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Feature: Andre Moret [Interview]

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Hailing from São Paulo but now based in Campinas, Andre Moret has been rising out of Brazil's burgeoning progressive house scene. Continued support from Hernan Cattaneo along with releases on Balkan Connection, Clubsonica Records, Dopamine White, Soundteller Records and Transensations, has found Andre amongst the genre's top new comers. Now on the cusp of two new remixes for Balkan Connection, we catch up with Andre in this exclusive interview. Enjoy!

Hi Andre, thanks for joining us, how are you today and what are you up to? What are your plans for the week?

Hello guys, thanks for the invitation, I’m going well and very happy to be here today. This week, I intend to continue some songs that I started this weekend and continue with some personal studies.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a DJ and producer?

My contact with electronic music started when I was in elementary school and started collecting some CDs, from artists like Tiesto, Alex Galdino, David Guetta, Bob Sinclar and my favorite group Swedish House Mafia. It was in the period from 2006 to 2010, in that period the internet was already very advanced, which allowed me to download many songs and start to create some playlist on CDs. Right after, when I was 15, I won a Pionner controller from my parents, since then the dawns of music no longer stopped. But I only started my studies in music production when I was 18.

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

Today I’m 23 years old, living in a countryside town of São Paulo, Valinhos. And there is a lot of nature around my house, for sure it helps me a lot to have inspirations within the music. I grew up here and I prefer the tranquility of small towns.

My path with music has always been very lonely, so all the music I explored was by myself. I went through a lot of sides and musical genres, but the aspects that always called my attention were the organic and progressive. My first club experiences were at the age of 19, but only in techno clubs, a few years ago it was very rare to find progressive parties.

I argue that the most important thing is the message that the music carries and what sensations each composition can provide. Feelings and emotions are always the main spices of good music! For this reason, I can say that my greatest connection with music came when I opened myself to understand the world through meditative and energetic connection practices such as Reiki and Apometry, which opened me to the cosmic and shamanic dimensions.

My contact with the progressive music has always been very virtual and only on the internet, only 3 years ago I started making friends that I can share music and talk about my inspirations, and of course to go to parties and events that have great artists from the progressive world.

Progressive music is well known for being popular in Brazil. What would you attribute that to?

As I said earlier, here in Brazil it has always been very difficult to have contact with the progressive house, the scene was restricted to Hernan Cattaneo and a few knew Guy J and Nick Warren. Even though we already had great DJs and producers in the area, such as: Gui Milani, Alec Araujo, Goraieb, André Sabota and PK Live.

When I started performing as a DJ, at 19 years old, in some clubs in the region, I masked my set to fit in techno parties and from the moment I took over 100% of my project within the progressive scene the number of gigs that appeared dropped considerably. The Brazilian electronic scenario is still attached to musical genres.

But with certainly, I can say that progressive house has been growing a lot in recent times! I am very happy with that! For sure this growth is due to great DJs and producers that have emerged in recent years, such as: Luciano Scheffer, RIGOONI, Yudi Watanabe and many others are coming around with great work. Some party labels have been helping the name of the progressive to grow in Brazil, such as: UnikID, InProgress, Insid Out, Listen and Climb. And I must comment on the great work of the new Brazilian labels, which I have future releases: Transensations Records and Terasonic Records.

Name five tracks that were most important in your musical development and why are these pieces so significant for you.

Ludovico Einaudi – Fly

Ludovido is one of my favorite artists, I always wonder how it is possible to create great feelings and progressivities with melodies, and for sure this song is the biggest answer to my questioning.

D-Formation – Balkia (D-Nox & Beckers Remix)

For me, this song is a great work, with the perfect dozes between progressivity and the tribal groove. Backers have always been a big influence for me, not only for their creativity but mainly for their technical quality and perfect mixing sounds.

Khen – Never Lose Your Innocence

When I think of a song to play on a set and create the perfect party atmosphere, it's this amazing song by Khen.

Kamilo Sanclemente – The White City

The first time I heard this song I was shocked! Whenever I'm going to present the progressive house to someone, I show this work by Kamilo Sanclemente. Since I started listening to Kamilo's songs, I couldn't become a huge fan and one of my main references. And I certainly knew him personally and having release some songs with him, it was a dream that come true.

For closing I will quote an album instead of a song: Stimming – Alpe Lusia.

For me, this album with 10 songs is always a great reference of musical feelings and creativity, and we must remember the story behind this beautiful work. Stimming has always impressed me a lot with a detailed compositions and high level of sounds.

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

I have to confess that in these quarantine times, when energies are very still, many weeks of creative blocks had come. So, I took this time to reflect on my next steps and how I can evolve, both as a person and as an artist.

In that period, I managed to expand my work with Mix & Mastering, study more about music and some new personal things.

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

I want to believe that we can come back more sensitive, with a better human view of the world and valuing the good times! And that we can all see that the connection between people are important, as well as the meetings and celebration of the life.

What’s something that you do now (regularly) that you didn’t before COVID-19.

I started reading new books frequently. For me, this is a great achievement, as I have always had great difficulty with great readings.

How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished?

Honestly, not much. I always try to finish my songs quickly and show them to my friends after they are finished, so that the inspiration behind it is as transparent as possible. And I have to emphasize, not one of my songs is finished, they are just “left aside” and released to the world. Because whenever we listen to the music, our feelings and emotions are different so to keep the initial proposal I try to finalize them in a short period of time.

But when I need some feedbacks I talk with my Brazilian producer friends Yudi Watanabe, Luciano Scheffer and L Georges, who was already a great friend and now started to venture out with music and already has great releases. And sometimes I talk with Kamilo Sanclemante to get some tips, he's my biggest reference, and being able to have him as a friend is fantastic, always helping me a lot technically and emotionally within the scene.

You have two remixes out on Balkan Connection over the next two weeks, tell us about those and walk us through the production process on your version of Juan Ibanez & Dylan Deck’s ‘Touching The Sky’.

Every time I start a remix, I try to select 5 elements that will help me to build a song with my energy, and it was no different with these.

Touching The Sky is a great composition of 2 big names within the current producers, who are my friends today! For this remix, I tried to bring a little more minimalist idea, so that the music was ideal for a club. So I used an arpeggio of the main song to bring a great hypnosis and some melodies to elevate the song.

And the next remix that is about to be released, came by a personal invitation from my friend Luciano Scheffer. Coming from this artist in participation of the producer Goraieb and with vocals by Sarah Chilanti, I would not have been a bullet! Maybe I had the remix very similar to the original song, so I chose to bring a little more aggressiveness to the song without neglecting the depth and progressiveness of the original song.

You seem to have found a comfortable home on Balkan Connection this year with five remixes and an EP being released. What makes the Serbian imprint such a good place to release your music?

Since I started listening to progressive house, I've seen the Balkan label. So, I soon became a fan of the label! When I had my first release with Kamilo Sanclemente, we made a song for my dog called Nino. And in 2019 my puppy passed away, so I decided to make an album in her honor, leading to the release of ‘Cycle Life’ and ‘Fada’, and Fada was her name. In addition, I always felt very comfortable in showing my music exactly as I would like inside the label. Balkan always work to make the producers very comfortable to express themselves.

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

I use Ableton Live 10, to produce my tracks and all U-He VSTs are important for my compositions. Nowadays I have used many gears for produce and mixing, like: FabFilter Pro-Q3 and Saturn, SoundToys Decapitator, many plugins from Waves and Brainworx.

The industry and how fans discover new music has changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so. How do you discover new music nowadays?

Maybe I'm not the best person to analyze how things have changed in music, because I have little time in the industry. But I can tell you what I've been doing to find new music.

My entire research base is based on record labels. For me, getting to know new record labels and following their work is the best way to keep up new sounds. In addition, I research a lot through charts and music groups on different networks and social networks.

I think for a lot of artists music allows you to write a sketch of your own personal universe in a way; your travels, life experiences etc. Is this something which is true for yourself? Where does inspiration come from?

I have no doubts! Yes, as subjective as this may be, over time we can identify correlations between our world and our music. It is always a matter of self-knowledge. There is a thought that helps me a lot to create new music. The human being lives on the basis of the senses: touch, vision, smell, taste and hearing. Not one of these is more important than the other, as they all make us connect with the world and with people. And all this is not just a matter of survival, but an experience of what it is to live. Art guides us, because it is what brings out our senses, brings us the perception of what life is, makes the heart beat faster, makes us want to walk further and further.

Certainly, music is one of the artistic means that gives color to life! It connects people, makes them leave the rational mind and start to feel more, to perceive their emotions and feelings. That is why music always tells a story and allows experiences. It also intensifies our moments, the biggest example of which is that we can always connect our memories with a song. There is always one for the right time. And that is what helps people to connect with the world, through the universal language of feeling.

In addition, as I said earlier, my experience with the energetic side of life and the contact of nature, help me a lot with music and my issues within my career.

When working on music is the dance floor always something that’s taken into consideration?

For sure! The dance floor is a moment of equality and communion, where we can have moments to find our innocence and connect with our essence.

In fact, it is something that I’m missing during this period. Be able to meet friends, new people and feel the energy of music completely on the dance floors.

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

For the film: "Untouchables"! Just because it's my favorite movie and I love his soundtrack.

Current five favourite tracks?

Zone+, Agha - Take on Me (Original Mix)
Jiminy Hop - Adam (Kamilo Sanclemente Remix)
Golan Zocher - Enter (GMJ Remix)
GabiM, Joule/S - Ripped feat. Joule/s (RIGOONI Remix)
Khen - A Hero (Original Mix)

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

I have some good releases to come! In labels like Clubsonica, Terasonic, Transensation, Balkan Connection and Dopamine. I hope to continue producing this year to prepare good things for 2021.

Andre's Remix of 'Touching the Sky' by Juan Ibanez & Dylan Deck is out now via Balkan Connection: https://bit.ly/2E18lBJ

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