Suzie Del Vecchio has been in the Latin music scene for more than a decade, racking up No. 1 radio hits in Mexico including “Mesmerized,” with Paul Oakenfold in 2009, and “If you were here” in 2013.
For her first single after signing with Universal Music Latin Entertainment’s EDM lable, AfterCluv, Del Vecchio worked again with longtime collaborator Oakenfold on a track, called “After Love,” that plays as well in a club as it does on the beach. It’s the latter that Del Vecchio focuses on in the accompanying video, with the bulk of the shots consisting of her dancing in thigh water surrounded by the stunning scenery of the inner waterways of Huatulco at the southernmost tip of Mexico.
We caught up with Suzie right after the release of her new video “After Love,” and she was kind enough to answer some questions for Beat Weekly readers.
1) What got you into EDM? Why have you chosen to stick with this genre?
I have been a passionate fan of electronic music since I was 14 when my brother was a DJ. Hosting the TV Show EMPO on Telehit really opened up the opportunity for me to meet amazing DJs who were looking to collaborate, including DJ Dan, Paul Oakenfold, Roger Shah, Markus Schulz, ATB, Christopher Lawrence and so many more who formed a massive influence on me as I write to their beautiful music. Paul Oakenfold was the first DJ Producer to invite me to write and collaborate with him and it could not have been a bigger honor. He is also the first DJ I performed with at Rain Night Club, the first ever residency of a DJ in Las Vegas, and from there came the rest. I have been heartily attached to this genre because I love the freedom it gives me to express vocals on music that for me is so uplifting and liberating. I feel it’s one of the most beautiful genres in music, and some people don’t realize the emotional connection that can be made with the vocals and the arrangement in the music. I am inspired by it, so to write to it is very innate to me.
2) Your bio mentions that you have the ability to sing in opera, pop, dance, r&b, rock, and even rap. Do you see yourself branching out from EDM in the future?
Yes, I have roots in Opera music as a soprano. I feel that it has given me the ability to exercise other styles of vocals on different genres of electronic music…and definitely I am very influenced by r&b, rock and rap. I love the feeling of a live rock band and the guitars and drums. I love hip hop for its rhythm, as I’m also a dancer. I love rap because I feel it is very lyrical and poetic and I would definitely like to merge electronic music with rock and rap….that would be a dream. The right beats with the dynamic in rap vocals or a rap collaboration such as Will.I.Am and great vocals on melody I think can really be amazing. I feel EDM has extended so much, and today the merge of genres is awesome. I do see myself branching out, even acoustic versions of my music would be amazing, and I think that having the capacity to do all of it is amazing.
3) Universal is a major player in the music industry, and signing with them is a huge accomplishment. How did you feel signing with their EDM label AfterCluv?
I always had the dream and goal to sign to Universal Music. I actually had approached Universal many times, many years ago, with my first collaboration with Paul Oakenfold, “Mesmerized,” and I think the major labels opened up to dance music. I was really happy to see that Universal could embrace it and start their own imprint AfterCluv, and I’m proud to see my label take on the beautiful journey of electronic music, festivals, and so much more. I really was a firm believer that EDM would become the new POP, and it has — and for the massive machine that is Universal to take on EDM makes me really happy. I feel it was the perfect timing to embrace the market and use all the wonderful platforms that Universal has to offer to make EDM a part of their repertoire. I can say one thing: EDM is the new POP, and POP is the EDM of today. I am excited to see Universal embrace it!
4) This is your first single with AfterCluv. How was it working with them for the first time, and how did that influence the outcome of this song/video?
Yes, this single means a lot to me. I waited a very long time to choose the label that would share my vision as a singer who can be in EDM festivals as well as other venues as a singer and performer with a complete show to build upon. Paul Oakenfold, who has been a great mentor, was the first to tell me to embrace the stage as a singer and performer with the production of a DJ that can enhance the beats in a way that moves audiences in a more emotive way. And based on his idea for me, that’s how I formed my project. AfterCluv understood it, and it has been a journey. They respected my vision and were excited to embark on it with me. We wanted it to be a song that could be embraced by everyone, geared towards a mainstream feel, but with the roots of a DJ legend like Paul Oakenfold, who has produced the likes of Madonna and U2, who made a beat that really was a unique and fresh sound. He put a lot of heart, thought and soul into this song for me and wanted it to define exactly how I am as an artist. The video of course needed to have a genuine and different feel than most videos done, and I wanted it to be raw and full of nature and authenticity.
5) “After Love” was produced by Paul Oakenfold, who you’ve been professionally involved with for many years. How did you feel working with him again for this next step of your career?
Paul Oakenfold was the first producer to believe in me as an artist, singer and songwriter. He has encouraged me in so many ways. I have learned so much through him as I have spent time attending his events and seeing his interaction with the audience, which is magical. He has a very intuitive soul, and he knew exactly where I wanted to go with my music.
“Mesmerized” was a magical song we did in 2009, and to have him produce my first single under Universal Music was something I dreamed of. He was very excited about the new label and has been a mentor to me. I could not possibly have released my first song without him. I have to say that if it were not for him, I would not be singing today. He performed the new single “After Love” with me at an amazing award show in Mexico, Premios Luna, and it was the very first time I got to sing it live. Right before we took the stage together, for an auditorium of 13,000 people and national television, he told me to take this moment as a beginning to my journey as a solo artist. To share the stage with him in a legendary Latin-American venue and perform the new single together was amazing. He is a massive inspiration to me, and for him to support me in my first step means more than words can imagine. He is a pioneer and a master at his craft, and I am so very thankful to him for sharing all of his wisdom, creativity and musical energy with me.
6) You write or co-write all of your music, including “After Love,” as well as songs for many other musicians. What is your creative process like? Do you get a lot of outside help, or are you more likely to shut yourself off and limit outside distractions?
Yes I co-write and sometimes I write completely. After Love was a co-write. My creative process is usually pretty simple. I do play instruments — I’ve played piano since I was 5 — but I’m blessed to receive beautiful music from DJs and Producers, and I write to that music. Writing music and melodies is what I enjoy the most. My motto is that you write what you feel, and how you feel it, and then you sing it. I don’t get a lot of outside help unless I’m working with a lot of people in a studio, which has not been often. I shut myself in. I listen to the songs many times, over and over, in my car driving or at home late at night. When I feel the words and lyrics come, I open up my mini studio setup — interface and mic — that my dad bought for me, and just record. After I do that, I send the vocals back to my producers and am pretty strong about how I like the arrangement of harmonies and vocals, but I also work with my producers to bring the best arrangement as they are also masters in their craft. I enjoy recording my vocals and I feel like I’ve learned to do it well, and it has made me respect the production process so much. I’ve learned wonderful recording techniques from engineers and producers like Dave Aude, Ian Green, Roger Shah and Richard Harris.
7) What was the inspiration for this track? The title is “After Love,” which sounds like it could be a song about love lost, but the lyrics are “you showed me there’s life after love.” Was there a real life inspiration for these lyrics? Why did you decide on this title?
Yes, the title can be a little contradicting….but it’s more deep. It is about having many failed loves and being hurt in love and knowing that there truly is a greater LOVE after the past love. Sometimes we feel the one we lost is the love we always wanted. And then life surprises us with the love that is meant to be bigger than any other love. In life, we sometimes find our soulmate a little later than planned. So this song is about healing from the pain of the past and finding the love that is really the one that was meant to be. There is life after love with the new love that comes…a hopeful romantic approach.
Yes, there is real inspiration for these lyrics, as I have personal experiences exactly like this. And I felt that many other people close to me also experienced this, and I chose to go with this title because I believed it might spark a curiosity as to why After Love. What is After Love? Well, my answer is the Love of your life….
8) EDM is often associated with crowded places — clubs, concerts, festivals, etc. Why did you decide to shoot your video mostly alone, outdoors, with one sequence including just a few other people?
I love night clubs and festivals. The energy is amazing — I love loud music and beats! But I chose to shoot it alone outdoors because I am in love with nature. I see the sunset every day and I find so much light, love and peace, and that is what I feel in the music. I wanted to bring the elements of the fire and ocean which, for me, are very powerful spiritually with music and love. I thought it would be beautiful to incorporate these elements in a rural, natural and pure setting, which is how I feel about love and music. I thought it would be a beautiful juxtaposition of beats with nature — and nature always brings a very unique essence of feeling — and I associate electronic music with the beauty of the sun, the moon and nature.
9) Where do you go from here? Are there any plans for a full-length album?
Yes, I would love to put out a full length album with beautiful music, dynamic with EDM genres, rock and rap and some other surprises. I believe there are no limits to creation, and the only thing I wish for is that the songs touch people’s hearts and uplifts their day and their emotions. Music is for love, and a way to liberate that is my main wish. It has for me and I would love for that to be true for all the people who hear me and see me perform. My goal is for them to feel good and enjoy life and love. I have some of the most awesome DJs and singer/songwriter collaborators who are coming together to make this beautiful and touching.
Putting together a live show is also part of my next step. A live show with all the elements that can bring together the dance world with other musical genres in a unique and amazing way.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.