Interview with The Menendez Brothers

The Mendendez Brothers

The Mendendez Brothers

The Menendez Brothers are a duo of DJing twin brothers hailing from the mean streets of Colombia. Theirs is a true rags to riches story with the power to both amaze and inspire.

After they were separated as children, each one of the brothers went on their own unique musical journey before reuniting once again several years later and setting up as DJs.

With an eclectic and uplifting sound that covers everything from Mashups, House, Garage, Hip-Hop, Disco, Funk and Soul their music has been described as “just general goodness”.

The pair quickly gained recognition in Colombia, playing a private DJ set for Pablo Escobar along the way. They’ve gained enough momentum and kudos to now be chalked in to play at some of the biggest and best festivals around the globe.

With their ink on their booking form for Fresh Island still wet, we managed to catch up with the twins to find out what they plan to spin and what’s on the horizon for the daring duo… 

You’ve played some of the biggest clubs and coolest festivals in the world. Which do you prefer, the club or festival setting?

We have been fortunate enough to play at some of the best venues in both club and festival capacity. The major difference between the two is the level of intimacy. 

In some clubs you are so close to the crowd that they can lean over and touch you. You are able to get a better feel of what to play. Festivals allow us to play in front of hundreds if not thousands of people, getting them all going at once. We especially love playing open aired spaces.

The South Americans have a real reputation for throwing a great party with loads of dancing, Samba, drumming and crazy behaviour. How do we measure up against the standard in Europe?

Europeans know how to have a party. Everywhere we have been in Europe, the atmosphere has never failed to deliver. The crowd always gets behind us and shows us love. Respect to everyone that shows support.

Who over the years has been the biggest inspiration to your work and your sound? If you could go back in time who would you most like to hear DJ?

We listen to all kinds of music, but growing up Michael Jackson was the man. He was a huge influence on us and would be very interested to listening to his DJ set. Or maybe a Larry Levan set back in the days of Studio 54.

How do you find the beats and rhymes of hip-hop work in a festival setting? Do you ever fight over who has control of the decks?

Hip Hop goes off at a festival. You’ll get to see how we throw down this sound at Fresh Island Festival, which is going to be our first Hip Hop festival. We’re keeping everything So Fresh and So Clean.

Control of the decks is usually mutual, we have this twin thing where sometimes one of us says to play a tune and the other one has already selected it to come on next. Must be the twin intuition.

There’s always a fight over who is going to play the next banger, normally decided by rock paper scissors or thumb wars. There have been times when things have been know to get pretty intense behind the decks though.

According to an interview we read, you once robbed a Pioneer store of its decks and equipment. If you met the CEO of Pioneer, what would you say to him?

The CEO of Pioneer is welcome at any of our parties.

You are currently renowned for your party starting DJ skills and fast becoming a well-known duo. What plans do you have for the future and taking your sound to the next level?

We are flirting with the idea of going on radio. We have also been hitting the studio so keep your ears to the streets for something new from The Menendez Brothers. We are also taking over KOKO on March 27th, and that’s going to be a special show.

We know we’re only just getting into 2016, but what are the big tunes for you coming up this year? Have you heard anything that you think might take the world by storm?

Kehlani. She has something special about her and is taking it back to the old school with her style and music. Her show at Heaven at the end of last year was on point. She has a nice remix of WSTRN’s IN2 out which has a great summer vibe. Big things are bound for her in 2016, no doubt.

What was the strangest gig you’ve ever played?

We have has some really strange requests over the years, while we were starting out we were asked to DJ naked. But the strangest gig has to be The Weird and Wonderful Staff Party, if you are lucky enough to be on the guest list for that then you will know exactly how good those parties can be…

What have you heard about Fresh Island Festival? What are you most looking forward to about this top Croatian party?

Every year Fresh Island Festival delivers with its line-up, and this year’s is madness. Playing alongside some of these hip-hop greats is something we have dreamed about doing for years.

The DJ’ing game can be an expensive one to break in to if you don’t have rich parents. We know you had your own hardships growing up. What would you say to the kids who think it’s out of reach?

If it is your passion then do anything you can to make it happen, take any opportunity that comes your way. Initially it will be hard, but worth it.

And when this duo say anything, we guess they absolutely mean anything.

The Menendez Brothers are bringing their unique blend of Beats and Bass to the Fresh Island Festival on Tuesday 12th to Thursday 14th July at Zrce Beach, which can be found on the Island of Pag, Croatia.

Get your tickets for this funky party here

Photo: Zoe Lower