We had the good fortune of connecting with Luis Miranda and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Luis, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
First I would say the habit of thinking big and keeping my dreams and goals alive. It’s something that, besides setting your bar higher, will buy you a lottery ticket to your dreams. When do people ask me how I was able to release an EP with a top record label? The answer is easy: because I gave it a try and sent them my music, not once, but many times and I didn’t care about being rejected. Obviously, you have to have a minimum level of quality but my point here is about self-confidence and not being the person, yourself, who limits your possibilities. Visualizing and reevaluating my goals is something I do 2-3 times a year. I’m a visual thinker, so I use a combo of post-its or digital tools to write them down, consolidate them into smaller ones, classify them in order to define a plan in the form of to-do lists. At some point, I’ve realized that, intuitively, I was applying sort of a scrum methodology without knowing it. Collaborating and learning from others has been very fulfilling and inspiring, and an important habit while making new friends on the go. You can’t make it alone. And that’s connected to the last, but not least, habit: to practice karma and reinforce your empathy. I’ve always been thankful to the people that support me no matter how much and when. Not forgetting where I come from and the journey has helped me to be more empathetic to understand and be there for others.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others: One of the things that I think has defined my art the most is the symbiotic duality that rules my life – a mix of order and chaos, analytical and creative; I view the world with a lens of balance maybe because I’m a Libra. That’s also reflected in my professional life. By day I’m a strategist in the advertising and marketing world, by night I’m a DJ and music producer. Both sides complement and help each other and it’s been like that for quite a while. Artistically, that duality has translated into a wide range of influences and styles that have shaped my personal taste. I like to make my musical influences quite visible in my productions, that’s part of my creative personality and I’ve done quite a lot of that during the past year, especially with the electronic music I used to listen to in the early ’90s. Another element that defines my music comes from being a DJ before becoming a producer. That makes me focused on the dance floor most of the time when I produce. I imagine myself in a club and follow my instinct in order to judge the punch of a new track. My criteria is simple, if as DJ I would buy and play that track then it’s good to go. What you are most proud of or excited about: I’m proud and very thankful for my music producing career, wherein four years I’ve released music on some of my favorite international techno labels, and recently reached my first #1 on the Beatport Techno Releases chart with my EP “Sensation.” Seeing some of the top techno DJs I admire like Richie Hawtin, Sam Paganini, Amelie Lens, Kaiser Disco, and Jay Lumen among others, playing my music is an amazing feeling. I’m also super excited about all the music I’m cooking up right now and new EPs I’m going to release this year in labels like Analytic Trail. To be honest, I can’t wait to get back to playing in real life in clubs, warehouses, raves, festivals, etc., and feel that energy from the crowd. Hopefully soon. How did you get to where you are today professionally: My musical journey started the first time I went to a club when I was 13 (sorry mom!) and got hooked to acid house and the role of the DJ, while in parallel I was learning classical music and piano in Madrid’s Conservatory. Then the following years I played a lot as a DJ in Madrid, my hometown. I always continued playing but after college, I put my music career in second place, as a hobby for a while, during a time where I focused on building my career in advertising and marketing. Fast forward to four years ago here in LA, when I couldn’t resist the call of electronic music again, and I decided to quit my full-time job and become a freelancer so I could invest more time again into music – taking classes, watching tutorials, messing with Ableton, and learning from friends. Since then it’s been an amazing journey. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? The first one has been associated with time, as trying to keep up and grow two professional careers at the same time is time-consuming, but the freelance life helped to deal with that. The second big challenge for me has been not to fall into the paradox of choice. Nowadays we all have access to thousands of synthesizers, plugins, sounds, it is very easy to get lost in an endless loop of choices. Having clarity on what you want and locking in on a specific group of tools and sounds for each production has been key for me. I love solving problems, and I see creating a new song as a creative problem around expressing your emotions and feelings, and a joyful experience to turn inspiration into magic. What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way? 1) It’s a marathon. You have to enjoy the ride and not look for fast success. 2) There’s no “one way,” but rather “your way.” You have to listen, learn, steal, and use what works for you, without limiting your potential based on the industry standards or how others produce. 3) You need a support network. The techno world has brought into my life amazingly talented people that have inspired me and support me locally in LA, as well as globally. 4) It’s never too late to pursue your dreams. A lot of people told me I was crazy for quitting my job and starting music production when I was almost in my 40s. Forget about the societal stereotypes and just go for what you feel.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Saturday Start with enjoying art with a view at the Getty, grab some delicious tacos in Sonoratown, and head to do a picnic at Echo Park Lake. Get some bikes in Santa Monica to ride the beach, and enjoy the sunset in Marina Del Rey beach or on the rooftop of Erwin Hotel. Then go for dinner either on Calabra at the Proper Hotel rooftop or the charming terrace of Food Plant Wine in Venice. Finally, head out to DTLA to Pattern Bar for the first dances if you are into electronic music, or go for the unexpected at No Vacancy’s speakeasy. Sunday Start with a hike at Runyon Canyon, refuel with brunch at AOC, and head to the Griffith Observatory. Walk DTLA, the Grand Central Market, the Arts District and not to miss The Bradbury Building. Have an early dinner at Rosaline for tasty Peruvian food and piscos, and in pre-COVID times I would take them to finish the night with an intimate and underground magic show at Black Rabbit Rose Magic in Hollywood that comes with top cocktails. Another option I like is to go for a movie outdoors at Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First I would like to give a shoutout and say thank you to all the people that rejected me at some point, that said you are not good enough or you can’t because I couldn’t have made it without you all. You made me stronger, more driven, and better prepared. Without knowing, you opened many doors that led to my dreams. Apart from the rejectors, the biggest shoutout goes to my parents who always have supported me and made me appreciate the values that matter in life to make me the person I’m today.
Curro Chozas. Vinicio Chinchilla