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Mattias Herrera [Interview]

26 min read

Mattias Herrera was born on July 2, 1987 in the city of La Rioja. Since he was a child, he was always interested in music and all kinds of instruments, a lover of percussions, he was also interested in string instruments such as guitars or basses. Fan of bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Soda Stereo and Sumo. As a teenager he began to enter the world of electronic music as a DJ, influenced by great references such as Mano Le tought, Nick Warren, Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J, John Digweed, Nicolas Jaar and Fernando Ferreyra. In approximately 2015 he began his musical production studies with Claudio Cornejo (Analog Jungs) and Ezequiel Arias, since that day he has not stopped creating music in genres such as Progressive, Progressive House, Melodic Techno, House, Deep House. Many of his works were supported by greats of the scene such as Nick Warren among others. With Mattias making his debut on Deepwibe Underground's organic offshoot -102C this week, we catch up with him to learn about his journey into electronic music and more. Enjoy

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

Hello everyone! Thanks for the opportunity of letting people know a little more about me. My current state of mind is: VERY HAPPY AND GRATEFUL WITH LIFE. The last piece of music I heard was Lisa by Gustavo Cerati.

 What are your plans for the coming week?

My plans for next week are to get to know Berlin and travel to Amsterdam and then continue my trip to Barcelona.

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

The 5 tracks that were important in my musical development are: Simon Vuarambon - Pandora, Guy J - Aurora, Sebastien Leger - Lanarka, Paul Deep - Anemona and Cornucopia - Holding You Tight When The World Collapses. These tracks, regardless of the year of release, really reached me and awakened rhythmic and musical tastes, they made me move and feel like creating similar tracks with melodies and grooves that convey stories, emotions and feelings.

When you were young you became interested in all kinds of musical instruments, was this something you got from your parents? Or where did that love originate from?

My love for music began when I was a child, I don't come from a family of musicians but thanks to the eternal support of my mother and the fact that I chose surrounding myself with musicians or people who enjoyed music like me, I started to learn music. I went to drums, guitar and bass lessons and so I started filling my life with music.

In 2015 you started to do some production courses with Claudio Cornejo (Analog Jungs) and Ezequiel Arias who are both highly regarded progressive house producers. How much did this accelerate your growth as an artist? And is this something you think all aspiring producers should do?

About the classes I took with Claudio Cornejo and Ezequiel Arias, I think they were my initial kick, I learned a lot with them and they are 2 artists that I greatly admire and respect. Another great teacher, friend and brother that music gave me is Mariano Brito (Mariaan (AR)). I believe that today I am the artist that I am thanks to these 3 people: Claudio Cornejo, Ezequiel Arias and Marian (AR). I definitely think that everyone who aspires to be a music producer should take classes at some point, it helps to learn from people who are already in the scene and who can teach you the basics so you can continue on your own path.

How did growing up in Argentina influence your music taste and direction? Or did it at all?

Growing up in Argentina, more precisely in La Rioja, was complicated at first because the electronic music scene was almost non-existent, we have great artists and musicians but from other genres. It was from the hand of my cousin and his DJ friend (DJ Chala) that I discovered this genre when I was 8 years old if I remember correctly, listening to an Energy Parade album. From that day I knew I wanted to become a DJ and make electronic music, so THANK YOU! To them 2.

Progressive music is well known for being hugely popular in Argentina, how did your country become the genre’s mecca over the last 10-15 years? What would you attribute that to?

From my point of view, Argentina became the mecca of the progressive house thanks to Hernan Cattaneo, without discrediting the other artists of the genre. I think that Hernan encouraged many young people to listen to and love this genre (me included haha). I also consider that in our country we have a certain taste for percussion and melodies that come from genres that are heard a lot here, such as cumbia, cuarteto, etc.

Who from your home country inspired you the most when you first discovered the music?

From my native country, the artist who inspired me the most was Gustavo Cerati. In electronic music Hernan Cattaneo without a doubt.

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

My favorite places to play in Argentina would be all the provinces haha but if I had to choose one province from all of them it would be Cordoba, for its landscapes, its people, its artists and its events.

Who are some up and coming Argentinian artists to look out for?

Some of the emerging artists to take into account are Francisco Basso, Lucas Caddeo, Andres Moris, Juan Ibañez, Fabri Lopez, Rocio Portillo, Dunadry, among others. I believe that Argentina is a factory of great artists.

You got signed to Nick Warren’s The Soundgarden in 2021, only five months after your first release came out towards the end of 2020, this must have been a huge moment, tell us about that and what it did for your confidence moving forward?

Amaltea (my EP for Soundgarden) was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. First because seeing how one of the artists I admire the most (Nick Warren) used my tracks and second, the fact of seeing my name on The Soundgarden's list of EP's will be something that I will never forget and a great engine to continue making music, it showed me that with hard work and persistent dreams come true, there are no barriers.

You have a new EP ‘Naeza’, out this week on Deepwibe Underground’s -102C imprint, tell us about the release and please walk us through the production process on one of the tracks, whichever you like. 

Naeza, my latest work to be released on the -102º label is an EP that I really enjoyed creating, I had fun in all the processes. For all them I used an element that I wanted to sound during the whole track (a guitar on Naeza, a percussion on Cayman and an arpeggio on We trust). I really wanted these tracks to come out together in an EP and I am very grateful to -102º for giving me the opportunity for these tracks to be presented to the world as an EP, I feel that it is the right label and I am very happy about this.

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

My studio is made up of a desktop pc, 2 krk 5 monitors, an Audient ID14 board and a Midi keyboard. Unfortunately, in my country it is very difficult to be able to acquire any type of equipment, anyway I have learned that when making music the only thing you need is a good idea, the rest are facilities to reach the objective.

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 and was there anything that inspired the tracks which make up your ‘Naeza’ EP?

Creativity when creating any track for me is closely linked to the state of mind and the moment that one is going through in his life. Naeza came to me prior to a trip that I have been planning for many years and after going through an illness that left my mood on the floor, I think I bottom out and began the process of climbing to the top in the best way , Naeza is the first work that comes out of all this.

How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

Every time I finish a track first I listen to it in my best sound reference: MY CAR hahaha and then there are people to whom I always send my work to receive feedback, they are Francisco Basso and Mariano Brito, Juan Ibañez or Dunadry (all very closed friends) and if we talk about great artists, the first one I make listen to my work is Nick Warren, he has given me the opportunity of a lifetime and he is a person with whom I will be eternally grateful.

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

When making a track, what I enjoy the most is making the melodies, or the groove. I think I enjoy all the tasks and if there is something that I would let another person do, it is the management of my social media hahaha.

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

If I were a millionaire I would buy a Prophet 6, a Gibson Les Paul haha or an audio card, but first of all I think I would buy a analogic synthesizer.

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?

The 5 artists I would like to have at an event would be: Simon Vuarambon (the best warm up I've ever heard), Henry Saiz, Guy J, Nick Warren and Hernan Cattaneo. In that order.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and what made you do it?

The biggest risk I had to take was leaving Mydriasis (a duo I formed with Lucas Caddeo) to start my solo career, and what motivated me to do this was thinking about my personal growth as well of my collegue’s.

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

Talking about books "the art of mixing" generated a great positive impact and I was able to learn a lot from it, if we talk about movies I don't remember well but it could say BB King, Bohemian Rhapsody or Disney's Coco.

What is one superpower you would like to have and how would you use it?

I would like to be able to travel in time and be able to attend great historical shows, or to be able to listen to Hendrix in live haha.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

In addition to music, cooking and writing makes me very happy (although I keep my writings just for me haha).

What does 2022 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

In what remains of the 2022 I just have to tell you that I have a lot of new music to offer, I feel at my best and the way I have to show this is with music. so what remains of this 2022 I hope to give you new music and expect shows in which I can play and share this that I love so much with the people.

'Naeza' is out now via -102C: https://bit.ly/3yVEkwz

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