Hey salseros, timberos, soneros, bachateros and everything that ends with -eros .
Today we had a little chating with one of the best salsa djs in Europe, organizer of I am Cuban All Star festival, and also a big friend of whole salsa scene in Serbia and region, DJ Tomas Thuno.
Tomas, your first connection with our scene was at Ohrid salsa festival at 2011. Can you describe your feelings and experience in that moment?
– Honestly it was one of the best salsa trip in my life!
I came to Ohrid with some money left after my trip to Cuba and my guitar, in the way i meet Tamas who bring me by car from Balaton to Ohrid.. In the way during whole night I was thinking… WTF where i am?? I was crossing whole Serbia and suddenly in my mind came the old time at Spanish television.. Honestly I was afraid.
Finally when I arrive to Ohrid and I met all of you, I really felt in home! All Balkan people have so amazing soul and energy that I fell in love with you guys. It is really difficult follow you with the rakija! But definitely it was one of the best experience in my life! I met some special people there who changed my life.
From then until now you’ve done so much in salsa world. Which things are especially important to you and about which you will talk to your kids or grandchildren some day ?
– Definitely 2010 was one of the year! I came to Cuba alone looking for feelings after I came to Ohrid alone and i back with 300 friends and in November I came to „Havana de Belgrado“ and I discover that I also love Serbian food. Look how much I enjoyed there that it was a time when I was looking for a job over there! 😛
Second experience in my life about salsa was in 2014 when I made the „Dream Team“ and we organized Cuban All Star festival in Tunisia. 5 months working like crazy to make the most unique festival!
In dj-ing you are welcome guest to every festival in Europe. What prevails in your musical taste? What are your favorite groups and musicians, and tell us something interesting about them.
– Thank you very much! But I am not invited in every festival in Europe (yet!) It is true that I am traveling to some of the most important and I have the pleasure to play my music.
In my personal taste I think that for being a good salsa DJ you have to be a real dancer. In this case you know how dancer thinks and you can play with them. Normally I focus a lot on Speed of music (BPM). By my opinion the perfect timba have between 93-98bpm. In fact, dance is like kind of sport. The good DJ should increase and decrease the rhythm progressive, without a lot of big changes! If not, we kill the dancer!
Every party have different people, so we should play different music.. In some places people love merengue or reggaeton or Rumba… In other people simply do not like different styles! In this case we should play the kind of dance that people like to dance but we add the good taste to choose the right songs!
Your favorite song or album in this moment ?
– The favorite?? Extremely difficult! I have a lot, but now I listen everyday „Es tu mirada“ from Leoni Torres feat. Alexander Zbreu and Kelvis Ochoa!
Normally I love Alexander abreu and one of the best song is „Mi musica“.. give me special feelings.
Beside dj-ing you are also inventor, organizer and leader of one of the biggest salsa festivals on Earth „I am Cuban All Star“. How did you come to the idea of organizing something big and interesting like this festival?
– Is not the biggest (Yet) but it is the most unique. I met a person who had contact with hotels and wanted to make something regarding dance.. bachata.. salsa LA.. On2.. cubana.. Yhey ask me for advices so I propose them to just make the best festival in the world. After so many festivals I know what people like and what not (or i think so).. I just take the phone and call my crazy family of salsa in Europe, Sanja from Ritmos Del Mundo, Melina and Andreas from Loco London, Ania from Poland… and I told them do you want to make the best festival in the world? So we just began to work really hard.
It was successful because we just wanted to make our dream event! Festival for the attendees, not for artist or organizers. In Cuban all star the normal people were the special ones! The animations, the contests, the power! That’s why everyone loved it! We just made a crazy project with the 100% needs of the market: holidays connected with salsa + the best artists + the best concerts + the more crazy parties + time to enjoy and share experiences with artists and 500 ppl from 55 different countries.
This year festival is in Bulgaria. Give us some spicy and intriguing details ?
After last year we analyzed the mistakes and we are looking to avoid them!
First we know that people want to be together, that’s why we book full hotel only for us.
People also want alcohol whole day! So we agreed all inclusive for 24h!
This year we will have amazing concert – Elito Revé! I know that people there love him!
We introduce some special theme parties with more essence like Havana vieja night, where we will have nice dress code and we will dance a lot of Romantics and nice Son cubanos. We will have a master class for djs and for me the best of all is that we will make a Cuban all star Band where we will have amazing director – Mixael cabrera (director of Mixael and Team Barcelona) where everyone who know how to play music will learn few songs and then we will sing together. On Saturday we will make a concert where attendees will be the musicians and the dancers!
Do you have some secret surprises like last year?
Of course! Only who was in Cuban all star 2014 know what me and my team can do!
We really appreciate that people follow us and we have big respect for it! We are working really hard to make people happy and in Bulgaria we will have nice surprises!!
Give us your prophecy. In which way would Cuban music and dance scene go in future?
100% SON CUBANO! I think that Cuban dance came to Europe with Rueda and Casino… With years the dancer needs to have more personal developing so people began in rumba and Afro where the people became more selfish (there is no contact between guys like in rueda) but the people got nice movements! Now is time that dancer know really well how to dance and the feelings of the music are really on! The Son cubano is without any doubt the most beautiful music and dancer enjoy so much dance at „contratiempo“. If you want to have magic moment just go to youtube and play: Vente negra – Havana con kola.
For the end of this interview we want to know about your present salsa activities and what are your plans? And of course when will you visit us in Belgrade?
My present plan are 100% I am cuban all star festival! we just finish the event with the international flash mob in Poland ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yor6HtffNSk )
After Bulgaria I think that i need holidays so Belgrade is always a nice place to stay! And in summer Ada´s Lake is amazing! Maybe for anniversary of Ritmos Del Mundo???
Yes, of course. We are expecting you when summer parties in Cuba Caffe begin. Before that we will meet and enjoy in I AM CUBAN ALL STAR!!!
For the end of this interview just watch how it was last year and think about joining us. 1. – 8. JUNE 2015