We love seeing people that love records so much they jump in all the way and in multiple ways. This week we introduce you to a woman who is just that, and that does it all, so much so it was hard to summarize her title(s) in the header. Valeria Rueda is Mexican DJ and producer from Mexico City now living in Berlin. For the past ten years she’s run two record labels Blaq Records and Pantamuzik. Valeria also produces and releases music under different projects, Echowoman, Lila D. and Signal Deluxe for over fifteen years. Last but not least, she also works as a press operator at Intakt, a record pressing plant in Berlin.
When she’s not (wo)manning the presses or running her labels, she’s making music, digging for records, listening to records or cooking, “it is another big passion of mine”.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I have been into music since a very early age, started collecting records as a teenager, and after attending a few raves in Mexico in the 90’s I decided to start djing, after a few summers in the island of Palma de Mallorca, playing some clubs and parties I started djing professionally. I went back to Mexico and got a few residencies at some of the top clubs in the city and fully got involved in the Mexican electronic scene playing all over the country, and started making music, releasing it on labels around the world and started traveling to Berlin in the summers to play in the club circuit and festivals of this beautiful city.
What is a day in the life like?
On a perfect day I will spend the whole day in the studio making music, and playing records and recording some sessions. Both producing music and playing records are my two main passions in life for the past 20 years.
The days I have shifts at the pressing plant, I mostly take care of the manual presses making special orders that require specific colors and features, making this a fun and beautiful craft. Pressing records from artists and labels I love and admire has become a sweet obsession.
In your opinion what has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
As a dj, playing at Fusion festival has definitely been one of my personal highlights of my career. As a producer, releasing my own music on vinyl or labels I love, has been truly rewarding and an inspirational experience. As a record press operator, pressing records from some of my favorite artists and labels from all the world has been so much fun and magical to see the final product in my favorite Berlin shops.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
The music industry is a rough place to start with, surviving from your art is pretty difficult thing to achieve as an underground experimental artist outside of the mainstream scope; but also very gratifying to stay true to my sound and aesthetics for so long and slowly but surely seeing the fruits of it.
Of course money will be the hardest thing, especially if you wanna get some top musical gear while spending all your money on records lol! While staying original with my own resources has always been an inspirational feature in my creative process.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
I say if you love something with all your heart and feel really passionate about it go for it, it is always good to learn from professionals in the industry and take as many, lessons, courses, etc to get real knowledge.
Producing music takes time and there are many things to learn, and once you have the skills and knowledge, it takes also time to gain experience playing out live, so discipline, determination and patience are your best tools.
As far as running my labels the best advice I would give is to stay true to your sound and do it for the love of music and art.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
As I said before I started collecting records at a very young age, things like rock, new wave, disco, funk etc. then when I started djing I became obsessed with vinyl records, spending all my money and spending so much time in shops, always digging for original tunes.
I also worked at a couple of record shops in Mexico City, and yes most my salary would just stay in the shop! I have released a lot of my own music on vinyl on labels I love from around the world, and have released a few vinyl releases from my own label with my music remixed by my favorite artists in the world.
For the past year I have been working at Intakt, vinyl pressing plant in Berlin, so as you can see my life basically revolves around music and vinyl records.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
I love seeing small labels betting on vinyl even if it’s for a small run (100/200 copies) especially when the quality is top notch, innovative and original. I also love that labels and artists from all kinds of styles of music are pressing their releases on vinyl.
Who has been influential to you and your growth as a professional in this industry?
More than one person, I feel like both my Mexican and Berlin musical families are at the center of my soul and musical career, always a source for inspiration and unconditional support.
Anything else you’d like to add; if not tell us what you’re listening to:
Wow that’s pretty hard! So just some random things I love at the moment. 99chants (Record label), Special Costello (Artist), Lemont. (Artist), FLXK1 (Artist), Galaxian (Artist), A Walking Contradiction (Record label)
Blaq Records: @blaqrecords
Signal Deluxe: @sd_signal_deluxe
Blaq Records: @blaqrecordsmx
Signal Deluxe: @signal-deluxe