Mariano Mellino was born in Buenos Aires, a city that gave him his music training and which saw him grow through the years, making him one of the main artists in Argentina.
He was influenced by artists like Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, John Digweed, Sasha, Danny Howells, Guy J and many other. Making his DJ sets balanced and full of harmonies, makes the night a journey of sensations, Mariano deliver his music around the world and play in countries like Germany, Holland, Belgium, Israel, India, Mexico, Spain, United States , Japan, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and other places.
Mariano shared booth with international artists such as Hernan Cattaneo, Tale of Us, Guy Gerber, Guy Mantzur, James Zabiela, Nick Warren, Lee Burridge, Guy J, Dave Seaman, Stephan Bodzin, Henry Saiz, Dana Ruh, Silicone Soul, Randall Jones, among others.
Mariano sign on Sudbeat (Buenos Aires), Global Underground (London), Darkroom Dubs (Glasgow), Crossfrontier Audio (Berlin), Plattenbank (Múnich), System Recording (New York), Movement Recording (Greece), Asymmetric (Tel Aviv), among others.
Hello Mariano, we’re really glad to have you here. How are you?
Hello everyone, I’m fine. It’s a pleasure to be invited by you guys and I hope you enjoy this interview!
What has the last year and half been like for you? Have you focused more time on making music?
Absolutely. I think the best part of it was spending more time in the studio, making music and focusing on new stuff every day. It was probably my main medicine to overcome these turbulent times.
How challenging has it been to build your career? What advice can you give to those who are venturing into the music world?
It all started 18 years ago. I was 19 and the path was full of obstacles but of course lots of beautiful and memorable moments. Back in those days, I was so focused on learning and developing my skills that I enjoyed every step even though I had so many ups and downs. I first began taking DJ lessons, and then took the next step into the world of music production.
For the ones that begin this journey, be patience and open-minded. Do it with love and good things will come. In my experience, it is a dream come truth to have the possibility mix my passion with my everyday living.
What were some of the main goals when starting out and have they changed over time?
Since the beginning of my career, the main goal was to play. It became something absolutely essential for me. Playing in every corner of the country, until I could start touring overseas. Another one is to build up memorable nights and to see people dancing. It is definitely one of those moments that allows me to lose myself into music.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and what made you do it?
My biggest risk was quitting my steady job. Leaving the comfort zone. An area that was represented by my family business. It was a hard task due to some misconceptions that people may have about music. In those years, living as a DJ was unusual. But as soon as I understood it was my biggest dream, the decision became much easier.
The problem of mental health is complex and it is an issue to which those working in electronic music are especially susceptible. It can be competitive, fast-paced, unpredictable and hedonistic. Talk a bit about some of the pressures of what you do that fans may not be totally aware of.
In my opinion, pressure is the worst thing that any artist can suffer. So the best way to fight against it is to build your own journey without comparing ourselves. Be humble, grateful, avoid competition, enjoy and don’t give up. Try to be better every day by learning new tools and listening to music. Last but not least, manage your ego. If you are in the right way, good things will come ahead.
How do you think the music you produce has changed, if at all, since the time you started making electronic music? What is most important to you to accomplish with every release?
After so many years, I’m constantly trying to get new sounds in every project. I enjoy surprising myself by taking alternative ways with production. Workflow has improved over the years, making it in a simpler and faster way. One of the most important parts of every track made by myself, is feedback. It is really necessary to see how people react when you play your songs at the club. There are no charts that can be compared with a good feedback of the crowd.
Generally speaking, do you find it more difficult to come up with original tracks than remixing a track from another artist?
I prefer producing original tracks rather than remixes. But, I think remixes are much easier since you already have something that inspires you from the start.
How would you describe your sound by now? Which track would you recommend to someone listening to Mariano Mellino for the first time?
If I have to describe now my music, I can say it’s more dynamic than before. I’m trying to be more groovy and lately I’ve shortened my breakdowns. It’s kind of an hybrid between Progressive and Melodic Techno with lots of melodies, atmospheres and harmonies.
For example, you can check ”Timoycos” our last release with John Cosani in Timeless Moments record label.
As creative goals and technical abilities change, so does the need for different tools of expression, be it instruments, software tools or recording equipment. Can you describe this path for you, starting from your first studio? What motivated some of the choices you made in terms of instruments/tools/equipment over the years?
I like to update my setup every year and bring new machines into the studio. I began with my pair of KRK speakers and a regular CPU in my room, like every producer. In 2014 I moved to Berlin so I could buy my first gear. Started with my Roland Tr8, Juno Di, Roland Gaia and a Microkorg. Few years later, I added to my setup a Virus TI, Maschine Studio and this year I bought a Behringer Deepmind12, Korg Wavestate and Akai MPC40 Mk2. I’m very curious so I like to work with different tools, for example: VSTs like Pigment, Zebra2, Omnisphere, Diva and more.
Progressive music is well known for being hugely popular in Argentina, so what are some of your favourite venues to play in Argentina and why?
Yes, progressive is very popular over here and people love it. We have so many venues around Argentina. In Buenos Aires, where I live, Mandarine Park as one of the biggest venues. You’ve also find legendary places like The Bow, Crobar and Bahrein. Amazing spots to play progressive house.
In almost every city of Argentina you’ve got massive places. In Cordoba Forja, La Estacion and Dahaus, then Rosario, with Metropolitano and The Warehouse. In Tucuman, La Boite, and in Mendoza, Las Palapas. The scene is growing faster and faster.
Few months ago, you were the part of Hernan Cattaneo spectacular live show Future Memories. We believe that it is not easy to put that experience into words, but we would like from you to describe to us how the preparations for that show looked like and are you satisfied how it all went in the end?
As I always say, Hernan is the main reason for why I became a professional DJ. So it was my biggest musical experience. I will never forget the support I received from my family, and of course, Hernan, Paul and Oliverio (Soundexile). The days before the show were pretty intense (in a good way). We spent 2 weeks working together in every detail of the concert, which I enjoyed every one of them until the end (each four of them). So blessed.
If electronic music should have a message, what should that message be?
Music, the best medicine in this crazy times.
For the end, what projects or plans are you currently working on that we should be getting excited about for the future?
I’m closing the year with a big tour in Argentina, Brasil, Chile and Paraguay, working in new streamings with beautiful locations and preparing a tour through USA, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Asia & Europe for next summer. Big releases on Tale & Tone, Warung Recordings and finishing new stuff too. My biggest wish is hoping we have a good future for all the artist around the word.
Thank you once again for taking your time to answer this questions. Stay safe and we hope to see you soon in Serbia.
Thank you guys, I really enjoyed answering and to remembering the good old days.
Hope to see you soon in Serbia.
Big Hug and Love. Mariano