Alexander Gentil mixes Nightclubber 205

Hailing from the vibrant coastal city of Barranquilla, Colombia, Alexander Gentil is a DJ and producer who has been making waves in the music industry with his experimental approach to productions. However, his journey into the world of music was influenced not only by his Colombian roots but also by his time spent in New York City, the city he now calls home. During his formative years, Gentil developed a deep passion for the dance club scene and the DJs who electrify it, ultimately leading him to pursue a career in music. His dedication to the craft led him to study sound engineering, a versatile skill that has paved the way for his success as a DJ and producer.

Gentil’s diverse musical journey has seen him mix and master records across a wide range of genres, working with both established and emerging artists. Among his proudest achievements is a double-vinyl remix release of "Making Ends Meet," a nearly two-decade-old hidden gem by Craig Richard's little-known alias, Scumdolly. Gentil breathed new life into this classic, showcasing his talent for crafting unforgettable sounds. And more recently, Gentil released his own track, “Renazanz,” signed to DJ Mag Latin America. 

What’s more, Gentil also runs the Errant Recordings label, a project “infused with diversity, experimentation and modern day tech advances.” We caught up with Alexander recently, to learn more about the label, his future plans and also to chat over the mix he did for us… 

Can you tell us about your upbringing in Barranquilla, Colombia, and how it influenced your approach to music?

Growing up in Barranquilla was fun and dangerous. I was a 13 year old kid going to loads of parties and nothing was off limits. I probably grew up too quick. But the parties are where I learned to dance– understanding movement plays a big part in reading a crowd when you’re DJing. 

What sparked your interest in the dance club scene during your time in New York City?

I didn’t know how to get into the scene, so I just started going to what was the biggest club at the time, Pacha NYC. That’s where all the ravers went. I kept coming back every weekend and got to hear top DJs playing 12 hour sets. That was like school for me.

How did your experience in sound engineering shape your career in music?

I attended the School of Audio Engineering in NY which is an intensive 1 year program. I really recommend it for anyone trying to get into the music industry. I think that was the beginning of me taking my career seriously. Before it was all fun and games, but when you take the time to study the technical side you see what it really takes, which is a lot of long hours in the studio, perfecting your craft. 

Can you share some of your early experiences as a DJ and producer?

A lot of unpaid gigs and shady clubs. I remember early on I played at a spot on Northern Blvd in Queens where the night ended with a guy getting stabbed and me getting slashed in the head with a knife. You have to understand where the risk is. But you learn the industry inside and out. 

What drew you to remixing and mastering records for various artists across different genres?

I think it’s important not to put yourself in a box. Music is a form of expressing mood. To seclude myself in electronic music, I just can't do that. I’m a moody person. I prefer to work in different genres. 

You’ve been involved with many projects over the years and even remixed some of Craig Richards’ earlier work. How did that one come about? 

That was a collab with my buddy Taimur who I met in NYC. He founded the legendary Black Market Membership brand which ran underground parties for 10 years. At the time, he was in his final run with the party series and focusing on a new project, a vinyl-only label. He was the one that showed me the Craig Richards track (released under his alias “Scum Dolly”). I heard the record and fell in love with it. My first thought was: “let’s get on it.” Taimur and I got into the studio and ended up cutting a minimal version for his label. That was my first ever vinyl release.

What challenges did you face while resurrecting a 20-year-old hidden gem for the remix?

That one was pretty easy. We had a flow. Sometimes it’s that simple. 

How do you balance your roles as a DJ, producer, and sound engineer in your career?

Watch out for the parties–in this industry, it’s a big part of networking, but you have to set limits. I max it out at twice a week. Always keep time in the studio as a priority. And when it comes to producing/engineering, it’s important not to take every client. You have to make time for your own projects and to learn new techniques. 

What do you find most rewarding about working with well-established artists on their music projects?

Well-established artists have more experience and they might be more professional (though not always)– but to tell you the truth it’s no more rewarding than working with newer artists. Everything depends on the flow and energy during the session. That’s where the reward is for me. 

How do you approach working with breakout artists who are just starting in the industry?

My job is to make the artist comfortable enough that they can share their vision with as much realness and raw feeling as possible. So they have to feel safe with me. That’s not always easy with new artists.

Could you share some insights into your creative process when producing music?

I have to eat. And I have to be in a good mindset. I’m not someone that wakes up with an idea and high-tails it to the studio. I can be quick with it, but food comes first. Then coffee. Then the music. 

What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned throughout your career in the music industry?

Don’t follow the hype. And be kind, don’t be an asshole. 

How do you stay updated with the latest trends and innovations in electronic music production and DJing?

I attend exhibitions to stay up with the latest tech. Besides that, reading is your best bet if you want to stay sharp. And yes, going out helps. 

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or collaborations that you're excited about.

Something I’ve been experimenting with lately is using my own voice in kind of a spoken word style. So I’m excited to release some of these tracks. 

What advice would you give to aspiring DJs and producers looking to make their mark in the industry.

Stay hungry, don’t cut corners, and work hard. 

Tell us a bit about Errant recordings. Where are you at with it right now? Is this your first time running a label? 

Right now I’m looking for more artists to sign, so I’ve been focused on the A&R side of things. This is my first label, so it’s a learning experience. The project is really about providing a platform for new DJs and producers and it’s not genre specific. I’m also planning an event series in the near future. 

Can you share some memorable moments from your performances or studio sessions that have had a significant impact on your career?

The first thing that comes to mind is an afterparty in Brooklyn where I opened for Carl Craig. He’s a huge inspiration for me. Actually, I should’ve recorded that set, but you live, you learn.

Where do you see your music career heading in the future, and what are your long-term goals as an artist?

Playing more festivals and big room clubs, playing more of my own music. I’d also like to get into scoring for film and tv. 

You’ve also contributed a mix for us. Can you tell us a bit about your approach to the mix?

The approach is getting comfortable, eating, smoking a little weed and just going with my instinct. This particular mix includes one of my own tracks, which has a more minimal, dance sound, but the mix is its own journey. 

The new year is a time for optimism. How do you hope you’ll look back on 2024? 

More releases, more gigs and more travel– I gotta get back to South America, it’s been too long. 

Keep up with Alexander Gentil on Instagram and check what he’s been up to recently on Linktree 

Keep up with Errant Recordings on Bandcamp and Instagram.