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Mayro [Interview]

28 min read

Based in Argentina, Pablo Maneiro aka Mayro has been producing a blend of progressive, deep and melodic house for the better part of a decade. World class DJs Armen Miran, Cid Inc, Eelke Kleijn, Hernan Cattaneo, Miss Monique and Nick Warren have all taken a liking to his sound, which has found a home on Mango Alley, Siona Records, WARPP and his own Traful imprint. This week finds Mayro returning to his Traful imprint with the much anticipated 'Gede'.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Mayro to learn more about the release of 'Gede’, his background, nightlife in Argentina, DJing and more. Enjoy.

Hi Pablo, thanks for talking to us today. How has your start to the year been so far and please tell us something interesting about your day today?

Hi guys, it's a real pleasure to have this interview with you.

A very good start to the year, with a lot of work. Particularly in March, I had 2 gigs every weekend, so I was super focused on playing. Exhausting but enjoyable.

And about today, I woke up early because I wanted to work on a project. If I have any Saturdays free, I try to make the most of them since I feel like I'm saving time (I'm a bit of a workaholic)."

Take us through a typical day when you’re not travelling, what does a day in your life look like?

I wake up between 8 and 9 in the morning. I head to my studio (which is the room next to mine), and I try to reserve my mornings for production, avoiding checking my phone until noon. From noon onwards, I start with administrative stuff, answering emails, checking demos for my label, talking to event organizers, managers, creating content, and everything else that involves running a music business nowadays. I try to go to the gym in the middle of my work, or sometimes when i finish.

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

I always searched for music of all kinds, obviously being from Argentina, I came across more local music, but I've always been quite open-minded in that regard.

What are some of your best memories from first going to clubs? Were there specific nights or sets that really made you feel you wanted to pursue electronic music?

My first electronic music festival was at Creamfields in Buenos Aires in 2008. I went when I was 16, using a friend's ID who was older (don’t imitate me), and I always looked forward to Creamfields, eagerly counting down the days until it arrived.

I could name many sets I've seen, but obviously, the ones from those early years influenced me a lot in deciding to pursue music. At that edition of Creamfields, I saw Deadmau5, David Guetta, Gui Boratto, Satoshi Tomiie.

If you were a tour-guide for nightlife in Argentina, what would be the clubs you’d take the people to see and what local DJs do they need to hear?

As a native of Buenos Aires, I would recommend some places that might not be considered "typical" like ‘La Biblioteca’ (a unique venue that stands out for being an actual library, with a capacity for about 200-300 people), ‘Dune Park’ (a place with a very distinctive artistic atmosphere), and two great venues that I really like, ‘BNN’ and ‘Morocco’. And then I would also recommend ‘Crobar’ and ‘The Bow’, as they are the typical places that someone visiting from outside should go to.

Being a Buenos Aires resident, how would you say the nightlife differs from Buenos Aires to the other major cities in Argentina? Or is there a difference at all?

Buenos Aires, being the capital, offers an incredibly diverse range of options, making it excellent for going out and seeing numerous DJs and attending different events. However, I believe this abundance of options has a consequence: sometimes the sense of "love" for a particular place or event can be lost amidst the multitude of choices. I'm not saying it always happens, but it does occur often (and it has happened to me too).

In other cities, both big and small, it feels like people go out and give their all for that event.

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.

Absolutely, Hernan Cattaneo is the icon of electronic music in Argentina and represents us globally. I believe he sets an example of professionalism.

Personally, I didn't get into electronic music because of Cattaneo. I started by listening to other artists, such as Eric Prydz, Deadmau5, and Armin Van Buuren. Then, gradually, progressive music started to become a part of my life, and I discovered Cattaneo and other influential artists in the genre.

While I think most electronic music fans would consider you a progressive house artist, your productions often fall outside the typical sound of the genre, with that said how important do you think it is to stay relevant within the trends we often see within genres of electronic music?

I think it's important to have your own sound and perhaps incorporate certain trendy sounds in a functional way that suits your style and makes you feel comfortable. However, if you don't feel comfortable, don't do it. There are aspects of new trends that I like, but I try to pick and choose certain elements rather than adopting the entire sound. I believe that's the way.

Analogy: If I have a vegetarian restaurant and barbecue becomes trendy in meat burgers, I would try (if I feel it's appropriate) to incorporate barbecue into the vegetarian recipes I present.

You have a new EP ‘Gede’ out now via your Traful imprint. Tell us a bit about the release and how it showcases your current sound.

Regarding "Gede," which is a word in Argentina that means someone annoying but in a playful way (sometimes), it doesn't literally mean that, but there's no direct translation, haha. I wanted to create a track that's party-oriented, and I've always been inspired by the melody of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." In my performances, I've often played tracks that have that melodic line and mood (for example, D-Nox & Stereo Underground - "Dolby," Guy J - "Cicada," Collective States - "Night Skies," just to name a few), and I thought, if I play it so much, why i don't make my own one?

These days, I want to show a fun mood, and I think "Gede" represents that.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions and more specifically on your ‘Gede’ EP?

I've always used a few things. I have a 2012 Mac, KRK Rokit 8 monitors in a non-acoustically treated studio space, and Audio-Technica ATH-M50X headphones (which I use for both DJing and producing). I also have Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X headphones, an Arturia Microfreak synthesizer, a MIDI controller, and a mouse, haha.

For producing, I use Ableton Live as my DAW, and as for VST plugins, these days I mostly use Serum, Anna, Spire, and the native Ableton plugins.

Let’s talk a bit more about your label ‘Traful’ which has been running for almost two years. What led you to start the label initially? Was this your first foray into running a record label?

The truth is, I hadn't planned on starting a record label, at least not for a couple of years, but the opportunity presented itself when Federico Nussbauer and Juan Carlos Ivancevic approached me about it. They had the expertise in running a label, and I had to bring my musical imprint to the table, so it was an incredible match.

Now that you’re two years into your journey as a label owner, looking back on those years, how has your approach to running a label changed? Or has it at all?

I think the methods change, the analysis; I feel it the same way with my project as Mayro, one grows and refines and adjusts certain things.

The reality is that nowadays, when selecting music, I am 30 times more demanding than when I started.

Being a label owner, how do you decide which of your tracks you want to release there as opposed to shopping them to other labels?

Well, in this specific moment, I've change my focus and I'm only going to release originals through my label (remixes if for other labels), unless a solid opportunity/proposal comes to me.

What advice do you have for artists hoping to get signed to ‘Traful’?

I'd tell them to check out our latest releases, haha. But there are three things we're currently looking for: it should be functional on the dance floor, creative, and sound good.

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, you’re one of Argentina’s most well known progressive DJs, having toured the world playing Chile, Hungary, Mexico, Norway, The Netherlands and more. How would you describe your approach to DJing?

The approach I have as a DJ is the same as in production. I look for music from different genres and apply it to my style to make it work together (or at least, that's the idea). But I'm always searching for tracks outside of my genre like Tech House, Techno, Electro, Trance.

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 producer?

As a DJ, one improves over time and asks, "Will this work on the dancefloor?" Because often a track can be good but not be effective. I believe this feeds back into production. When I produce, I think about when this track could work. If the idea convinces me, I continue with the project.

How much prep do you put into the sets you play, or are they spontaneous for the most part?

They're spontaneous. I do my music searches approximately in a week for what happened throughout the month, and I organize it by the intensity I think it will have, but from there, in a live set, I improvise. I can go to the last folder of the month, or the previous one, or even one from 5 years ago.

Current Top five tracks in your sets?

Mmm in this moment, apart for my own producions that i always try to play:

Gaucho Kid - Nuestro Destino [One of the last releases on Traful]

T.N.C - If We Were Villains [will be soon on Traful]

Tinlicker - Blowfish (Original Mix) [Pias] Electronique]

Kaiserdisco - Error in the System (Original Mix) [Drumcode] with Moby - Bodyrock [I made a live mix / mash up]

Digital Mess, Ivanshee - Hyperspace Quest (Original Mix) [Univack]

If you are not DJing, producing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

These days, if I'm not working, I try to have some relaxed get-togethers with friends or my partner, either at someone's house, a bar, or a restaurant.

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?

I loved to make line ups, i think it has to be a 13 hs party:

17 to 20: Hernan Cattaneo

20 to 23: John Digweed

23 to 02: Eric Pyrdz

02 to 04: Bart Skills

04 to 06: Above & Beyond

Looking back on your career thus far, what advice would you offer to your younger self?

Be patient, and learn to socialize from an earlier age, haha.

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life?

I think something related to cooking. I believe I would have pursued that if I wasn't a DJ/Producer. Although I've always been interested in and care about environmental issues, I hope to make a more active decision to pursue something in that topic at some point.

What TV series have you been enjoying recently and what are some of your all time favourites?

Currently, I'm watching "This Is Us," but I've also enjoyed "Lost," "Breaking Bad," and "How I Met Your Mother" a lot. Nowadays, I find it difficult to get hooked on new series.

What can we look forward to from Mayro and Traful for the rest of 2024?

A lot of music, a lot of travels, and a lot of work!

'Gede' is available now via Traful: https://tinyurl.com/26k8jhxk

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