’t even have to talk much about it, it was just the craziest thing ever, so I just want to jump on to the next one. 2021 is going to be great for everybody, and we’re going to try to forget this one. But, for a lot of people, we should take 2020 as a lesson too, me included. So, yeah, I just want to move on to positive stuff.
AL365: Once the COVID-19 situation finally gets better and we are all out of quarantine, where do you want to be and why?
KURA: I just want to be on stage. I don’t care where it is, if it is in Portugal, if it is in Turkey, if it is in Thailand, if it is in China. I just want to be on stage, I don’t even care (laughs). I’m not picky. I just want to go out there, play and entertain people, because that’s what I’m all about: making people happy, sharing and creating memories. Thank you!