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Scippo [Interview]

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Scippo is a DJ and Producer born in Rio Gallegos, Argentina. Since his early studies in music at the age of 15, moving to Buenos Aires two years later fed and inspired his desire towards electronic music. His first set of releases emerged in 2019 through Hernan Cattaneo’s “Sudbeat” label, and followed later by a double appearance on the “Balance Series” Compilation of “The Soundgarden”, curated by Nick Warren. His music with unique taste and resourceful grooves has been supported by some of the most acclaimed DJ’s of the industry such as Nick Warren, Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Muir, Mike Griego and many more. Currently based in Barcelona, Scippo has also found a home on Praveen Achary's Juicebox Music. Having made his label debut with a contribution to the 'Tales of Time - Chapter 2' collection, Scippo now embarks on his first EP project for Juicebox entitled 'Sticky Lips / Sense'. We had a chance to catch up with the fast rising artist for an interview leading up to the release. Enjoy!

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

Hi!!! It's my pleasure :) The last one was actually Dave Brubeck’s ‘Take Five’

How’s your year been so far? And what are your plans for the coming week?

My year so far had a lot of ups and downs unfortunately, I changed studios 3 times, moved 2 times and my computer almost broke down… but I think it's all restabilizing again now luckily with my new studio an projects on the way :)

Tell us about your artist name, it's quite unique, how did you decide on it and does it have a special meaning for you?

It has a very special and deep meaning for me, as it's my last name - LOL.

Do you consider yourself a DJ or producer first? And which do you enjoy more and why?

I started producing when I was 15 so I was definitely a producer first. I started DJing only a couple of years later. If I had to choose, I would prefer to be a producer but I really enjoy both, especially the connection with the audience when DJing is an amazing feeling and somehow it goes hand in hand with production, as I get to play my music live.

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

Growing up in the south of Argentina was very nice! I have many beautiful childhood memories that directly influenced my production. From the beginning I also had the musical reference of Progressive House genius Hernan Cattaneo. He was one of the first influences I had in terms of what I wanted to do with music and in fact the first track I released was on his label, which was a great honour for me

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?

Deep inside I’ve always known that my life was going to be dedicated to music. However, when I first arrived in Buenos Aires at the age of 17 I was torn between studying medicine or pursuing a professional music career and clearly the answer was music. After a few years I met Guy J, went to see him with some friends at The Bow, where Simon Vuarambom did the warm-up, and Guy J played a 5-hour-set. That night listening to him made me realise that it was the right decision to dedicate my life to producing music no matter what.

What have been some of your favourite venues to perform or attend events at in Argentina, and why?

In Buenos Aires I loved going to The Bow, Crobar and Mandarine Park! I will never forget Sven Vaeth at Crobar or the amazing parties with John Digweed at the Park or Guy J at The Bow. The annual event held by Hernan and Nick at Forja in the city of Córdoba can also not be missed. When performing myself, I really felt at home at all the parties organized by my event production company Affordance, as well as in venues such as the terrace of Carnal, at the mythical Under Club and also in Pacha Buenos Aires.

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?

Long before starting producing professionally I took several courses, mostly in my school years. Then, when I arrived in Buenos Aires, I enrolled in the Music Production and Electronic Music programmes at the Escuela de Música de Buenos Aires and took a music production course at Arjaus. At the same time I kept on taking classes with different private teachers. The one who inspired me the most in the process was my great friend Mike Griego, who I'm very grateful to until today. Anyway, I believe that you never stop learning so I keep taking masterclasses every now and then :) I recommend to new producers to be a sponge of knowledge, you have to learn everywhere and from everyone. Something that can really help a lot to make the learning curve faster is to take personalized lessons with a private teacher – it really helps you polish up details.

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?

I feel that every feeling of the moment I'm living is captured directly in the music I'm making. How I'm feeling day by day influences how I start a project or continue with one or another. I have different projects for different moods, depending on how I'm feeling on a certain day I work on a project or the other. For instance, my tracks "Flown" and "Clot" are tracks that I made as soon as I arrived in Barcelona. I can really relate to the mood they transmit - Flown makes me feel like I'm flying and that's exactly how I felt as soon as I arrived in the Clot neighbourhood.

The subject of mental health is complex and nuanced, and it is an issue to which those working in electronic music are especially susceptible. It can be deeply rewarding but it is also competitive, fast-paced, unpredictable and hedonistic. Talk a bit about the pressures of what you do that fans may not be totally aware of. And do you have tools or practices that you use to get yourself back to a state of balance?

It is not easy to control your mental balance, but I think that staying positive and looking on the bright side of things is something that defines me. Staying true to that is my main practice. However, of course there are times when we have to go through different situations that we may not like at the moment but dealing with them is what make us grow. The good thing about these states is that they let you express yourself in different ways. As I create music, I usually express what is happening to me through music.

Although you have only been releasing music for three years, you are already signed to Hernan Cattaneo's Sudbeat Music and Nick Warren's Hope Recordings, what are your future production goals?

Well, this is actually my fourth and I'm very happy because there are many releases coming soon: originals, collaborations and remixes by different labels, including my own brand-new label called Flown Records, which I founded with my good friends Figueras. We are going to release the first EP in the next few months with 2 originals of mine, a remix by Figueras and another one by the great Cid Inc.

You have a new EP 'Sticky Lips / Sense' coming out this week on Juicebox Music by Praveen Achary. Tell us about the release and how these tracks showcase your sound.

On this release, I want to show my "dark" side through progressive/hypnotic techno, which shows my sound in an acidic and intense way with analogue sounds.

What is your setup like, do you prefer physical gear to digital, and what studio tools were used heavily in the composition of the EP?

My setup is my beautiful Prophet 08 and my pedals (Eventide H9 and Avalanche Run v2). It's always analogue gear for me. I love touching the synths and making the sounds come alive by feeling them. On this EP I only use my setup but as I share a studio, I also have my friend’s synths.

You made your debut on Juicebox Music with a contribution to their 'Tales of Time' series last year and now you've just released an EP, what makes the label such an attractive place to release your music?

I really like the sound of Juicebox and always wanted to release music through the label, plus my friends Praveen Achary and Greg Tomaz have a very good rapport with the producer, that not every label has, and I think the communication with the artist and the exposure is very important when releasing music.

In general, do you find it more difficult to create original tracks than to remix another artist's track?

I find it more complicated to make an original track, but I consider remixes as new tracks so it's just as challenging for me.

How do you feel about having your music remixed?

I love it! I think it's great to see another producer's approach to your idea.

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

I find recording synths a lot of fun. I don't get involved much in the mastering part of the track, just to test them on the dance floor, not for the final master.

What equipment or software do you always use when writing a track?

Ableton Live is my DAW and when I'm writing a track I always use the midi keys.

How many tests or comments from friends do you do before you say a track is finished, and who do you share your new music with first for feedback?

I share my newest music with my close friends so they can give me real and honest feedback on what they feel when they hear my music. I believe that the track has a maturation stage. When you finally test them on the dance floor and it works, that's one of the best feedbacks.

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

Starting with Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J, Dixon, John Digweed and Sven Vath.

What would be one musical extravagance for your studio that you would pay for, if you were very rich?

I would love to buy Dave Smith's OB-6 or Tempest as well as many more synths, guitars, compressors, EQs, microphones, etc.

What is the one book you've read or film you've seen that has made an impact on you, and why, and is there a film you would have liked to produce the soundtrack for? And if so, why?

I love the film Arrival, the interpretation of different languages and the mystery it conveys is incredible. I am a film music lover, I would have loved to do the music for Interstellar and just to be able to do it exactly as Hans Zimmer did.

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

Teleporting. It would save time :D

If you could travel anywhere for a day, without any laws or limitations, where would it be?

I would love to see Greece!

In your opinion, what is the biggest risk you have taken and what made you do it?

Moving to Barcelona. It was a risk and at the same time a possibility to grow but that also meant leaving many things behind.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Eating, both going out and enjoying a good meal with friends at home.

What does the rest of 2022 have in store for you? Anything you can share with us?

My own record label and many releases across different genres, deep house, progressive house, techno, ambient & break beat.

'Sticky Lips / Sense' is out now via Juicebox Music: https://bit.ly/3OJjjdL

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