Alberto Jossue/Cha’an is a storyteller in every sense of the word. Known for having extensive versatility in his sets and a sophisticated ability to adapt to the energy of any room, Alberto draws inspiration from multiple music genres, and always achieves a perfect balance between energy and emotion. We’re lucky to have had him reveal the mystery about his stories. Don’t be surprised on September 2 at Electric Island, when the wonderfully tuneful downtempo and electronica vibes suck you into the centre of the Moog Audio Stage, where he’ll be performing! But first, some words…
You’ve been performing under ‘Alberto Jossue’ for some time now, and you recently launched your live alias Cha’an. Tell us more about the Cha’an project?
Cha’an is Mayan for ‘celebration’. It came about as a realization that through my releases I often gravitated towards lower tempo tracks, sometimes deviating from the house roots that I have as Alberto Jossue and making it a bit confusing for my followers. I was feeling like I needed an outlet for my slower music and somewhere where I could be more experimental with sound design as well as show more of my latin roots. It was during a trip to Mexico where the name came about and through a conversation with a good friend and fellow artist Gabriel Belmudes, that I decided to take the leap into Cha’an and dive into live territory which was equally as rewarding as it was challenging. It’s been a great launch for it this year and it’s truly made me fall in love with music all over again.
What’s the inspiration behind your latest downtempo release ‘Kal’ via Cha’an?
‘Kal’ was a very special song because it was the very first Cha’an song I made. I completely changed my approach to the way I make music for the project by kind of taking a jam approach and improvising and recording the output. Kal was a result of a visualization of the project being performed live, it’s by far my favourite track for this project.
You’re often called a storyteller, how are the stories with Cha’an different from the ones with Alberto Jossue?
I believe all music tells a story in its own way. With Alberto Jossue, I find the story I try to tell with my podcasts and DJ sets live, is always a collective of loose moving rhythms and emotion through melody, so it’s almost open to interpretation. With dance music I find every listener hears and is moved by something different. With Cha’an it’s a very specific mood, the project is designed and envisioned for the outdoors, the goal of the music is to take you somewhere else, not necessarily dance floor but maybe somewhere within yourself. Cha’an has so much ambient to it, it’s quite difficult to explain because it’s still so new and currently finding its identity.
What is a perfect balance of energy and emotion with the music you create and perform?
I’ve always believed that the balance of those two aspects is the secret to a good DJ and producer. The basis of our job is to make a crowd move, and forget about life for a bit, escape reality and get lost in the music. I find house music to be a challenging genre to achieve that with because we can often fall to the safety of a 4/4 pattern and maintain that as long as possible (which is a skill onto itself).
However, I find elaborate and evolving drums through a set, are what truly captivates the listener. There is much to learn from world rhythms and other genres that can be applied to house music to keep it engaging. I think knowing when to introduce melody or ambient into evolving rhythms is what creates that “memorable moment” during performances. I believe there is no ceiling to DJing, and we need to push ourselves more and more to be creative in DJing, now that technology has made this art form available for anyone to use. Now that our music has been commercialized there is a lot of the same and over saturation of mediocre DJ sets that are more playlists than stories, and we owe it to the music to push the boundaries and be truly creative instead of constantly adapting to trends.