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

Paula Cazenave & Marceline 2016
In 2016 Marcy Goes Wild talked to one of the ruling ladies of techno, the Spanish DJ/producer Paula Cazenave. "I’m gonna do this."

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image 2017 05 05 4 - Paula Cazenave (ESP): "I’m gonna do this"

Marcy Goes Wild talked to one of the ruling ladies of techno, the Spanish DJ/producer Paula Cazenave. "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.”


“Of course I was very nervous. At home I had selected some records, but I had not put together a complete track list, 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.”


“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 aka 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.”

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.”

image 2017 05 05 2 - Paula Cazenave (ESP): "I’m gonna do this"

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)


“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.”

More Paula Cazenave? Check out Marcy’s Memorable Meets

This interview with Paula Cazenave was originally published on on December 15th 2016

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