SeriesLIVE

Eric Narciandi

Immigrant Archive Project
Eric Narciandi (aka DJ EFN) is a record label executive, artist manager, film producer and Co-founder/Host of the Drink Champs podcast. We discuss his childhood in Los Angeles, his appreciation of Latino culture, and how that identity is reflected in his work.
Show transcript
00:01
I'm most proud of being able to, to set my mind to do something
00:05
because from very young, I decided I wanted to get involved
00:08
in entertainment and music and I didn't let anything stop
00:13
me.
00:19
Let's begin the way we do with everyone.
00:20
If you can give me your name and your uh nationality.
00:23
My name is Eric, but professionally known as DJ EFN and I'm
00:28
Cuban American.
00:30
So where, where were you born?
00:32
Los Angeles, California.
00:34
What, what can you tell me about your childhood?
00:35
Looking back on it.
00:36
What was it like?
00:38
Um, it's a little hazy because my parents got separated at
00:42
young ages.
00:43
They were always on and off.
00:44
So I remember parts just because we were moving around so much
00:48
So I remember at one point living in Anaheim, California in
00:51
a nice home then moving to an apartment with my mother in South
00:55
Gate or Huntington Park and people who know Los Angeles know
00:58
those are, you know, more of the urban areas.
01:02
So, I mean, it's a little hazy but for the most part, what I good
01:05
memories I have is just the family, I had a family out there
01:08
I had grandparents, great grandparents on my father's side
01:11
my uh my mother's parents, her father had passed away by the
01:15
time I was born, but my grandma was still alive on her end.
01:18
So the grandparents were very strong foundation for me.
01:21
So because of them, I do have positive memories but it's mostly
01:24
surrounded around them.
01:26
You know, not around necessarily what was going on with my
01:28
parents because it was just, just tumultuous, you know.
01:30
Sure.
01:31
Sure.
01:32
And not a lot of, not a lot of Cubans out in that area.
01:36
Do you remember being around other Cuban families or the Cuban
01:38
Children?
01:39
I remember being around a lot of Cubans.
01:42
Um I don't know if this was done strategically by the Cubans
01:45
out there, but it felt like it was now that I think about it.
01:47
They had these social clubs, a network of them throughout
01:51
California from what I from what I remember and they uh all
01:56
the Cuban families would go there and they had stuff for the
01:58
kids.
01:58
So after school, we would go to this place and they had a puppet
02:02
shows for the kids or, you know, play time for the kids and for
02:05
the teenagers, they had like beauty, beauty pageants and
02:08
they had a bar there for the older people, they would play Dominos
02:11
and I just remember going there constantly and then each social
02:15
club would meet and have like pageants versus each other or
02:17
different sporting events.
02:19
And I think they did this on purpose to intermingle the Cubans
02:22
there.
02:22
So they would stay together and kind of like intermarry each
02:25
other too.
02:26
So it was sort of a way of preserving the culture, you know.
02:28
Definitely, definitely.
02:29
And how did you sort of self identify growing up?
02:34
Um I self identified if, if you're speaking in regards to being
02:39
Cuban Cuban American, um There was no, no doubt in my mind as
02:45
I grew up that I was Cuban American.
02:47
You know, I've, I've told this to people in the past, I feel
02:50
that we grew up in America as Cubans as Cuban Americans, that
02:55
we almost feel like we grew up on the island.
02:57
That's how much the culture is in our home with the cooking
03:00
with the, with with the, I mean, you just hear constantly
03:04
about the island about pre Castro, post Castro the the politics
03:10
and you just grow up thinking and believing like you have a
03:13
memory of this island that you were never, you know, never
03:16
in that island.
03:17
You know, you never grew up and never was never set foot on that
03:19
island.
03:19
So I was very identified with my Cuban side.