The 181st episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Ezequiel Arias.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I’m 24 years old and was born in Bariloche, a place in the Argentine Patagonia, but I’m currently living in Córdoba. I’ve been producing electronic music for 2 years and playing as a DJ for about 4. It started as a hobby but since last year I’ve started having a couple of gigs.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
The person that introduced me to electronic music is one of my great friends, Ignacio Garate. I remember that, from the moment I started going to clubs, we would head directly to the electronic dancefloor. He’s also the one that insisted I should start mixing tracks.
I started listening artists like Richie Hawtin, Magda, Troy Pierce, going more for techno. Then I heard Hernán Cattaneo for the first time and that changed my perspective when listening to music. I think that, when I got to know that way to express oneself through music, it turned out to be the moment I became more astounded with it.
What made me become more serious about it was the moment I came to think: “if I really wanna do this, why no?”
3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
I first started with advice from friends that had just downloaded the ableton program, but we didn’t really get much. Then, on my trip to México (I was there for 6 months), I met Martín Berger, a producer I admire a lot, and he helped me give my first steps when using Live. When I got back to Argentina I contacted Kevin Di Serna and I travelled to Buenos Aires to take an intensive course. He’s the one who pushed me to make the big change and understand production from a different point of view.
4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
Well, the thing I get through the fastest is making up grooves and rhythmic patterns. I think that’s what I’ve learnt to exploit best. What I find most challenging is the melodic part. Because of this, I’ve been taking piano lessons for about an year and that’s really helped me.
Whenever I get a creative block, I just stop producing for a couple days or at all until I really feel like sitting down again. I listen to music, I hang out with my friends, I go out and see and hear to other DJs, I cook…
5. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
I’m a chef instructor at a gastronomic school, so I work from Monday to Saturday. Luckily, I still have a lot of time throughout the week to dedicate to my music. Whenever I’m not working on it, I enjoy jogging, playing piano, listening to music and hanging out with the people I love.
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effort on your own productions?
Bands like Led Zeppelin, Soda Stereo, Massive Attack and Pink Floyd. Also, classical music like Beethoven and Chopin. That’s the type of music that helps a lot whenever I’m not feeling inspired.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
The first was a cassette of meditation music, a recommendation from my mom. The last… I don’t really remember. It’s been a long time since I bought a CD.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
Well, I’m a gastronomy teacher and I dictate the Professional Chef career, and that’s most def not a lie!
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
There’s a lot of talent here in Argentina, the number of producers and Djs is pretty amazing, not naming anyone in particular. I also think there’s so many producers and Djs it becomes hard for all of them to have a space to show what they are able to do. Still, with time, patience and will, really enjoying what one does and doing it with all that one has, space and time happen by themselves. Like Hernán says, “everything comes, everything happens”
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
I like what the Israel crew does a lot: Khen, Sahar Z, Mantzur, Guy J. I also admire the works from artists like Recondite, Ame, Dixon, Tale of Us, Marck Poppcke, Brian Cid, just to name a few. And of course the work of Kevin di Serna, Simon Vuarambon, Mike Griego & Rodrigo Mateo.
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
Consistency, that’s the most important thing.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Danique, Distorted Beuty – Scream (Gabriel Ananda Remix)
‘I Don’t Belong Here’ EP is out now on Dopamine Music, you can purchase the release: here