Paula Cazenave (ESP): “I’m gonna do this”

Paula Cazenave & Marceline 2016
In 2016 I spoke with one of the ruling ladies of techno, the Spanish DJ/producer Paula Cazenave. "I’m gonna do this."

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In 2016 I had a chat with one of the ruling ladies of techno, the Spanish DJ/producer Paula Cazenave about her first gig. "I’m gonna do this." 

“I don´t know exactly where my first gig was, but I do remember the first time I was paid for playing. I guess that’s my first professional gig. This was at the Ice Palace in San Sebastian, Spain. I was nineteen or twenty. The venue was a little bit surrealistic. All Saturday long, DJs were playing while the audience was ice-skating. I recall that I played mostly house and tech house tunes.”

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“Of course I was very nervous. At home I had selected some records, but I hadn’t put a complete track list together, obviously. Up until this day I don’t like to know in advance in which order I will play my tracks.”

Skating people

“The crowd was extremely diverse because there were skating people: complete families with kids were present, but also youngsters and friends of mine who had come especially to support me.”

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“I got my inspiration and support from many people in my career. Some of my friends in the beginning really pushed me to start DJing. Aside from that several DJs supplied me with tips to get better. One of them was Asier aka A.Professor a.k.a. Ariz, who’s my husband these days. We met in 1999 during a training to become a sound technician and we became friends. His technique behind the decks was amazing and I used to go to his apartment to practice on the decks and listen to techno.”

In love

“Unfortunately Asier was not present at my gig at the Ice Palace; only friends heard me play. He did often attend my gigs in night clubs and of course I wanted to impress him on those occasions. I was totally in love with him and at that point he didn’t even know it yet, haha.”

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High demands

“The gig at the Ice Palace went as most of my gigs in those days: I didn’t much like the result. I put pretty high demands on myself. The crowd enjoyed my set though. Of course I made some terrible mistakes. At that time my technique wasn’t very refined. So it was typical for me that not every track was mixed perfectly into the next one. But these were the 90’s, when another mentality ruled and we didn’t have the current amount of sources to learn from. We had to settle with practicing a lot at home.”

Party mode

“From that first time I learned to control my nerves a little better. My second paid gig was in a night club and I enjoyed it much more than in the first because we all were in a party mode, you know?” (laughs)

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“Leaving aside the first paid gig, I think my first important gig in front of a big audience was in Pagoa, a well-known big club near San Sebastian, where a lot of international techno-DJs used to play in these days, e.g. Oscar Mulero, James Ruskin, Surgeon and Marco Carola. The night before that gig I was very nervous. I was preparing all my vinyl and practiced a lot. I don’t think I slept well.”

‘I’m gonna do this’

“A few hours before I would step into the DJ-booth, I was still very anxious. Fortunately my friends were there to calm me down and support me. I put on my serious face and started playing – very concentrated, meanwhile thinking and repeating in my head: ‘I’m going to do this, I can’t make any mistakes now, I have to make this set perfect’. Looking back on it, I think the set was fine. Maybe I made a few little mistakes because I still was a little bit nervous, but nothing really terrible happened. Afterwards people came up and to me congratulated me. At that point I could let go and party the rest of the night with a satisfied feeling.”

“So these were my first steps on the path to become a professional DJ. Not very glamorous, but I was always doing what I love: playing music. Maybe that´s the reason why I am where I am today.”

This interview with Paula Cazenave is originally published on in December 2015.

Who is Paula Cazenave?

Paula Cazenave is one of the relevant female djs & producers in Spain. Paula Cazenave started her carrer in 1996. She has played in the most important venues and festivals of Spain and also in other countries like France, The Netherlands, Germany & Brazil. Her styles are Techno, Hard-Techno, Minimal & Tech-House.

As a producer Paula Cazenave has released tracks at labels like Patterns, Basics, Audio Family, Grind Records, Ignored Records and Virale. In 2009 she and her partner A.Professor released a bomb called Mamasei at Patterns label which had a lot of success in the techno scene and was in the top sales during that year.

Paula Casenave is the label owner of Grind Records which has the support from djs like Ben sims, Paul Mac, Dylan Drazen, The Advent, Cristian Varela, DJ Murphy and many others.

More Paula Cazenave?

Also check my Most Memorable Meet with Paula Cazenave. 

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