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Figueras [Interview]

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Figueras is a duo formed by the DJs & Producers Andy Figueras & Elias Figueras from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Two brothers that share the same passion, taste and love for music. With their dynamic sound including groove and melodies, they have gained the support of artists such as Hernan Cattaneo, Henry Saiz, Marcelo Vasami, Nicolas Rada, Miss Monique, Dmitry Molosh and many others. Figueras managed to earn a place in the Progressive music scene participating in the most important events that take place in their country and by signing their music to some of the best labels of their sound. This week finds Figueras collaborating with Scippo on the latest single 'Red Star' for the trio's Flown Records entitled. We had a chance to catch up with the brotherly duo for an interview leading up to the release. Enjoy.

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

Hello guys! First of all, thank you for the invitation. We're doing pretty well at the moment, really looking forward to what's coming this year. The last piece of music we listened to is Simon Vuarambon's set live at moments Rosario, magic set.

What are your plans for the coming week?

This coming week we are preparing for a gig on Friday at the beautiful Crobar in Buenos Aires.

When we ask most artists what is responsible for the popularity of progressive music in Argentina the overwhelming answer is Hernan Cattaneo, would that be your feeling also? And if so please speak on that, also to add to that, who else from Argentina inspired you when you first discovered the music?

Fortunately progressive music has become very popular in Argentina, there are many names that helped this industry to grow and develop, Hernan Cattaneo is the obvious answer but there are many artists that inspired us such as Ricky Ryan, Martin Garcia, Marcelo Vasami & Nicolas Rada.

What are your favourite venues to play in the Argentina and why?

There are many cool venues to play in Argentina but in our experience our favourites so far are: The Bow, Crobar and Afrika, the vibe and feeling you get from the audience in these clubs is insane, each club with their own style but they make you don't want to leave the booth never. Also there are many outdoor venues that have a real magical vibe like Mandarine Tent & Rio. We have yet to know some of the best places like Mandarine Park, Metropolitano and Forja to mention a few.

How did you guys eventually start collaborating? And were you releasing music in a solo capacity before your partnership?

We are brothers, Elias born in 1990 and Andy in 2000, although the difference in age could have seemed like a problem this was never the case, the bond we have is strong since the beginning. We really match in the taste of music and we have the same dream to play in big stages so we thought why don't do it together? that helped us to start with this duo 3 years ago. We were not releasing any music before we started our partnership, but after we partnered we started releasing.

A successful partnership is generally based around balance and compromise; how do you manage these things within the Figueras production dynamic? Do you have different roles in the production process? And if so elaborate please.

We agree that balance and compromise are key for this to work. We think that being brothers makes it easy for us to manage these things. The production dynamic is really free, we don't live in the same house so sometimes each of us produce music on our own, obviously sharing and giving feedback of what we made with each other. Also we like to get together for remixes and when we feel like to make some originals.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone help you or are you completely self-taught? And what would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

It is difficult to get started in music production so we decided to get help from the best. We had teachers such as Andrea Cassino and Mike Griego that made it easier to understand this beautiful world. An advice for new producers is to try and find a teacher that suits you well this may help learn faster but there are many other ways of learning such as YouTube videos or masterclasses. Feedback from friends that also produce can really help as well.

You have a new signal with Scippo entitled ‘Red Star’ out now on your Flown imprint, tell us about the track and why did you decide to release it as a standalone track rather than part of an EP?

Finally 'Red Star' is coming, this track is super special for the three of us because it made the bond between us really tight. We got together at Elias house and produced all night having a lot of fun and by sunrise we had almost the track finished, we continued improving it later but the idea was done. We decided to release it as a single because it was the first collab between the label founders of Flown.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of ‘Red Star’?

We have two different studios as we live in different homes, Elias gear is the following: Focal Twin6 be, Prophet 12, Juno 106-A, Eventide H9 and as audio interface Apollo twin x. In Andy's studio we can find the Focal Alpha 65, Prophet 6, Moog sub 37, Virus TI2, Avalanche Run v2 and also the Apollo twin x as AI. We do favour physical gear because of the quality of sound, also it makes it far more interesting to play with the synth live rather than vst's if you have the chance. Red Star heavily features Prophet 12, Prophet 8 from Scippo & Avalanche Run v2.

Let’s talk about production for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play? And was there anything that inspired ‘Red Star’?

The impulse for us to create comes from the love for the music, we thought if we were going to DJ we should produce our own music. Inspiration comes and goes, it is very important to not depend on this and constantly keep learning and improving if you don't feel like producing. Our main inspirations rely on listening to our favourite artists like Guy J, Simon Vuarambon, Guy Gerber, etc...We also listen to a lot of other styles of music that inspire us in different ways to create new things. Red Star was inspired by a vinyl we heard from Hans Zimmer the same night we did the track.

Working as a duo is an interesting dynamic, do you guys share a studio where all the sessions are together or do you produce separately and pass files back and forth? And if you have done both, what do you prefer and why?

As said before we don't share a studio, sometimes we get together and other times we pass files back and forth or Soundcloud's to share feedback. We really have no preferences but it is nice to have both sides of producing solo and as a duo. Sometimes you need your own space for creativity and other times is good to partner up and see what great things come from it.

Once a piece is finished, how important is it for you to let it lie and evaluate it later on? How much improvement and refinement do you personally allow until you’re satisfied with a piece? What does this process look like in practice? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

It is really hard for us to say a piece is "finished". We try to let it lie for a while and evaluate it later on, making as much improvements as we can. Being satisfied with a piece doesn't happen every time, the industry takes a lot of time to release the music, so this brings a dilemma, as time goes by, you may change your thoughts on the piece and it may already be signed, so we try not to stay to attached to every single piece, always focusing on improvements for the next one and so, the learning curve is endless so that encourages us to be better the next track. Scippo is definitely one of our first choices to reach for feedback, we have many friends to share our music with but as we have a label with Scippo we use to ask for his feedback first.

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

Some of our favourite tasks while producing are writing the drums and bass lines, we would prefer someone with more musical skills to help us with the more melodical stuff, but it's also interesting to experiment for ourselves there as well.

Do you find it more difficult to come up with original tracks than remixing a track from another artist?

Remixing is much more direct as you are given stems that lead you to come up with a new version of the original track, we wouldn't name it as 'easier' because you have less freedom than making an original track from the beginning, we really enjoy both aspects, once in a while is good to remix some track that you really like or an artist you respect.

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it? And what can people expect from a Figueras club set?

DJing is what made us start with this, there is no better feeling than mixing and hearing music you love displayed on the dancefloor, people can expect lots of groove and quality music from a Figueras club set, always adapting to the venue, dj's in the line up and everything each particular gig has.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producers?

The work as DJs has influenced our view of music in many ways, you learn what tracks work on the dancefloor, reading people's vibes and taking decisions from there. It definitely helps with our work as producers being in touch with lots of quality music makes you realize what aspects to improve in your own productions.

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

We can't really say what musical extravagance we would like for our studio, right now we are really happy and grateful for what we have at the moment, just squeeze our gear to the fullest.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

Really nice question this one. If we could set up an event with five artists of our choice it would be the following:

Figueras 12:00 - 02:00
Simon Vuarambon 02:00 - 04:00
Guy J 04:00 - 07:00
Guy Gerber 07:00 - 10:00
Danny Howells 10:00 - 13:00

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

First movie is Men of honor because of the sacrifice and the overcoming of adversity shown in the movie is really inspiring. The second movie is Interstellar, the discover of the unknown is something super intriguing to us. Awesome movies overall.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Apart from music, watching football makes us very happy, riding motorcycles and spending time with our loved ones no matter what's the excuse to get together :)

What does 2023 hold for you guys as artists and also Flown as a label? Anything you can share with us?

Hopefully 2023 comes with many great things for us as artists, getting to know new places thanks to music and continue growing in our path in this industry. Flown is coming with lots of exciting news this year, many great national and international artists, wonderful EP's and remixes, just top quality music.

Thank you very much for this awesome interview once again, it's a pleasure to share our view with you :) Wish you a really nice year. All the best.

'Red Star' is available now via Flown Records: https://bit.ly/3kGSddu

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