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Feature: RIGOONI [Interview]

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Hailing from São Paulo, Vinícius Souza aka RIGOONI has been rising out of Brazil’s burgeoning electronic music underground. 2019 was highlighted by an appearance on Nick Warren’s Balance compilation, setting the stage for a 2020 release on the legendary DJ’s The Soundgarden imprint. Subsequent offerings courtesy of MNL, One Of A Kind and Strangers Beats have made for a breakout year. Now fresh off a remix for Luka Sambe’s ‘Alive Is The Meaning’, the Brazilian artist debuts on Roger Martinez’s Higher States with ‘When Midnight Comes’. We had a chance to catch up with Rigooni for an exclusive interview just prior to the release. Enjoy!

Hi Vinícius, thanks for joining us. 😊 What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Thank you for the opportunity! I am very well and happy to be here sharing a little about my story! The last song I heard was ‘’Fidem Community – Zero Nine”

What are your plans for the coming week?

Follow my daily journey with my family, good coffee and lots of music.

Talk to us about growing up and living in Brazil, how has it affected your musical taste and the music you make?

I remember it as if it were today in my childhood when there was a family meeting, we would listen to Disco Music and I would try to reproduce a dance step (without success). Throughout my career, music was guiding me, whether at recess, when I got together with my elementary school friends to dance “Guru Josh Project – Infinity (Klass Vocal Mix)“, or going to clubs later. To this day, whenever I need to make a decision, music guides me. Since I was little I was very curious to know how things were done, with music it was no different. I started producing when I was 11 years old.

What are your favourite venues to play or attend an event at in Brazil and why?

One of my favorite places is outdoor events and close to nature. A wonderful experience that I was playing recently at the Chakra Club in São Bento do Sul, Santa Catarina, at the Inside Out party, organized by Leila Scheiwe and Tommyo. The atmosphere and the receptivity of the public were incredible.

There are many amazing artists from Brazil, particularly in techno and progressive house, is there anything you would attribute that too? And would you say the country has a dominant sound at the moment?

Brazil really has sensational DJ’s and producers such as: André Moret, Gui Milani, Carlos Tk, Souto, Awka, Lenharo, Luciano Scheffer and a multitude of great artists, very skilled, who strive to move the national scene be it on the dancefloor or the high quality of productions.

Although progressive house is not dominant in our country today, we can expect very positive results in the coming years. Also fruits of the nuclei and labels that are working hard to spread the scene in Brazil, such as: Transensations, Listen, Inside Out, Alataj, CONNECT, Inprogress, Terasonic and many others.

Tell us about your record/music collection, where do some of your early influences lie?

Lover of House Music, in 2008 when I started producing, of course I tried to make sounds similar to the ones I liked to hear. Over time, I found synthesizers and instruments that I identified with to make creative combinations, it was natural. I can list 7 songs that were influences for me to dive into the universe of production:

David Guetta & Chris Willis – Love Is Gone
INNA – Amazing
Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz – Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Remix)
Vintage Culture, Constantinne, Felten – Eyes
John Monkman & Pete Tong – Aurora
Victor Ruiz & D-Nox – Arise
Echomen – Perpetual (Guy J Remix)

A key moment in your career thus far was having Nick Warren select your ‘Dreamed Numbers’ track for his Balance Mix compilation last year. Tell us how that came to be and was it that initial contact with Nick which eventually led to a release on his The Soundgarden label this year?

Nick is a gentleman. I have much to thank him and his entire team. In February 2019 I sent the track “Dreamed Numbers” to Nick, three days later he played for the first time at Livestream at Sunset Rooftop, in Rosario, Argentina, it was magical! He showed a lot of love and support for my art. Fifteen days later he came to Brazil to play at D-Edge, I introduced myself personally with the help of Alec Araujo, and Nick said he wanted to launch me at Balance. That day Nick played the track again, I saw it live, many of my friends were there and they know it was a very special moment. We kept in touch throughout the year, putting together an unreleased music case, Nick chose four songs and gave me the opportunity to release on an EP, which was released this year under the name “Serenade” by the great The Soundgarden.

How have you been dealing with COVID-19? How has it affected your daily life, music production and overall inspiration to write new music?

In this quarantine period, I must confess that the music production process remains constant, my day is full of tasks related to music, if I am not weaving music, I am editing videos, photos, preparing a podcast, increasing the repertoire, improving techniques, reading, meditating, getting to know me. There is always something good and productive to do.

I feel that songs that are being woven today have the purpose of being born to value something that we need now, reflecting not only my personal universe, but also the collective thinking. If today we live a process of self-acceptance, reinvention, redefinition of values, the songs composed in this period are energized with the same essence, stimulating us to face this phase of today in the best possible way.

What is the current situation with the pandemic in Brazil? Are there any clubs or small events happening yet?

Here in the state of São Paulo, the latest update on the situation of social events is that following specific rules required by the government, yes, the holding of events is allowed with limitations.
It is very sad how many people were victims of COVID-19. On the other hand, a seed that this pandemic has planted for those who managed to stay safe is a beautiful invitation to reconnect with what really matters from now on.

What is something you do now (regularly) that you did not before COVID-19?

I go to the fair to buy fruits and vegetables for my grandmother. (Honestly now I’m going to the fair hahahah)

Once nightlife eventually resumes globally what kind of effect do you think this period in our history will have on the clubbing experience?

I believe that the resumption of nightlife will be soon! After this pandemic period, it will be portrayed a scenario of people who had to face their daily struggles head-on, reviewing personal values, solving problems that were dormant and are now completely light and willing to value the connection with social experiences again. One of the most striking things that I meditated and reflected on during this period is that we can even photograph or film that special moment lived in the clubs, but the photo or video will never be the experience itself.

You have a new single entitled ‘When Midnight Comes’ out now on Roger Martinez’s Higher States. Tell us a bit about it and your production process behind the track.

The creative process is fluid, it is liquid, organic, the melody appears as an astral breath, it is very fast! The lapidation process takes the longest, the music only ends when I finally understand that it is represented in the best way that I can represent with the conditions that I have today.

Why did Higher States seem like a good home for this track?

Music always shows me which way to go. Roger had contacted me last year, I asked him for time to produce something exclusive. Months later he called me on Soundcloud and by synchronicity I had finished a track on the same day, it was “When Midnight Comes”. I felt I should send this track to him. Roger liked it and we kept talking to tune in how the EP would be released, one of the conversations that came up was about a Remixer. I had no one else in mind to collaborate on this release, only master Alex O’Rion.

Where does your inspiration come from and was there anything which inspired the writing of ‘When Midnight Comes’?

Today I feel that making music for me is a totally spiritual process, when I am in my studio there is a channeling of many energies, inspirations that translate into melodies through me. “When Midnight Comes” was channeled on a full moon night, I felt a very heavy density and at the same time a feeling of cleanliness, I was surrounded by a lot of light on that dark night. Every time I opened my shows with this song, I felt it was like a sentinel, which allows the transition to another cycle.

What’s a piece of gear or software that always gets used when you’re writing a track?

I use FL Studio, Sylenth1, iZotope Ozone, FabFilter Pro-Q 2, some Waves plugins and a fan when using Diva ;D

Is there a movie you would have loved to have produced the soundtrack for? And if so why?

‘’It’s a Wonderful Life’’ for being one of my favorite movies.

Current five favourite tracks?

about : river – Silver Dusk (Volen Sentir Retouch)
Nohan – Four Walls (Lost Desert Remix)
Lèrr – Ada
Harrison Storm – Feeling You (Amonita Remix)
Tim Green – Mobara

What is your favourite food?

Spaghetti with lots of cheese

Iphone or Android?

FL Studio, and sometimes Android

What does the remainder of 2020 and early 2021 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

I have scheduled about 7 major releases for the end of this year 2020 and the beginning of 2021. More information soon.

‘When Midnight Comes’ is out now via Higher States: https://bit.ly/3jZKtOz

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