How has 2019 been now you look back, what sticks out?
Honestly, 2019 has been the most important year of my career so far. This year I made a lot of events, from small to big, and I was able to gain a lot of experience, which allowed me to draw huge plans for the future. Also, my record label, Kaligo Records gained a lot of recognition throughout the year, because it was launched in 2018, but only in 2019 that I was able to really focus and invest my time and money in it. In addition, 2019 was the year I launched my new identity, Melgazzo, which is a name that I liked a lot, because it’s simple, easy to read, catches the attention, and is also an adaptation of my passed grandfather’s last name.
With the release of my new identity came my first album of my career, where I had the opportunity to release it on my own record label. Still in 2019, besides having played in several states of Brazil, I will realize one of my biggest dreams now on New Year’s Eve, which is play at Universo Parallelo Festival, the biggest electronic festival in the country.
So, in short, 2019 was a great year, and I’m sure 2020 will be even better, as I still have countless plans for me and Kaligo Records.
Are you still Amsterdam based? What took you there?
Unfortunately not, I currently live in São Paulo – Brazil, but I have plans to move back to Europe, possibly Barcelona, because I fell in love with that city.
I lived in Amsterdam in 2017, where looking to improve my knowledge, I took a music production course at Pioneer DJ School. Having lived there was really a mark in my career. Being able to breathe Techno on a daily basis, meeting people from different countries, being able to travel to many places, going to big festivals, this made me come back to Brazil wanting to make a difference. That said and done, I returned to Brazil in 2018 and opened my record label and started doing my own events, in order to increase even more the Underground scene here.
What state is the Brazil scene in right now – what sounds are hot?
The scene in Brazil at the moment is taken by more Commercial genres, such as Brazilian Bass, Sertanejo, Funk and etc., but the Underground scene has grown a lot here since a few years ago. It’s clear that Techno and Tech House clubs have been gaining strength, as well as major festivals that are coming here every year.
For the Underground scene to grow and be a reference as it is in Europe, it will take a while, because it’s a process of sound education, which unfortunately takes a little more time. However, I believe that if everyone plays their part and contributes, in a few years we will be on a very interesting path.
By doing my events, I can see a lot of people’s adherence, because more and more different people are starting to come and really enjoying the sounds they are hearing, giving me nice feedbacks. I can also see that the younger generation, in their 18 to 20 year olds, is sticking much more to Underground sound than to Commercial sound, and that’s a great sign that things are changing around here.
Tell us how you push techno in your homeland – about your parties and so on?
I started doing my own events with the release of my record label, where I took 4 great Brazilian artists to my hometown, Uberlândia. The grip was unfortunately low, I felt like giving up, but something inside me told me that I needed to insist and continue. So after a great success I had at an event in late 2018, I decided to really invest my time and money in the city to make the scene happen.
With this, since the beginning of this year, I started to do events practically every month, with full focus on the Underground scene. With the help of my girlfriend and other partners, we were really able to change the minds of many people in the city who had a certain prejudice and today love and attend all our events.
Also, at the end of April we decided to do something different, we decided to hold an event in a public square, with free admission, in order to bring the Underground culture to all audiences of all ages. Fortunately, the event was a success, people from children to older people attended and enjoyed it a lot. This gave us the strength to do other events like this, which grew a lot throughout the year. In August, we held a festival called Cerrado Festival, where we put 2000 people in the square in 2 days of event.
These results make me want to do more and more, because you can clearly see that people are enjoying and wanting more, and this is a sign that we are doing the right thing.
You’re a drummer right? How useful is that when producing techno? Are drums key for you?
Yes, I am, in fact today I’m more of a former drummer, because nowadays I’m completely focused on my career as a DJ and Producer.
Being a drummer is certainly one of the things that helps me the most when I’m producing Techno, as I have a great sense of rhythm, and in my opinion, drums are the key to the genre. If you listen, in most of my songs, I always try to make remarkable drums, alternating and messing with different elements. My friends say that when they hear my songs, they already know that they’re mine because of the drums. So surely being a drummer was essential for me.
Tell us about your new label various artists compilation – what was the idea behind it?
The idea for this various artists compilation was to discover some great artists from all over Brazil, and give them a chance to show their work for all over the world. I think Brazil has so many great producers, and most of the time they don’t have a chance to be heard or even be supported by great artists.
The purpose of Kaligo Records is to merge big names from the Underground scene, along with artists who have great potential and deserve to be heard. That’s exactly what led me to launch this VA, combining big names with rising names. However, by 2020 I have plans to finally open Kaligo to International artists, in order to expand our business around the world.
And your own tunes – whats your aim and vibe when in the studio? What is your unique musical ID?
When I’m in the studio, I like to let myself go, so that my creativity flows in the best way, so it depends a lot on my mood in that day. Because I listen to a lot of Techno in my daily life, probably during 80% of my waking time, my productions end up tending to the musical style I like. I try to use influences from artists I admire, especially when it comes to drums, because I confess that I still need to improve my melodies in order to be able to use influences of great artists.
I am a very cheerful person, always happy and in a good mood, so I try to convey this in my songs, making uplifting tracks, always thinking about how the dance floor will react. Sometimes I even put my project to play and start dancing in the studio thinking that I’m in an event to see what’s missing and what’s not.
don’t have a unique musical ID, because every song that I finish, I put a different effort, dedication and love into it, so I can’t choose a unique ID. In my opinion, every song I listen to and produce is considered a piece of art, and right now I can’t choose one specific.
How did you decide who and what to include?
Like I said before, I like to let my creativity flow, but at the same time I really like to create remarkable drums, so I always start my projects with the drums, before going to other elements such as ambiences, effects, leads, synths and etc.
I usually produce by myself, but when a friend invites me to do a collab, I don’t hesitate, because it’s always nice to have more than one point of view on one thing, and I learn a lot from producing with other artists.
What are the pros and cons of running a label these days? What is good and bad about it?
Running a label is a hard-working task, and it requires a lot of dedication, because like everything else in life, no one starts big from the beginning, and this early phase requires a lot of investment, of both time and money. I run the label by myself, so I have to listen to every demo, give a feedback to the artists, take care of the social medias, think about future plans, do the promotion, deal with my distributor, and do it all merging with my DJ and Producer career, my work and my university, I study business.
Currently, practically all the money I earn working, I convert into investment in Kaligo Records, because I am sure that in a while I will start to be rewarded for all the effort, because I see that the label has grown a lot and gained great respect.
The only bad thing about having a record label is having to invest a lot of time and money for it to grow, but surely the good part is much bigger than the bad one. By creating Kaligo, it helped me to open many doors in the market and also to make many contacts, to meet new people and talented artists. Nowadays I am very focused on the growth of my label, because I am sure that it will generate countless seeds in the future, leaving a great legacy for the Underground culture of Brazil and the world.
What’s next for you?
I have plans to move back to Europe very soon, so my next plans are to expand my network with international labels, artists and event managers, in order to increase my network around the world.
However, before that, I want to increase and consolidate my name as a DJ and Producer a little more here in Brazil, so that I arrive with another vision in Europe. With that, I also intend to expand my events and my label around the world too, because as much as I love Brazil, I don’t want to limit myself to just one country.
What new years resolutions might you set yourself?
My New Years resolution is to really learn to play the keyboard, because as much as I know the notes and etc, I still don’t feel comfortable playing more elaborate melodies, which I miss in my songs. Another thing I want to learn in 2020 is how to create designs, because I need to create arts all the time for both Melgazzo and Kaligo, and I often get “stuck” with designers for not knowing how to do something simple.
In addition, I intend to further increase the frequency of my own events, and also their size, and invest even more in Kaligo Records, releasing international artists (I already started our Kaligo Radio, releasing only international DJs) and doing more Showcases with DJs from the label.