Loöq Interviews DJ Huggie
Thee-O & Huggie's "Get High", out now on Loöq
Recently Loöq Records has been connecting with some talented Los Angeles house music artists, including DJ Thee-O, Steve Prior, and Josh Abrams. DJ Huggie, né Hector Merida, is another piece of gold we discovered in the City of Angels. Huggie answers a few of our questions ...
Loöq: You've been DJ'ing for awhile. Tell us how it was back in the day -- an old-school story.
I started DJ'ing back in 1986 and never looked back. It was so new and fresh for everyone. Hip Hop was my first love but man, house and techno took my soul to another level. One event I clearly remember was "Even Further" in 1996 by Drop Bass Network in Wisconsin. Til this day that event by far was one of the best experiences I ever had. Memorial Day Weekend, Friday May 24 – 27, in Eagle Cave, Wisconsin. Daft Punk played the main tent in the early morning hours on Saturday May 26. It was the first time that Daft Punk ever played in the states and even though it was rainy, muddy, I had slept in a car for 3 days, and I had food poisoning ... the event was off the hook. The energy from the crowd was electric. No one was standing, no one was sitting on the floor, EVERYONE was grooving to every single DJ that played that night. Not only did Daft Punk throw down a serious performance ... I got to play alongside legends like Frankie Bones, ESP Woody McBride, Scott Hardkiss, Apollo, Mixmaster Morris to name a few. It was to me, a huge honor to represent Los Angeles at that event during those days. It was an experience I will never forget.
Loöq: When did you get into producing, and why?
Huggie: Music to me is an outlet as well as an artform. Music has saved my sanity in more ways than one. DJ'ing was and still is a great passion of mine but the feeling I get after writing a song ... it's a surreal feeling. I love what I do and I am very grateful that people are digging my sound. I am still a novice compared to some of the great producers out there but taking my time and enjoying the ride.
Loöq: Anybody show you the ropes?
Huggie: Yes, right off the top of my head people like Jimmie "DJ Speedy" Gonzalez, my boys Dj Eyal, Dmitry and George from Entrancing Iris for the analog goodness and Jacob "DJ Thee-O" Ofilas, Christopher "Bitwise" Arnold and Richard "Merlyn" Martin for teaching me the ways of Logic. The change from PC to Mac was strange but Mac won my heart. I've had good teachers with a great deal of knowledge. Too many to mention!
Loöq: What producers do you admire?
Huggie: Little Louie Vega, Frankie Knuckles, Paul Johnson, Adam F, LTJ Bukem, SubFocus, BT, Funkagenda, Dr. Dre, Prince Paul, Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, Felix The Housecat, Kevin Yost, Josh Wink, Egyptian Lover, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Kenny Larkin, Fast Eddie, DJ Pierre, Dave Clarke, Kraftwerk, Derrick May, Laurent Garnier, Adam Beyer, Ritchie Hawtin, Stacey Pullen, Chris Liberator, Roy Davis Jr., Dj Muggs, DJ Premier, Angel Alanis, Carl Craig, DJ Speedy, DJ TheeO, George Clinton & Parliament, Erick Morillo, Harry "ChooChoo" Romero, Jose Nunez, Afrika Bambaataa, Mantronix, Pretty Tony, Francois K, Roger Sanchez, Neil Landstrum, John Tejada, Emmanuel Top, Halo Vargas, Santiago & Bushido, Aphex Twin, Afrojack, Todd Terry, Dj Pierre, Rob Nutek, Bitwise, Merlyn Martin, Mark Kane, Steve Lawler, Steve Angello, The House Moguls, Thomas Bangalter, Daft Punk, Lars Behrenroth, Miguel Migs, Sharam, Chris Liebing, Erphun, The Orb, Tyree Cooper, J. Boogie, Glenn Underground, Kerri Chandler, King Britt, Dennis Ferrer, John Aquaviva, Dubtribe Sound System, Miles Maeda, Green Velvet aka Cajmere, Gene Farris, DJ Sneak, Hardfloor, Sven Vath, Dj Shadow, Brian Eno, Shep Pettibone, Olav Basoski, Android Cartel, DJ Sneak, Boo Williams, D. Ramirez, Ramon Tapia... to name a few ;]
Loöq: Favorite piece of studio gear or software?
Huggie: I actually had a Roland TB 303 in perfect condition. Sadly, it burned with the rest of all my belongings in a fire in 2002. So now it's Logic.
Loöq: What track have you had the most fun remixing and why?
Huggie: Thee-O and Steve Prior's "Muy Bien" track. I have always loved that organic Tribal sound... had a good time working on the percussion for this remix.
Loöq: What do you look for when you take on a remix project?
Huggie: The vibe and challenge of the project. I can't see myself remixing a track I don't feel or connect with in a certain way. That is just me.
Loöq: Any gigs or projects coming up you'd like to tell the world about?
Right now I'm focusing on production whether it be my solo project, collaborations, remixing other artists, relaunching my website, launching my "House of Plaztek" podcast, I'm having fun and just seeing where the music takes me. I'm blessed to be doing this so right now I am enjoying the ride, learning new things and taking my time.