#MusicInTheAir Podcast hosts this week :
Another new week, another new debut: today for the MusicInTheAir Podcast Villahangar welcomes Copa Vida, DJ and producer born in New York and who currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, a beautiful city two hours south of Washington DC.
Founder of the Sounds of Love collective, he combines instruments, sounds and melodies from all over the world, for unique experiences with each of his songs, live performances and events.
The musical genres that influence him the most are organic house, afrohouse, ethnohouse, deep house, melodic techno and progressive house. Recently, he has been more inspired by downtempo and organic. “It’s extremely deep and groovy and slows me down (in a good way!),” he says.
His is always committed to making his listeners feel something deep within himself and, to be felt with the heart, and that unites souls and minds: Copa Vida in fact translates into “Cup of Life”, or “Take a sip of what the Copa has to offer”.
He is really inspired by some select DJs who transport the audience to a different world/dimension during their sets and make you forget that time exists. Names, for him, like Damian Lazarus and Mira. He says “I was lucky to see them perform and I still think about those sets and how I can develop my own unique style that transports listeners.”
Copa Vida started playing the piano at a very young age, as a lover of classical music. He later became interested in classic rock, with names such as Pink Floyd and Queen. Pink Floyd continue to inspire him, “as their music can transcend all genres,” he says. Where he was born and raised influenced him a lot from a musical point of view. As a child, he was strongly influenced by his European parents. “I’m lucky that as a child we listened to ‘Buddha Bar’ CDs while traveling on the road. Not many guys can tell. If my parents could have taken me to Ibiza, they would have done it,” he says.
Last year Copa Vida launched a new music collective called Sounds of Love with which he organizes events, mainly in Charlottesville, Virginia, very different from most dance music events. “My goal is to find great open-hearted DJs and then create a dream event that suits the type of music they want to play,” he says. – In October, Lola Villa and I organized a beautiful event in a greenhouse in an open field, because she wanted to play a set inspired by plants and nature.”
For projects for the present and the immediate future, Copa Vida has a new afrohouse EP that he’s working on with Darksidevinyl “He’s an incredible producer,” he says. Then a song that will be released soon on Downtempo Rituals and a separate downtempo EP he is working on. “I’m also spending a lot of time thinking about how to make the dance community thrive in this city where I live (and love) Charlottesville, Virginia. The people here are incredible, they are open-minded and they love this music.”
How would you define your musical style today? And were there any differences with the past, an evolution over time?
I am inspired by a unique blend of different genres of house music, and my sets always depend on where I’m playing (the setting), the vibe, and the emotions/experience I want the listeners/dancers to feel.
I started DJing when I was about 13 years old. Back then (the 2000s), I was mainly playing European-inspired house, techno, and trance. I stopped DJing from 18-24 years old. When I started DJing again at 24, I was playing genres like tech-house, disco house, etc. that were easy to get people up and dancing. The problem was that these genres didn’t really speak to me energetically so I wasn’t fulfilled by them. I started playing sets that were deeper and allowed me to connect with myself and with the audience more. Nowadays my sets can vary from organic house to afrohouse to deep and progressive house. Believe it or not, 99% of the time I listen to music (and not DJing) I listen to the songs that one day I will want to DJ. I always think about my next set ☺
If you listen to my set for the #musicintheair podcast, it’s a variety of organic, tribal, and deep house. Almost all of the songs have piano being the instrument that ties the whole thing together. This was a very emotional set for me because it was recorded days after Russia invaded Ukraine. I am currently not in a mood to party, and this set is definitely not a “party” set, but one to make you think and feel some of the weight of what’s going on. It starts off with a song called “Tulku” which means “spiritual teacher/master” in Tibetan Buddhism and ends with a song called “No War.” Pretty symbolic.
What do you think of the Charlottesville, Virginia, music scene? What do you think are the differences with Europe?
Charlottesville is fairly small and up-and-coming. We don’t have nightclubs here unfortunately. The city is known for its live music and bands. All of our dance music events are one-off events, which are amazing but also take so much time and effort to plan because the infrastructure doesn’t exist. Europe has an established scene (almost too established perhaps?) and more nightclubs than you can count. So, I would not compare Charlottesville’s scene to Europe, but I don’t think it needs to get there. My goal is to eventually create something more permanent in Charlottesville that allows the community here to grow and attract world-class DJs to come play in Charlottesville.
What evolution do you think electronic music is experiencing on the international scene?
I think electronic and house music has been and will continue “blowing up”. More and more people are getting into it and even traveling to different countries just to listen to the music. If I’m honest, I think that a lot of DJs are starting to blend in their styles, tastes, and song selections to me. There’s not much that is differentiating deep house DJs these days. I’ve been to quite a few shows where there is a lineup of 3-4 DJs and it feels like it was one DJ playing the entire time. So overall, I think in order for this music scene to thrive, DJs need to maybe experiment a bit more or blend different genres together that might give their sets a fresh feel. I think that events that combine music with performers (fire spinners, flow artists, dancers, acrobats), etc. will become more popular since it’ll make the event stand out. It’s always better to give attendees more things to feel “wow’ed” by.
How is your winter? Do you have dj sets planned at the moment for the present and the future?
My winter has been pretty slow as I’ve focused on my personal life (I’m recently engaged). I have also spent a lot of time getting better at music production. The one event I played recently that I really enjoyed was at Flash in Washington DC the same night as Sabo. That was pretty surreal to me. I had a 4-hour long set, and it was amazing to have a packed dance floor, Funktion One sound, and new people who have never heard my music enjoying the set from beginning to end.
01. Stimmhalt, Sidartha Siliceo – Tulku (Depart Remix) / Kindisch
02. Ed Begley – Missing (Marcus Worgull Remix) / Even Eights Records, Ultra Sony
03. Afgo, Buck Arrest – Nuwa (Original Mix) / Inward Records
04. Moojo, Arodes – Reborn (Original Mix) / MoBlack
05. Notre Dame – Emowe (Original Mix) / My Other Side of the Moon
06. Hannah Fernando – Universal Love (Extended Mix) / The Earth School
07. Marsh – There For Me (Amonita Extended Mix) / Anjunadeep
08. Dear Humans – Music + Me (Armonica Remix) / Connected
09. Ame – No War (RY X Remix) / Innervisions