Mathäus steps up for Future Stars mix

Mathäus’ journey to electronic music is an interesting one. Starting out with EDM, he soon immersed himself in more discerning sounds, to the point where he is now fully concerned with more exquisite and sophisticated sounds. A native of São Paulo in Brazil, he now lives in Dublin, Ireland, a city that’s quickly left an impression on his tastes. Besides this, he’s also been making use of Ireland’s location by visiting gigs around Europe - most recently Ricardo Villalobos’ 20th anniversary session at London institution, fabric. 

Mathäus’ own sounds bear the hallmarks of a producer confident in his approach. Heavily influenced by groove and minimal, he namechecks long-time favourites of ours such as Mihai Popoviciu and Cab Drivers as favourites, and definitely shares their penchant for class and eclecticism. What’s more, hes also released already on the likes of Conceptual Records, Chichi Music, Farmat and Worst Date Records. We’re really delighted to host Mathäus on our Future Series mix series, and before we did, we put some questions, touching on everything from fabric to Brazil to the Dublin scene… 

How did you get into electronic music, and what were some of your earliest influences?

I first discovered electronic music when I was around 12-13 years old, but it wasn't until I attended my first music festival, Tomorrowland Brasil, that I really fell in love with the genre. The experience I saw was unbelievable. At the beginning, I mostly listened to EDM DJs, but as I became more immersed in the scene, I started to explore other subgenres like Trance music and house/techno music. Within just a couple of years, my taste had evolved significantly, and I found myself drawn to more minimal and experimental sounds.

At the end of 2018, I launched my project Mathäus and started to explore the world of minimal music. My earliest influences in this style included Mihai Popoviciu, who is still my top favorite in the genre, as well as Cab Drivers and Ricardo Villalobos. What really caught me was their ability to create hypnotic rhythms, but at the same time bouncy.

What are some of the challenges you face as an electronic music producer in Dublin, and how do you overcome them?

Living abroad is a constant challenge that I'm facing everyday. When I moved to Dublin, I had to find a job and a place to live, also the minimum necessary to produce music again. It was a challenging time, but I was able to make it possible.

Now that I can breathe calmly in Dublin, I'm starting to face the challenges as a producer. One of the biggest is finding the time to balance my creative work with networking and promoting myself in the local scene. It's important for me to be able to connect with other producers, DJs, and promoters in Dublin, but it can be difficult to balance that with the time I need to spend working on my music. In addition, as a non-native English speaker, things get more interesting. However, I'm working on improving my language skills as fast as I can to be always prepared to face the opportunities that will come out.

How did growing up in São Paulo influence your music and sound? Were clubs such as D-Edge hugely inspirational for you? 

Growing up in São Paulo definitely had a huge influence on my music and sound. The city is a 24/7 place where you can find any kind of party you want. I always like to compare São Paulo being the Berlin city in South America, both have their similarities and techno is very popular.

Regarding D-EDGE, it's not only a reference in São Paulo but also in South America. Renato Ratier has done an incredible job of investing in this culture in our country, and D-EDGE has played an enormous role in my development as an artist and music enthusiast. But, it's important to acknowledge that there are also many other collectives in the city that put a lot of effort into disseminating music to more people. It was through these collectives that I met a lot of like-minded people who shared the same dream and objective as me.

I believe you were over in fabric recently seeing Ricardo Villalobos for the 20th anniversary. Was this your first time in fabric? And did it meet your expectations?

Yeah, that's right! I was lucky enough to attend Ricardo Villalobos' 20th anniversary at Fabric, which was an incredible experience. It was actually my first time in both London and Fabric, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I have to say, it exceeded all of my expectations. The club has a really legendary status, and it definitely lived up to its reputation. The night was outstanding and the people at Fabric were really friendly and welcoming, which made the whole experience even better.

This was actually my first solo trip and it was an amazing experience. I'm looking forward to the next ones!

Aside from Villalobos, can you talk us through your other influences? What makes them so inspirational for you?

Music has always been a huge passion of mine, and I love listening to a variety of genres. I find that exploring different styles of music can really open your mind to new ideas and creative inspiration. One of the main influences for me has been the Detroit Techno and Dub Techno. I love the way that these genres incorporate deep and emotive sounds to create a really nice atmosphere. The melodic elements found in Progressive House have also been a big inspiration for me, as the way that these elements can add a dreamy and introspective idea to the music. Listening to my previous songs you can find these details in it and this is what shapes my personal tastes.

What is your creative process when it comes to producing new music, and how do you ensure that your sound remains fresh and innovative?

My creative process typically begins with finding inspiration from released tracks, sets or something I experienced recently. From there, I start experimenting with sounds and melodies that remind me of the feeling which resonates with me. To ensure that my sound remains fresh and innovative, I try to push myself out of my comfort zone and explore techniques that I have seen in other styles. After finishing a song, I write down a few notes and try to be a critic with the song I made. Thus, this helps me to always develop something in my workflow. 

How do you balance your desire to create a unique sound with the need to appeal to a wider audience?

I'm always striving to create a unique sound that reflects my personal taste. At the same time, I recognize the importance of appealing to a wider audience and creating music that people will enjoy and connect with. To achieve both things, I need to keep testing all the time until I find the right formula. Consistency is the key and time doesn't have to be your enemy in this situation. It's important to enjoy all the steps during the whole process and always be open to feedback even those that can be a punch in the belly sometimes.

In terms of where you’re at right now sound-wise, where is that in terms of where you want to get to? 

I feel like I'm on a journey when it comes to developing my sound as an artist. While I'm certainly proud of where I'm at right now, I know that I still have a long way to go in terms of refining and perfecting my sound, but I don't want to rush the process. I believe that it's important to enjoy each step along the way and celebrate every achievement, no matter how small. This helps to keep me motivated and focused on the bigger picture.

In terms of where I want to get to with my sound, I have a few specific goals in mind. Firstly, I want to get to a point where my music is being played consistently by some of the main DJs in the scene. This would be a huge accomplishment for me and a sign that I'm really making an impact with my sound.

In addition to this, I would love to work with some of these DJs and become part of an agency that is focused on disseminating good music all over the world. I believe that there's so much incredible music out there that doesn't get the attention it deserves, and I would love to be a part of changing that.

Can you tell us more about your upcoming release on Irish release Foundations, How did that one come about? And what can we expect from it? 

This one is going to be very special to me, because I'm going to release it on an Irish Label. The release actually came about through a remix competition that was announced by Camiel Daamen, whose project Lessons in Live I've been following on social media for a while.

When I saw the post about the competition, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved and test my skills. And as someone who lives in the city, I was especially thrilled at the idea of being able to release my music in Dublin.

As for what you can expect from my remix, I'd say that it's a reinterpretation of the original mix that incorporates some of my own unique style and influences. I tend to develop my music gradually throughout the track, but in this case, briefly, I wanted to surprise the listener with a piano solo that Camiel had included in the original. I chopped it up and only brought it in during the break, before the rest of the track came back in full force. I’m really excited with the results.

How are you finding the music scene in Dublin in general? Is it exciting to be a part of it? 

I'm absolutely loving the nights in Dublin. Irish people are really friendly and know how to party and celebrate. The Irish nights are something else. Another thing I could notice is how much the music played here is influenced by the UK scene. I feel like Ireland is almost a mirror for what's happening in the UK, and it's been great to be a part of that and learn more about the culture and the music that's coming out of it. As someone who's always looking to improve my music inventory and expand my influences, being a part of the Dublin music scene has been incredibly exciting.

Can you tell us more about your experience collaborating with other artists, and how it has influenced your creative process?

Collaborating with other artists is an incredible experience. However, I have to admit that I haven't done it as often as I would like. Most of my music production knowledge comes from watching youtube videos, masterclasses, and reading articles. I think this has been a great way to learn, but I also recognize that collaborating with other artists can be extremely helpful in developing your own creative process. I believe that working with others can bring new perspectives, ideas, and techniques that can help me grow as a producer. I am looking forward to learning from others and sharing my own knowledge as well.

What do you hope to achieve with your music in the long-term, and what legacy do you hope to leave behind as an electronic music artist?

In the long-term, I want to inspire other artists to create music that is authentic and emotional, but at the same time works on the dance floor. I believe that music has the power to connect people and create a shared experience, and I hope that my music can simply do just that. When it comes to my legacy, I hope to be remembered as an artist who touched people's hearts and inspired them to dance and forget their problems for a moment. I want my music to inspire future generations of artists to continue to push the boundaries and innovate.

What’s next for you - musically and professionally - that you’re really excited about? 

New year, new set of goals. I'm really excited about continuing to grow and develop as an artist, and exploring new sounds and techniques in my music. I'm also looking forward to collaborating with other artists and producers, as I believe this will help me learn and grow even more. On the professional side, the focus is on to keep making more music until I have a more consistent release calendar throughout the year, promoting myself on all social medias and, mainly, to increase the number of gigs in Dublin.

Keep up with Mathäus here: 

Listen to Mathäus’ Future Stars mix for us here