Fernanda Martins: "'It is not easy to predict exactly what awaits us"
We had a pleasant conversation with the Brazilian successful DJ
We had an opportunity to talk with successful DJ / producer Fernanda Martins, one of the strong names on the dance floors, who grew up in Brazil and continued her studies in Spain, who made a name for herself with her original tracks such as "Speed Control" and "Lurba Zumba" and many great remix works. We asked our questions and received sincere answers.
INTERVIEW: MUSTAFA TOKGÖZ
How did your musical career begin? I’ve been always in very close contact with music. Since I was a little kid music was very present in my daily life. But I guess it is something very normal in lots of people lives. That's why I never thought one day I would be traveling the world because I work with music. It was around 1995 when I started to discover and listen to electronic music. I got intrigued and amazed since the very beginning, although it took me a few years to differentiate between different subgenres. Some years later I started attending to electronic music events, mainly to Techno events. With time, I connected with another Techno lovers from the local scene of the city I was living in, Curitiba (in the south east of Brazil). One of them, DJ Bad (Josué Rozeira), became a very close friend. He was who taught me the first basic things of mixing. When I started learning how to mix I had no intention of making it my profession. I was very immersed into my studies in the university and to play some minutes per day was just for fun, for distraction. And than, the minutes per day had become hours per day, divided in practicing and digging for new music. I started playing in friend’s reunions and in a club I was very used to go. At some point, I started receiving invitations to play in events of friends of friends and the thing started moving on. When I finally finished my college I was playing quite a lot and I decided to keep on going with my music adventure.
What are the elements that activate you in the musical sense? During all the last years working as DJ my sets have changed, as it did my taste. Due to the musical research we are always doing - and I'm pleased that I've always being opened to listen and to experiment with different music - I'm always having my musical ¨universe¨ being transform by different influences. But some characteristics are essential for me when it comes to making or looking for new music. I really like punchy kicks and frenetic high frequency elements. Of course it is not a prerequisite, but generally, I find myself (mainly nowadays) going for more introspective and hypnotic loops, but always with this more powerful and leading drum sound.
We see that the South American electronic music scene has become more important with the 2010s. What do you think about this situation? Obviously I'm glad that things are moving forward in this sense in South America. Some years ago electronic scene started to get bigger but I guess only now it is bigger and more democrat. I mean, now its possible to see that, not only the scene is getting stronger, but that there is a bigger diversity of events; in the sense of music style and concepts. I my point of view, this is very important to make the scene more health.
Today's world is called the age of women. In electronic music, we see that female musicians are in great progress in expressing themselves. What do you think about it? It is visible that there are more and more women showing up and positioning themselves as solid figure into our scene. And it’s interesting that you said ¨expressing themselves¨, because that is what it is about. I see a big variety of female artists nowadays, and I’m so glad to see that many of them are really expressing whom they are without follow rules or caring about what some people require or expect from them. It is so important to be authentic, to be yourself. Not only to be able to express your feelings or point of views freely in the artistic fields, but also to live happily as a human being. Don get me wrong, I know many time it does not happen intentionally but, every time we get into this topic ¨Female Artists¨ in an interview, in the backstage of a party, or in the living room with friends, treating it as something uncommon & remarkable; we are putting a wall in between us and the path to understand the essence of these artists as individuals. And it just shows us that there is still a long path to go for us to be able to say that there is no remnant misogyny in our culture.
Have you had chance to visit Turkey before? What do you think about the Turkish dance music scene? I didn't! And I'm sorry for that! So I can’t talk about Turkish scene with lots of knowledge, but I follow a bit of it by the social communities and I guess it is happening there the same thing I’ve explained about South America. That - more and more - the culture is getting wide opened for the diversity of styles of the electronic music.
How do you foresee the future, considering the current issues that have put the entertainment industry in a difficult spot recently? And how are you spending your time at home these days? I've been imagining thousands of sceneries but it is difficult to foresee what is going to bring us the future after all this crises. Probably this year we are going to see any of the big festivals happening, and I'm still wondering what is going to happen with the clubs. Maybe, depending of the size, some will be opened sooner.. but again, it is impossible to know. In my case, most of the events I had canceled were moved from august on. Some in July are still in hold on, but possibly they are not going to happen neither ... Talking about the general crises for our sector, I think the hardness of the situation will change from country to country. In Germany, for example, it seems the government it is making some actions to support this industry and help the artists during this period. In Spain, (where I live) instead, until today, 40 days after the ¨emergency state¨ declaration by the government, there is none action or strategy to support, inject money in this sector, or give any kind of help to the artists (of all cultural sectors). This is going to be the bankrupt to biggest part of these people, as, most part of my colleagues, for example, were living by having gigs. And now, there is no possibility to afford months without incomings ... its horrible but we are all hands tied. Anyway, for the other side, all what is happening gave all a new view about our society, systems and values, and maybe, some changes will come for good. In general, I think its time to us to work as we can, in the studio, connecting with people on internet, re invent ourselves a bit and to understand that maybe it is not the only time we are going to see something like this ... and its better to be prepared .. That is what I've been doing since I came home from my last tour in South America ... that actually, none of the events happened and I'd been stuck in Chile for some days ... since I could arrive home, I'd been listening lots of demos for my labels, preparing the schedule of the upcoming releases and promo, listen all the promos that were filling my email box, making some live streaming on Facebook and organizing some old and new projects in the studio ... and well, I've eating a lot too heheheh I just wish it is going to stay more ¨normal¨ again soon, and until there, I wish all you to stay health and safe!
Fernanda Martins remixed H. Paul's "4TH October" with Lucas Freire. You can listen to it below.