The Vital Flow Of The Beat

A talk with Italian DJ Matisa

Listen to Soundscapes vol.158, curated by Matisa.

Talking about your educational background, you transitioned from political science to a more creative path like the world of fashion. When did you decide to change again to focus on music, what drove you to revolutionise everything once more? And how did you experience the new change in carving out a path on another front?

At the beginning it was difficult because it’s not just about producing music and doing gigs but about having a clear vision and building your company around it whilst dealing with a reality that has a high percentage of risk. It is a real job. I have employees who work for me and all together we are the brand Matisa. What must remain unchanged over time is my spirit, my passion and my strength and perseverance. I will never stop believing that beautiful music saved me and will save the world.

Among all the elements and facets, what do you particularly enjoy about your current career, the choices you are making, and what do you think is important nowadays to stand out?

I love my job and I’m really enjoying the idea of creating a community of people to share ideas and music with. I can only build it whilst traveling because where I live this concept is not very present. Another thing that I really like, is being able to produce what I have in mind, the more time passes, the more records I buy, the more ideas I have and the more my wealth of knowledge increases and I am able to give light to ever better ideas.I love improving myself every day. To stand out as an artist today I believe the ingredients are: having a cultural background (record collection), making music (giving light to one’s identity), having business and marketing knowledge, being a good networker and building one’s own community with which to share ideas, being courageous and not surrender to the millions of doors that close.

The combination of Music and fashion seems to be an integral part of your vision. What is the strength that arises from the intertwining of these fields and what do you seek to draw from both?

Fashion links well with music, this is a very clear concept. We talk about taste and pleasure in what is beautiful. My attraction to both began since I was a child, and I was strongly attracted to anything that was well made and of great quality. By delving into the two fields (fashion and music) we understand that both have in common the presence of a strong creativity that gives light to unique creations. I love to think of them as unique.

Nowadays, there is so much competition, what do you think is essential to avoid blending in, what should be avoided, and what can change the approach and interface towards the outside world?

To stand out you have to be visible and you can be visible in various ways. My way is as follows: making music that sheds light on my identity, accepting gigs where I think I can give the best of myself thanks to the help of the promoters that have to give me all the instruments to do a good job all together, putting myself on the line by always taking new risks, evolving.

On a feeling level, is there a memory, a sensation, a personal experience that has particularly marked you and that you have made part of yourself and your work?

I remember myself as a child playing the piano with my teacher performing a piece for 4 hands and I remember the harmonious feeling of the two of us together. I feel the same every time I play at a different intensity, there are times when it’s louder, others when it’s less intense but it’s always the same sensation. It’s difficult to explain if you have never played a musical instrument.

When you produce or think about your next performance, what is the first purpose you think of? How do you want your music to be perceived, do you have an idea of collectivity or do you think about certain sensations in the individual listener?

When I produce music,I think about what I would like to play and I also do things just for listening pleasure and to train and not focus too much only on club music because one day I would like to make an album. It takes knowledge and good ideas to make beautiful music. I’m trying to develop my identity. For months I have been focused on learning more about the world of percussion. For those who have been following me for a long time you will have noticed how they are always present in my latest productions. I’m fascinated by the elegant groove that makes your whole body move.

Tell us about Matisa in everyday life; your habits, small treats, or pleasures that you consider somewhat characteristic of you.

I am a very ‘simple girl’ who has her habits like everyone, I like to drink a cup of matcha when I wake up, while I listen to music (music is always present on the background of my life), I check my emails and then I start my day of work, I like to spend a lot of time in my record store trusted in Milan – xtcr records and watch new fashion trends in online magazines. I’m a hard worker, I spend a lot of time working during the day and I love going to the gym and taking care of my body. I’m always on the lookout for great products. In the evening I often watch films whilst sipping a hot herbal tea.

On an inspirational level, are there recurring elements or inspirations that help you bring out the most creative part of yourself? At what moments do you feel most comfortable working?

I often feel inspired and creative before big moments, it can be before performing at a big show or I am about to embark on a world tour, or something is putting their trust in me and I want to succeed. Its almost like those moments give me this “superpower” and it excites me a lot that my brain and heart and mind are going all together into this creative world, because I have the right energy to work then. I take inspiration from everything around me and I always see the positive side of things, never the negative, so I feel really happy.

Is there a particular goal you set for yourself from the beginning? A milestone that represents for you one of the steps to overcome or that you may have already achieved?

Be a good example for future generations, this is what I desire to be.

In the clubbing and DJ scene, do you think there are certain taboos or limits you have had to confront or that you think are obstacles for new emerging talents? What would you like to see more of in this area?

I’d like to see a real interest in quality artists and not just those that sell tickets. What sells can only be temporary, what remains over time are the quality ones.’fast and now’ is not something I aspire to, ‘slow and over time’ is a concept that has great value for me.

For the immediate future, is there any track or news you are working on that you can anticipate?

I have produced a lot of music in the last few months, a collaboration with Eden Burns on Public Possession, a new track coming out on DJ KICKS in a playlist curated by DJ Boring two singles on Future Classic. I have more music in the pipeline and am talking with labels at the moment so watch this space!

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