By: Dream Chimney

The following interview was conducted on April 16, 2024

Doche The latest signing to UK dynamo label - The Disco Express - is Doche. A DJ, producer, and drummer from Brazil. Hugo Doche brings the summer heat with four disco dance floor heaters that are sure to tear-up summer dancefloors. We sit down beside the chimney to talk to Doche about Belo Horizonte, the LA Music Academy, and how he hooked up with the London label.

Thanks for talking to us. Where are you at this moment and how are you spending the day?

I am in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) now, working on some new releases and playing a lot of gigs with the mission to spread the disco, house, funk n soul music around the world.

Where were you born? Paint us a picture.

I was born in my grandmother's house in Brazil, a place away from the city, full of nature and waterfalls. Until I was 5 years old I had practically no contact with technology.

Where are you living currently? What do you love most about where you are living?

I am living in my hometown, Belo Horizonte, but I am making plans to visit Europe during the summer to play some gigs and visit some friends!

I always had a great studio routine, but I never forgot to swim and enjoy the sun every morning before locking myself in the studio. I think that helps my body and my mental health.

How long have you been making music? What was your first step in the world of music?

I graduated in Music in 2005 in Brazil, then I went to Los Angeles Music academy and graduated there in 2007. But I ve been playing drums since I started to walk.

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Tell us about your time studying in LA at the music academy?

I would recommend every musician to get this type of experience. It expanded my mind living with musicians from different cultures, from all over the world and at the same time I got to share my experiences and learn from my colleagues.

In my opinion, it is very important for every artist to be open to learning different rhythms, exploring different cultures and also diving in to your own culture. My mom always told me to learn about my country to be able to share my experiences with others.

How long did you spend living in the City of Angels?

I spend about 2 years in L.A, very intense years, studying from 8AM to 6PM every day and chasing the jazz clubs to see my favorite artists at night.

Have any of your peers from the Academy gone on to make music?

Mostly of my colleagues and friends became studio and road musicians. But I think I am one of the few that started producing electronics.

What came first for you, a love of Djing or production or being an artist/ musician?

Definitely being a musician. I think I spent all my childhood practicing drums. I didn't want to eat or shower; it was like living in a parallel universe. When I became older, I got on to the stage, that made me understand the real power of music. I played drums with a lot of different artists and in 2010 I decided to be a DJ Drummer. I used a lot of complex gear to make that work and do it on my own.

What kind of artists, DJs, genres were you into growing up?

When I was a kid, I listened to everything from jazz to heavy metal. I used to have those huge double kick drums and also a small drum kit with a 16 inches kick. But soul and disco music was always there from my mother, she is a big Donna Summer fan.

What was the first record you owned?

That is a really hard question, but there is a pop band in my city called -Jota Quest” that had a big funk and soul influence on their sound. Their single, "Fácil" it means "Easy" in Portuguese - this was the first song I played on the drums. I remember practicing for weeks and weeks, it was not that easy lol. Fortunately, a couple of years later I became a friend of Paulinho Fonseca (the drummer) and got the chance to tell him personally how his songs have influenced me deeply.

What was the first record that you made? Tell us a little about that.

My first record wasn't good. I had already worked as a studio drummer for various artists, but when I did everything by myself, it took me a while until I found the right vibe. I found that changing from jazz and pop to electronica was a big challenge. Sometimes the simple things are the hardest and it took me a long time to understand that.

What do you think has been your most important release to date and why?

My newest release on THE DISCO EXPRESS is called “HIT THE TRACKS” and I had the great experience of collaborating with such talented singers and musicians. We are now in the Top 10 of Traxsource!

I also released a Nu-disco record on Glasgow Underground. That is also riding high on Beatport as we speak.

If you could choose a few words to describe the vibe of Doche, what would they be?

Groovy, happy, dance, soulful, funky.

How did you connect with The Disco Express?

I found their music through their releases, especially a release from a good friend called LUKE DELITE. I couldn't be happier. It's like finding your crew 10,000 km away! They are doing a great job spreading great music and great parties around the globe.

Talk to us about the new EP and the initial idea.

I decided to start this EP in June 2023, I wanted to do something unique that I have never done before, collaborating with singers from different cultures. Sansy is a singer and guitar player from Italy, Carla from Brazil, Kria from Jamaica, and Birdee did an impressive work on remixing “This Feeling”. I spent a lot of time writing and recording horns, guitars, bass, Rhodes, and also programming some strings.

What was most important for you to convey?

I wanted to be really honest and mix all my influences and play it out on the dance floor. It is really a blessing to love what you do and make a living through it.

What are you most proud of with this release?

I am proud to do what I truly believe is music for our souls and bring great musicians and singers to this record. I know the market sometimes influences our decisions as an artist, and sometimes is important to look at that, but for this EP I didn't.

What was the most challenging part of bringing the release together?

I had to be patient with myself. That’s probably the hardest part. Patient to find the right collaborators, song structures, partners, mixing lots of instruments at the same time…

Who are the other artists/musicians on this EP that you would like to shout out?

Carla Sceno (Singer & Guitarist). Sansy (Singer & Guitarist), Kria McKenzie (Singer) and Birdee for the remix!

What drives you to create music? What keeps you going?

The love of discovery. Finding out my limitations and challenging myself every day.

What has been one of your best moments from the past year?

Spending time with my wife learning from each other. It has been a great experience and I feel that I am becoming a better human.

Where do you find the most inspiration when it comes to discovering new music?

I started a radio show a year ago, called DOCHE DISCO SESSIONS, and I’ve been blessed with so many great artists participating such as Dr Packer, Kevin Mckay, Angelo Ferreri, Michal Gray, Young Pulse, Yam Who… and many others! Through this project I made a deal with myself to play music from the 60s, 70s,80s and 90s and new music. That makes me go and search for new and old music every day!

Who do you think is making great music right now?


Is there anything that you would like to tell us about you?

I am just a man trying to find a way to live this life the best as I can, giving more value to the little things every day and trying to leave a legacy through my music.

What can we hope to see next from Doche?

A lot of love and a lot of soul.


Check out the latest release from Doche


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