Hernan Cattaneo, affectionately known as ‘El Maestro’ to his masses of fans across the globe, is not only one of the most celebrated DJs to come from Argentina, he is also regarded as one of the ‘good guys’ by all of his peers which only in turn makes people want to love him just that little but more.
Starting his career on a local radio station, Hernan’s rise to the top of the international DJ circuit all began with a residency at Clubland Pacha in Bueno’s Aires where he soon became a kind of messiah to the South American ravers.
It was through this residency that he earned the respect – and friendship – of some of the world’s best DJs such as Sasha, John Digweed, and perhaps the most momentous of all, Paul Oakenfold, who invited Hernan to join him on his world tour with Perfecto.
By 2000, Hernan was already a major player on the world club circuit and has now amassed more than 30 years of DJing. He runs his own label Sudbeat and along with his infamous weekly ‘Resident’ radio show, has attracted a global audience of monumental proportions. He has also been known to draw approximately 35k followers in a single live DJ stream during this pandemic which is both mind blowing and awe inspiring!
Hernan’s story is one of true love and passion for the music first and foremost. Couple that with his dedication to his craft, his ability to champion his own unique sound and his pledge to help the new comers of the scene highlight why he has been -and will continue to be – at the forefront of the progressive house scene.
'El Maestro' doing what he does best…
Full Name HERNAN ENRIQUE CATTANEO Nationality: ARGENTINA Labels: SUDBEAT
Current Releases: MANY Musical Mentors: FRANKIE KNUCKLES
G’day Hernan. Thank you so much for taking time out to have a chat with us all today. Where are you right now and how are you feeling?
Hello there, thanks for the interview. We are good here. I am at home with the family during this Covid pandemic, patiently waiting to go back to normal life.
Can you tell us what it was like growing up in Argentina and how you became involved with the electronic dance scene? Is it true you started DJ’ing after hearing a collection of Chicago house records featuring artists such as Frankie Knuckles and Inner City?
I had a really nice childhood, life back then was super easy-going in Argentina. It was all about school, music and friends.
I was already an amateur DJ before hering Chicago house, but hearing FK was like seeing the sum of all things i was only dreaming about - His music and his DJing was mindblowing to me and those first house music records made a huge impact on my musical taste and my life.
What music did you listen to growing up? And how do you think your early musical taste influences your music today?
They influenced me massively. I grew up listening to my sister’s records (mostly progressive rock) and my mother’s more soul & melodic taste so if you hear my sets now you can tell where all that comes from.
You won a residency with the infamous PACHA franchise in Buenos Aires in 1996 and then went onto secure yourself a ‘warm up’ residency with Paul Oakenfold on his world tour. That must have been quite a ‘moment’ for you! Can you tell us a little more about this and how it changed your career?
They were all massive moments for me.
Pacha was the first club where the DJs and music were at the centre of the night so it was a big push and my chance to share the booth with all the international DJs who used to play there. So in a way I had reached the pinnacle of Argentinian clubs.
From there Oakie then took me onto the international scene so of course that was an incredible opportunity.
I then moved to London and became a resident at Cream, Liverpool & Ibiza and started slowly earning a global status.
PACHA in Buenos Aires, Argentina
You have been doing your weekly radio show now since 2001, so 18years. That’s amazing! How important is the radio show to you and why?
Yes, the first show was called ‘Live from London’ then changed to ‘Resident’ but it's always been about playing new music from producers around the world.
It’s not a dj set. It’s a showcase of mostly new talent and some of the more established people.
I hear there is a whole wall in Palermo, Buenos Aires with your face on it! How did this happen? Ha….
The Hernan wall mural in Palermo, Buenos Aires.
An artist called @sebacener did it in Palermo, a trendy area in Buenos Aires and became a spot for fans to take pics - How cool is that?
A funny note. I once took my daughters to see it and the little one asked me how much i had to pay to have this done :) HAHA
You have recently done a remix for another progressive house superstar, Dave Seaman on Selador Recordings, a collaboration with DJ Paul who is also from Argentina. Can you tell our readers more about this and what we can expect? When is it being released?
I know Dave for many many years - I was already a fan when he came to record his Global Underground Buenos Aires CD and we instantly connected. He even taught me how to mix in key on a napkin one day at a bar in the city :)
We have also shared great times in Punta del Este, Uruguay talking about music and football all day with many friends including DJ Paul.
Fast forward 20 years, we are all still really good friends.
So a few months back, Dave & Paul got together to make a single honouring Marcelo Bielsa (the revered Leeds football coach) and asked me & Mariano Mellino to remix it, so of course we accepted instantly, since we both love Dave, Paul and Marcelo Bielsa! It is out now!!
The new Hernan remix of Dave Seaman and dj paul's "loco hermoso" on Selador Recordings.
What is the one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
There are too many to mention but I’m a big fan of Depeche Mode tracks and also tracks from Underworld for example - They always sound great if you drop them at the right moment.
You are renowned for not only your own legendary all night DJ sets but also your B2B’s with fellow progressive house legend, Nick Warren. How do you prepare for these sets? Do you have your set mapped out in your head? Or do you (you & Nick) just fly by the seat of your pants and see where the night takes you?
We never ever prepared anything. We dont even talk about music at dinner before the show. But we know each other, we like what we play and we trust each other a lot and i really think that’s why it works so well.
Best buddies and B2B favourites, Nick Warren and Hernan
The global pandemic has seen a necessary rise of the ‘virtual DJ set’ all over the internet. How do you feel about playing in front of a screen? Do you think that these live streams could be implemented in future as part of say a festival’s ‘package deal’ to attract people like myself, from the other side of the world, to join in? Or do you think everything will return to ‘normal’ once this nightmare is over?
I hope we go back to normal. I see these virtual DJ sets as a good tool right now but you can’t replace the people and the atmosphere in any way than the real way.
At any event, we the DJs, are only a part of the experience however the crowd is crucial.
Hernan playing the all mighty Campo Argentino de Polo in front of 18,000+ fans
Name three up&coming DJs/Producers you would recommend our readers to keep an eye out for?
Not so up & coming but I see consistent great work from Budakid, Subandrio and Mariano Mellino.
Away from music, how do you relax? What hobbies etc do you enjoy?
I spend tonnes of hours travelling so when I am at home I really just want to relax and enjoy the love of my family and the company of my friends. I love football too so I watch a lot that also.
Thinking of the future, what is coming up in the forthcoming months for you and your music? What can we expect from Sudbeat and Hernan? Anything you would like to let our readers know before we say goodbye?
Doing many remixes with different friends and a new single with Soundexile at the moment so expect to hear all of them in the near future + a stream or two here & there :)
Thank you so very much for your time Hernan.
I really appreciate it!
Thank you guys!
That concludes our Interview this month with Hernan Cattaneo.
For all up&coming news on what’s coming up for him on the music front please follow him below at:
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Our next Interview will be published on Friday the 6th of November at 7:30pm