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In 2015 I interviewed the Spanish DJ/producer Manuel Garcia aka Uner about the start of his career in music. "My first gig was a total disaster."
“My first gig was at a party at my school in Spain. I have to admit: it was a total disaster.” (laughs). “My first paid gig was in a pub, in the Spanish province of Aragón. Now that was a party. In the end even the police even showed up.”
“I was only 16 years old when I played in that bar. I wasn’t simply nervous, I was extremely nervous! Then again, I still get nervous for every gig. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but definitely nervous.”
“The audience in Aragón existed of clubbers and many of my friends. That made it easier. We had prepared ourselves well, because it was a live-set. I played live up to the age of 24, when I had my first contact with vinyl.”
“As I already said, all my friends were present to support me. My parents always travelled along with me. My father would be the chauffeur and help me set up all of the equipment. A friend who played drums, had brought his whole family along. We were a supertroop. I remember that even my English teacher and her partner came to see my DJ-debut.” (laughs)
“I never had a mentor in dance music. I grew up in a city where electronic music was non-existent so the only person who fed me music was my father. From that point of view, he was the closest thing to a mentor that I ever had.”
“So, everyone who mattered to me was present at that first gig. This has always been the case. Already when I was five and performed at my first piano concert. My parents have always been a part of my career and always will be. Forever.”
“Did you just ask if, maybe among these friends, there was a girl I wanted to impress? Ooofff. Do we have to talk about girls? I used to be the shyest kid in the world and terrible in romance. Let’s not get into that.”
“That first school event was a disaster because the audience had no clue of what I was playing. We did have a lot of fun. The first paid gig ended up in a huge party, including everything you can imagine.”
“After that school gig I experienced mixed feelings. On one hand, I was happy to stand in front of a crowd for the first time. Happy that I could do a show by myself with my own music, composed by me. On the other hand, I was a little sad, because people didn’t understand me. At that point, I realized that I had a long and heavy road ahead of me. I did feel really fulfilled.”
“I still feel very pleased when I get on stage. So, at my second, third, fourth and all other times, I was and am mostly really happy. Because every gig is another step in the learning process.”
“In the end, the most important thing is that my parents were present and got to enjoy what we had been fighting for together. My mother still supports me in any way she can. Unfortunately, my father is no longer with us, he passed away. I am sure though, that he’s enjoying it together with us from wherever he is now. I know and feel it. So, it’s time to move on.”
This article is originally published on August 6th 2015 on DJMag.nl.