Chilean artist Massiande is back on Freerange with his second release for the label entitled ‘Dancing Is Life’. Those of you familiar with his releases on the likes of Ibadan, M>O>S, Phonica and most recently Midnight Riot and Groovin, will have a good idea what you can expect from this talented producer; top drawer classic US house sounds with a minimal approach and attention to production which makes his tracks sing on a big system. We catch up with him ahead of the release.
WWD: Hello Massiande, your new EP ‘Dancing Is Life’ is just about to drop on Freerange Records. But this is not your first release with the label. Tell us about your history with Freerange and how you initially connected?
It was fate to become part of Freerange, I believe. I’ve been a huge fan of Jimpster and Freerange since I discovered Deep House. In 2012 I even saved money to travel to Amsterdam to see him play, he was amazing. And I never would have thought that the music I’d do years later would be worthy of being on Freerange because, for me, they have one of the highest standards in the world for House music. How it happened was that, sometime after my first EP with Phonica, “Freedom” (around 2017), I posted a SoundCloud link on my Facebook with a preview of track I was working on. I was only looking for feedback from friends. A few minutes later and all of a sudden, I get a message from Jimpster asking me if that track was available because he would like to sign it for Freerange. I was in shock, on cloud nine. So that’s how my first release with Freerange came to be. That EP is called “Yesterday, Today, Forever” in case you want to check it out.
WWD: Over the years you have released on some pretty cool labels, including Phonica White and their sister label Karakul. Those labels are pretty substantial endorsements of your music. How did you go about getting signed to these labels Phonica?
The head of Phonica, Simon Rigg, reached out to me after the release of “Stand”. He’s a very nice guy. I’m grateful that fortunately it hasn’t been always about shopping your demos around. Once I got my first music out people have started to ask me for more music to release and that’s very humbling. Hopefully I can start receiving more remix requests too, since it’s something I’d like to explore and work on a lot.
WWD: Your output has been predominantly in the deep house zone, but you once went a little disco on the brilliant Midnight Riot. How often does the disco vibe come out in you?
I’m an absolute Disco fan. My first approaches to Dance music were with Disco and Soul, I discovered House much later. So it had always been my desire to try to do something Disco-related. It’s hard to do it right though without much use of sampling, so it’s something that took me much more time than producing House.
WWD: Who are the DJs and producers that have provided inspiration to you the most?
My main sources of inspiration are Larry Heard, Ron Trent, Kerri Chandler, Wamdue Project and Jimpster. I feel that my personal style is like a blend of all of them.
WWD: Have you been gigging much this last year? Where was the last gig you played? What kind of vibe can we hope to hear in a Massiande set?
Not as many gigs as I’d hope for this year. Chile started to open up later than Europe or North America in relation to the pandemic. So only a few gigs in my country but still nice because, as you might know, Chile has a very large geography, so it has given me the opportunity to travel to distant places in the north and south of Chile.
And the vibe you can hear in my sets is always a blend of very soulful, very deep and very uplifting music. I like to go through different areas of House and Disco in my sets because I like to vary to keep people entertained and expectant. And I care a lot about playing music that’s emotive and that honours the roots of House, so nothing too techy, always with soul.
WWD: You were born in Santiago, Chile. Where are you based today? What is it you love about where you are living these days?
For some reason people think I’m all over the world, lol, but I’ve always lived in Chile. Chile has a decent quality of life, but it’s very centred in Santiago in terms of development and job opportunities. I’d personally love to live in another city, near to a beach or forests, Chile has a lot of that. But I have to stay in Santiago because of my day job (I work in a TV company).
Yet I would love to live elsewhere, in North America or Europe if given the opportunity. Mostly because I would like to be more immersed in a House music community and share my life with other artists.
WWD: Where is your studio? What are the most impressive things in it?
My studio is just my computer and studio monitors in the living room of my small apartment. That’s it! I’m not a wealthy person so I just work with what I have. I spend money on VST plugins when I want to try new things, or music that can inspire me. At most I can fit my vinyl records in the apartment, but I can’t fit a synthesizer here, lol.
WWD: What kit and equipment did you use to create the ‘Dancing Is Life’ EP?
Only drum samples and digital Korg synths played with my computer’s keyboard. I really make things with very little. But spend a huge amount of time engineering the songs.
WWD: What artists and producers do you think are making great music right now?
I’m really enjoying Deep Soul Syndicate, a duo who makes beautiful Soulful House. Crackazat, who I assume is in everyone’s lips these days. And of course who I call “the trio who carry the torch of Modern Deep House”: Jimpster, Atjazz and Fred Everything. The 3 of them continue to make great music as they always have. Fun fact: Atjazz did the mastering for “Dancing is Life”
WWD: Are there new projects you are working on right now that you can share?
Yes, I’m working on a couple of vocal projects for next year, showing my soulful side. I hope you’ll like them!
WWD: Is there something else you would like to tell us about you?
I’m very happy about ‘Dancing is Life’ because it is also the 10th EP/album in my career, a very valuable milestone for me. I’m really grateful for the support my music gets around the world. I hope you enjoy my dedication and love for House music.
Also, I’m planning to go to Europe and North America next year to play, most likely in the summer (June-July 2023). So if you read this and are a promoter or close, please reach out!