We had the opportunity to dive into the mind of Lauren Martinez, known by many as Cry Baby, after the legendary Kalkbrenner show in Brooklyn earlier this month. Her recently updated biography on Resident Advisor is a good starting point for the uninitiated:
“With her feet planted firmly in the underground and her head high in the clouds, Cry Baby’s meteoric impact on NYC nightlife has been undeniable since her arrival. Demonstrating a masterful control of both the tone and feel of her sets, and by extension, her audience, she’s set herself apart from both the ‘it’ DJs and scene veterans alike with her fresh take on techno and house. Last year saw her upward trajectory increase as her House On Mute parties took to such lauded venues as Brooklyn’s Output, Le Bain at The Standard and Cielo in NYC, Miami’s Electric Pickle, and countless cavernous Brooklyn warehouses. Her deep, unrelenting and forceful sound shifted bodies and perceptions in whatever room you found her. The coming year promises a focus on touring and production so that more of the world might have the opportunity to experience the force that is Cry Baby.”
Let’s dive right into our discussion:
If you could sit across from eighteen-year-old Lauren right now, with all the current knowledge of music you have, what advice would you give your younger self?
The one most important thing I’ve learned in my 30s is that the only thing that can stop you from doing anything is yourself. Self doubt and laziness are the two most debilitating flaws a dreamer can have. If I were sitting in front of eighteen-year-old Lauren, I’d tell her that anything is possible. You want to be a producer? Just do it. The process is fun as hell and the results can be magical. Everyday it gets better and better. The only hard part is when you think you can’t do it. Challenges will always be there but what fun is anything without a hurdle or two?
Tell us about yourself. What makes you stand out?
I’m a pretty emotional person (hence the name). Everything I do comes from the heart. My heart is dark as shit. Beware that anything that comes from me, artistically speaking, will pretty much kill you.
Why did you start DJing and producing?
I always loved forcing people to listen to what I like to listen to. Us DJs can be pretty selfish sometimes, haha.
As for producing, I have many reasons but lately the one that comes to mind is necessity. I feel like in my sets there are all these sounds I want to hear but I don’t have anything like it because, well, it’s all in my own head.
Take us through your creative process. Do you have any rituals?
It’s pretty boring actually. I’d like to say that I start out sitting in the midst of flames and a cape and my magic wand within a ceremonial circle but realistically I’m just like anyone else with a day job. I wake up, drink my coffee, listen to some music for inspiration and then get my ass to work. Oh and ok, fine, I smoke some pot too, but whatever.
Do you need to be in the studio to produce?
Not really. But I do feel the most comfortable at home and that’s where my studio. My cave is my comfort zone.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
I’ve been a huge fan of Karyn Drejier Anderson (Fever Ray / The Knife) since I first discovered her work a few years ago. I find her music absolutely enchanting. If I lived in a magical fairy land I’d imagine her music would be playing in the background. She’s my fairy godmother.
What have been your top three musical accomplishments?
I’m still a lil’ baby producer and haven’t even begun to make real waves yet but I would say that my release on Nervous Records is definitely my biggest highlight yet.
What genres define you?
Deep house, tech house, techno and beyond.
What are your favorite plugins to use?
I’m vibing pretty hard with the MS-20 from the Korg Legacy collection right now.
What producers have impressed you the most in the last year?
Barnt is also one of my faves when I’m in the mood to get really weird with the crowd.
What’s your favorite set you’ve ever played?
There used to be this crazy underground spot in Bushwick called Beef Cuts. I had some pretty magical moments but I think the best was this one time that the mixer started acting up and most knobs weren’t working. I had to get really creative and what could’ve been a complete disaster turned into the best night of my life. Sometimes a good challenge can be a game changer.