Dennis Cruz's "Five" is a Beatport Number 1

We catch up with Madrid-based producer and DJ Dennis Cruz whose track “Five” just hit Beatport’s overall top spot.

7 min
Dennis cruz number one
Sept 9, 2020
Heiko Hoffmann

Congratulations on your return to the top of the Beatport charts! How many top 100 tracks do you already have?

Thank you so much! This is my fifth overall number one which feels amazing. I think I’ve had close to fifty overall Top 100s including originals, collaborations and remixes, and over a hundred genre Top 100s, which is always a little surreal to think about. I’m so grateful for all of the continuous support and this latest number 1 is unbelievable as I never expected it.

“Five” came out as a b-side track a month ago and has been steadily climbing the charts. Why did you make the decision not to put it out as the a-side?

I wasn’t 100 percent convinced on releasing it at first, and I really loved Eddy M’s track “Show Me,” so we decided to release it like this, as a split EP, with “Five” as the second track. I only played it three times in clubs, but I was making some changes to the break to try to make it a little more effective for dancefloor, and I think that because I had listened to it so many times whilst re-working on it I became a little bored of it, which is a normal thing when you’re producing music I guess. However, I came back to it and finished it up, and I think it’s turned out to be an amazing release for the label.

Can you tell us a bit about how the track came together?

I’ve just been checking the project now for this interview and I realised it came from an unreleased track that I made around three years ago. In the end I only used three channels from the old one, and then I found a really nice vocal sample, wrote the bassline, added a fresh kick and it was almost done. Over the years I’ve realised that you have a good track when you don’t have too many channels for the track’s groove, but the element that took the most time was the break. I found another sample that suited the track perfectly so I decided to make the break a little R&B influenced in terms of the beats and the arrangement, but afterwards I was a little unsure about using this part or not. However, I kept it and it works!

What is the story behind the vocal samples — especially in the break?

I was just looking for samples and I found these which fit so well with the beat, and from there I began working with them. As I mentioned, I was so confused about whether to use the R&B vocals or keep it a bit more dubby and dark, but I had the dancefloor in mind when I made it originally, which is why I decided to kill only the bass before working the first vocal. With the break, I needed something to take listeners up again and that’s when I began working on the various R&B vocals, the drum arrangements and the kicks, and in the end it turned out to be something that felt fresh and could potentially work… and luckily it did!

With “Girlfriend” you’ve already put out another track on your label MÜSE. What is the main difference in running a dance music label during the current crisis? Have you made any changes to your release plan?

Yes, Eddy and I are really excited about the label and its direction. We’re extremely focused on it at the moment, and without the element of touring we’ve made some changes to the plans and are planning on releasing more often now as we’ve got a lot of new music coming up.

“Girlfriend” is a collaboration with my good friend Iuliano Mambo, and we actually sampled two or three R&B tracks throughout this one too. I’ve always loved to sample records. It’s something I learnt when I was producing hip-hop and working in the studio, and when it’s done properly it can sound great, which is why I try to add some to many of my productions where I feel that it fits well.

You live in Madrid. How are you dealing with the pandemic and does it have any effect on your productivity as a musician?

It’s been a tough and difficult moment and period for the city with this pandemic, and this is of course echoed across the country and across the world. In terms of my own changes, I have a lot more time to work in the studio which has been great and I have been taking time to enjoy some other aspects of everyday life which can be difficult when you’re usually touring and travelling. Some days you can find that you lack some motivation which can be frustrating, however, at the moment I’m in the studio regularly and I’m finding it to be much more productive in terms of making new music. I also definitely feel like I’m improving my sound as a result too.

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