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Yudi Watanabe [Interview]

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Based in Brazil and firmly entrenched in his country’s progressive music scene; Yudi Watanabe has achieved measurable success over the course of his nine year career. His resume features projects via Beatfreak, Clubsonica, Mango Alley and Sound Avenue. Also highly regarded amongst the world’s electronic music tastemakers, the Brazilian artist has earned play and support from Hernan Cattaneo and Nick Warren. Now, making his first appearance on Deepwibe Underground, Yudi re-unites with his studio partners Andre Moret and L Georges for a two-track showcase entitled ‘Kamaria’. We had a chance to catch up with Yudi Watanabe for an interview leading up to the release, enjoy!

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

Hey!! First of all, thanks for the invite!! I’m quite happy!!

I put a song to start answering this interview, Sebastian Busto – Life (Original Mix)

What are your plans for the coming week?

Since the year is ending, I’m slowing down my productions and focusing more on myself, taking some time to get back to my routine and listening to other types of sounds.

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

It’s really hard to choose just 5 songs, but here’s the list:

1- Volen Sentir – Vdol Po Rechenke (Original Mix)

2- Black 8, Arrab – Papyrus (Original Mix)

3- Simon Vuarambon – Morgana (Original Mix)

4- Galestian Feat. Mira J – Tell Me (Ezequiel Arias Space Mix)

5 – Subconscious Tales – Magnetars (Kasper Koman Remix)

I consider these not only as references in my productions, but also the moments when they develop on the dance floor, listening as an audience or playing as a dj.

I would like to add a second list with songs from different genres that contributed a lot to my musical development as a producer.

1- Metrik, Grafix – Overdrive

2- Sleeping Pandora – Through the Maze

3- Tangerine Dream – Love on a Real Train

4- John Roberts-Six

5- Emmit Fenn – What We Once Were

How did growing up and living in Brazil affect your path into electronic music?

I’ve had a trajectory as a dj for 12 years and with that, I discovered myself until I reached progressive house. But I’ve always been a lover of electronic music.

The Electronic Scene in Brazil is very diverse and I see that it is divided by its regions. Here in São Paulo, the public is focused on techno. Further to the south of the country, house is very strong.

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

When I started, Gui boratto was a big inspiration because of his works.

What are your favourite venues to play or attend events at in Brazil and why?

There’s the D-Edge, it’s crazy! hahaahah always bring great national and international artists in addition to having an environment totally focused on music

Another favorite spot is the Warung Beach Club, an extremely energetic spot. And for anyone, the tip is to enjoy an All Night Long with Hernan Cattaneo.

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

In addition to being great friends, they are great artists!

Luciano Scheffer, Rigooni, Andre Moret, Turra, Carla Cimino, Douglas Mariusso, Pedrada, Gorkiz, Foletto, Gui Milani.

You have a new collaborative EP with Andre Moret and L Georges entitled ‘Kamaria’, out this week on Deepwibe Underground. You guys have worked together on some projects before so how did the initial collaborations come to be? How did you decide to start working together and do you have different roles in the production process?

I’m excited about this release, it’s another result of a great EP I had the pleasure of making with my friends! Before the production, we’ve been friends for a long time and each one has its own essence and yet the combination of it all gives the result of a duty accomplished for both.

When we started working together, it wasn’t something planned, in our private parties with the relaxed atmosphere, we sat in the studio and the songs started to be born.

Let’s talk about production a bit more in depth 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?

I can say that it comes from what I live, see and hear. I turn it into melodies and fit my identity.

My sources of inspiration today don’t just come from progressive house, I like and love listening to dnb, minimal and psychedelic rock, indie and so on! ahahahaah

Before being a DJ and Music Producer, I was always very connected to art, I really liked to draw (even being an amateur).

Looking closer at your ‘Kamaria’ EP, walk us through the production process on one of the tracks, whichever you prefer, and if applicable was there anything in particular which inspired that track or the EP?

About EP KAMARIA

At one of our food and drink gatherings, we decided to sit in the studio and start a loop. In short, Kamaria’s Loop involved us and we couldn’t stop listening to her hahaahahaha

Briefly,

KAMARIA

This is a very special track with fun and contagious rhythms, from beginning to end.

Having classic progressive house rhythms, composed of percussions and energetic melodies, which contain a lot of depth.

CEPHEUS

Cepheus has an atmospheric layer of tension created early on, which is maintained until the main arpeggio appears. Which brings more hypnotic and festive energy. Navigating to the break, the expectation increases due to the entry of deep elements, accompanied by a harmonic arrangement of synthesizers, which lead to a buildup loaded with innovative textures.

With that, all the contained energy is soon released in the drop, accompanied by peculiar and technological synths.

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

When we work together, to be a dynamic creative process, each one adds an element and the process flows and we take turns.

For you to get started on a track do there need to be concrete ideas – or what some have called ‘visualizations’ of the finished work? What does the balance between planning and chance look like for you?

It’s not always that creativity is on your side, so sometimes it’s better to do something else instead of spending hours and hours pounding your head on a blank project.

And the projects I’ve already started, I try to create the main idea so that I can add elements little by little.

Do you have certain rituals to get you into the right mindset for creating? What role do certain foods or stimulants like coffee, lighting, scents or exercise play in the process?

Spirituality and humor have to be up to date so that nothing gets in the way or influences when it’s time to produce.

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

I like to create the Drums Loop and also add random fx

Let’s talk about DJing for a moment now, 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?

I believe that just having good songs doesn’t lead to a good story.

With practice, training the ear, absorbing the audience’s feelings and having a good musical research, everything will fall into place when you play.

What were your main creative challenges when starting out as a DJ and how have they changed over time?

The biggest challenge is in the DJ’s face when he presses play on the first song. In addition to energy, trust has to be present.

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?

Today I see that music production opened up my vision of music much more than just as a DJ. And over time we become more critical of ourselves, but only to improve our musical tastes.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Food ahahhahah

What does 2023 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

I’m planning some mini tours outside Brazil, 2023 we have a lot of work ahead! See you on the dance floors!!

‘Kamaria’ is available for pre-order via Deepwibe Underground: https://bit.ly/3UwOU5R

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