Don't Damn Me:
An Interview with Mattia Prete
Multi-faceted electronic entrepreneur Mattia Prete has just released his new EP »Life Is Waiting«, his most personally liberating work to date. Profet's Filip Lindström interviews the Italian producer, DJ and record label boss about his freedom of expression and the way to keep enjoying a life in music. Enjoy!
Starting his run in the music world at the tender age of 12, Italian producer and Jazz-O-Tech label manager Mattia Prete has a thorough experience of DJ:ing, releasing records, throwing parties and expressing himself. Now living in Berlin, where Jazz-O-Tech is based, Mattia tries his best to not get stuck in the same loops, always searching for new impressions and expressions to use in his music. Recently, he put out his new EP »Life Is Waiting«, a release that celebrates freedom in its purest state.
»’Life Is Waiting’ is a collection of tracks that I composed between 2018 and 2020« Mattia tells me over a video link between Berlin and Stockholm, and starts describing his view on the very core of the music he has made: »It all starts from the color of the sound. As you have noticed, every track has a different color of music, and different features.«
In Mattia’s opinion, the sandy beige hue of the slightly psychedelic album cover perfectly matches the sound of the music. He must have a form of synesthesia that not all people possess – the ability to connect two or more senses in a sensatory feast of art. When he speaks of his musical creations, the abstract visual aspect of the works seem equally important to him as the audial experience.
As he says, every track on »Life Is Waiting EP« is indeed very specific and shaped in its own form. Impressively enough, these individual creations come together well, in a streamlined representation of Mattia’s diverse palette. He brings up a few of the songs, going through their specific characteristics and what they mean to him. Beginning with the slithering »El Cairo«, Mattia tells the tale of how he met a new friend in his new hometown of Berlin. The new acquaintance was Egyptian, and Mattia asked him to record a few words in his native tongue. The words in question turned out to be about the war in Cairo, and they have now ended up as an eerie topline to the industrial EP track »El Cairo«. The drum sounds of the song are put together from metallic exhibit objects in the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and Mattia sees a powerful connection to the essence of war within the track.
»For me, making music is about recreating and experimenting. Maybe not a lot of people will, in the end, understand exactly what you’re trying to do, but to me music is very personal. When I release something, I want to make sure that I still can listen to it in ten years from now.«
Mattia goes on to talk about the song »Maledetto Me«. The title in Italian means »I’m Damned«, or maybe rather »Damn Me«, and the tracks’ history means a lot to Mattia himself.
»I recorded it on the day that I fell in love with a woman, and I finished that relationship not a very long time ago. The prophetic side of the song comes with the fact that I’ve released it right after the separation from this woman.«
The opening track title, »I Wanna Dance«, may sound simplistic, but in reality it has a deeper meaning, and it underlines the greater purpose of the whole EP:
»This record is meant to be played in a dancefloor« Mattia says, and points out that he is very happy that he didn’t release it during the pandemic. One who waits for something good can never wait too long, and Mattia Prete’s waiting for life has finally paid off. The act of dancing, he remarks, can free the spirits of people who are categorized as different from the rest of society, and bring unity to the world. When saying »I Wanna Dance«, maybe Mattia is rather saying »I want to be free« – a vision that he truly shares with many others.
The album cover of »Life Is Waiting EP«
»In music, I don’t like to get stuck in one thing« Mattia says. »If I would want to do a repetitive job, I would have worked in an office. Even in music, I think doing the same things over and over is boring. For ten years, I did only dance floor oriented music, and then I released the ‘Moon, Please Don’t Go Away’ EP on Jazz-O-Tech. Now, with ‘Life Is Waiting’, I feel very free musically. This EP is like a piece of my heart, something I had inside me that you can now listen to.«
Mattia seems thoroughly excited about his newfound freedom, and he tells me he has started doing things that he hasn’t done that much before, like playing live instruments and reading books. I, as many Profet readers are well aware of, am a firm believer in reading benefitting musical creativity, and I ask Mattia what books he has started to read.
»Right now, I’m reading ‘How Music Works’ by David Byrne from Talking Heads. I’ve read like 100 pages in one day. It’s really inspiring to see how he has been influenced by other cultures. I feel like being an artist really can give you a lot in life, because you can absorb other cultures.«
The point of Mattia Prete’s entire creative effort is discovering and experiencing new aspects of life. Discover his curiosity on »Life Is Waiting EP« right now, and take the chance to dance the night away.