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Meet Antonio Bustamante

Today we’d like to introduce you to Antonio Bustamante.

Hi Antonio, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I have been involved in the house music scene here in Downtown for several years. I have always been into music and have been in bands / produced music since my early teens. I bounced around making music and DJing throughout college but really didn’t get into house music until hosting a radio show at Cal State Fullerton. My exposure to electronic music exploded and within that year, I discovered local underground acts and respected, internationally known artists to include on my show and made efforts to come out to these performances. I moved to Downtown with my fiancé in late 2014. It took me a couple of years to really see what was going on here.

During this time, I had a few self-released EPs and played a few local bars. I started a podcast because I was not playing as much as I would have liked and I wanted to share my music with a larger audience. In 2018, I started Made to Move with my partner, Andy Orozco, and friend, Jasmine Casillas. Made to Move is a house music night dedicated to local artists and DJs focusing on classic and underground house music. I think here is when I started to find more purpose in my community. Since the pandemic started, we have moved Made to Move to an online stream on Twitch and VPN radio.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not always been a smooth road. I have always struggled with a lot of self-doubts. Are my songs good enough? Is what I’m doing relevant or even important? Am I as good as my peers? I think a lot of artists struggle with this and it can really hinder the creative process. Networking, marketing, social media are also a challenge. You can’t just make music or just throw events if you want your listenership to grow. You really have to put a concerted effort into promoting your work and what you are doing. You have to see yourself as a business and community figure, in some ways. This takes time and resources away from your artistry but it is necessary if you want to have your work noticed.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I make house and techno music. My recordings are done in my home studio, using synths and Ableton live. What really inspires me is the connectivity of electronic music or just music in general. A lot of people see dance music as hedonistic, performed in clubs for people to dance to, party to, and maybe indulge in substance to forget their problems. However, there is an element in dance music where everyone is on the same page. It could be grooving to a bassline or the pausing during an airy lead, but everyone is feeling the same energy. I can’t really think of too many things that can do that to a diverse group of people. When I make music, I hope it makes people smile, grin with excitement, and feel open to dance and express themselves like no one is watching, unhindered by the judgments of what is seen as “normal”. I do house and techno not one or the other. There are many sides of me, really when I set out to make a track, it is describing an ethereal feeling I am having at the moment or mood. It is more so like looking at a color than it is reading a poem.

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
I am not too much of a risk taker. I like a plan. I like a process. I like to execute things as close to the plan as possible. That being said, I do take risks when it comes to music. Recording equipment and throwing events takes time and money. You are not guaranteed to make your money back and can often lose significant sums. Sometimes you know you are going to lose money but it is more of an investment for the community and hopefully that will come back to you in the future.

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Image Credits:

Andrea Orozco Luis Moreno

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