ROCKY VALENTE – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWJune 15, 2020
In a world where it seems to be that everyone wants to be a DJ it’s not easy nowadays to stand out in the crowd. You need to have a little luck, a lot of faith and even more strength and talent to succeed. That little luck came for Portuguese techno-rising star Rocky Valente when – after years of perfecting her DJ and production skills – she met Premier League DJ-duo Pig&Dan. We caught with her to have a little natter..
Hey Rocky, thanks for talking with us! You recently joined up with Pig&Dan’s ELEVATE imprint with your ‘Rebirth’ EP. Can you tell us the story behind this release? Is there a meaning behind the name?
I made some huge changes in my life, including my artist name… In honour of my mom who is not with us anymore, I changed my name to her family name Valente, which means ‘brave’ in Portuguese. So it’s my rebirth as a more mature artist but also continues my mom’s legacy because she lives on in my music and my performances. My way of saying thank you to her.
How did the relationship with Pig&Dan come about?
I’m a big fan of Dan and Igor and have been for a long, long time. We finally got to meet in August when we shared a stage at Dance Valley. The next day we spent many hours talking about music and dreams. I sent them some of my work and we chose four tracks for the ‘Rebirth’ EP. After this release, we have other ideas which we will hopefully bring to life very soon. I’m in love with what I learn from them! At ADE, we hosted a cool party together, it was so much fun… I feel I’ve known them for years.
You’re currently in a new phase of your career, with fresh music and an exciting evolving sound. What inspired this new phase?
I get inspiration from dreams, from all of us who don’t fit the normal “box”, from women’s empowerment and of course the darkness of Acid and Techno which takes you on a trip to the light. It’s quite a mix, but I’m obsessed with creating emotions in music lovers. I want people to feel free and unashamed.
You’ve had a strong successful career as a producer and public figure in Portugal for years now. Do you find that this helps your DJ career? Or do you think it hinders it in some way because people have an expectation of what you will be like or what music you will play?
The knowledge I collected during that time did help me. I like the fact that the rest of the world, in general, isn’t aware of me yet… I think people are just now becoming aware of me as an artist. What I want most is for them to feel my music. The music I create and the DJ sets I put together talk for me.
You’ve said before that your heart was always in Techno. What is it about Techno that you love? When did you first discover it?
I think when you listen to Techno for the first time, it pushes you out of your comfort zone. I heard Techno for the first time when I had no chance to go out clubbing but the underground sounds of Lisbon were everywhere. Deep naked tracks like ‘So Get Up’.
The Techno I like could even be background music from a thriller. But then when you start to feel Techno in your heart, you find that it’s so much more. It’s a new world, on the other side… People who love underground music love the moment, the way the energy moves them. Not so much the lyrics. They go out looking for the unknown but also, they know very well what they want. So while you as an artist have so much freedom, you always need to be the best version of yourself.
Moms have dreams too, and you need to keep dreaming and dreaming big … not just for you but to widen your kids’ horizons.
As well as a DJ career, you have six children. How do you manage to balance your time between family life and your career?
I sleep less than a ‘normal person’, I meditate, I exercise a lot, I’m careful with what I eat and I don’t drink a lot or do any drugs. It’s not easy, but my kids are not babies anymore – I was a teenage mom! Some of them are over 18 and can go out already, and for the little ones, I have an amazing team of family and friends who help me. Moms have dreams too, and you need to keep dreaming and dreaming big … not just for you but to widen your kids’ horizons.
Rocky Valente ‘Rebirth’ was released on ELEVATE on vinyl and digital.