ART:CAST SPECIAL & INTERVIEW Tiago Oudman

Architect, promoter, DJ and soon to be wine bar owner in Lisbon, Tiago Oudman has many talents and even more creative outlets. As the co-founder of the Basement Love events alongside Dj Trus’me, Tiago put Bali on the electronic music map in the most flattering manner. His music or taste is multifaceted and not bound to genres, of course, since Tiago builds those ties between genres to deliver an eclectic approach to music that comes in as artsy as the artist himself. However, this approach has seen him playing at festivals and clubs around the world – when they were open – and spread the love and positive vibes that come with his music. With Torture the Artist the multitalented artist reveals some more insights into his life, or rather where his life take place at the moment, his music and wine place in Lisbon and how it felt to play a gig during the pandemic. Additionally Tiago recorded the set and provided it for Torture the Artist’s art:cast special series.

Torture the Artist: Hello Tiago, tell us something about your day.

Tiago Oudman: Hi Holger. I just woke up in the countryside outside of Lisbon and am debating what to do over the next months. With current lockdowns happening all over Europe I have decided to head back to Bali until January/February so I will be able to throw my events again. I’m right now in the process of sending out some emails to agents to figure out who I will invite to play. <smiles>

Torture the Artist: You are currently working on opening a listening/natural wine bar in Lisbon in Portugal. What is the concept and idea behind this project and what made you decide to put it into practice – especially these days?

Tiago Oudman: David Wolstencroft (aka Dj Trus’me) and I had been discussing opening a bar/restaurant in Lisbon since December 2019. When I moved to Lisbon in June, we meet our three other partners and the conversation started getting more serious and when we found the location. We just thought it was perfect and decided to take the final step and get the work started on Dahlia (the name we chose for the bar).

Torture the Artist: What’s a place in Lisbon where we can find Tiago Oudman giving birth to all his creative ideas?

Tiago Oudman: Our new bar. <smiles> I’ve been throwing parties since I was 18 and am also a trained architect, plus love all things food/wine/party related. To me having a restaurant was never something I dreamed of doing, but considering I always loved hosting people at my events, I guess having a bar is the next natural step to take.

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Torture the Artist: Let’s trust your sommelier skills, what wine can you recommend while reading this interview, and listening to your previously released art:cast?

Tiago Oudman: I would recommend a dry & fun Orange wine (natural obviously).

It was the first gig for most of us in a very long time, so it was definitely very emotional.

Torture the Artist: Speaking of the latter, the art:cast was recorded at Else in Berlin, where you played a set recently – your first in a while. What was it like to play in front of people again and how did this gig personally differ for you from the ones before the pandemic?

Tiago Oudman: The recording was made at the first Basement Love party I did since the beginning of the Pandemic. The idea of throwing a party in Berlin actually came up very last minute. Back in September, I had spent a weekend in a lovely house in the Algarve with a bunch of good friends and amazing DJs: CC: Disco, Moxie, Sally C, DJ Boring & Bradley Zero. We really wanted to plan another weekend with all of us together somewhere. I remembered to message the lovely guys from Else / Wilde Renate and asked them if we could do it there. It all came together in two days and I can’t say how happy we all were that it happened. It was the first gig for most of us in a very long time, so it was definitely very emotional to be able to see so many people dancing again, and to host such a beautiful group of people.

I always organized and played at parties to provide an escape for people’s daily grind.

Torture the Artist: The set is quite uplifting and housey – just like we have experienced your music before and from performances for Boiler Room. Does it make a difference to you how many people are on the dance floor or listening to your DJ performances when selecting the tracks you play for them?

Tiago Oudman: I love and play all kinds of music in my sets: from Disco to Italo to Techno to African music. I always organized and played at parties to provide an escape for people’s daily grind. For me when I go to a party I want to have the best time, so the music I select is always about that: having fun, & not taking things too seriously.

Torture the Artist: We’re missing Tiago Oudman the producer here, is this something you’d like to add to your CV, or do you rather leave it to others to produce music you can play at your performances?

Tiago Oudman: I used to produce music when I first started going to Berlin in 2007; then, moved there back in 2010. I used to share a studio and make music with my long-time friend Ricardo Ferreira who moved there with me from Lisbon at the time. But I always spent my time working on so many different areas like organizing parties, festivals, and working on architecture. I had decided that making music was the one thing I didn’t have enough time to continue doing.

The name […] reminds me of sweaty house rave parties in old basements in places like Berlin or even NYC.

Torture the Artist: We mentioned your events Basement Love, is a basement the perfect location for you to play your music or rather your first choice or where does the name for the events come from or refer to?

Tiago Oudman: The name Basement Love is actually the name of an old house track. I immediately liked the name because it reminds me of sweaty house rave parties in old basements in places like Berlin or even NYC. Considering I’m a total house head it just made sense to me.

From there, things just got a bit “out of control”.

Torture the Artist: The event series is said to be based in Bali, what is your connection to the country and why did you leave it?

Tiago Oudman: I used to co-organize a small boutique festival on a little island off Bali between 2014 – 2018. After my partners and I decided to stop doing that, I felt there was a gap in the market in Bali. To do something big, I started doing the party at end of 2018, and we had around 500 to 700 people in the first three events. From there, things just got a bit “out of control”, and over the last year, we did an average of 2000 to 3000 people on each event up to the beginning of the pandemic. I normally stay in Europe for 2-3 months every summer, so I didn’t leave Bali for good. <smiles> Bali has been my home for the last 6 years and will continue to be, besides my parties and architecture work I also have two dogs and a cat there that I need to take care of.

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Torture the Artist: You’ve played countless events with renowned DJs, not only for Basement Love, but you are a regular at a lot of widely known events and festivals around the globe. What’s a gig that has stuck with you, and why?

Tiago Oudman: My gig at Garbicz Festival back in 2018 has definitely been one of my all-time favorites: I had the privilege to play one of the closing slots: every Sunday on the last days all the stages close. Everyone moved to the last floor that was still open, which is where I played. The energy of that last day of a festival is just magic and something very very special.

Torture the Artist: How and where do you dig for new music these days and what are your top 3 findings of recent times?

Tiago Oudman: I mostly only buy old music these days, since the best house music for me comes from the ’90s and early 2000s so I dig a lot on Discogs since I generally don’t have access to vinyl stores in Indonesia.

My current top 3 tracks at the moment:

Torture the Artist: Do you feel your taste in music has shifted or changed in the pandemic and you prefer different music now than before or have you added different genres/ styles to your preferences?

Tiago Oudman: I feel like my general musical taste has not changed since the beginning of the pandemic but the general tone of the music I hear has. I tend to only hear very uplifting music these days since normal life is already much more complicated than it used to be. 

Torture the Artist: Why are you an artist?

Tiago Oudman: Aren’t we all.

Torture the Artist: What’s your pandemic survival-tip to stay mentally and physically healthy?

Tiago Oudman: Work out, eat well, and surround yourself with the best people you can, it’s sometimes easy to forget we all in the same boat together.

Interview by Holger Breuer