Coming from the white sand beaches of the Dominican Republic, Vander‘s thirst of exploration led him to embark on a worldwide journey from a young age. Collecting memories and acquiring knowledge from different cultures, it was impossible for these not to influence his musical taste. His sound is the result of an inclination towards spirituality, wisdom and human connection. All this, combined with his Latin musical influences and pigmentation of his skin from the sunny Caribbean, result in a rhythm he describes as “mambo”. Vander is currently based in Amsterdam and plays as a resident DJ for The Gardens of Babylon. He has shared stage with Bedouin, Behrouz, Mira & Chris Schwarzwalder and many other amazing artists.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your track selection for this podcast? What have been some recent inspirations?
Hey guys, first of all I want to express all my gratitude to Adam and the team for inviting me to do a podcast. We wanted to do it for a while and the time led us to do it on these tough world times. I was isolated in my house in Punta Cana for one week I couldn’t leave the house so that changed all my perspective on this Corona times, that’s when we came up with the idea that we should stream a DJ set and use the recording for the podcast. I didn’t select any tracks beforehand for this DJ set or any of the live streams I am doing at the moment. The reason is that every time I want to prepare a set I end up don’t liking it because it’s not in my flow of the moment. So, I just selected the first track and then let myself go with my emotions.

You’ve been doing a few livestreams since the pandemic started, how do you differentiate the act of playing for digital audience as opposed to playing a live show?
Well, there’s no crowd on a livestream haha, that’s the big difference. Normally on a live show it’s a give and take experience between the performer and the crowd. An exchange of energy, and that’s what drives my sets. On the other hand, making a livestream changes the whole situation, there’s no exchange of physical energy but there is a situation going on so in this case I use the livestream to transmit positive energy to everyone who’s watching and use this energy to surpass these moments. So I think the difference is that in live shows you have an instant exchange of energy while in the livestream is basically giving energy.

How do you think the music industry will be affected after this pandemic blows over?
Bufff… Scares me to think about it but we have to be realistic on these times, I think there won’t be shows for the next 6 months (at least) and then slowly if we start having shows will be very intimate settings so it will be a slow start for everyone. But the “bright’ side is that artists will start to get more creative in the way they showcase their music. I think there will be a lot of new music out there since artist are having more time in the studio so thats good also a lot of virtual interactions will start to happen. The livestreams are just the beginning, I think we will start to see virtual reality club parties and stuff.

Aside from releasing quality material, can you tell us about your involvement with The Gardens Of Babylon?
My story with TGOB comes from 3 years ago when I started as an intern for Shishi. I was living in Delft which is like 2 hours away from Amsterdam and I was coming every day to work at TGOB. I was new in Netherlands and Europe so TGOB opened the doors for me in the music industry here. Since day one I gave it all, from flyering in the streets of Amsterdam to decorating parties, I learned everything about producing shows and the music industry. It was after one year that I became the Marketing Manager of the company and supported the team in the creation of our first festival The Monastery. After a while, my DJ career started to blow up and I was getting shows mostly every weekend so we decided to stop my work at TGOB and only focus on music. At the moment, TGOB is my home, I am very happy to be part of their music program in most of the shows and part of the label. Later this year we will be releasing my EP called “The Attraction” which will have the two tracks that I played at the end of the set and more goodies. Stay tuned!

What can we expect from you for 2020?
This year I have three EPs planned. The Attraction which I mentioned above, another one called Petite Fleur with Mynox which is a two track EP + 2 remixes from The Soul Brothers & Joep Mencke and will be released in Art Vibes Music. The third EP is called Disco Bebek with Pandhora and will be released on Klassified. I’m also taking this time to work on my album which I will talk about later because I can’t say too much about it now but it’s gonna be a very interesting cultural project. Can’t wait to reveal it!