The 213th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Mindshield.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I´m 26 years old. I´m living in Buenos Aires, Argentina right now but I’m from a small city called Paraná. One of my tracks was named after that city, the place where I grew up. It was released by Balkan Connection and the EP was supported by Hernan Cattaneo, Derek Howell and Darin Epsilon, just to name a few.
Well, first of all I started experimenting with electronic sounds about five or maybe six years ago, but I’ve never been actually a DJ. Yes, I know how to play, I’ve played in a few events before, I can play with CD players and I can mix two tracks but, in my opinion, one thing is to play tracks and a different one is to be a Dj. It is necessary to have experience, special knowledge and to be a professional to be called a Dj and I don’t think I have those qualities yet.
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.”
It probably all started when I was 9 or 10 and I first listened to Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, Modern Talking, Jean Paul Jarre and Michael Jackson. The sounds that seemed to be electronic or synthetic at that time were more attractive for me than the classics ones.
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?
At the beginning I used to just push buttons like Homer Simpson (laughs). But then I felt I could do something better with that. I´ve never had the chance of studying how to produce in a formal way, there is no place to do that in the place where I am from and I never had enough money to do it either. But my two ears and my love for the music are enough to push me to create. Basically, my mind is bombed with a lot of ideas and it is almost a duty for me to shape them into music.
At first nobody gave me any helpful advice, actually people used to tell me it was a waste of time. As underground electronic music is not very popular in my country and it is, actually, a bit underestimated, that is a very common thing to think here. But I’ve always continued to follow my convictions –and I will-.
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?
I really enjoy the whole crative process and it is easy for me. But what it’s hard for me is to fell satisfied with the results, especially with the quality of the mastering. So when I listen to a project I am working on I always want to improve it and it is difficult for me to know when to end it. The process never ends.
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?
Music is not a job for me, it is more like a passion. I don’t really follow a routine, so any of my days is very similar to the day before that one. When I am not making music I like listening to it and I enjoy the silence a lot too.
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?
I like rock a little bit but I barely listen to it. If I have to name an artist of other genre that I like I would say Gustavo Cerati, a local rock singer. But he has also worked with electronic music. I can’t tell If his music have a direct effort on my own productions, but I like the harmony of his music. I like classical music too, but I don’t listen to it a lot either.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
I bought a CD of Eminem when I was probably 10. I think that was the first and last physical piece of music I’ve bought. I only liked two tracks. But if I could buy a Vinyl it would be Heavent Scent by Bedrock.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I think I am crazy, really crazy. But that wouldn’t surprise anybody.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
I like the music of Santiago Teillagorry and I think he is not that known but his music is unique and he should be more valued, at least in our country.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Musicians like Ryan Davis, John Hopkins, Ben Lukas Boycen, Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds inspire me because they are innovators. Nature and silence inspire me a lot too.
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?
I don’t consider myself like the right person to give advice on that. But, if you really like music you will keep trying to find that own unique sound.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
My career as a Dj isn’t started yet, so I can’t think of it coming to an end. But I’d say Trifonic – Calling.
Mindshield has a new productions out this week on Balkan Connection South America and Welcome Music, you can purchase thos releases: here