Renowned for his emotionally driven electronic blend, Belgian musical mastermind Nico Morano enlists vocal sensation DONAMARIA for his delectable new single ‘Flammes’. Diving into a majestic soundscape, Nico expertly unites DONAMARIA’s captivating vocals with emotive strings and soaring synths, positioned upon a driving bassline.
You can now listen to the full premiere of ‘Flammes’ exclusively on When We Dip while reading the interview we had with Nico Morano. Enjoy!
WWD: Hey Nico, great to have you with us today to chat! Let’s get started with a little back story. Who were some of your biggest influences that led you to loving house music and eventually pursue a career in music?
Ohhhhh, now I have to dig way back into the past, to be exact, +/- 25 years ago. When I first listened to the CD of ‘The Members of Mayday’. I still remember tracks like ‘We are different’. In that time, electronic music captured my heart. I was completely sucked into the world of vinyl a little later and as from then on, you could find me every Wednesday in the record stores, digging for black gold! So it was not really one person who convinced me… it was more like a ‘period in time’ of innovative music.
A little later I became a resident for years in one of Belgium’s best house temples: Club Illusion. As from then on, I knew… this is what I love. So just kept on following my dream.
WWD: With over 20 years of experience in DJing, you’re one of the leading artists in the Belgian music scene. Aside from your career as a DJ, was there a specific moment that led to you starting to produce your own music as well?
As a 9-year old kid, my mother forced me to follow musical courses on Wednesdays. I did this for 3 years. Too much theory and not enough ‘playing’ so I quit too early to be honest! Stupid me… I just had to be a little more patient. But that’s life. If it has to be… it will happen! So…
10 years ago I did my first steps into the production scene. It was because I loved the original track ‘Night Air’ (from Jamie Woon) so much, I wanted to make a club edit of that track. Because I was not able to find a proper edit to play in the clubs during the weekend. So I started experimenting with Ableton. So thank you Jamie Woon! From there on… I got the studio bug.
WWD: How would you best describe the Nico Morano sound?
Melodious & full of emotion. I prefer to play & produce happy stuff which makes me dance… and smile! I’m also a fan of good vocals. This can bring a track to another level. But unfortunately… it can also completely crash a good instrumental version. That’s always the big dilemma. Vocals are super personal. You love them, or you hate them.
WWD: Your new track ‘Flammes’ is out today. Can you tell us a bit more about the initial inspiration for this track specifically and what the production process was like getting it to the final master?
The main melody / chords were created during a jam on a Roland juno-60. The real deal. No fancy extra stories. Just a lovely day in the studio which sometimes leads to great vibes. Afterwards I added some extra layers with my beloved Prophet 6 and to spice things up … I added a melody with my Maschine MK2, which I normally only use for percussion. These are the main ingredients for the track.
WWD: When you dive into a new production, do you like to form a game plan upfront or do you let the process happen organically? What does your process look like if you were to break it down for us?
As I love melodies, I guess in 70% of the cases it will start with the melodic part, before going into the drums or bass part. Mostly the first ideas come out of my Juno 106 or the Prophet 6.
WWD: How did your collaboration with DONAMARIA come about? Was ‘Flammes’ produced during the lockdown measures or made pre-pandemic?
To be very honest. The foundation of the instrumental track was built early 2019. Some months went by and I tested a first (instrumental) version a few times during summer 2019 on several festivals. But one thing was missing… the right vocal! A lot of time went by and through my buddy Remy, I came in touch with ‘the Adele of France’. Maybe Margaux (a.k.a. DONAMARIA) will not like this description, but I fell in love with her voice when I listened to her track ‘Red Moon’. It instantly gave me a James Bond – soundtrack feel. This was what I was looking for. DONAMARIA loved the instrumental and after take number 3 I felt we had a winner!
Everything was finished by September 2020. We wanted to release the track in May 2020. But… guess what? Hello Corona. So… track in the fridge. Another year went by, but now we really said… let’s go, time to send positive messages and let it go into this world!
WWD: How has your time away from the stage and live events changed you as a producer? Has your mentality changed during lockdown?
Nope, still have a positive mindset! Yes, of course, I miss the gigging like … 10000%. But I also have to admit I never made more music in my life than over the last year. So it didn’t create a writers block or made me produce depressive music. Nope… a lot of happy vibes coming out in the coming months !
WWD: Looking to the future, how would you like to see yourself grow as an artist? Any significant goals you are currently striving towards?
Well… that is a question I can’t really answer. I don’t really want to set real goals to strive for, cause if there is one thing I have learned from this period: live today and don’t plan too much. Do it now.
The only goal or mantra I strive for or which I follow is: give good, get good! That’s the only thing that counts for me!
Or maybe one goal… playing at Warung in Brazil with sunrise! 🙂
WWD: If you could go back to the very first gig you ever played and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Damn… I so needed another haircut! And no… no picture to support this! 🙂
WWD: Finally, who are some artists that you’re currently listening to that we should have on our radar?
Keep your eye on my Belgian buddy: Biesmans. He’s the master of bringing the eighties vibes alive again… but in a 2021 jacket!
Also my French friend Remcord has got some pieces of art coming up.
Release Date: May 7th, 2021. Buy Here