Italian artist Matisa talks to us about her passion for music, fashion, and her creative process in our latest feature interview.
Originally from Rome, musician and fashion expert Matisa has made waves in the dance music world with releases on Optimo Music, Permanent Vacation and more recently, Moxie’s On Loop label.
With acclaimed mixes on respected platforms such as Circoloco, Rinse FM and Sensu Glasgow, as well as various gigs across Europe, Matisa’s unique take on 90’s rave inspired dance music has been well received by some of the biggest names in the industry.
Using fashion and music to inspire each other in a creative feedback loop of fabric and sound, it seems that her curiosity for art and expressionism is taking her down all of the right paths. We spoke to the budding artist about how she got started, her latest release and more.
Interview: Matthew Richardson
Your interest in music started from a very young age, playing both the piano and oboe. What was it that pushed you towards a career in djing and electronic music?
I have always been into music as you say, I played the piano until I was 12 years old before having a physical problem that meant I had to stop. From there I felt the need to express myself .. so by pure chance (and I believe in destiny), I started playing records because a friend of mine left me her equipment at my house. I remember thinking: what is this? How does it work? And the curiosity brought me. to where I am now. I’ve made lots of sacrifices along the way, but those choices never stop being there, especially when you are driven to achieve your goals.
Along with your passion for music, you are currently an ambassador of the Vivetta brand. Has fashion always been something of interest to you and how did your relationship with Vivetta come about?
I met Vivetta in Florence through a friend of mine last year, from there we realized we have similar energy. She is a designer that I admire a lot because she, like me, started her career from scratch. I wear her clothes whilst I perform and they make me feel stronger. Vivetta and I have grown close over the time we have known each other and its a great collaborative process.
With 2021 coming to an end, what are your goals for 2022?
I’m in the process of writing my next record which is really exciting. I love the creative phase, it’s a real journey! I’m also hoping 2022 the conditions around the world mean I can get out and play for everyone more and share my music with people everywhere. It’s not been easy but I cant wait to get on the road.
You have recently released on Moxie’s label On Loop, with your “Peace Building” EP, can you give us an insight into the tracks on the EP and the creative process behind producing it?
This record was made at a time when the world was completely at a standstill and I tried to imagine how to escape it all. I remember having a lot of lucid dreams at the time I wrote this and the first track I produced was just the result of a dream: ‘This is to Dream, Grandma!’ I then created ‘Don’t Let the Bugs Bite!’ imagining how to defeat this pandemic, as you can hear I used a few rave and aggressive sounds in the production. Lastly, ‘Selling of All, The Brain!’; it took time to create her, I can’t count the changes I made to this track, it seemed to take so many forms, but I got there in the end and I’m super happy with the results. That dubby sound is the result of research Moxie pushed me to do and it is also thanks to her push that this jewel came out!
What artists have had the biggest influence on your sound? And how important do you believe it is to be versatile with what music you produce and play?
My influences come from the vast world of the 90s. I have a lot of piers and people I admire but not influences when it comes to my music production, I only try to use positive feelings when writing music and from there I develop the idea.. Versatility is my characteristic, perhaps the most beautiful. My motto is: “You must always reinvent yourself. Knowledge and curiosity are part of it.”
If you could produce a track with any artist past or present who would it be and why?
I think this is a split question, and one I couldn’t answer with a single artist.. I would love to collaborate with the Orbital duo made up of brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll, they have such a strong interesting energetic sound. And as for producers that are lighting things up, it would have to be Bicep, they have carved such a unique style.. Both projects are very interesting and full of great music.
You can purchase Matisa’s ‘Peace Building’ EP here.