We have been lucky enough to sit down, virtually of course, with one of our absolute favorites artists right now MARO MUSIC for an exclusive interview about music and navigating the industry during Covid-19. With some amazing latest tracks including the most recent remix of Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande's "Rain on Me" Maro Music is a force to be reckoned with!
We at TheDJList are really diggin' your latest release, "Bass Face"! This is totally up our alley. Can you talk about the inspiration you had while making this track? What was your process in the recording studio?
Maro Music: My inspiration came after a long night playing at the club when I was watching people reacting to big nasty drops in a certain way. That night inspired me somehow. I wanted to express that inner state, that self isolation and ‘I don’t give a f**** who’s watching’ state of mind. When I came to the studio, the idea came to me very fast and the first draft was made in about an hour.
You are very diverse, you're able to create these really "pop" sounding songs like "Bad Things," and then you totally can flip around and do a nasty, dirty, snarling underground track like "Bass Face." How do you get in the mood from creating one type of track to the other? Is your writing process very different? What are some tricks you do production-wise for your underground tracks that you would never dream of doing for your pop songs, and vice versa?
Maro Music: Everyone has a different mood from day to day or during the day, even. I always work on the mood I’m in, I cannot do a pop song when I feel grimy or after a night in a club playing more off-center music. The same goes with more underground stuff. Interesting might be that I enjoy both and like to move around genres during the day. I really like what I do and feel I express myself and my current state with them. I know that my listeners can be sometimes lost in what they can expect. A lot of artists try to be consistent in what they do, sometimes because they want to give their audience what they expect, but sometimes because they are a one trick pony. I’m a whole circus. I am what I am and enjoy my music as it is.
What's does your bass face look like? What's the best bass face you've ever seen in person?
Maro Music: The kind of face that you get as a highest reward form another person when something is banging! You sometimes see friends, musicians or DJs looking at each other or feeling themselves in a certain way. This is bass face.
How are you coping -- both professionally & personally -- during the coronavirus shut-downs? How have you adapted your workflow, specifically, to make the most of the new downtime?
Maro Music: First I was like “It’s nothing new to me, I sit in isolation all the time,” but then I realized that it will have a lot of consequences like canceled gigs for me and my friends, canceled festivals etc. So the whole idea of being creative on shutdown has to be stimulated even more then it was normally. People deal with depression, misplacement, all of a sudden your lifestyle and income source are non-existent and you have to do a 180-turn and figure yourself out again for that new time. We do not know when it will go back to parties and festivals, and all EDM is about that. At first I was trying to work in the studio as I did, but I need to take care of my family and my company and I had to reinvent myself a bit too.
Your current single is really amazing and you released this a month before the Covid-19 pandemic hit widely in the U.S., back on Valentine's Day of this year. Tell us about your latest single "Bad Things," featuring Mickey Shiloh?
Maro Music: The single was actually made exactly a year earlier, but I had a lot of other stuff to do and releases to concentrate fully on this one. Mickey is a great vocalist and writer and I love to work with her. This is not the first and for sure not the last time I will work with her. The single is a laidback electronic ballad with urban beat to it, it's sweet and sour at the same time. The vocals ware recorded in L.A., I started the production on an intercontinental flight and finished and mixed it in my Addicted To Music studios in Warsaw.
The track has a whimsical love feel to it, how did you come about working with Mickey and writing this story line about modern lust?
Maro Music: Mickey is a great observer and that makes her a great writer. I always was more into edgy stuff like this. In times when you look for love on Tinder and showing your body parts is supposed to show how romantic you are, I think the lyrics are on point and feeling the sexual tension between people that are in other relationships.
A lot of our readers know you from your single in 2018 "High," which is such a great fresh summer track, did that help inspire where "Bad Things" would evolve to with a love story line?
Maro Music: I think not. “High” is an uplifting track about being allowed to be stupid and enjoying your best times. About being high with your life and making memories about it. “Bad Things” is fully conscious track. The parties in it know exactly what they are up to with fully mature sexuality.
You also have an impressive list of hard-hitting remixes with top artists, how do you go about connecting with other artists to work together?
Maro Music: I just go with the flow. I did a lot of productions, remixes and mixes in my life, but a lot of supposed to be epic ones did not work out. Sometimes it was because of the flow between us, sometimes it was legal or financial matters. I love to make music, this is all my life. If I need to do a remix overnight, so be it, I can focus like that. So if the winds are good, I’m happy to join an exciting project. It’s a matter of being persistent and not give up on your love, which is simply music in my world.
In 2011 you created [the hardware company], Bettermaker, how did this evolve into an actual product you felt needed to be designed?
Maro Music: At that time I was working mostly as a mix engineer with people from all around the world. One day I was mixing some Wu Tang projects, the other day I was working on some Bollywood stuff, every day something else. As I loved the convenience of the plugins, I also had a big love for the analog sound. Around that time I wrote music for an international Fanta campaign and I received a quite hefty check for it. I decided to invest that money into developing a piece of analog gear that would be recallable from your DAW just as any other plugin. After two years of turning my live room in to a workshop and prototyping I had a first product. Fast forward, now it’s sold in over 30 countries all around the world and used by GRAMMY®-winning and Platinum mix/mastering engineers. There is a lot of celebrity users in EDM scene including Luca Pretolesi, Deniz KoYu, Maarten Vorverk. I know mastering engineers that used Bettermaker on music for David Guetta, DJ Snake and Baauer, to name a few.
We noticed a lot of your tutorials on Youtube and love your knowledge, what made you want to start making tutorial videos?
Maro Music: I get a lot of questions from people who like my mixes and masters. I like to share my knowledge, that is why I was doing lectures for universities, Audio Engineering Society (AES) and private schools.
Tell us about your weekly radio show "Addicted To Music" that's on Dash Radio, Jack'd Up Radio, EDMSessions, and more!
Maro Music: The show is based on what I’m actually listening to. You can say it’s 30 years of head banging but mostly concentrated on today’s trends. On the last show for example I played Daft Punk along with Skrillex, Carnage, my own remixes and some European bouncy stuff. I can play dubstep, trap, bass, house and d-n-b in one show. One thing I can guarantee is that it always will be a kick in the chest that will make your blood flow. Just find Addicted To Music show on any of these stations, or my playlist on Spotify and see for yourself!
Check them out!
How do you see the industry bouncing-back once Covid-19 subsides and life returns to normal? What will the "new normal" look like, in your life and career?
Maro Music: People will be hungry to go out, but they will be money short, so there has to be some kind of alternative besides spending $1,000 per festival. Maybe smaller shows? Local one-day festivals? Nobody knows. I was expecting more music to be going out right now from producers, but I can predict, they will chaotically be releasing singles just after the quarantine ends, to remind themselves to the promoters.