Where are you currently based?
I’m living in my hometown, Loures, right next to Lisbon. For now, I feel this is the best place for me to be at, I’ve lived in London some time ago, let’s see what the future holds.
How did you first start playing music?
Fortunately, my school provided us music lessons since we were 3 years old. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for me to have the curiosity to learn more. So, when I was 8 years old, I joined a local music school to learn how to play the drums. That place was amazing, I’ve learned a lot. The teachers formed bands made up of students learning different instruments, and we played covers together. We were all kids, playing mostly rock covers, and we even played concerts. Amazing, we were quite good to be honest. After some years there, I began to learn how to play bass guitar as well.
Then, when I was 11, I joined a Symphonic Band, which gave me many opportunities to learn. I began as trumpet player, but soon became a percussionist. Learned percussion in a conservatory, played a lot of concerts, was part of some Orchestras, and so on. I’ve even been able to play with one of the best Orchestras in Portugal, as an intern. My favorite instrument is the timpani, as a percussionist you need to play every instrument, but most of the time I was playing the timpani, a beautiful instrument. To share a stage with more than 20 people, all contributing to the same purpose, is an amazing experience, it gave my ears a taste that I’m most thankful for.
What’s been happening recently?
Recent times haven’t been easy for anyone. I’ve been promoting Drowning the best I can, reading a lot, and laying the ground for upcoming songs.
How did you come to start producing and creating music?
Since a kid that I dreamed about having my own songs, but I never really knew how to make them, neither felt the need to. When I was 21, I’d grown up in a way that I felt I had to share my story with others, at least I had to put it out. As a musician, I felt that there was no better way to express my feelings and thoughts than music. I’m a very sensitive person, attaching meanings to almost everything, so I had some harsh experiences through the years. My purpose was to share those experiences with others going through the same.
As a result, I started learning music production in London, an introductory course that took only 3 months. During those times I explored a lot, watched documentaries, and searched the internet for every bit of information I could find. I studied the production behind every song I listened to, all the effects and techniques. After that, I began producing my songs.
Please tell us about the third track on the EP ‘Drowning’ what influenced the sound and songwriting for this track?
Every song tells a specific part of the story I’m trying to tell. “Drowning” is the moment after I realized I was not being myself. I’d been too many years pretending to be someone I was not, which led me to a state of disbelief and numbness. I had no idea who I was, what I was doing with my life, who I was close to, what was my purpose. Drowning tells the story of facing those challenges and moving forward.
How did you go about writing Drowning
For me, lyrics play an essential role in passing a message on a song. I wrote lyrics for every song of the album after the production was completed. Then, when I contacted Verbz to collaborate on “Drowning”, we agreed that he would write his lyrics, including parts from the ones I wrote, in order to express a shared outlook on the topic.
Where and when did you record/produce?
“Drowning” was entirely produced on my computer, in July 2019. Nowadays you have access to everything you need to produce your songs without a professional studio (although I wish I had access to one, the feeling is different). Then, in December, because I was in Lisbon at the time, Verbz recorded his vocals in London, in a place of his choice, and sent them to me. As you might have guessed already, me and Verbz have never met each other personally, we always find that a bit odd given the fact that “Drowning” worked so well.
What programs/instruments did you use?
I only use Logic Pro X. My songs are combinations of instruments from Logic’s library, samples I get online, and, sometimes, I record some basslines and guitars with a small interface I have at home.
Please tell us about the concept behind your upcoming album ‘The First Chapter’:
“The First Chapter” tells my life’s story until this moment. It was produced as a soundtrack to my life. Whenever I think of a song, images come to my head, almost like a movie. For me, when you combine both things, you get the perfect mix to express something.
The album tells the story from the moment I realized I was not being myself, to the point I began to accept me as I am, with all the consequent ups and downs. I tried to create 1 big track, that has 14 parts, or 1 play that has 14 acts, so all the songs are connected between them.
What is it about Hip-Hop that you relate to most?
When I was growing up, I didn’t listen to hip hop that much. I knew Dr. Dre and Eminem, but that was it. Then, one day a friend of mine told me that I had to listen to a song called “King Kunta”, by Kendrick Lamar. This was 2015, I fell in love with Kendrick’s instrumentals at first, then paid attention to the lyrics and I was blown away. Kendrick made me realize that it is possible to put out deep messages through music, with a vibe that is unique to hip hop.
I see hip hop as a reporter of what’s going on in the world. It has a powerful voice to tell a meaningful story and to get attention to some important matters that none of the other music genres talks about. I love the freedom that hip hop provides to create, to put out deep messages, plus, as a drummer and bass player, I got to love the instrumentals.
How has classical music influenced your sound?
Classical music enabled me to listen to a lot of new sounds. I was only familiar with drums, guitars, and bass guitars. So, to play with a lot of different instruments, in a lot of different circumstances, provided me with opportunities that I could never imagine. It opened another door for me, a huge one.
There is no feeling like playing live with an orchestra. As a percussionist, I was behind everyone on stage, so I could see every instrument at all times. I loved to see the trombones and the trumpets right in front of me, playing their parts. I loved to see the conductor moving his arms while looking at me when my part was coming, then “hit” the timpani’s skin in harmony with everyone.
It gave me more tools to work with.
What does music mean to you?
Music is the best way for me to express myself. I’m a very quiet guy, an introspective. However, although I don’t say much, I think and feel a lot. I’m the kind of person that pays attention to everything that is happening around me. I have this kind of unquenchable thirst that makes me think about everything, to find every meaning beyond what the eyes can reach. In one word, I’m hypersensitive. I’m not saying I cry if you scratch my arm, it’s not like that. It’s more like I am a sponge absorbing all the things that are happening.
As a hypersensitive, I tend to see and to feel things way beyond what others do. When I was younger, it was a bit of a curse, but now, I feel like it is a blessing. Music enables me to put my head in order, because while I’m creating songs, I’m giving those experiences a final meaning, arranging my past and making space for the present.
Who or what influences your music?
I listen to a bit of everything. If you went digging my phone right now you would see Fado, Classical, Opera, Hip-Hop, Rock, and so on. I enjoy music, so if I feel there is something to pay attention to or to dance to (I love Kaytranada as well), I will listen to it, and I’ve always been like that, so I’m a bit of a blend.
What do you like to do away from music?
I’m taking an MsC in Business Management, it is another part of me that I am gradually learning to combine with music. I like the perspective Business Management gives me, besides the classic Wolf of Wall Street, the idea that a suit makes your opinions worthier, or pimps trying to sell the next golden eggs’ chicken, Management is all about people and strategy, I like that.
I love to hang with my friends at home and to be with my family. Besides that, I’m very connected to nature. Absolutely love trail running in the middle of nowhere, it is like meditation. That and keeping fruit trees.
What’s planned for 2020?
2020 will hopefully be the year when “The First Chapter” comes out. As a producer, it is hard to get rappers and singers to collaborate, especially at the position I am at. I’m hoping that “Drowning” opens some doors which enable me to finish the album.
Favorite food and place to hangout?
I love to be at home, so if you give me a backyard, friends, speakers, hamburgers and some drinks, I’m a happy guy.