The Gop Tun lads are firmly on the global map
Gop Tun’s beginnings may look trivial nowadays, but still show the same thrust that has put them on the global map.
Alongside fellow Dutch music nerds Dekmantel, this collective execute parties flawlessly in their hometown together. The quartet is formed by DJs with very specific skill sets among them, which come in handy when your regular events demand an increasing amount of attention to detail at each edition, and not only multi-tasking, but planning starts to become paramount.
It has become something else now, apart from a group of music lovers, beyond a label, more than just a party. It became a staple of São Paulo’s vivid music scene and hence it is not surprising that it also became the trustworthy partner to one of Amsterdam’s most obsessive and successful music aficionados, even naming one of the stages of the Brasilian edition of their main event. Here they share their particular points of view and experiences with us in order to help us understand a little bit more about this phenomenon that brought new life and colours to the urban fabric of their hometown.
So, what is actually new in the current nightlife scenario of São Paulo?
Gop Tun: Well, it is not so new anymore, but it still has a lot of force and will keep on going for a while, at least as long as we can keep moving it. Anyway, it involved a new context where the city’s clubs were falling behind in the tastes of the public, they were unable to incorporate the new trends and movements that were popping up everywhere and, for a while, an amicable and close partnership with the city’s authorities, which is now a bit more distant.
In your opinion, what makes São Paulo unique among the regional and global scenes?
Gop Tun: Certainly there are very specific factors that we could bring to the fore to make our point, although it is tough to compare, being right in the middle of it. I think the crowd is certainly the main aspect that sets one scene apart from the other and here in São Paulo we have an avid and passionate contingent of revelers. Moreover, the vitality and authenticity of a scene is obviously sustained by its talent and we have plenty of that too.
And what is your place or role within it?
Gop Tun: Our beginnings may look trivial nowadays, but we are DJs, first and foremost, also with very specific skill sets among us, which comes in handy when your regular events demand an increasing amount of attention to detail at each edition and not only multitasking but planning starts to become paramount. What we strove for, from the outset, was to create the ideal party for people just like us, one that would have the musical experience at the core, but also paying attention to every detail that makes a memorable event into an unforgettable one.
Gop Tun always attracts a loyal and open crowd
How was the trajectory that led you to the point where you are today?
Gop Tun: It certainly was not straightforward or even linear, but we were lucky enough to have not been harmed by massive setbacks throughout these six years. And, looking back, it all seems a bit surreal, as we started out as online friends in music sharing forums, then peer 2 peer networks of record collectors. We met through what keeps us and our collective going until: a community of fun loving music aficionados. From there we started doing parties, smaller ones and from the initial modest bash for 200-300 people that laid the ground for our early stages. We currently produce events for 2000-3000 heads that attend them with open hearts and minds to what we have to offer.
What were the main challenges faced throughout and how have you overcome them?
Gop Tun: Our growth was thoroughly organic, but the big challenge here was to maintain the vibe by preserving the original environment of dancing and enjoyment. Not a mean feat if you think about how expansion can plague any type of enterprise, from restaurants to clubs. There is an optimum, a threshold, that we don’t plan on crossing, otherwise it is inevitable that the vibe is lost or, at least, diluted. Sometimes, the public is not quite ready to follow you on all of your proposals as much as they trust your decisions and come up at events with obscure guests as the main attraction. This we learnt when we went a tad too far into our exploratory trips across São Paulo and we had to purvey transportation in order to facilitate their attendance.
The city itself is an important part of what you conceive, right? The empty buildings, the derelict neighbourhoods, the abandoned warehouses, they are all a fixture of the whole thing after all…
Gop Tun: Certainly they are. We’d consider them an essential element of what we offer, not only as a background or a visual asset, these pieces of our urban history are a living part of our events and we try to feature them in the best way, they are part of the narrative alongside everything else. It could be an abandoned printing factory, a former logistics center, a decadent social club, a forgotten sauna, each one has its own personality and bringing them to life under new purposes is one of the original and crucial contributions of this whole movement to São Paulo.
Are there any other fronts involving the brand beyond the events?
Gop Tun: Of course! When you have music at the core of your efforts, there are many ways that can help you disseminate it. The interchange of talent that we have already established with the parties - basically inviting over the artists we listen and look up to - and putting them in contact with the public is the fundamental part. However, it had to be supported in other fronts, such as a label, which we set up a couple of years ago and is doing quite well by mainly divulging local artists we enjoy (ourselves included even) through 12”s featuring remixes by stalwarts of the scene. Also, we are taking our whole experience on tour now, something that involves more than just us as guests DJs. The visual dimension is inseparable of what Gop Tun has become, thanks to the great work developed by the guys from Sala28 with whom we forged a close and prolific relationship, so it is part of what we want to offer as a label across the country and, hopefully, throughout the continent.
What does São Paulo need more of?
Gop Tun: a serious consideration of its nocturnal vocation. The city is hectic, it never sleeps, so if we are trying to fill these hours with some much needed entertainment, we would really appreciate some understanding, or better, some support from the people who run it. But it is not just about our field of work or the way we experience the city, it severely lacks a lot of things for a lot of people, especially those who need it the most unfortunately. Improving public transportation would be a great start.
...And what does São Paulo need less of?
Gop Tun: Inefficient bureaucracy and prejudiced officials.
Gop Tun are hosting their next event this Saturday, the 21st of April, with special guests Efdemin and Joakim.
Delve a little deeper and check out our other interviews: Ibiza Voice - Interviews