A party-starting mix from the UK-Colombian producer
Florentino’s club tracks merge the heavy basslines of UK sound system culture with the rhythms of Latin-American dance music. But his new EP, Fragmentos, sees the UK-Colombian artist take things in a slightly more introspective direction. There are still his distinctive bass injections and swinging rhythms (as well as his unmistakable “Dee-jay Florentino” drops), but it’s underscored by a certain sense of heartache and longing – a dose of melancholy amidst the melodies.
Arriving via Mixpak (home to artists like Dre Skull, Popcaan, and more), Fragmentos follows Florentino’s recent work with Catalan MC Bad Gyal on her WORLDWIDE ANGEL mixtape. The EP sees the two artists collaborate once again on “Por Ti”, while “2 Late” also features vocals from newcomer Ms Nina. “I met both of them last year,” says Florentino. “I love what they’re doing for the scene in Spain – what was coming out of Spain a few years ago was trash. I get the feeling that what we’ve seen so far is just the beginning of their journeys.”
Following the release of Fragemntos, we asked Florentino to put together our latest Dazed Mix. Listen to his party-starting set below, and read on for our interview with the artist about inspiration and what the future holds for him.
So, what’s going on in this mix?
Florentino: I’ve been selfish with this mix and I didn’t want to conceptualise it too much. I made the playlist pretty quickly – it was sunny, and I wanted to dance to it listening back to the recording. It’s more of a mix I’d do in my room, a lot of older reggaeton that’s got a rougher edge rather than a poppy one. Party vibes.
Tell us about your new EP, Fragmentos.
Florentino: It’s about falling in and out of love, break ups, hook ups, etc etc. The good stuff and the bad – different fragments of my own personal experiences through the filter of my sound.
Who’s your biggest inspiration in life?
Florentino: My parents. Both of them come from next to nothing and have fought, grinded, and hustled their way to a better life. That’s endlessly inspiring to me. It’s easier to make more of something when you already have something of it to begin with, but when you have nothing, like they did, it’s harder to make something out of that. You’ve got to have real drive.
Do you consider yourself more of a studio person or more of a DJ?
Florentino: I’ve been producing since I was 11. I make music every day, so it’s at the core of who I am. But people seem to love my DJ sets, and I feel like I have a natural knack for mixing. Above everything though, I’m an ideas person. That translates into everything I do, whether it’s artistic or not.
Who’s your dream collaboration?
Florentino: Personally I think Colombia’s producers and vocalists have revolutionised the way reggaeton sounds. The poppy/softer sound that’s taken over wouldn’t exist without the talent the country has bred. I’d quite like to collaborate with the Infinity Music crew – a crew that’s been pivotal in that – with the intention of bringing something new to the narrative.
What was the last song that made you cry?
Florentino: Probably something by Ozuna. A lot of songs can make me cry if I’m high enough.
Who do you turn to for advice when you’re in a creative rut?
Florentino: I don’t really turn to anyone for advice on this particular thing! I meditate, read, and exercise to move past it.
What does the future hold for you?
Florentino: I’ve got my next release ready to go, waiting for when it feels right to drop it. I’m currently writing the release to follow that up as well, and I’m making instrumentals every day for vocalists alongside that. I’m about to drop a video, and I’ve also got a summer tour to announce soon. I’m quite busy, but I want to head back to Colombia at the end of the year to make more music and get involved in the scene there.
Florentino’s Fragmentos EP is out now