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DLH010_Photo by Frank D. Domínguez.jpg

Today we have with us the Cuban DJ/Producer duo formed by Ivan Lejardi and David Casas with their Afro - House musical proposal, which fuses traditional Afro-Cuban sounds with electronic

1.- IBR. - Curiously your name was created from the fusion of your names, whose idea was it?


Da Le Havana .- In our country the word "dale" is considered as a positive expression of moving forward, we liked the idea of matching our names, we added the (Havana), the city where we come from. It was the idea of our friend, singer and model Cecilia Noel and Maestro Dj Chus, whom we love and admire very much. 

2.- IBR .- You both come from a country with strong creative and artistic roots such as Cuba and specifically from Havana. Your Afro-Cuban roots are evident in your sets as well as in your productions. Very rich musically speaking, but tell us how you give shape to an idea, tell us about the process from beginning to end.


Da Le Havana .- To start with an idea we believe it is vital to listen to a lot of music, it is a good exercise, and not only styles like the one we do but other musical cuts, it helps us to understand and interpret the connection we want to achieve. Then we make a lapse of silence before starting the creative process. 


We move on to the creation of the rhythmic base, all the elements that complement the percussion, making sure that the rhythm is as contagious as possible. We like to include instruments that give a nice organic feel to the music, trumpet solos, flute, guitar, piano tumbaos, bass lines. We record them with singers and musicians who are friends of ours. 


3.- IBR .- Similarities and differences between both of you when creating. Do you reach a consensus easily or is it hard to decide?


Da Le Havana .- It was only at the beginning of our project that we had the most differences. Today, in the process we lose all notion of division, the most interesting thing about working together is the constant opportunity to learn from each other. We don't find similarities or differences, the final result is like a well thought out and executed play between both of us.


4.-IBR .- You are currently working on the musical production for Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba, the prestigious dance-fusion company from Cuba. Fascinating!

What do you find easier when it comes to create, music with a deep traditional style or when you make fusion with electronic music?

Da Le Havana .- It is a tremendous challenge, traditional music, not only that of Cuba, has very characteristic elements, very precise, but it is very broad and grateful to experimentation, and that is what challenges us.

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5.- IBR .- In the case of ballet, we imagine that the musical profile has nothing to do with electronics, how is that process? 


Da Le Havana .- The production of original music for dance is a huge challenge for us and a constant learning process.


A great teacher like Lizt Alfonso has pushed us a lot, she has taken us beyond any limit. Making music for her work is one of the most difficult but fascinating projects we have ever worked on. A total honor. 


6.- IBR .- Tell us about some of the works you are about to release in the coming months.

Da Le Havana .- We are working on several collaborations, with spectacular artists like G.Zamora and with our mega sister La Santa. In the next months we will release a collaboration with our brother Rafael Drager, remixes for Hallex M and other artists.

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7.-IBR .- Would you have liked to have done a song sung by Celia Cruz, is it a curiosity?

  As she is no longer here, is there any performer that you would have liked to sing one of your songs?


Da Le Havana .- Of course, I wish we had had the opportunity. For us it is a tremendous inspiration. There are many Cuban artists with whom we would like to collaborate: Pedrito Martínez, Daymé Arocena, Cimafunk, Kelvis Ochoa, Van Van and many more. 


8.- IBR .- At what point in your lives did you decide to dedicate yourselves to this world and what was the trigger?


Da Le Havana .- The passion for music is our trigger. We share many musical interests during the time we have been working together. Our first collaborations were very well accepted by the public until 2018 when we created the duo and decided to focus on the sound of Da Le (Havana). 


9.-IBR .- Do you prefer live performances with singers, musicians, etc. or the typical DJ set? Why?


Dale Havana .- We both create music but we never fully mastered a musical instrument. It is irresistible the need to communicate, to transmit, to tell stories with our music, and the Dj set has given us that opportunity. 

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10.- IBR .- From your beginnings to today, do you feel that you have managed to get where you want to go, or how far would you like to go?


Da Le Havana .- We are very grateful for the love we have received from the public, the musicians who have worked with us and the labels that have supported us. Our dream is to be able to increase the opportunity to speak to the world through our culture, through our music. 


11.- IBR .- When it comes to playing, do you prefer clubs or festivals?.


Da Le Havana .- Wherever there are people who love and connect with the music, it will always be the place we prefer to play, be it clubs, festivals, on the streets or in the mountains. We hope we can always have that opportunity.


Great success and we hope to see you soon in Ibiza.


Life is better with music!

Interviewed by Paul Ross
Photos Frank D. Domínguez
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