Circular economy entrepreneur, tech expert, chef, DJ, proud Peruvian living abroad: the many hats of Martin Allen Morales are as eclectic as his uplifting playlist.
Though born in Peru, Martin has spent the greater part of his professional career in London. And by professional career, we mean a diverse and inspiring list of creative pursuits: in his twenties he DJed all over the world and ran major music and media companies like Disney; in his thirties he ran Apple’s iTunes and then went on to become a food entrepreneur and author. He now works with circular economy entrepreneurs. His musical taste is just as eclectic.
Break away from your state of reality and turn up the volume to this quarantine playlist (on Spotify below and in Youtube here) provided exclusively to TLIP by Martin Allen Morales. As the music plays, take a look at how Martin got into the world of music and why he chose the songs on the track list:
Today I work supporting, investing and managing circular economy start-ups in food, tech and fashion but in the past I worked in the music industry. This started with collecting vinyl records purchased on Jiron Quilca in Lima during the late 1980s.
I started DJing in 1992 in Leeds, UK when I was at university there. A girlfriend at the time encouraged me to send one of my mix tapes to a jazz dance club in Leeds that I went to regularly. They accepted my tape and booked me for my first gig. The club was called Dig! and it was run by a lovable goatee bearded son of Italian migrants called Gip Dammone. He also owned Leeds’ best Italian restaurant. I was booked and loved it.
That same year I went to London to buy a record in a shop called Mr Bongo on Poland Street. I bumped into a promoter called Max Rheinhardt who ran the Mambo Inn club. I gave him a mix tape and he booked me.
Three months later I played my first gig in London at the legendary Mambo Inn. This opened my eyes as this was the first club I’d ever been to that was frequented by people of all races, nationalities and age. Music from all over the world was played: Nigerian Afro-beat, Puerto Rican bomba, Brazilian samba, New Yorican salsa, Zairean soukous and more. “I can do that,” I thought.
And so that started my work as a DJ, club promoter and concert producer. I went on to DJ all over the world, in more than 30 countries and at many of the largest music festivals. From Moscow to Tokyo, New York to Rio, Marrakesh to Copenhagen—for 15 years I played in clubs and festivals. I played with the White Stripes, Cachao, Basement Jaxx, Bebel Gilberto and many more. I loved it. I played Latin music, Brazilian, Balkan, Ethiopian, Indian, Thai, Cuban, Spanish, Italian and of course Peruvian. Most with either a tinge of funk, electronic, jazz, soul or even punk running through it.
I also produced music for several artists, signed a few to record labels and did a few remixes. In fact, only last week someone asked me to do a remix.
I love music and this lockdown has made me go back to some of those days in the 90s and early 2000s. I’m a vinyl collector and have traveled the world looking for great songs and albums. These days I mostly collect 7-inches. But this lockdown has made think of some songs I like a lot, those that stick in my head. My head is full of them, so the selection below is just what came out on the spot on Friday, May 1, 2020. On another day, in another mood, I would have picked a completely different set. But at the time I was thinking of these favorites. Enjoy.
PS: I saw Gip nine months ago and took my family to Leeds for dinner at his restaurant. Salvo’s is still the best Italian restaurant in Leeds and maybe in the world!
Cover photo: Martin Morales via Facebook
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