Bloop's Cruz gets set for Dublin debut..
Daytime parties are two-a-penny these days, but when Cruz and the rest of Lisbon’s Bloop crew conceived of the idea back in 2010, they were anything but. Still very much alive and kicking, Bloop are today regarded as arguably Portugal’s most passionate and renowned promoters. As likely to host international talent as they are a bevy of local talent (Cruz of course, being both promoter and resident-in-chief), the party - which actually kicked off as a label back in 2007 - is likely to be around for some time yet. A purveyor of serious good times and a true vinyl connoisseur, Cruz is the type of DJ’s DJ who visitors to his native Lisbon often rave about. Ahead of his Dublin debut for Real Talks’ eight birthday party alongside Royce Larøca, NIZ, Max Dufficy and Mathäus, we caught up with the man himself for a quick natter...
Hey Cruz, how are you? And where are you answering our questions from today?
Hello! I'm at Lisbon airport, waiting for my flight in a few minutes.
Do you generally embrace the travel side of things? Or did you find the incessant airports a drag?
I love to travel, I am currently at Lisbon airport waiting for my flight which has been delayed and writing to your questions. There is always a way to distract ourselves :)
Talk to us a bit about your early forays into electronic music. What sounds, crews and parties really inspired you back then?
Portugal has always had a very strong electronic scene and I started going out in the middle of 2000. Apart from Lisbon we had three or four clubs in the north and south of the country that invited big names and I went around the country listening to them (Laurent Garnier, Jeff Mills, Dave Clarke, Masters At Work...)
When you started Bloop, was there one other party you really looked up to?
Bloop was born as a label in 2007 and as an event promoter in 2010. At that time, there were few or almost no collectives and most of the parties were in clubs. Lux Frágil was the reference club in Lisbon and Gare in Porto, where we had a monthly residency.
Did you notice a gap in the market, or was it more about running on your instincts and intuition? At what point did you begin to feel like you might be onto something special with Bloop?
Actually both. We wanted to promote the label's artists and decided to start the parties during the day. We live in a warm country, full of sun and light and quickly bloop grew up and gained its place in the market.
The party’s been running for some time now. Can you talk us through some of the challenges and obstacles you’ve faced during that time? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was to change people's mindset to go to a party during the day and believe that it was possible. I had some references and inspiration from other cities where it happened, like Sonar in Barcelona where I went every year. Later on other promoters came up and from 2015 Lisbon became over-rating for daytime parties.
Bloop seems very much like a family affair, and no party can run successfully for so long with only one man at the helm! So I wanted to ask, who else is involved and what are their roles?
We have a good team that has accompanied us over the years. Currently we are divided into 4 parts. Pedro handles the production, Paulo the financial part, Gil the image and communication and myself the artistic and label part.
Looking back after 16 years of Bloop, what do you attribute its success to? And what would you do differently?
We've always wanted people to come and come back for the party itself, not just for big names on the lineups. The experience goes through unlikely spaces, a public that likes to have fun, and especially good music from emerging artists in the industry. Looking back there are always points to change but in fact we need them to grow and improve our future.
Do you see the party running for another 16 years, or will there comes a time when you need to stop? Does the prospect of stopping worry you at all?
Actually, I never really thought about it (laughs), but today I feel like I have the will and motivation to continue for many more years. And when the time comes to stop, I'll feel like I have accomplished my mission by making people happy on the dance floor all these years.
You’re going to be playing in Dublin soon for the Real Talks Art party...
Yes! I can't wait to meet them all and make my Dublin debut. Should be a special time!
How do you prepare for different gigs? Or is it more a case of packing a similar bag of records that you know work well and then going from there?
It's easy, I have a bag of about 70 records and half of them are records that have been with me for a few months. The other half I change and adjust for the next gig.
On a personal level as well as a musical level, what’s next for you that you’re really excited about?
On a personal level I feel fulfilled doing what I like. On a musical level I feel I have found a balance for having gone through several styles and now trying to get the best of each one for my bag. And I'm excited about the upcoming gigs in clubs and festivals that are coming up.
Keep up with Cruz on Instagram