Interview: Five Minutes with Mateo Paz

Polish DJ Mateo Paz has been making waves with his craft, seeing support from acclaimed DJs and artists like Ame, Armin Van Buuren, Blond:Ish, Roger Sanchez to name a few. His latest release is his song ‘Hold On’ featuring the stellar vocals of singer Lucia haze. At the beginning of his DJing career (about a decade ago), his first big break was in 2009 where he played a slot for Sensation/Wicked Wonderland. Now, Mateo Paz has a successful radio show in Poland called Gain and has worked with Grammy-nominated artist Eddie Amador and Kwanza Jones. Paz has also had a taste of Billboard success, reaching the Top 20 list with his  Eddie Amador and Kwanza Jones collaboration. 

Find out more about the Polish sensation in this exclusive. 

Set the tone for us. Why the arts? 

Art allows me to express my thoughts and how I feel. I also like to promote my ideas and show respect to the world. 

Tell us about the music scene in Poland as you grew up

When I started listening to electronic music, I traveled to Berlin where Techno was a bit more popular. Not long after, there were festivals in Poland like Global Gathering, Creamfields, Audioriver festival, where a lot of famous artists performed. Today, the Polish scene is very interesting, we have Smolna in Warsaw, Tama in Poznań, Prozak in Krakow. All three clubs invite the best world DJ’s and that’s what keeps us the electronic map.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea? 

I think that every artist tries to approach their craft from different sides every time. Sometimes you have great sound or sample in the pocket and start from there, and sometimes you have a vision and idea how it should sound. Anyway, I must say, in one way or another, you need to have a vision at a certain point in the process.

Does your material feature any collaborations? 

Yes, I like to collaborate, for example, my new single ‘Hold On’ I worked with a great singer Lucia Haze.

‘Hold On’ will be your second collaboration with the talented songstress, Lucia Haze. Can we expect to see more collaborations between the two of you in the future?

‘Hold On’ is our second release under my label Stereotheism. I enjoyed working with Lucia and I hope to do another collaboration soon.

What’s on your current playlist? 

I try to listen to a lot of new music every day, however, in the last few days I have these two on repeat:

Darin Epsilon, Alice Rose – ‘My Own Time (Miss Monique Remix)’

Bob Moses – ‘Listen To Me (Cassian Remix)’

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage. 

I must say that it’s never easy to trigger certain emotions from people in the club. But even when it’s hard, it’s always fun to experiment and see what’s motivating them to dance.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound? 

These days we have a lot of equipment and possibilities to modulate sounds. There is a lot of software but also hardware effects that allow you to do a lot of things. It’s just a matter of patience, how much time you spend experimenting, eventually, you will end up with something new and that’s important to me. 

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Well, first I try not to produce every day because it’s hard to keep creativity high like that. I rarely go to the studio with a plan, I like to go even go at night if I feel led. Sometimes I spend 1 hour there, sometimes a whole day. It depends on what I am doing. I like creative days because that’s when I experiment. And I must say that I don’t like recording days because it’s more technical stuff and it can take a whole day to do it properly. Also, I like to check out new music on YouTube every time before I start producing.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”? 

Yes, especially in times where things are not great financially. But one day after, I know that this is the right job for me, and I don’t want to let less important things like money to stop me.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set? 

Well, my cellphone is always there, and water. I drink a lot of water, especially in Emirates because it’s always hot there.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

I would name two at this moment, Valentina Chaves and Edvard Hunger

What gets your creative juices flowing? 

A good long walk does the job, and maybe changing my workspace sometimes, meaning that I love to try producing in nature sometimes. 

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

Well I like to keep basic things, my DAW is Studio One 4, and I have a few things from Waves, Plugin Alliance, and Melda Production.  I have Korg virtual emulations, really useful for electronic music, and besides that, I own Komplete 12 which has tons of great samples and effects. I also have few things from u-he like Zebra and Diva. I don’t own much hardware equipment, as it’s hard to migrate with all of that, and I like to be modular. I’ve been using guitar effects for some time: Ventris Dual Reverb and Eventide h9

Any side projects you’re working on? 

Yes indeed, I am preparing a remake of huge hit ‘Hide U’ by Kosheen. At this moment we are recording the vocals, it should be released soon. 

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry? 

When I started, DJing with vinyl was ‘real thing’. After that, there was an era of CD players and finally midi controllers. I use hybrid solutions in my sets.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year? 

Due to this specific Covid-19 situation, I must say that it’s really tough to talk about plans, releases, live performances, and anything else. Certainly, I stream my Gain Show every Sunday and that’s pretty much what I can promise. But I hope that I will see you at a live performance soon!

Famous last words?

As Luciano Pavarotti said, “I believe that a life lived for music is an existence spent wonderfully, and this is what I’ve dedicated my life to.”

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