Armando Mendes Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Armando. What struck me about your debut album: Parallel Universe, is the sheer depth of musicality it explores given that a lot of today’s electronic dance music lacks any real emotion or meaningful purpose. Is that a sentiment you would agree with?

Hey guys, thanks for the interview, pleasure to have this chat for Magazine Sixty.

Yes, absolutely. What I wanted to portray with this album was exactly that!
From the first track to the last track to be a truly musical experience for the listener. Cohesive, coherent, emotional and a blend of genres within the electronic music spectrum. Also my background has a musician and producer collaborating with other international renowned artists such has Robert Owens, Jinadu and Ithaka.

I believe the album took over two years to complete. Can you tell us about why you dedicated such a long time to creating it? At what point do you feel satisfied that you have completed a piece of music?

I had in mind to put together an LP like this for a while now and also it’s my debut LP and introduction to my music has a writer and composer to the world, It’s sort of a compilation of my best work.

So that’s one of the reasons that it took so long to develop. Because this album was very complex and though trough, I’ve put a lot of work and all my knowledge over the past 20 years has a musician into this album. How it should sound like, the artist collaborations, recording locations, etc…
Now looking back, it was a long process but the end result is extremely satisfying and I’m very proud of creating this LP and the people who are part of it as well.

I’m a true believer that what ever you do as an artist nowadays has to have commitment, passion and respect for the art form. Other wise if you compromise those points you’re compromising your legacy and how people perceive you has an artist. Also it’s very important to have musical integrity and make sure you reflect that in your work. I’m sure if you abide to that your work will excel amongst others.

Why did Turquoise Records feel like the right home for the album?

Paraphrasing your first question ¨ today’s electronic dance music lacks any real emotion or meaningful purpose. ¨ Since the music industry is having an identity crisis and it’s hard to filter “Good Music” these days I believe that the timing is perfect and artist who are true and passionate about their work, will always standout in the current climate.

That will always be the mission of Turquoise records when it comes to releasing music and the artist involved on the label.

Going back to beginnings when you studied music production at SAE in Barcelona in 2008, what are the most important lessons you learnt from that experience which have stayed with you since?

It was a great learning experience and I was lucky to be surrounded with the most amazing people in the industry and teachers. The most important lessons I learn was to be true to your art form, be creative and sharpening your technical skills. This will take you a long way and keep you on top of your game.

No Regrets features the unmistakable tones of Robert Owens. How did that relationship come about?

I’m blessed to have such an iconic and one of the pioneers of Deep House music. Larry Heard and Robert were a huge influence when I started to listen to electronic music.

I met Robert in Berlin doing a warm up for him and that’s when I established contact for the first time. He’s a fantastic down to earth humble person, so we started talking and we clicked musically instantly, so later on I asked him to collaborate in one the tracks for the album. And the result was the mellow and heartfelt song “No Regrets”. One of my favorite collaborations on the album.

Tell us about your studio set-up? Do you have a favourite instrument – do you own one?

I’m very analog oriented in the studio, I like to have all instruments and synths at my disposition in case I’m working an idea so I can instantly pick up a bass or a guitar, plug it in and recorded on the fly, very hands on. It’s a simple set up but very practical and easy to work with.

I think my favorite instruments in the studio are my Double Bass and the Korg MS20. I’ve used them on every track of the album.

Outside of the world of music who are your most important inspirations in terms of artists, writers, painters etc?

I get inspired by many things whether its paintings, sculptures or architecture, for instance one of the artist that inspired me the most living in Barcelona was Salvador Dali. He’s work in unique and stimulates the mind in order to be creative and approach your art with a different perspective.

How did you get into DJ’ing, who were your initial influences, and what do you get from playing other people’s music that is different from creating your own?

It was a natural process. Since I was 16 I always loved creating music, rehearsing with bands, and being up on stage. I guess it runs in my family too due the fact my grandfather use to be choir director and my dad is a drummer. So it was inevitable no to follow their musical steps.

Back in my town Porto I used to work for a record shop and I always love the fact that I could recommend and advise people music and curate music for an audience. Not only that but I was drawn to the club atmosphere and has a DJ the ability to create a mood and a vibe for people to get together and enjoy themselves.

I believe my biggest influence and introduction to electronic music was a night club in Porto called Trintaeum back in early 2000’s there I heard Moodymann, Carl Craig, Dixon, Henrik Schwarz and many others of the genre. They definitely influenced me to start creating electronic music and djing as well. Shout out to Rui Trintaeum, great dj and club owner at the time!

And finally. Tell us about your forthcoming plans for 2020?

For 2020 I will keep promoting my album and also do a tour around Europe and Asia. So, see you on the dance floor…

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