Simao is one of the hand picked super talents to release on HOSH’s new imprint fryhide. Born in a family of musicians and classically trained from a young age, Simao’s productions and DJ sets are inspired by a wide range of musical influences, weaving harmony and rhythm in equal parts. Learning his craft in the London warehouse scene, he is now an established DJ in the underground circuit. We had the chance to chat with the Portuguese producer about his upcoming tracks, his career so far and more. Enjoy !
WWD: Hey Simao, Thanks for chatting with us today, hope you’re well !
Hey, thanks for having me. It’s past 12 so I’m gonna poor myself a beer if you don’t mind.
WWD: Where are you in the world right now? And what have you been up to recently?
Camden, London, UK. I’ve been up to my usual stuff. Taking care of bookings for my residency at Klub Verboten, being OCD about my rekordbox, playing weekends and finishing an EP for fryhide + a very cool and moody remix for Beatamines, out soon on Poesie Musik.
WWD: Tell us a bit about where you grew up? What was it like for electronic music?
I grew up in Lisbon during the minimal heydays. I worked in a record shop so I was pretty involved in the scene. There weren’t many decent parties apart from our main club Lux, maybe Soniculture but that was it. I was playing in small bars in Bairro Alto and was happy with it – it’s easy to be happy in Lisbon you know… It’s a beautiful city, but techno needs a bit more darkness around you, so London was an easy choice.
WWD: You’re kind of a new name on the scene. Can you tell us the story of your career so far?
I’ve been DJing and throwing parties in London for a long time now, I’ve played in the craziest places you can imagine. Any little corner with a sound system, I’ve probably been there. I won’t get into too many details because most are not exactly legal, but let’s say there’s a strong thing going on over here…
WWD: You have been a protégé of HOSH and a member of the Fryhide family for a while now – how did it all start?
I’m a DJ first, you know, and the combination of discogs + bandcamp + rekordbox + events + organising parties can take most of your time (it can also make you stand out in front of a crowd, which is nice) so studio had always been number two. Saying that, I had a few solid tracks, ready and tested. I saw the scene changing a bit towards my sound, so I did a bit of research and found out HOSH was starting a new label and sent him some music. Traum Schallplatten also wanted them but when HOSH said “let’s do this properly, I have some big plans” I was like, “yeah man, let’s do it”.
WWD: What do you seek for listeners to feel when they listen to your music?
My favorite moments on the dance floor are when you’re locked into a groove and there are tiny changes that just give you energy and keep you going you don’t know why, and you’ll never find out which track that is, because it probably two or three layered tracks and that’s why it has so much power. So I will always choose repetition over a big drop, and try to leave space in my tracks for DJs to do their magic and create truly unique moments. It’s what got me in the studio in the first place, to make tracks for me to play and mess up with.
WWD: Did you have any musical or instrumental background before starting to get into production? If so, how does your musical background tie into and enhances your music?
Piano, professionally trained since I was a kid. It helps with harmonies, synth lines etc… But everyone can get there nowadays, a bit slower, but they’ll get there. It’s more important to have original ideas and strong sound design.
WWD: What gear do you use in your studio?
I have a pretty simple set up… a Minitaur, a Microbrute, a borrowed System 1 and a TR8. All going through a decent iMac (with the wifi turned off – very important!) and a pair of Focal Alpha 65s.
WWD: You’re about to release 2 new tracks on HOSH’s ‘Become One’ compilation with Warung Brazil. Can you tell us about your experience making these tracks and that particular sound you were going for?
Eva’s loop is one of the first tracks I showed HOSH… We have both played it for a while now. It has a weird 10 note loop that you never know where it will land… Really trippy and uncomfortable, but it opens up later and gives you some relief. It sets the mood quite nicely in the mix.
Magyar Dance was tailor-made for the mix. I was in Budapest last year (hence the name), and HOSH sent me a first draft of his Warung mix… He was looking for a beatless track to relieve pressure halfway through the mix, so I tried to help him but couldn’t find anything in my library that would fit, and believe me I have A LOT of music… So he said “you make it!”, I was like “whaaa…OK ” … I only had my laptop on me… I had the key and the arrangement in my head already, so the first draft came out in like one hour… HOSH loved it immediately so back in London I tidied it up and then he played it at fabric the week after… The crowd went nuts, on a beatless track! That was a pretty good night.
WWD: Cheers for speaking to us today,
Nice one, have a good weekend!