An Interview With NAP

Michael McKinney speaks to the electronic artist/DJ about aiming to challenge the dancers while playing a set, ensuring that his reissues come from a personal relationship with the music or artist,...
By    November 8, 2023

Image via Bernardo Illanez

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Michael McKinney understands the cultural importance of Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci.”

Daniel Rincon has lived in a hundred different worlds, and he has built a utopia in each of them. The Colombia-born artist—better known as NAP—would hear the sounds of cumbia and merengue floating through his house, but he was interested in rougher stuff: punk, hardcore, no wave. In his childhood, Rincon’s music teacher told his mother that he had an ear better fitted for field artillery than music; when he was a teenager, Rincon’s family moved to Vancouver, and there, he found a way to weaponize that ear. He started going to no wave shows, and he’d DJ parties with busted equipment. It was punk in sound, but more importantly, in practice. He surrounded himself with people who loved making art, and he threw himself deep into Vancouver’s DIY scene.

That focus on community has carried through his work now, even as his people have scattered across the globe and his rolodex has grown exponentially. In 2016, he founded Isla, a quietly essential electronic-music label that makes a point of unpredictability. Spend a few minutes exploring the label’s discography and you’ll get snapshots of the umpteen electronic-music scenes he’s dug into: wiggly trance and disorienting ambiance, brain-bending power electronics and off-kilter acid. The only thing binding them together is Rincon’s focus on collaboration and connection; the label is filled with close friends and peers finding ways to make new kinds of music together. (In this way, Isla recalls 3XL, a similarly insular record label operating at the fringes of ambient music, breakbeats, and mutant pop records.)

In 2022, Rincon moved back south. After moving down to Mexico City in 2022, he’s reconnected with the music of his childhood; he’s dug into the local soundsystem culture and started digging for USBs and CDs at local markets. Just as his music once was explicitly in conversation with the club scenes of Vancouver and Montréal, it is now in dialogue with Mexico City. If you hear him play out, you’re likely to hear him playing the cumbia and merengue records that he swore off as a teenager, folded in between oddball techno, left-field house, and all sorts of nigh-unclassifiable electronics. It’s tempting to slot his music alongside contemporary Latin electronic music—raptor house, reggaetón, digital cumbia—but he subverts any neat categorization. His music is simultaneously hyper-regional and pan-geographic; it piles up the sounds of Colombian boomboxes, Vancouver’s warehouse raves, and CDs pulled from Mexico City’s open-air markets.

Hours before a gig in Minneapolis, we had a chance to connect with Rincon, digging into his relationship to dancefloor utopianism, his roots in punk, how tries to complicate the image of Latin electronic music, how collaboration influences his work, and plenty more.

What’s some art that connected with you early on?

NAP: In the beginning, it was my parent’s CDs. I had moments with them by myself, outside of listening to music with them on car rides. I was listening to Simon & Garfunkel and Supertramp—grown-ups talking about lost love and longing. I hadn’t experienced that, but getting to feel that was some of the first experiences with total euphoria and nostalgia for something I knew I would love, and I knew it was part of a collective experience. Music became, in a lot of ways, a way to look to the past, present, and future; it’s a time-traveling vehicle.

I remember going to Disney World in ’95. It was the first time I went to the States—I’m from Colombia. It was New Year’s at Disney World, and I saw a DJ for the first time. I realized I was dancing and loving it, but I’d never been familiar with the experience of a DJ and continuous music. I was five years old. I think about the utopia of Disney World, and creating sacred spaces where you can truly let go and be a kid.

You’re talking about bridging timelines and dancefloor utopianism. Do you try to carry these things forward in what you do now?

NAP: Absolutely. The name for the label—Isla—was forged upon the idea of topography. Islands are these places that inhabit a culture that is very much their own. That’s what I’m trying to do with Isla: create a topography. It has mountains, and it has beaches, and it has caves. In doing that—in traversing time and space—the space is there to welcome everything.

I was born in ’89. We were the last generation to have had phones; to experience the internet coming through; to rent movies. All of these things were in between the analog and the digital. I look at that in the way I dig for music and look for connections: I’m interested in cross-generational dialogues. Growing up, I was always the young person hanging out with older people. The older people were always doing cool shit! I was very interested in where things come from. If I didn’t have that curiosity, I wouldn’t be here.

I’m really interested in bringing the past into a dialogue with now. That’s harder to do than putting out new records, but I think it’s important. I’m thinking of the eXquisite CORpsE record that we did, and the Off and Gone record that we did, and a tape we did for Jardín, an industrial group from Peru.

How do you try to resurface the past?

NAP: It’s more personal relationships that I have with music and people. For example, the eXquisite CORpsE record that we did is a record by Debbie Jones and Robbert Heynen. Heynen used to be part of Psychick Warriors ov Gaia, and Debbie Jones was one of the first DJs to play acid house in Vancouver. I used to work at record stores, and a guy would come in and tip me off on things. At the time, people weren’t really f*cking with eXquisite CORpsE. They’ve had a resurgence since then, and they’ve gotten the attention they deserve. When you feel like people should be paying more attention or listening to something, and you have the platform for it, why not?

To me, it’s weird to reissue something that I don’t have a relationship with. I grew up around the emergence of reissue culture. It’s a valiant effort, to try to bring light to things that have been dormant, but it has very fetishistic aspects, too: curation as a form of authorship. For me, reissues have to be informed by a personal relationship with the people or music. It’s not knocking on a door and saying, “Can I reissue this record?”

Before the eXquisite CORpsE record came to be, it was a show that I did with Robert. The relationship got to the point where he shared material with me: music that he’d recorded with Debbie before she died. That became the record. But it was never the record before the relationship, which I really enjoyed. Same thing for the Off and Gone record, which is a Phil Western project. Phil was an older person in Vancouver; he was around me when I started booking shows. He showed me this world that he used to be a part of. That record formed a lot of inspiration for a lot of people in Vancouver. For me, this need to put light on things comes from a grassroots approach to making connections and putting out music. People talk about this a lot in the underground: people have labels, and they don’t really take demos outside of people outside of their crew. It’s a tight circle, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, because I would find it impersonal. The label is probably the most personal thing I’ve done.

Isla has always struck me as a label with wildly disparate releases. Is that a product of relationships rather than a deliberate curatorial effort, or is it both?

NAP: I come from the punk scene. It’s really important for me to not be so in-your-face, or to have a rebellious attitude towards curation. Just because you have a problem with something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a part of it. Growing up in Vancouver, there was an amazing electronic-music scene in the 2010s. I was really into it, but I was always looking towards other things, and this was a vehicle for me to bring other things to the scene that I was a part of that wasn’t getting a lot of attention: maybe more experimental, harsher, and difficult music, but still with beats.

Can you give me some names?

NAP: Innocence, by Mass Marriage, is one of the first tapes on Isla. These are people that came from the noise scene and started making beats; it’s an OG power electronics tape. Same with Jardín—they’re a bit like the Esplendor Geométrico of Peru.

So, contextualize that with a D. Tiffany tape. That’s my best friend. She taught me a lot of things. I had a tape duplicator, and I made tapes to showcase things that weren’t huge in Vancouver. I would make 20-50 tapes, and that was it. It’s grown naturally since, but as far as curation goes—I want to work with my friends, but I want to make sure the curatorial aspect is about denying familiarity. I don’t want to just make trance records, and if I do a couple, I want to do something completely different. There’s just so much music, and there are so many friends making incredible things. For a couple years, I was doing a lot of progressive-trance records, and in the past year, it’s been a different type of sound: more bassy, more experimental.

I want people’s expectations to be amiss. I hope that people have a problem with the curation. Art and music, in my opinion, should take a challenging place in culture. In a lot of ways, the curatorial aspect of going everywhere stems from having personal relationships with the musicians, but also a desire to confuse and challenge myself. I started Isla in 2016 from a little studio with a tape duplicator that I bought from a church in Abbotsford. Now, it’s gotten to the point where I’ve helped with the distribution and production of records. Once you have more expectations, things can change before you realize it. I try to remind myself of where I came from, because otherwise, it’s very easy to forget.

Speaking of where you come from: You mentioned a punk background. Tell me about that.

NAP: I moved from Colombia when I was 14. When I was there, I was into punk, but I wasn’t part of a community. I wasn’t able to go to shows. It wasn’t around.

When I got to Vancouver, it felt like New York in the ’80s, with a lot of industrial spaces and venues off the beaten path. I was lucky enough to get there when there were spaces like The Emergency Room. That was a home to no wave; it was like what was happening in New York at that time. Liars, and Wolf Eyes, and The Locust: this kind of post-hardcore, post-no-wave sound, which was very DIY, and very punk. It was in between many things.

I met a lot of my friends there. I went to my first shows there. I did drugs for the first time there. It was all done by this guy, Justin Gradin, who was in my favorite band, Mutators. All these people taught us younger folks that it was important to put your shit on, and to not expect people to put it on for you. I realized I didn’t need to be trained to make music. I was always told that I couldn’t make music because I have the ear of an artillery person. In music classes in Colombia, my music teacher told my mom that I shouldn’t be in music class because I don’t have a good ear, and that really f*cked with me. I didn’t allow myself to make music until my late teen years. Noise and punk were, like, “I have a shitty ear, so I’m gonna make the shittiest sound.”

That ethos has always surrounded what I do. Utopia might be impossible, but vestiges of it are not. You’re talking about class and privilege, in a lot of ways. That’s something I’m super thankful for: how my life would be if I wasn’t a Colombian immigrant going to Canada, where there were a lot of resources. In Latin America, that’s not possible, because there’s so much pressure to have a little bit. If you have a hard time getting a job and making ends meet, you don’t have time to make art. I was lucky to be in Canada and have the resources from people who said, “Making art is normal.” I come from a background of non-artists. It was an uphill battle to be able to do that, and to make my family realize it was important to me.

When did they realize that?

NAP: A couple of years ago. The difficult thing, from an immigrant standpoint, is that your parents worked really hard to uproot and go somewhere. They have expectations of you: to get a job, to go to university. There was a diametric opposition between that and what it is to be an artist. I’ve finally been able to show my family I can do this, because I’ve invested enough time. It’s starting to show itself as sustainable. There’s this romantic idea that you don’t have any support when you’re an artist, but it doesn’t have to be like that. I don’t mean you’re going to be rich, but you can create an ecosystem and put a roof over your head; you can make it work.

That goes back to DIY culture and the punk ethos. In the 2010s, when 1080p and L.I.E.S. were happening, a lot of people who came from bands started making music with hardware. I used to run a lot of DIY spaces. You’d have a punk show, and then there’d be a party. I’m thankful to have come up from that.

I played Nowadays yesterday—another milestone. It’s incredible: the soundsystem, the vibe, the attention. That’s a serious club, but those are far and few between. I always think about those moments when we were setting up shitty gear and doing a party with that.

Were those hardcore shows and parties your first introduction to the culture?

NAP: Definitely. In the 2010s, Vancouver was super into that in-betweenness. They’d play records, but they’d play rock, and they’d play house. It was a super open criss-crossing of different vibes. I started DJing right out of high school, in 2009-2010. I was playing in bands. I used to do indie pop nights; I’d do C86 nights at a tiki bar. I didn’t learn how to beat-match until I was 27. I was playing records and DJing, but it was a selector kind of thing. It was about sharing music with people who were down to listen.

How did you find your way towards booking and curation?

NAP: This was all happening simultaneously. I worked at a record store, and I helped run a DIY spot; I curated and played there. Some people started some really special clubs in Vancouver. There was a place called the Waldorf Hotel, which was started by a couple guys with capital and good taste, and they saw potential in the scene. I started doing the bookings there, and it was incredible. We brought Faust. We brought Sonic Boom, from Spacemen 3. We brought lots of OG Detroit people to Vancouver for the first time. Those kinds of shows were the moments where lots of people were put onto these sounds. It’s the first time a lot of us heard someone from Detroit playing records.

That was short-lived, because Vancouver’s a small city, and we were doing things that were bookings for a city like New York or LA. I lasted there a bit, but, eventually, I lost my job, because I was doing things that were way too weird for that spot. But it gave me a knack for working within a bigger system: How do you book a real artist? How do you make papers for someone to come through the border? The underground is a very safe space, and it’s easy for people to stay there and see everything outside as a threat.

After that, another group of people started a space called Deep Blue—one of the most important spaces for underground music in Vancouver, I would say. They don’t do shows anymore, but it’s basically a congregation of student’s spaces with a venue space in the middle. This space was sacred. So many cool shows happened there. I had the first Isla release party there. They hosted William Basinski for two nights; they hosted Vladimir Ivkovic; Aurora Halal and PLO Man played there. These people came through to play because they wanted to play the place. It gained recognition as a place with incredible sound, a great vibe, and a really present crowd.

It was beautiful to be a part of that. I grew Isla out of that. All my homies were there: Big Zen; Regularfantasy; D. Tiffany; PLO Man; Yu Su; Scott Daly. All these people were in this space around the same time; we were all forging our paths. Everyone was teaching each other, and studio doors were always open. The weekend would come, and there would be an amazing show. You’d meet other people, and you’d put people on to cool shit. That was really special.

I left Vancouver in 2018 to go to Montréal. I said, “Do I want to stay in a place where I’ll never be able to buy a house?” It was tough to leave, because I had the most amazing community. When you’re younger, you feel like these things are going to last forever, but they’re porous. I’m lucky to have been a part of that. By that same token, Montréal has so much happening, and it has a really DIY ethos. That was the second chapter in my Canadian experience. By the time I got there, I’d put out some records, and people knew what I was doing. RAMZi, Ex-Terrestrial and Priori were doing their thing. D. Tiffany and I moved to Montréal around the same time, and that was a really cool connection; we were always a bit separated on the other coast. This brought everyone together.

You’re in Mexico City now. At this point, do you feel deeply tied to any particular scene?

NAP: Not really. I’ve been living in Mexico for the past year and a half. It’s been an incredible experience, and it’s been a bit of an ego death. I’ve gotten to meet a new scene. It’s made me feel alive and curious again; it’s helped me get out of my comfort zone. Being an immigrant and having moved to Canada when I was in my teens, one of the things that inspired me was feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere. I was always in between. That can be confusing, but it can be really inspiring. You’re creating an island out of all these different identities, but you suffer a bit of discombobulation. It’s really important to have a base, and to feel like you’re part of something. I’ve been able to be part of a community in Mexico City. But it’s different. I’m older now.

You’re not the youngest one in the room.

NAP: Exactly. Being in Mexico City has led me full circle. As an immigrant, and as a teenager, you want to assimilate. You want to connect with your surroundings. You renounce your roots in order to connect with your immediate space. I got into punk and electronic music, and I renounced the music my parents grew up with. It wasn’t a matter of saying, “F*ck my roots”; it was a way of connecting with another culture. As I’ve started getting deeper into music, I’ve realized the richness of Latin American music.

The past four years—and especially Black Lives Matter—have made me look at the histories of music. I realized that where I’m from is the genesis of the enslaved beat. The music of my people is the music of African people being forced into a space where they couldn’t communicate with words. They communicated with music. That touched my soul. I realized I was looking at things in a minute and immediate way. Being in Mexico has connected me with my roots. Cumbia was huge in Colombia, and then it was forgotten. Now, Mexico has taken it and given it new life. That’s where the futuristic cumbia is happening: digital cumbia, cumbiatón, chopped and screwed cumbia. It’s been a reconnection with my roots. I realized I am Colombian more than I am Canadian, and that’s been really beautiful. I thought I’d have to make a choice.

Now that I’m in Mexico, I’m working with a lot of Latin Americans. I’m very excited about that. I have a new label with Phran, a friend of mine, called ACA. It’s dedicated to Latin American electronic music. Our first record is the first vinyl record from DJ Babatr: it’s music from the neighborhoods of Caracas. It’s important for Latin American people to be putting each other on, rather than having a European or American label do it.

I say this with love, but when I think about the records that I’ve done previously, it’s a lot of records with Canadians and Americans. Since moving to Mexico, I’ve met so many people who have renounced the idea of getting outside Mexico, because they think nobody’s going to pay attention. That’s not true, but I understand it. These places have had so much colonial violence. You don’t expect anything other than staying there. If you have resources, though, why not share them? To me, that’s having a label, and being able to produce vinyl, and understanding that process.

Do you consider what you do now to be club music?

NAP: In the past year or year-and-a-half, I’ve started to think more about the club, which is new for my thought process: What is functional towards a club track? How do I keep things from being too busy? Making electronic music, for me, was an anti-club [thing]. It would have a four-four, but it would be trippy and hard to play. But, now, I’m interested in reducing things. I’m interested in transcending on the dancefloor. You can make something that’s weird and experimental, but it can also still work in the club.

You can play anything in the club! I think that’s a reflection of how I play music; I never want to lock into one vibe. When I played Nowadays yesterday—there’s an expectation of what kind of music you’re supposed to hear at institutions like that. It was very inspiring to take the chance to play what I usually do: merengue and cumbia. People reacted well to it! Club music tends to be an idea rather than experience.

When you’re DJing and you put on a merengue record, are you consciously saying, “Let’s see what buttons we can push?” Are you trying to throw monkey wrenches, or are you just trying to say, “This is what’s important to me?”

NAP: I respect the chance that I get to play music for someone when they’re having a weekend. I love dancing, and I love to be challenged when I’m dancing. But part of being able to play more difficult music, and introducing people to something, is grabbing them, perhaps with things that are more open-ended. And, then, you start throwing some fun monkey wrenches, because you want to get loose, too.

It’s also the way that you mix things. One thing I’ve been working towards is finessing the way that is brought forth: bringing a salsa or merengue track in with a techno track, or teasing things. Looping and chopping in a way that brings about a seamless trajectory is really important to me, because you want people to move. The biggest surprise is when something that’s really weird is perfectly mixed with what’s expected. That’s the space I want to create when I’m playing more difficult things.

Is that what you’re looking for when you’re dancing as well?

NAP: Absolutely. I want to have those “What the f*ck?” moments. You had those at Sustain[-Release] the whole week, where I was like, “What the f*ck is this?” I’m a DJ, but I’m a dancer first. It always starts there, and it finishes there. I make music, and I DJ, because I started dancing.

Are you mixing on CDJs?

NAP: Yeah. The weekend shows tend to be a digital affair; it’s a dance-forward thing. But I love playing records. I’ve been carrying this box of 7″ records with me. It’s a concept for a set: connecting the dots between Jamaican soundsystem music and cumbia, which is informed by that. I want to take time in between clubs and parties to do something more conceptual and dear to me.

Does the format you’re playing impact how you play?

NAP: Not just that: it’s the type of music and how it’s mixed, as well. Especially in sonidero and cumbia culture, you don’t mix things too long. It’s kind of like disco mixing. It’s cool—you can f*ck with that, and it has its own funky attitude. I really appreciated being in Mexico; I’d go to soundsystem parties and get to understand the pace of a set. You’d hear tropical music for an hour, and then they’ll play high-energy disco and pop for 15 minutes to cleanse the palate. The digging, for me, has been informed by that. I’ll play an hour of cumbia, and then I’ll put the Carpenters or Donna Summer on. After that, I’ll put some stepper dub to add to the conversation. In that sense, it’s maybe thinking less about the way the records are being mixed, and more about the way the story’s being told.

You do that with club music, too, but you’re managing BPM, and you have to keep the dancefloor hyped. When I can play a more intimate setting—when I play salsa, merengue, cumbia, or dub—I love that. You start thinking less about the BPM and mixing. The 7″ has been a really cool way to reconnect with records. For a while, I lost the digger’s delight, and 7″s, especially in Mexico, really inspired me. The 7″ is a 45 that you can play at 33. That’s how you play rebajada. You can only do that if you get the 7″. The format lends itself to be a way of playing the type of music that you couldn’t do digitally. You start drawing parallels between different slowed-down music: new beat; rebajada; chopped and screwed.

Talk to me about your approach to collaborations. Can you speak to where those come from?

NAP: Collaboration is super important to me. Electronic music was a way for me to keep an aspect of what I loved about being in bands with people. I didn’t want to learn the songs and play them over and over again. It’s about collective synergy where you forget your own consciousness to build something bigger. That sounds super trippy, but it’s true. When you’re collaborating with someone—a dear friend, someone you love—there’s an intimacy to it.

It’s forged, and fed, my deepest friendships. Ambien Baby is an example of that: that’s a project with my best friend. I’ve known her since I was 17. At times, it’s a vehicle to keep friendships alive. We don’t live in the same country, but Ambien Baby is a reason for us to keep meeting up, and sharing, and growing. It’s the same thing for SINNAZ, with SIM. He came into my life in the past few years, and I have respect and love for him. We met up to collaborate before we were even friends.

There’s a project that’s going to be coming out soon with Priori. I love talking about ideas before making things: “What’s inspiring us? What haven’t we heard yet?” In the case of this project, we said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to make a doom metal album with reggaetón?” You know Priori’s sound, but you’ve never heard him like this. We took solace in that. When you have collaborations, it’s easy for each person to do what they do best, but it’s cooler when you go at it from a point of insolence.

It seems you’re cognizant of how your work speaks to itself. How do you consider history, genre, and sonic traditions in your work?

NAP: If I’m making music, I need to know the history. It’s important for me to study the history of things that I’m a part of. It’s an innate curiosity. This is very old-man, but there seems to be a fallacy in the digital age: we can access more content, but things are more closed off than we think. Your day-to-day web surfing puts you down a path where you think the content around you is open, but it’s very narrow. It’s curated while making you think you’re able to access everything.

That’s why I love digging for records outside of digital spaces. In Mexico, I’ll go to soundsystem parties on Sundays; I’ll go to markets and buy CDs and USBs. This music isn’t readily available on the Internet; it’s a direct experience with the history you’re a part of. For me, being in Mexico has deepened the way I interact with Latin music.

Take Tepito, for example. Since the 16th century, it has held the most important market in the Tenochtitlan empire. It was one of the reasons why the Spanish decided to take over that region: they’d never seen a market like that. That market still holds that importance. It’s culturally relevant, and it’s creating new music, but it’s also where the strongest cartel is. It’s synonymous with warrior culture: a culture which goes against the grain, against colonization and appropriation. Hearing the music that people are doing, and going to the parties, and the markets, feels really special.

Right now, I’m working on a collaboration with Mexican musicians. These Mexicans were influenced by Colombian music. In Mexico, they call Colombia “La Colombia.” They’re obsessed with a version of Colombian culture. They’ve created something of their own: their own haircuts, their own style of music. They use a Colombian flag, but it’s something else. I didn’t want to experience that from afar. I had to go there.

It must have been surreal to go there and see a version of Colombian culture being celebrated.

NAP: Absolutely. That “antiquated” music is actually quite futuristic. It’s being engaged with in new ways and given a new life. Think about hip-hop, and about marginalized cultures creating cutting-edge culture. We make it so difficult for certain communities to survive, but it’s from that survival where the most interesting voices emerge. It’s not martyrdom, exactly. It’s these communities putting their experiences into music. Then, it transcends that community. It’s so human, and it’s so beautiful. Getting to experience that is one of the things that keeps me engaged with music. It’s folklore getting put into the context of your daily life.

You hit on something that’s really special to me: folk music as a concept rather than a sound. It’s that idea of contextualizing folk music not as a genre, but as a collection of histories.

NAP: If you look at the top 100 in Billboard right now, the top songs are corrido tumbado, which is a new Mexican folk music. I’ve never heard anything like it. It’s using polka elements with regional Mexican music and rap. It’s a cross-section of the music that your parents grew up listening to and what that you grew up liking. It’s these disparate things that make sense together. That, to me, is folk music. Take Peso Pluma. Here’s a kid who’s a rock-and-roll star, and he’s playing hip-hop and mariachi music. There’s a lot of experimental stuff in it; it’s avant-garde as f*ck!

There’s a part of me that wonders if you’ve found your way back to the music you rebelled from.

NAP: It’s become the tool to rebel against what I’m a part of now. When I was in Vancouver and Montreal, I started getting into playing Latin music. But I was one of the few people doing that. I feel like there’s a bit of tokenism: “Play reggaetón and Latin music!” There’s not many Latin people in Vancouver and Montréal. That’s since changed, and Latin electronic music is the hardest shit. But there’s room to grow. The people who get those platforms are Latin, but they live in the States. The people who also deserve that, who are in South America—the market overlooks them. It’s very important for me, right now, to be in Mexico because of that. It’s not that I have a responsibility to be there and make Latin music, but it makes it so much richer. I feel like art should always be created from a lived experience rather than a dreamt one.

What is your relationship to the dialogue around Latin electronic music? If you bring it up Stateside, you’re likely thinking about the—very cool—stuff happening in Miami, but there’s a risk of it getting flattened. What’s your relationship to it on a conceptual level?

NAP: I think we need pinpoints in order to make sense of trends. The attention goes to them, but I think that can cannibalize things. Too much attention on something starves the attention from other things. At the end of the day, I’d rather there be attention on this than not at all. But there are some incredible musicians in Mexico, too, making the coolest stuff. Why aren’t people writing about that?

Hopefully, I’ll be able to put a little more attention towards that. I wonder if the Miami sound would get the attention it was getting if it was in Colombia. The European market, the ruling electronic-music economy, tends to look at things that are also Western. If you like Latin music, and you like the Miami scene, you should be looking towards other scenes, too. Curiosity should take you there.

What’s something you recently came to realize about yourself?

NAP: I recently realized I was a bit scared about what it meant to fully do music. That came from my upbringing: the worth in living a life was in having a house and a job, and music couldn’t provide me with that. I was scared that, if I dedicated myself to it fully, it would deny myself from my parents’, or partners’, acceptance. That’s certainly not the case. This past year has been really tough, but it’s been enlightening. I’ve given myself fully to the thing I’m doing, because if I don’t, I’m never gonna do it. I’ve found myself thinking: “Am I doing a disservice to myself and the art that I’m trying to put on if I’m not fully giving myself to it?” Whether that’s a year, or the next couple years, or the rest of my life, I need to do that.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

NAP: I’ll be touring a lot, and I’ll be concentrating on my life in Mexico. I’ll work on settling down and having a home, because I miss that. I haven’t really had a home in two years. I’ve been living out of a bag. I like being all over the place, and I think it came out of being unable to travel for a long time. But I’ve spread my wings, and now, I’ve realized I need a home. That’s what’s next.

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