Lazaro Casanova, Miami's House Hustler: "I Can Never Complain About Having Too Much Work"
Lazaro Casanova: Work hard, party harder.
Photo by Adolfo Ferro
How can a man be everywhere and nowhere all at once? Ask dance music professional Lazaro Casanova.
He holds down several jobs. He plays club gigs every week. But "I sometimes get into these music hermit holes," Casanova says. "I sit here and I get so caught up in work, I hardly go outside."
When he does finally leave home, it's usually during the nighttime hours for his Futro monthly at Bardot with Miami house legend Oscar G. Soon, he'll also be making a monthly scene at Steam. And he's always got a few other local and national engagements too. But for hours every day, he's stuck indoors, helping to run G's Murk Records and his own petFood label while mastering tracks, writing originals, editing remixes, and otherwise staring meticulously into a screen.
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"I'm kind of a control freak," he says. "If I see there's a weak link, as far as why things are being held up or whatever, I'll take on the extra work. If I had the time of day, I'd completely master every release myself. I would do the artwork myself. I would do the PR releases. I would do everything in-house, and that's kind of what I want to head towards."
Sure, managing two labels, a music career, a weekly radio show, and a personal life gets overwhelming. It's easy to have things fall through the cracks. After taking stock of his accomplishments in 2014, Casanova is dedicated to better organization. As official label manager at Murk, he's already got the next three months planned out with a new release every two weeks. Some of this stuff is '90s reissues so "classic" that he had to go through the giant tapes and transfer them to digital format himself.
He's also scheduling more time to refocus petFood.
"I want those three brands -- Murk, petFood, Futro -- as the year goes, to grow and have people see them as a family," he says. "All of it goes together, one way or the other, because, really, a lot of the same people are involved."
Luckily, holing up in a room to work on new releases is his idea of a good time.
"It's not really more work, it's just more of what I like to do," Casanova points out. "Making a living off of this, it's crazy. It's more than ten years now. I know Oscar has double that on me, but it's just one of those things. I can never complain about having too much work, because that's only for people who are doing a job they don't necessarily like and might have papers piling up on their desk or something."
He's also resolved to play more of the music that he releases -- Murk, Pet Food, and his own original tracks -- in his club sets.
"I'm happy now, because there's a lot of stuff out there that goes with my ear and what I want to play," he says. "It just so happens I'm directly or indirectly involved with it."
His latest releases (like "Pop That Pussy," out now on Murk) are heading in a more upbeat direction, lending themselves well to the dance floor as well as his temperament.
"You just hear it so many times in the car to make sure it's mixed down right. By the time it's out, you kind of forget that no one else has heard this," he says. "These songs in particular, even when they get to the point of being released, maybe because they're getting released quicker than they used to, I'm not even remotely tired of them. I'm just looking forward to playing."
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Oscar G. and Lazaro Casanova's Futro. With Pirate Stereo, Byrdipop, and Santiago Caballero. As part of Slap & Tickle. Tuesday, January 20. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $10 at the door. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-576-7750 or visit bardotmiami.com.
Lazaro Casanova. With Patrick Walsh. Friday, January 23. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $10 at the door. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-576-7750 or visit bardotmiami.com.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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