Simply City began his music career by playing the clubs and raves in his native Santiago, Chile. Afterwards, he toured throughout Latin America, Asia, Europe and North America eventually, in pursuit of his DJ career, Cesar ended up with a coveted resident DJ spot at the famous Stereo Montreal. There, he has opened and also teamed up for some of the biggest names in the industry (including Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J, Sasha, Digweed, Guy Mantzur, Eagles and Butterflies, Nick Warren, Henry Saiz to name a very few) as well as holding onto his own night, with great success.
Cesar Romero has released several tracks and remixes under his moniker, Simply City, on labels such as Sudbeat, Global Underground, Hope, Renaissance, Particles, Or Two Strangers, Proton, Modern Agenda and some others. He has enjoyed support from some huge names, including Sasha, Cid Inc, Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren and Maceo Plex.
Over the years he proved himself to be a gracious, humble, kind, workaholic and genuine person. He does this for all the right reasons. You can listen to the full premiere of his new remix for Domased Electronica while reading the great interview he gave us. Enjoy !
WWD: Hey Simply City, great to chat with you!
Hello, thanks for the invite
WWD: So, first off, tell us, what does a regular day looks like for you?
Early morning taking care of my two pre-ado kids, office work, family routine, listen to promos, make music.
WWD: Your new remix of Domased Electronica – Lost In Kharan is dropping very soon on Mistique Music. What was the vision behind your vibe in this piece?
Well, when I got invited to do this remix I felt in love right away with the vocals and the eastern vibe, then I knew right away that I wanted to make it tribally and keep that vibe with my touch. To be honest I get tones of remixes requests but I only accept those that get in my skin, otherwise I pass. When I sent it to Hernan he replied, “This one is spicy” in that moment I knew right away I reached the vision.
WWD: Has your remix approach changed much from the beginning of your career?
A lot, I think I got very musical these days. I find that before I used to be very loopy and repetitive but now I get bored with that approach, I needed to make more interesting remixes, to tell a story within my own version and I think I succeeded in the last ones I did.
WWD: What is your first memory of music? Did you grow up in a musical home?
First memory of music is Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra every Sunday morning with my dad, The Beatles with my mom, my oldest cousin was a professional classical pianist so yeah I can say I grow up in a musical home.
WWD: Going back in the past, what would you say are some key moments that were pivotal in your career?
a) While living in Chile been able to do closings and warm ups for the biggest dj’s in the world in the biggest events around early 2000’s, the glorious GU times.
b) When I realized I did everything I could do in my country and was time to start travelling so I left.
c) When I helped to turn a quiet bar into the most successful after hour in Cancun, because of that I was able to meet some key people from Montreal that came on vacations.
d) Start making music.
e) Releasing on iconic progressive labels.
f) Being invited to clubs and biggest festivals in Montreal.
g) Move to Montreal.
h) Getting a Residency at Stereo.
WWD: Having grown up through the evolution of the underground scene in Montreal what’s your assessment of things now? Is the scene healthy? What could improve it?
To put you in context I came to the city around the year 2004 and Montreal already had a great underground and very healthy scene going on. I was told stories about Aria, Playground, Sona and many others spaces, obviously Stereo, Mutek and Piknic. I was lucky enough to live the good old Bal en Blanc times, Black and Blue, etc, Since then, things have shifted a little with the arrival of EDM like in every other place in the world, but underground still here I think the ecosystem is healthy, of course we have time limitations because of alcohol curfew but we are lucky enough to have afterhours like Stereo or raves like Expose Noir, Mutek, even if Piknic became this massive phenomena we keep cultivating the culture. We have people like Kora on the organic side of things, Tone Depth always at the forefront of sound, Atroxx on the techno side, you have me in the Progressive side of things and so many others talent of exportation level and some new coming very strong. We are also on-board in the festival era and great things happen in summer, also winter with igloofest. Everything is good for me; the only negative point is the stratospheric prices that some agencies are putting to some international artist making them almost impossible to bring them to more intimate setups.
WWD: What is it like to be a resident at the infamous Stereo Montreal? Can you share with us any particular story of your time there?
I always say it, to become a Stereo resident for me specially was a great achievement for my career as dj, I didn’t grew up here I came form another country, I payed my dues, did bunch of personal sacrifices to be where I am, I knocked the door, I proved myself and here I am very proud. What is it like to be a resident? It’s surreal, you don’t realize you have it sooooo good until you go somewhere else and you hear other sound systems, crowds, etc. When you come back home is like another level of place. Put it this way, I watched documentaries about iconic clubs like paradise garage, hacienda, studio 54, trash, gatecrasher, roxy, twilo, and many more, where you see the evolution and the importance of them, the sound systems and the whole experience, the resident dj’s and how people talk about this clubs and their residents and how good those times were. I know one day Stereo will be remembered this way and also their residents so for me to be a Stereo resident is to live and embrace the moment because is an unique moment, is history in the making. I made friends that became family, met the love of my life, and all my international idols I can call them now friends. As a particular story of my time there is the moment I went to knock the door looking for an opportunity, I had no job and the club I was working had close their doors forever after 18 years long run. Went to talk to the Stereo owner and I left the meeting with the after taste that I wasn’t’ going to be called back…. Right away I started to think in going back to Chile and start from scratch or go back to Mexico or even another country. No longer after they called me to open for Hernan and the rest is history .
WWD: Can we expect more new music from you in the near future?
Definitely, Just finished a remix for Grazziano Rafa that’s going to come out on onedotsixtwo and I am beyond exited for you all to listen to it, then I need to finish 2 more remixes one on Colombian “Club Sonica” and other on UK’s “Stripped” and by winter I will be working exclusively on my next original material that I want to send to the finest labels in progressive house. Also I have started a podcast called NUANCES on my SoundCloud for those ones who would like to listen my mixes here.
WWD: Do you have any particular goals you’d live to achieve in 2020?
Release my first solo EP on 3 labels, not going to mention them to not compromise things for now keep working hard, dreaming about it and finally make it happen. Another goal is to go back to Chile to see my family and play in Argentina.
WWD: We see you over the years developing a close link with Hernan Cattaneo, can you tell us more about it?
Hernan, I know him since Chile (Already 20 years ago). When he started to become big he came a couple of times to Chile and I opened or closed for him. Before that I used to go see him play at Clubland Pacha in Buenos Aires, since then he’s my idol and a person to follow. I saw him couple of times here and there, he never forgot about me, he have a great memory, many years after I found myself opening again for him but at Stereo. He is one of Stereo’s international residents and due to his success in the city he plays 3 times a year at the club; in March when I open for him, in August/Sept an All night long then in December marathon with Guy J. After all this years so many parties together we became good friends, he have helped me a lot and done things for me that you would go wow, he’s an amazing human being with a huge heart and charisma and the humblest man in his position I know…. I can only tell you that he’s been great to me and I love him and respect him dearly. On the professional side he musically respects me and loves my music and openings and that is already the biggest compliment I could get coming from somebody like him.
WWD: Best piece of advice you have received recently?
Keep making the music you do and Believe in Yourself.