Originally hailing from Manila, Philippines and now firmly rooted in San Francisco, MARTIN AQUINO is an exciting name on the scene who is making waves with his underground, deep tech-house sound. By the age of 17, Martin was regularly playing at renowned venues within the cities of Makati and Manila.Martin soon found himself traveling back-and-forth between Manila and San Francisco. It was on the US west coast that he became familiar and fascinated with the bay area’s brand of deep house. Martin’s sound evolved to include this influence which he brought back to the Philippines through his in-demand DJ sets. Soon Martin made the plunge and relocated to San Francisco where he could play, produce, and thrive in the heart of its world famous dance music scene.Martin’s obsession with the music and his sound naturally led to music production. Since2011, he’s already recorded well-received singles for labels like Resopal Schallware, One Records, District Raw, Surface and Akbal Music.
Martin, how did you get into DJing and Producing?
MQ: The mobile DJ crew at my high school dances intrigued me, so I would hang-out at the booth than mingle with girls my age at that time. Also, when I was 15, my cousins would take me with them to the clubs (there’s no age limit in the Philippines unlike US), so I say that was one of my first encounters to electronic music.
As far as producing, I wish I started a bit earlier. I’m still new at this and got into it 3 ½ years ago. After years of playing music, I just felt it’s about time to express my sound that I want to put out.
Tell us about your sound?
MQ: The sound I aim for is raw, deep, and hypnotic that is useful for the dance floor.
What labels do you work with? What criteria do you set up when shopping labels?
MQ: Let’s say I try to work with labels that put out good underground sound. I also want labels that have a solid roster of artists and marketing platform.
What's your inspiration?
MQ: It always depends on the mood when I start to create a track and I just let it flow. And I will tell you this; I have to have my wine or whiskey beside me. That creates my inspiration.
Talking about producing process, what gears and softwares do you use?
MQ: Logic all the way. I never opened Ableton. In fact, I deleted it on my drive. I don’t really have much big gears, but I’m keen on virtual instruments. I know the sound it’s not as warm as an actual gear, but it works with my process at the moment. Arturia and U-He are my jams.
Do you prefer to work alone or to collaborate with other artists?
MQ: I prefer to work alone because I have my own methods. If I collaborate, I have to know the artist personally and there should be chemistry, so we can both have fun in the studio.
Producers you currently appreciate?
MQ: There are a lot of talents out there that I really follow and support. On top of my head are SIMON GARCIA (his style is just flawless; a master of his own sound), PATLAC, Gorje Hewek & Izhevski (These guys are creating waves), MARIO AUREO, and Enzo Siragusa (that raw sound and style).
What are your future plans, tours and releases?
MQ: Definitely need to dedicate more time to sit down in the studio and work on more music. Nothing planned as other work is taking a lot of my time, but I look forward to visiting parts of Europe again later this year.
As far as upcoming releases, so far a single and my collaboration with SANTIAGO LOPEZ on Faceless (label of Climbers and Silky), EP (vinyl) on Unike Muzik, and Highgrade Germany.
Your most memorable event you played at?
MQ: On top of my head, my last visit to Madrid was very memorable. Shout out to the crew at Colt. A 4-hour set to close the venue, it was just amazing.
What advice would you give to upcoming DJ/Producers?
MQ: I’m in no place to give an advice, because everyday I learn new things myself. All I can say is be true to yourself. Don’t forget why we are in this business, it’s all for the love of HOUSE!