With a unique DJ style, charming personality, good looks and a smile that melts the hearts of his fans , DJ Lucas Flamefly is making his name a trademark within the global gay circuit party scene. If you are a keen partaker within the European gay party scene you surely have heard or even danced to the tunes of DJ Lucas Flamefly. This Madrid based tune producer went from being one of the most sought-after up and coming DJs among the gay circuit in recent years, to becoming today an established name in the scene in Europe, Latin America and the USA.
Lucas Flamefly is not only known for his DJ skills but also for his great personality and good looks. His talent goes beyond just spinning at parties, as he has already been producing his own material. We wanted to know more about him, being a DJ in the gay party scene and of course about his passion, so he kindly agreed to this interview with us. Get to know Lucas better in this touching conversation about hard work in pursuit of your dreams.
Jose: How would you describe your personal DJ style?
Lucas: One of the things I hear the most when people listen to my sets is that I am “different,” which I honestly appreciate. That is what I look for to show in my music. I’ve tried to create an identity that cannot be found or listened around elsewhere. I’ve worked very hard behind the scene and especially during the last few years my career developed a lot, so I’m happy with this accomplishment. I am well known now for strong and powerful tribal beats intertwined with mainstream and uplifting vocals. I like to say I try to provide a singular dancefloor experience during my sets.
And so, where do the influences in your sound come from?
Well, I’m really into big room tribal beats and drums, even the mainstream songs I often choose to play are rather different from other DJs’ versions, and this is just great because I love surprising my crowd. I try to bowl them over every time I play with the most unexpected moments. But of course, you have to create the perfect atmosphere to play, for example, some big classic anthem like Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You” mashed up with Aguilera’s “Hurt” – which I named “I Will Always Hurt You”! – as well as knowing the moment to drop some hard drummy percussion like some productions of Massivedrum or Antoine Clamaran. Those are some of my diverse influences. Other DJs and producers, mainly old school, that are also a big influence in my music are Thunderpuss, Victor Calderone, Peter Rauhofer and Tony Moran.
When did you know you wanted to be a DJ? How was that process for you?
I’ve always been connected to electronic music, and ever since I got my first computer in 2000 I started downloading remixes of mainstream songs, maxi singles and I started following some producers I loved at the time. Once I was in the USA working in cruise ships, I had the opportunity to “spin” in one of our crew parties. I didn’t even know how to use the CDJs. It was basically play/volume up/bass cut/volume down. However, once I finished playing, the whole dancefloor cheered and whistled and the staff director came to me saying it was unbelievable. That was one of the best moments of my life. Little I knew back then how many people are chasing the same spot under the sun. I never really had the opportunity to study nor had I a fairy Godmother to help me out. The process to develop my career took time. Nothing came easy but I knew I was living my passion, my dream had become my life project and even today, having my international career well established, I feel I never stop being challenged or in better words, always challenging myself. My music is not only my job, it is my life and what makes me happy. So, I work really hard and I give it all every day.
And where does the name “Flamefly” comes from?
I was just waiting for you to ask that! Pretty simple but very meaningful story for me: When I was a kid in Brazil I used to be obsessed with Fireflies. They were just the most amazing creatures for me. Therefore when I had to create my first email like maybe year 2000 – and also my Fotolog which is still somehow online – I tried “firefly” or even “thefirefly” but obviously it was already taken. Then, I came up with changing “fire” for “flame” and …. voilà ! FLAMEFLY was created: a blazing Firefly. At the beginning of my career I used to sign only as DJ FLAMEFLY, but it was a hard name for Spaniards to remember and even pronounce. But as more popular I became, people started to refer to me as Lucas the Flamefly, so I decide to finally incorporate my real name to it, as in DJ Lucas Flamefly. Today, I can tell people know who Lucas Flamefly is. It was hard, I know it isn’t the easiest name to remember. But I made it!
You are now playing all over the world in the main Circuit parties and clubs. How did you get started in this scene?
It was in Madrid, after divorcing from my ex-husband – he was a writer, so… – when I started making new friends and gradually met people from the gay scene in the city. I reckon and I am very grateful to have had the help of many of these friends and people who were in the Circuit scene for a much longer time than I was. They realised how I was devoting myself to learn and to become a professional. Eventually I met one of the producers of “Kluster”, the main weekly party in Madrid. We became friends and upon showing him a recorded set of mine, he took a chance on me. I had just opened my SoundCloud channel at the time. That first night, he really hated my session, but he was more into tech Berlin underground music, but apparently most people did enjoy it. Since then I slowly started playing here and there, got a residency in another club in town, my SoundCloud channel gained a bit of popularity, and then, step by step, I got more established with the big party brands in Europe. But yet, it took its time.
“You are somehow connecting with people’s emotions when you play. So, when you deliver that session or that song in the right moment, the feedback and love is given to you genuinely, and you feel it when it is real.”
What do you think about this scene? What would you say are the positive or negative things in this industry?
It is a rather complex question. I must say that my perspective on party and nightlife is completely different from general people, because of what I do and lived. Nowadays a DJ is not only the guy that plays music in the club. The DJ is a whole product. Only talent and eagerness are not enough to work in this industry anymore, it is eventually a big social game just like “House of Cards.” Who you’re friends with – or slept with – the number of Instagram followers, how you look like physically… and so many other things that shouldn’t be relevant when making music in this industry are sometimes more important at the moment of booking DJs. I could say that one main positive point for me of this job is the fact you are somehow connecting with people’s emotions when you play. So, when you deliver that session or that song in the right moment, the feedback and love is given to you genuinely, and you feel it when it is real. Nothing brings me more joy than receiving a nice feedback from party goers and party producers. This is very unique. The negative part is that not everyone has the same good intentions, undoubtedly it is important to mention the abuse of drugs, both among the crowd and particularly among professionals. It’s just part of the scene.
With that being said, would you consider DJs are expected to be “Influencers”?
If damn Kardashians are considered to be influencers, why not ? I mean, the concept of “influencers” is really relative. But it means the world to me when I received some random messages from other DJs or house music lovers across the globe, saying that they love my work and I’m among their favorite DJs and such. It is pretty overwhelming and awesome! But going back to the subject…. yes, I guess we all are – at some point and level – influence on someone else.
You said it’s important to mention the abuse of drugs in this scene. What would be your advice for those kids starting to explore the scene?
This is an important issue for both party-goers and professionals. Don’t overdo it. Knowing this is pretty chimerical, get to understand your limits, learn how and what will give you the best experience without turning you into a zombie, and be extremely cautious with GHB, which is popular among gays. It has affected too many careers around, not to say too many dear friends taken away from us by drug abuse, way too soon.
Very well said. Another issue is the apparently fabulous and fun lifestyle of a DJ as perceived by outsiders, but surely is also a big sacrifice. What would you say are the costs of following this career for you?
Yes it can be fabulous if you are living for it. As any artistic career though, it has ups and downs -personally, financially and professionally – and I guess the hardest part of it is lacking some stability regarding a regular routine, which I try to have as much as I can. This misconception image of the life of an international DJ can push some people away. Many have in their minds the idea of a gay DJ being that guy who fucks everyone, everywhere, with party and drugs 24/7. Well, maybe some of them can do that, but at least this is absolutely not my case! I’m actually very laid back and calm. I love watching a movie and having a hot bath drinking wine with some good company. But my love life is a complete disaster, must admit – laughs 😉
Where do you see yourself in the a few years? Have you fulfilled your dreams?
As I mentioned, I’m really challenging myself to become a better professional and specifically a good music producer. This is what I’ve been working on these last few years and right now my focus is to show people the music I can develop. I think that as long as I keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll be pretty happy myself. Apart from that I have some other parallel projects, including making my own party and to become a father one day. I look over from where I came from to where I am today, that looks already like a dream. I can say that I’ve had some nightmare-like periods in between, but I overcame them and I went further than I could ever imagined. Life is still happening though, and there’s soooo much more to do! The more I think, the bigger my goals are.
Finally, would you tell us a bit about your plans for this year ahead? what is coming for DJ Lucas FLamefly in 2018?
2018 is the year I’ll be releasing the remixes and my original productions that I’ve been working during these past few months. I’ll be soon returning to Brazil for Carnival, one of the best experiences I’ve had. Very soon I’ll be playing also in Mexico for the very first time. I’m particularly excited about that because I have so many listeners and followers in Mexico and they always ask me when I’ll be going to play there. That’s what I can say for now, as it is confirmed. I’m very excited for this year.
“One of the things I hear the most when people listen to my sets is that I am “different,” which I honestly appreciate. That is what I look for in my music.”
DJ Lucas Flamefly was born and raised in Brazil within a family of German ancestry. He started his career in 2004 there, as a shy producer of bootlegs that exploded online among the gay circuit DJs. At 18 years old he headed to the USA, where he spent some time spinning on cruise ships around the Caribbean. He finally settled in Madrid at 21 years old, a city he fell in love with and has since called home. In Madrid he worked hard to make a name as a DJ, and most recently as a producer as well. That is his base, but today the world is his stage. Ever since, his sound has lit up club dancefloors not only in Spain but all over Europe, South and North America and back around full circle to his homeland in Brazil. As a rising talent in Madrid he joined the exclusive group of featuring DJs for the global party machine “WE PARTY”, and was an official DJ of the massive MADBEAR FESTIVAL in Madrid. Today, Lucas Flamefly is the regularly featured international resident DJ in such places like TAURUS (Chile), R:Evolution (Brazil), TRADE (NYC USA) or club POSH in Lebanon. He’s also a regular DJ during XLSIOR Mykonos summer festival in the Greek island; to name just a few.