Laredo DJ, music producer, sees her talent showcased in Spain | Panda Anku

If you’re in Spain and you’re listening to electronic music on the radio, you might just hear the work of a Laredoan.

On numerous weekends recently, Spanish radio station 808 Radio has been presenting the work of Lizett Montiel amidst other international acts. Montiel, whose stage name is Rizu X, considers herself an audiovisual producer.

“Since I was young I’ve always been composing music, with piano and keyboards or vocals and songwriting, but I never really focused on a music project until I started buying my own synths and drum machines and loop pedals in 2012,” said Montiel. “Rizu X was officially born in 2015 when I felt more comfortable using my gear live.”

Montiel said she was introduced to the Spanish radio station after hearing about her music through a release she made with a Berlin-based label Cómeme, owned by Matias Aguayo.

“The label features and supports many electronic music artists around the world, including Latinxs,” said Montiel. “They have been very supportive since then, as have other international radio stations that I have had the privilege of being featured on such as NTS in the UK, RinseFM France and Radio Nopal in CDMX to name a few.”

Montiel’s music, played on the Spanish radio station, is touted as the music of the future. She said it’s because electronic music continues to be given that label.

“Electronic music is still seen as the future of music, but it’s already here,” Montiel said. “My approach to music is usually to find new sounds, new instruments or new ways to explore workflow and composition. It can be very eclectic and playful because it makes me feel very free. So if something sounds different than what we’re used to or you can’t remember a reference and you’re asking, “What is that?” I like to think that this is music of the future.”

When it comes to her musical styles and genres, Montiel said she can be very versatile, trying different genres at the same time. However, she said that she likes to produce more mixes of Latin rhythms with electronic techno and sour melodies.

“That’s usually my base, or at least what I’m drawn to, but essentially it’s easy to get the best of both worlds without being afraid to experiment,” Montiel said. “When I DJ, there can be a bit of everything. I can create very pop and 90’s-2000’s vibes while mixing house and techno, but I’m also really into tribal or African genres like Gqom, really anything with heavy drums. From time to time I also incorporate projections of my own visuals.”

Montiel said she enjoys producing fast and experimental music that is more suited to an alternative club environment or art spaces that can even be used at festivals. As she puts a lot of her emotions and energy into the music, she can be very intense and sometimes even dark.

Montiel said her local community in Laredo inspires and attracts some of the work she does and listens to others.

“If you can imagine, there are many things that I get inspiration from in our frontiers, like landscapes, textures and different sounds of the region,” said Montiel. “But since we’re all there with the same goal of unwinding and having a good time during a set, I just hope it’s just as much fun for anyone listening.”

Montiel said the feedback, given primarily by her international audience, has been consistently positive.

“I usually get very good feedback. It’s crazy to see how your music is heard in different countries on the underground scene,” said Montiel. “There are many talented Latinx artists showing very innovative ways to not just limit electronic music to the usual 4/4 and so on, which is also very inspiring to find new methods of music production, composition and performance. ”

Montiel said once an underground artist starts networking with others around the world, nurturing that network and that community is what really keeps it going.

“I don’t think I’m doing well for myself as I try not to spend a lot of time on social media these days. But anything you create and release will most likely resonate with someone else,” Montiel said.

She also gives several performances in the area for people who want to hear her music locally. However, she said local performances are still stagnant as the electronic scene doesn’t have a large presence in the Gateway City.

“I occasionally DJ and do live sets locally or at private events, but not that often due to a lack of alternative venues to showcase this type of music, or even owners who would be open to giving it an opportunity give and actually pay for a gig,” Montiel said. “I understand this isn’t for everyone, but we need to give local artists of all kinds space and pay them for their work. You can most likely still find me downtown every now and then.”

Amid the fact that the electronica scene isn’t widespread in the area yet, she tells any DJ who enjoys this or any other type of music that might not be getting attention now not to stop. Keep producing and playing and never let go of your dreams.

“Any young producer or DJ shouldn’t be shy about playing your material, no matter the genre, because the more variety we have, the better,” Montiel said. “We need variety. Just because a genre is heard more these days doesn’t mean we can’t mix it with other genres or experiment with all sorts of sounds. The music is so big that you can just listen to what the radio or club DJs are playing on the weekends. Gather with a group of friends and post stuff, learn from each other, and support each other. Invest in and nurture your community, it is a blank canvas.”

Montiel’s latest EP called “Parajes” can be found on YouTube. She said she self-published them as an audiovisual exhibition curated by Cultivate Laredo and shown at Laredo College.

More of Montiel’s work, including articles, her Soundcloud releases and social media handles, can be purchased and listened to at linktr.ee/rizu_x.

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