Studio Session // A Conversation With Nathan Barato
With roots in the Toronto underground and after-hours scene and a touring schedule that has since seen him play on international platforms across the globe, Nathan Barato has established a reputation for himself as one of the most prolific DJ/Producers in the house music scene today.
With an eclectic sound that infuses 90’s garage, techno, and house music, Nathan’s tracks have been released on some of the most prestigious labels in the electronic music industry, including Hot Creations and spinoff Hottrax, Rekids, Cajual, Saved Records, MOOD, and his very own label with Carlo Lio, Rawthentic.
We caught up with Nathan to talk about his music, his inspirations, and his latest Hot Creations LP, ‘Past Forward’. Listen to his exclusive mix for Glossi Mag.
You’re a veteran of the Toronto electronic music scene. Tell us about how first got into spinning and producing.
Like any baby of the family, I wanted to be like my big brother Jason. He started DJing when we were teens and taught me. I instantly loved it and it wasn’t long before I played my first gig at my high school dance. A couple of years later I ended up working at Traxx Records in Toronto, met a ton of people, and became a local DJ, playing gigs every weekend. Things kind of built up from there. I didn’t start producing until years later because I didn’t have the patience to learn gear or software. I finally matured though and spent the time to figure it out, but I also just wanted another avenue to be expressive musically.
You released an album last year titled ‘Past Forward’. Describe the album and your process when producing. Do you go into the studio with a certain concept/idea, or is it a matter of finding the tune as you go?
For me, the process varies every time I’m in the studio. For Past Forward, I took two months off touring with the intention to create as much as possible. I literally spat out so much music every day. At the end of that period, I felt like there were a bunch of tracks that had a similar vibe so I packaged them together and, working with the Hot Creations crew, felt like an album would be cool to do. As a concept, Past Forward is about bringing forward musical influences from my upbringing as a young DJ into my own sound now. The inspiration came to me at an art gallery in Chicago during a trip with my wife.
What genres and sounds are you inspired by right now?
To be honest, I’m not really inspired by genres as a whole. I’m more just into music in general. That sounds like a hipster response but it’s true, I like it all.
Who is an artist that you’ve always dreamed of working with?
Straight up hands down no hesitation, John Ciafone.
What song of yours most consistently lights up the dance floor?
Luckily I figured out how to make some tracks that can pop a floor off so I have a bunch, but the one that comes to mind right now is Freaks Of The Industry.
What is your favourite 4am type of track?
I guess that depends on the venue, time slot, etc, and are we meaning the end of the night vibe? Or late-night vibe, but we’re gonna keep chugging? 4 am can mean so much, but I’ll go with White Cliffs ‘Brace Yourself (Nathan Barato featuring Zel Remix).
What is a career highlight of yours that sticks out from the past decade?
I’ve been super lucky to have had a lot of highlights over the last 10 years but something that has really stuck with me is my two album parties in Toronto and Miami. They were tiny, and sweaty and filled with close friends. It was just straight loving jams and feel-good music.
Looking ahead, what does 2020 have in store for you?
2020 is a new chapter. I’m working on a new project with different genres and different artists than I’m used to. I’m feeling very inspired and I plan to bring that inspiration back into my dance music experience.