Del Osei-Owusu interviews Mazoulew…
Hello Matthew how are you?
I am very well, thank you guys for having me.
Congratulations on the release of Ditto, how does it feel?
It feels great thanks. I finished the record earlier this year and have spent a lot of time putting everything in place for the release so it’s nice for everything to finally come together and for people to hear it, feels like a long time coming.
Describe it in three words?
Warmth, energy and space.
You have an EP coming out, what was your favourite track to record?
I guess they all had different qualities to them and I had a lot of fun making the entire record so its hard to pick any one particular track. I would maybe say Tourist is quite a special piece for me as it is very stripped back and almost vulnerable in terms of its composition. It was very refreshing for me to put out something like tourist as it explores some new ideas which to this point I haven’t shown the world before.
Which one was the most challenging?
I would say both Overture and Burnt were challenging in a way as they were compositions that I started a couple of years ago and kept coming back to. Sometimes I start working on a project but the timing for the idea isn’t right so I will shelf it for a period, sometimes indefinitely.
In a circumstance like these two tracks there was an underlying idea yet to be fully developed and realised. I find this can require a more complex way of thinking, to go back into and develop a preconceived idea opposed to naturally working on something fresh from the ground up
You are an artist, DJ and producer from London, how did it all begin for you?
For me, it all started when I was teenager and all of my friends were DJing and producing hip hop / drum & bass. It was a great time for me as everything was so new and exciting. I think not having that technical knowledge or education allows you to be so much more free and liberal in your approach to music, there isn’t that level of convolution or preconditioning which ultimately influences your decisions. Sure your music won’t be as technically accomplished but in terms of the ideas at the beginning of your journey, they can really be quite special.
What did you listen to growing up?
Again it was all Hip Hop and Drum & Bass when I was younger. I remember standing in a charity shop in my home town, in one hand I had a cassette copy of The Fugees’ The Score and in the other I had one of the Now This is Music compilations. At the time I had never heard either and had no idea what I would like at the time. I made the decision to take The Score and it completely opened my mind to a whole world of music I had never knew about. I played that tape over and over till it snapped, I couldn’t get enough of how fresh it all was and how different it was to what I had heard up till that point.
You’ve been played on BBC Introducing and also had support from our Tom Robinson, how does it feel to you when hearing your tracks on the radio?
If feels great of course, I think any level of appreciation for your work is always a nice feeling. It can be a very lonely process working as a solo artist, a lot of the time you can feel like you are walking in the dark and there is a high level of isolation in your ideas. When something is released and it is appreciated by other people this can really be encouraging and give confidence to carry on as you are, that you are on the right track.
You are also a remixer, how do you approach remix sessions?
Well the first thing for me is feeling something from the original, I will never take on a project that I don’t feel connected to from the very first time I hear it. When I am actually doing a remix I try to take it as far away from the original as possible, I am kind of against the idea of taking a top line for example and just slapping it on a dance track and calling this a remix.
COVID has had an impact on the creative industry as a whole what kept you motivated?
I guess just self determination to succeed more than anything, the underline desire to just make music. You have to love what you do and in a way be obsessed with it. I have like everyone gone through good times and bad times with music and it can be difficult to find the motivation sometimes to carry on doing what you are doing but you have to just keep pushing through whatever life throws at you.
2020 was a time to reflect, what did you learn about yourself?
I would say its been an opportunity to reflect on what is really important and what you may have been neglecting prior to this. The fact that we all at a society have had to slow down and take a breath has actually been a bit of a blessing in disguise I think. It’s rare to have such a period of time to work on yourself in isolation without the noise of others being involved. For me I tried to stay as busy as possible with my music during this period and turn a negative situation into a positive.
Did you pick up any new skills?
I am not sure I picked up any new skills per se but more refined existing ones. I have been playing a lot of piano over the last year and exploring a lot of new sound design techniques which has been interesting. Its always a pleasure to learn new things and to think about things in different ways.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Quite a wide range of music to be honest. I just found a Neo-classical artist called Pieter de Graaf, his album Equinox has some really beautiful compositions on it and I would recommend you check it out.
What are you looking forward to next?
It will be nice when the whole of the record is out in October, I find the period between closing works and them being released can sometimes be a strange period for me. You never know how things are going to be received so this can play on your mind. I am looking forward to working on some new material and ultimately putting it into a live show when the world gets back to some form of normality.