From playing the guitar at seven and completing a Classical Guitar Performance course at the University of Southern California, to playing in a band for eight years down to starting his own music label at 31, Chris Lopez is, without a doubt, right where he belongs. He is now helming new underground label Tarsier Records, which houses Kiana Valenciano, Sam Concepcion, and Markus Paterson among other young artists. With the job comes learnings and adjustments, he says, including the "weird" whatnots that are part of it. Inspired by his role models Diplo and his dad, DJ Moophs vows to further the Filipino flair overseas when it comes to world-class music and sound.
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On a scale of 1-10, how much of a geek or nerd are you?
"Probably an 8 because I’m a huge nerd. I love sci-fi. I love Star Wars. I like video games. All that stuff. For my profession, a lot of music production is done on software and computers and really, you just have to lock yourself in a room for 10 hours and mixing especially so yeah, that’s pretty nerdy. That’s pretty geeky."
What sparked your interest in the field you’re in?
"I’ve been a musician my whole life so it kind of evolved. I just started playing guitar at seven and I was studying classical and I played in a rock band for like eight years and then I got into electronic production. I used to sing but I hate the sound of my voice."
Who’s your role model in the industry? Why?
"Diplo because he’s pretty much already done what I’m trying to do like he’s a successful DJ/producer and he started a label around his tell in music and he recruited other artists and he brought them up so that would be my ideal situation. My dad as well. He’s not really in the music industry but he’s my general role model."
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How do you use your smarts to your advantage career-wise?
"I mean making decisions, I’ve never been in charge of a unit before until we launched last year in September so I had to start making decisions and actually being boss for three to four people so I’m not used to it. It’s also weird being your own boss. It’s just a lot of responsibility but it’s good and I think I’m learning. Our team is just small."
Name your favorite book!
"One of my favorite authors is Lee Child. He writes this series about a character called Jack Preacher. A couple of the books were made for a movie with Tom Cruise. One is called One Shot, one is called Jack Reacher. He’s an ex-military cop and he’s kind of a badass. He’s also smart, he figures stuff out. It’s a guilty pleasure. Right now I’m also reading Dan Brown books. Right now I’m reading The Lost Symbol. That’s fun. It has real life references like history. Sci-fi as well."
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Your favorite movie?
"I love Star Wars. I’ve always loved it since I was a kid. That’s an easy one. I can do better than that, though. I really liked Interstellar. I really liked that movie. In fact, I wanna watch it again because it was really well done. It was cool to watch, visually entertaining but the concepts were crazy and it kept getting crazier and crazier. I remember sitting there watching like “There’s no way it’s gonna go beyond this” and then it did. Again and again. So, I was really impressed by that movie."
Your favorite band?
"Muse. When I was in college and my bandmate—the lead singer in my band—he showed me their album. At that time, the album was called Absolution like now I stopped being much of a fan because the recent albums got a little different but Absolution—I heard like three songs but they became my favorite band immediately. Previously it was Incubus but there’s something about the way that Matthew Bell, the kind of musical genius behind that band, the way he composes in ranges just really gets me."
What’s your guilty pleasure?
"I can’t get enough of my pets. I don’t know if that’s guilty though. Video games? When I have time. Sleeping in when I can."
In terms of catching a girl’s eye, do smart guys have the advantage over sporty guys?
"I guess it just depends on what the girl likes. It depends on who the guy is but I suppose if you take in face value, if it’s just based on a glance, maybe they would prefer to go with sporty guys."
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On Chris: Polo shirt, Bench; jacket, Mango; pants and shoes, model’s own
Produced by Camille Santiago | Creative direction by Barry Viloria | Photographs by Vyn Radovan | Styling by Gelie Manansala | Grooming by Leonie Galang, Angelito Panganiban, and Cecille Ramirez of MDA | Shot on location at: Chaos, City of Dreams, Pasay City | Special thanks to: Charisse Chuidian, Romina Gervacio, and Fran Arias of City of Dreams | Melanie Acedillo of MDA | Glaiza Agbayani of R2 Group of Companies | Banner image by Lui Jimenez