4 years ago, he moved to a small country, with an overwhelming passion for music and self-taught diversified skills, seeking expansion. DJ and Producer, Juan Pestana moved to Qatar with a shocking decision to his family and a strong belief that he is closer to a brighter future. Soon enough, Juan launched ‘We Are the Light’, after announcing an official signing with DNA Records – Founded by Dana Al Fardan- followed with two more melodic exclusive house tracks. Juan Pestana shares with I Love Qatar the story of that one thing he loves the most and knows the best with exquisite skills: music.
By: Manal Saad – I Love Qatar
You started touring with your band since a young age, and now we are speaking moments before your first Doha debut performance. How do you feel?
J: Well I am a bit anxious (laughs). Strangely, I think that the smaller the group is, the more difficult it is to perform; because of the intense focus and attention. Tonight is quite special as I will be performing new singles that we worked on with DNA Records for the first time.
Speaking of attention, early enough in your career, you are drawing the attention of bigger bands’. How?
J: It was my escape! Music, Big musicians and live performances were my dream when I was much younger. It was so strong in me that I chose to quit my studies and dedicate most of my time for it. (but of course it is not my advice for the youth). And my first chance came when I was 14 years old, when a band knocked on my door; they needed a keyboard player.
Sounds magical, when you are just a boy and a band comes knocking your door!
J: (laughs) Well, that’s because I come from a very small place in the Portuguese Republic. And since that time I started my professional career with a big band as I dreamt, and we toured across Portugal and Europe.
And what was your parents’ reaction when you took this brave decision to drop school for music
J: They went very mad of course. They said what any parents would, that music won’t give you any success in life. It took them many years afterwards to dramatically change their perspective and say music will never end!
How about later, have you been hit with the urge to make a living from something else, while the only passion you had was for music?
J: Well, I didn’t have any other option than doing what I love. And when you are left with only one option, it better works! I kicked off my career in music at an early age. I joined larger bands and then performed live in a TV show, in addition to the music I used to play in other occasions and venues.
I understand that you are a self-taught musician who learnt different music genres and instruments…
J: Yes. I worked a lot and daily to hone my musical skills. And I tapped into a wide range of musical genres from Rock to Pop, Latino and Electronic. I now also play bass guitar, drums and percussion and I do live mixing and live collaborations with vocalists, cellists and violinists. It is very important for a musician to have a lot of diversity and I think I am lucky!
Fulfilling your big music ambition in a small country like Qatar, was it difficult?
J: You know, I came to this country looking for studios and I had the chance to work with some of them here. On the side, I kept myself busy working as a music entertainer in one of the hotels. Finally, I had the chance to work with DNA Records after 3 years. It was a dream!
Especially the great success DNA Records had by incorporating one of the songs on international DJ Robin Schulz’s latest album, Sugar… How was this experience for you?
J: It was very interesting. We worked on a song called ‘This Is Your Life’ which was written by Dana Al Fardan. We worked on this song in Qatar’s studio and we contacted Robin Schulz and one of a sudden it was in his album ‘Sugar’.
You recently have launched ‘We Are the Light’ with two more singles to be performed for the first time…. How do you feel about these accomplishments so far?
J: I am very happy! Especially with ‘We Are the Light’, written by Dana Al Fardan and featuring a combination of exquisite cello. The other singles include ‘These Are the Best Times’ and ‘The Sun Will Rise’ with both melodic and easy going house tracks poised to be the summer anthems of 2016.
What is your rule to become successful in music?
J: Have fun with it. You can’t be creative under stress. If you want to bring something new to the scene always stay updated on the music news and genres. There is so much to learn and create so take your time.
Any new promising music genres…
J: Personally I think Future bass is the future. It is a bit childish but it is coming up big now!
And for the future, what are you looking for in your career?
J: (with a confident smile he says) I have it now but I need more time to finalize it. Inshallah, People will be hearing a lot more from DNA Records over the coming months.
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