With a week before the big show, we are showcasing another Miami native who is changing the game in the hub of electronic music. Whether it be laying down the hard techno beats we all crave or conducting an impromptu live setup, Cris Marte, aka Naufer, does it all.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Naufer brings a special blend of melodic techno that other DJs just cannot replicate. Naufer’s introduction to music began at the age of 12, and he has been on a nonstop evolution ever since.
From playing bass in a punk band, to opening up for the biggest DJs in electronic music, Naufer is already building quite the legacy. If you find yourself in Miami, you can find Marte playing at the two juggernaut techno clubs: Club Space and Trade.
You can catch Naufer playing Saturday at III Points all through the night at the LinkMiamiRebels stage.
We interview Naufer below. You can find tickets for III Points via IIIPoints.com:
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Well I was born in Santo Domingo, DR. Since I was young I use to make instruments out of stuff around my house and pretended I was in a band with my friends. We did a cover of Danzig’s “Mother” for a school talent show and since then I knew I wanted to be involved in some sort of musical project. I moved the US right after high-school. I first moved to Boston where I tried to go to college while playing in a band. We had all moved one by one to the states to try and make it. We toured a bunch in the US and some other countries but then I quit because it started to feel like a job and I wasn’t having fun anymore. By that time I had moved to Miami and needed a job. My cousin told me he knew someone that worked with Link Miami Rebels and that’s where I met Lucaz. He got me a job as a promoter at Trade in the summer of 2013 or 2014 I think and the rest is history!
You’ve once played bass in punk band, how’d you transition to electronic music?
I’ve always enjoyed electronic music in general. A lot of my favorite artists and bands are heavy electronically influenced. For a while I was very into Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. My brother was a Trance DJ during the late 90s early 2000s in Santo Domingo. He would take me along with him to his gigs all around the country. I was like 15 at the time. I remember i’d help him set up and just dance the whole night at random abandoned hotels in the North Coast with him and his friends. Now that I think about it that’s pretty crazy given how conservative our society is back home. So yeah I feel like my transition from rock to electronic music came naturally.
Who are your influences?
This is very hard to answer since I pretty much soak up anything that has a good melody no matter what the genre is. I listen to a lot of punk rock and pretty much any DJ we bring to Trade or Space is a heavy influence on me in some way. I consider myself a novice and a student of music still so anyone that I watch perform, I try to learn something from them.
How’d you become a resident DJ?
I really don’t know, It just happened naturally. I had been working for so long for the company doing everything they’ve needed help with to the best of my ability. I remember the first time I played it was by chance. Thunderpony was supposed to open and he had an emergency so he asked if I could play. I said sure why not… little did everyone know is that I had barely been playing on CDJs for like 3 months prior to that. So I just winged it and it went pretty good haha!
Is there a bit of friendly competition between you and the other resident DJs?
I don’t think so. We are all really good friends and we work everyday together during the week preparing everything for the weekends. Personally I look up to them because they have helped me so much in my journey. I owe a lot to them. I remember just watching them when they play. Everyone has a very different style of playing so i’ve picked up a lot from each one of them. Sometimes we do this thing called “Royal Rumble” where we all play back to back all night long. It’s awesome because we should try to out do each other all night.
Explain how deadmau5 found you/your side project.
This is pretty funny. I use to have a super electro / punk project and i produced this one track and submitted it to a contest Mau5trap was having called “We are Friends” and it actually got recognized and was posted on their website. To be honest i’m pretty sure he never heard the track since nothing really happened after it was up on SoundCloud. I was supposed to win something but I really don’t remember that was a long time ago.
How did your location shape you as an artist?
I pretty much owe everything to Miami and Link Miami Rebels. If it weren’t for all the people i’ve worked with for the past 4 years I wouldn’t have been exposed to so many amazing artists which have shaped the sound that I am producing these days. I am lucky to be able to do what I love for work and learn new things every week in the process.
Describe your live setup. Also, tell us about your upcoming projects.
I have a pretty simple Live set up but it varies depending on the type of show i’m performing. These days I usually play on CDJs when I do my residency at Trade and Space just because it’s a smoother transition and I don’t have to bring a bunch of stuff to the gig. But when I do play live I have everything wired through Ableton Live. Most of my set up consists of a Xone: K1 and K2, I also have a Novation Launch which I use as a makeshift step sequencer to make loops and stuff and Novation Launchkey 25 for my synths. Sometimes I’ll use my bass guitar and a ton of effects, mostly Soundtoys. It’s just so much gear that its a pain to travel with. As far as projects go. I take forever to actually release something. My last release was in January I think maybe February. I’ve been working on a new EP which I think will be out before the year ends! It’s coming along nicely. You’ll be the first to get it haha!
What do you have up your sleeve for III Points?
We have our own stage like we did last year and I am fortunate enough to be part of the line-up this year! It’s my first festival ever so i’m super nervous to play but we are doing the Royal Rumble back to back with all the residents from 5pm-11pm and then Thunderpony and I will close off with a back to back from 11-12am. It’s my first time playing with him back to back so it should be a lot of fun since our “sound” are very different. So be sure to check us out on Saturday at Door IV!
Do you believe in luck?
I really don’t. I’m not superstitious at all. I do believe that where we are in life right now is a result of every decision and action ever made by everyone and everything that has ever existed, good or bad, since the beginning of time but maybe that is what luck really mean?