Renato's World

Words by: Kristan Caryl
Posted: 17/10/12 7:50

Renato’s WorldBy now, everyone has read the Forbes report that stated Brazil’s dance music scene is booming. But is it accurate in the eyes of those on the ground; those actually putting on all these allegedly well attended festivals? Apparently, yes, at least in the mind of Renato, owner of D.Edge in Rio and D.Edge in Sao Paulo, part owner of Warung and general all round Brazilian businessman, artist and DJ extraordinaire.

Such credentials are hard to question, and mean that Renato has had an insider’s view almost scene the scene in Brazil started. It’s for that reason he has recently put his money where his mouth is by opening a second D.Edge club in the much harder target market of Rio, at the same time as continuing to build the Warung brand.

That club is now ten years old with a rich history of its own, as we found out from the man himself between programming forthcoming line-ups that include everyone from PillowTalk to Sven Vath, Wolf + Lamb to Heidi

How are you, how has your year been, what’s been keeping you most busy?
It has been a quite busy year. I’m always focused on my work. I also make time for my family and a I like a lot this, but there’s always a lot to be done, so a lot of work.

I’m now preparing and organizing a holding company that will manage the companies I already have and the future ones.

Now we have 3 clubs. D.Edge (Sao Paulo and Rio) and part of Warung, a restaurant, farms (agro-business) and we also plan to be in the construction sector, hotel business, and tourism.

And I also have my own artistic career that demands a lot of time, preparing and also travelling.

How accurate is this Forbes report I wonder? Does it feel on the ground there like the scene is growing; is healthy?
The market is developing a lot. In the last five years there was really a boom in electronic music parties all around Brazil, not only in big cities. Also many clubs were created in this period.

Many artists that could not even have one gig in Brazil now have bookings for a complete 10 days tour. This is definitely hot. We make the best efforts to be a part of this development in a sustainable and solid way. Not only as a club, but trying always to keep our audience not only to consume, but also to be part of the scene and really learn.

Warung is Ten this year – how has the club evolved over the years; what battles has it had to fight?
There were many Battles, but the club is still hold and strong. This year we have a renovation plan, on its architecture. It’s going to keep its natural feel but bring a fresh air to it. There is much respect for Warung. All around the world. We have a fan basis that works like a big Family.

What are the hardest things about running a club in Brazil? Finding clubbers; the government; security; getting DJs to play? What challenges do you come up against most?
Nothing is really easy in Brazil, but things are getting better for sure. Inside security is always difficult because to find good security team is a challenge, but we have never had a problem. D.Edge has been a peaceful club for 10 years.

How does the scene differ to that of the European scene do you think, or are they similar now? Do people get it in the same way in Brazil that they do in more established cities?
In some aspects it does differ, as I said before, electronic music is still growing, so there are many points still developing. But quite similar.

You are opening a new club too, right, in Rio? Is Rio as far on as Sao Palo in terms of electronic music or are there different challenges?
I’ve made parties in Rio for 10 years. I have many friends there. Of course it still needs to develop. And that’s my aim. Make that this beautiful city one of the most import electronic music centres in the world, having D.Edge as one of the spots.

How different will your aims be with a new club to those of D-Edge or Warung?
We are already under construction in Rio. It’s a very intersting place Located in front of the docks at the port region, centralized at the city. It's an area that nowadays is still very dark and not used comercially. The building used to be a warehouse for an eletricity company. It’s a 3 floor building. This is going to be revitalised by the city of Rio as part of the reorganisation for the Olympic games. There we are not only having a club, but also space for art exhibitions, dance, performance. Also a gallery, music studio and restaurant. It's more a cultural centre.

Renato RatierThe light design concept is going to be developed by the same designer Muti Randolph. The concept of D.Edge is to be like a machine, and Rio one is going to be The MOTHER machine, the complete one!

And as a DJ, how do you like playing to Brazilian crowds? Are they similar to American or European crowds or do you play differently?
I like a lot playing everywhere. Brazil, USA, Europe. But I do not play different. I really think it’s important to feel the vibe and bring the best music for the circumstance, but it has nothing to do with the nationality of the crowd.

And how keen are you to bring on local talents; Brazilian residents or have Brazilian stars DJ at your clubs? Is that important?
We always try to have a good spread on the bookings. Bringing only popular names is not our aim. We balance between new names, legends and focus also on the local scene. Not every week we have international acts at the club. But we have to keep bringing different names. Our audience is really thirsty for the new! It’s really important to invest in local names; it’s the only way to really build a scene.

So what else are you excited about or are you working on?
I’m really excited about my music. I’m working 10 hours per week at the studio. We are having a studio built for all the artists of the club also. It’s going to be together with a 24 hour restaurant. So this is a meeting point for artists. I think this is also necessary do develop the scene.

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