For this Spanish DJ and producer UNER, music isn’t just about the sound – it’s about the magic. From turning his classical training into electronic beats and producing multisensory event experiences to creating his own record label, Solar Distance, UNER is all about chasing the unexpected. And that’s exactly what his custom Mixcloud x W Hotels track sounds like.
The ambient-turn-explosive beat, titled “Wonderland,” was created in the Sound Suite at W Barcelona and takes inspiration from the vibrant Spanish city and UNER’s performance at the Future Rising event. We went into the studio with the music-maven who turned it up in the Sound Suite and taught us how music magic is made.
How did you start making music?
UNER: My father was a music lover. I do not remember any moment of my life without background music in my house. From there, I started studying piano when I was 4 years old. 20 years later I had my musical career set with classical training. But in the middle of the road, my father gave me an album by an artist that I fell in love with: Jean Michel Jarre’s Magnetic Fields. I still have that record!! I discovered that there were different sounds that were still harmonically what I was studying.
So I started to play with synthesizers and learn different concepts. I studied some jazz guitar… and at the age of 15 I edited my first record. I then started to get to know some people from the industry and I had my first chance to play live in one of the most famous clubs in my country (I only did live sets, I did not start playing as a DJ until 2004). That’s how it all began and here I am still making noise, from the same room in my house where it all started.
Aside from drawing inspiration from this year’s Future Rising theme of Wonderland, what were some other things that inspired the creation of this Future Rising track? What is it about and what sort of feelings does it evoke?
U: The inspiration always comes from personal experiences, from moments of silence where you find that point of light that inspires you. This track comes from the inspiration of 2 different artists. Many hours of speaking, of all the trips around the world. We wanted to evoke that feeling of a world that is built with music and with love, of a fresh world where everything lives in harmony.
Can you walk us through the technical and creative process when laying down the track at the W Sound Suite?
U: The process has been something very natural: first, we focus on looking for a life motive. Looking for sensations through the melodies has always been what I liked the most. Then we work on the rhythm. We wanted something dynamic but without excess to be able to give the track all the possible emotionality and try to not to do just a simple dance track but a history with its own emotions. Once we had all these elements, we worked in two different versions until we created what is now the final track.
What are the next steps once you’ve nailed down the track?
U: The track has gone on sale in my own label, Solar Distance. But we have done it all in a special way: we also added the remixes of two artists involved in the project – Lower and Fernando Lagreca – and we made a release totally focused on raising funds for an association that helps children without resources through music called Bridges for Music. So all the benefits will go to them. If we want to change the world, we can not do it just with music, so we believe it is a good step to give a little bit of ourselves to help a cause.
How does your access to W’s Sound Suite contribute to your creative process and overall career as a musician?
U: W Sound Suite is an incredible space. Silence, a beautiful location, a space to work, and at the same time, you can find yourself and meet other artists. All these are elements that help inspire me both musically and personally, so I always welcome initiatives with these characteristics.
What is your favorite thing about W’s Sound Suite – especially with regards to fuelling inspiration and creativity?
U: The best, for me, is where it is located. Being able to leave the space to breathe fresh air right next to the beach, with all the sounds that surround such a place, being able to see the sun in contrast with the artificial lights of the studio, is something that helps with the tranquility and the feeling of positivity when composing.
How does Barcelona influence your work?
U: I have had amazing times in Barcelona before, but I’m from Lleida. It is a small city 136km from Barcelona and an amazing place to live because it’s quiet and that’s an amazing influence for me and my soul.
What are three things you can’t travel without?
U: Just 3?? Hahaha c’mon!!! My laptop with a small keyboard, water, and comfortable sneakers! BUT! I can change anything to travel with my girl 😀
If you could work with anyone, who would it be?
U: I always wanted to collaborate with Laurent Garnier and a few years ago I got the chance to work on a remix for him. That was a great milestone at a professional and personal level! Right now, if I had to choose someone to collaborate with it would probably not be a dance music artist, but rather an artist with a different vision than just the Top Charts of music sales. That’s how I have chosen the collaborations that will appear on my album.
I’m in a very intimate moment and right now, apart from the incredible collaborations that I have for the release of the album, which I am enjoying a lot, I need a time of solitary work to rediscover myself and with that, the other me that is coming out.