Wally Lopez is hands-down the most well-known DJ/remixer in the world right now representing Spain. Born and still based in Madrid, the bespectacled electro-house champion got his start in radio, first spinning dance grooves on the air at just 13 years old. Over the years, he moved throughout the country's top stations, gaining acclaim until now, at the ripe old age of 34, his weekly show for Maxima FM draws some 600,000 listeners. (And that's not counting everyone who tunes in via Internet).
That's just one small piece of the Lopez empire. When he's not broadcasting on the airwaves or spinning in any of the world's continents, he's keeping busy with a head-spinning number of sidelines. There's his Madrid clothing shop, for one, and his own remixes and productions, and his Factomania Group, which comprises record labels, a publishing company, a DJ agency, and a recording studio, among other projects under the umbrella. Then there's his charity work for Dance4life, which fights AIDs, and his like-clockwork yearly pilgrimage to Ibiza, one of his self-proclaimed favorite places in the world.
Most notably, though, recently Lopez fulfilled a career-long dream of entering the vaunted ranks of Global Underground mixers. With his recent releases for the label, he became the first Spanish DJ ever to achieve that dance-superstar coronation. It's a feat he'll celebrate this Wednesday at a special VIP Global Underground party at Mynt.
Crossfade reached out to him recently to get the scoop on his latest projects and his plans for Winter Music Conference. Check out the full Q&A, and his WMC appearance details, after the jump.
Crossfade: Tell us about your Global Underground project and your event at WMC.
Wally Lopez: I just mixed the new Global Underground CD. The last one was Plump DJs and Nic Fanculli in this series so I am very happy to be the next one doing this. Also I am so excited about this event, because I was there last year listening to Fanculli and Emerson and I thought, "I wanna be here next year" ... and ... I am! Also Mynt is a great club to do this!
You're playing Juicy Beach this year, as well as one of Paul Van Dyk's parties at Space. Do you know them personally, and how did you end up on the line-ups?
Robbie is a great friend of mine, a very nice guy. We've played a few times together in Ibiza, Miami, and other places in Spain. And [the Paul Van Dyk party will mark] my third appearance at Space. Love this place! I've never met PVD but I've been a huge fan all my life, since he remixed Sven Vath's "La Esperanza" millions of years ago.
Tell me about the Factomania Group. When did it grow into Factomania from your old label? You have a management group and a clothes shop too. Are all three labels still active, and how do you have time to take care of everything?
Factomania is the result from years and years working on the industry.... La Factoria was my old label, but we needed to release more records of other kinds of music, so we made more labels, then a DJ agency, a publishing company, and lately a clothing shop and a brand shop which are called Tremenda. There are just two tricks to be doing all these things: a good team and not sleeping too much!
What releases coming out on your label are you most excited about?
Well, we lately released tracks and remixes from Hermanez, Zoo Brazil, Steve Mac, Oliver Moldan, Patch Park, Joeri Jaminson. And we have, in the pipe: my new track called "Iuvenis," with remixes from Mihalis Safras, or Nick and Danny Chatelain, or one of our exclusive artists, Ismael Rivas, being remixed by (at least for me) man of the moment: M.IN
Are you debuting any original tracks at conference this year? What do you think is going to be your big track?
Yes! I'm so happy with the reaction of my track "Rocking Year," which will be released by Global Underground, "Incredible Experience" on Spinning, and "Iuvenius" on The Factoria. But I'm really excited with all my Global Underground releases!
Besides your own edits, what producers or labels are you playing a lot of right now?
I'm the biggest fan ever of M.IN, Florian Mendl, Oxia, Hermanez, Marco Carola, Ramon Tapia, Kolombo, Zoo Brazil, Ismael Rivas.... So many amazing new artists.
You had that big Toolroom Knights mix album a couple years back. Do you have any other big collaborations in the works?
I recently received an offer to mix a new CD for them; we are very, very good friends. But I'm very, very, very into my Global Underground experience. It is just beginning, and looks huge! There never was Spanish DJ into GU before and I wanna enjoy this experience like a monster 'cause I was waiting 20 years for this moment!
What about plans for an original artist album?
Nothing serious yet. I'd love to do it with lots of collaborations and it is not the time ... yet!
Do you still see Winter Music Conference as a viable place to do business, or do you just come to enjoy playing at the parties?
The first time I came years ago was to put the face on the names I used to speak with by e-mails or calls then. When I saw I had nothing more to do on business there I quit coming back, but last year i saw the time to be back on business in Miami. I'm more a business man than a party man, sorry!
Where are you playing in Ibiza this summer, and what are your other plans for the rest of the year?
I'm going to headline at Space Ibiza for the third year now. I'm very happy with my residence, which we are moving from Thursday to Friday. And the rest of the year we'll tour with GU all around the globe, and hopefully back to Miami soon!
At the Global Underground Annual All-Star VIP Event, with Darren Emerson and Sultan. 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 24. Mynt Lounge, 1921 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Invite only. 305-695-1705; myntlounge.com At the Juicy Beach 2010 party, with Robbie Rivera, Joachim Garraud, Funkagenda, Alex Gaudino, Oscar G, and others. Party goes from noon Thursday, March 25 to 5 a.m. the next morning. Online ticket sales are closed, but tickets may be available at the door. Age 21 and up. 786-515-1130; juicybeach.com At the second night of the Paul Van Dyk: 10 Years of Vandit Records party. Lopez plays on the terrace, with Pete Tong, Tocadisco, Steve Bug, Guy Gerber, and others. 10 p.m. Saturday, March 27. For just terrace and loft access, tickets cost $40 for entry before midnight, $60 for entry before 2 a.m. For all-rooms access, tickets cost $60 for entro before midnight, $80 for entry before 2 a.m. Age 21 and up. wantickets.com At the conference Closing Party with Axwell, Benny Bennassi, Funkagenda, and others. Event runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, March 28. TIckets currently cost $80 in advance from wantickets.com. Age 21 and up. surfcomberpoolparties.com