After this summer, no more presentations are needed for Meduza. Simone Giani, Luca De Gregorio and Mattia Vitale have become the trio of “wonders” in just a few months, making the whole world dance and sing with the notes of “Piece of Your Heart”. Now it’s time for “Lose Control”, in collaboration with Becky Hill, which promises, rightly, to be another hit. But how can such a success be achieved and what are the responsibilities arising from it? We talked about it with Simone Giani.
The summer is now over, I think it’s the right time to take stock: how did it go this summer?
These were certainly months that surprised us because we did not expect such a success, especially with a track that comes from the club and was designed for it. Seen above all the current times, in which certain projects go especially, especially in the direction of the reggaeton, we did not expect such success. When we saw that it worked in England, we said “oh ok, England it’s ready for it”, then when we saw Ireland was added we said “oh well, it’s the sister”, then it was added Canada, Italy, then the videos from France began to arrive, then from Germany they told us: “here in Germany, it’s a hit”, then from Mexico, then under the YouTube video we started reading the comments in Brazilian where they wrote “the song of Brazil”…seeing all this we said that the situation was getting out of hand. It is a hymn of the club. We are very happy, it was something unexpected.
You referred to this international impact that you had and, I must be honest, what amazed me was not so much this Italian reception, as the fact that you are Italian, in the sense that maybe some sounds I would have expected more from foreign producers, perhaps English or Dutch…
I will explain it to you: we have been listening to BBC1 for a long time, Pete Tong, Annie Mac and so we have always tried to make such traces, but we could never do them, to release them. Now we have found Universal who believed in us and what happened, happened. But let’s say that in our background there is a lot of UK sound.
I remember when I asked you to make a playlist, that you put in everything, from Goo Goo Dolls to Duke Dumont via Daft Punk and Bob Sinclar…
I come from classical music, the repertoire is very wide, among other things. In my private life I hardly listen to purely electronic music, I really listen to everything. I listen to the 70s, hip hop to the 90s, Mattia listens to Blink-182 rather than punk, Luca listens to the soundtracks, we are very open. When you listen to music you do it for pleasure, then maybe you absorb languages that belong more to your genre and throw them into what you do, without even noticing it. What you listen to reflects on what you do.
Actually, just listening to electronics you might even risk copying, which in the end is the worst thing a producer can do…
Definitely. If you shut yourself in just a few artists or genres, you really risk…for example: I’m from Milan, but I know that if I go to Naples for a week I come back with the accent of the place, and I do it involuntarily. I therefore realize that if one listens to three years of, for example, Daft Punk, it is clear that he is able to do that stuff involuntarily. It’s not that we listen to everything for a specific reason anyway…we’ve always done it. I did not receive a musical education from my parents, but they taught me to listen to everything, Luca and Mattia idem. So, we are multi-genre producers.
I feel like having to thank you because you woke me up from a moment when the “festival” music was a bit atrophied for me … did you feel the same way?
You know, many people tell us. We are incredulous that we were the ones to “rekindle the spirits”, we are incredulous especially because it was just a piece with this sound; before us, Benny Benassi succeeded with “Satisfaction” rather than Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo. I must say that we have always had as myths these artists of the early 2000s, 1990s, were artists who made hits that went on the radio. We were able to do what we listened to, those house tracks a bit mainstream…we managed to make a track like that.
You’ve come up with really big names, but what would be the “life” collaboration?
Eh, we should agree with it, Mattia and Luca …
Come on, yours!
Eric Prydz or Deadmau5! We hope they catch the appeal, never say never!
This summer, after all, taught you. Speaking of a lot of minds…how does it work in your studio? In short, you are a trio, I guess it’s not always easy to coordinate the various heads…
The secret is that we divide up the tasks in a very natural way.I am the musician, the most creative one who maybe brings the idea, then there’s Luca who works more with machines, although we know how to use them all anyway and three, but he is a champion. Mattia instead with his experience as a resident is the DJ of the group, also because he is the one who is doing more dates, managing to have even the ear more “on the piece”, perhaps making us notice particularities on the drafting. We are very happy, even if I must confess that we are not in the studio very often, Mattia is on tour anyway and, when we can, we follow him. We say that we are in the studio when we have the inspiration, for me it doesn’t make sense to stay in the studio 24 hours a day, we did the best things just when we are inspired. For example, “Piece of Your Heart” was created in twenty minutes…
What?! I want to know everything!
We were doing a write session with the Goodboys, Luca put down the first agreements, Josh immediately started with the words, which are more or less the same ones you are listening to right now, and we suddenly came to the end of the verse. We were there for a moment, but we realized that something was missing, so I do: “Why don’t we try to make a chop instead of cut, sung?” And then Josh went to the cabin and said, “Well, do you think What? Sorry, just quickly. What if it’s? will work ”and starts singing. And that’s it, we pressed rec. Then in the finishing phase, we realized that everything was already going well. It’s a piece that was born right already. Speaking with other producers, who have made big hits, but also listening to an interview with Giorgio Moroder, in which he says that when things are born right and perfect, then they are the best things, we understand that when you are behind a piece and you feel that you are not turning, then you are doing something that is not working.
Exactly, it is immediately perceived when a product is mechanical
He actually says to skip, when you have the feeling that something is not working then you have to do something else, I don’t know, for example, going for a tennis match,…
Also because the role of the producer is precisely that of creating, in short, without creativity there is not even a producer … if a producer fails to create, then there is something quite wrong
I believe that everyone has creativity. In my opinion, it is a question of experience. Luca and I have been making records since 2000, the first record I produced came out in 2001, so there’s a lot of experience behind it, so many nights in the studio where we didn’t finish anything, but we had lost twelve hours, but those are the ones twelve hours you lose every night that make you understand that on one hand they skim those who want to do it seriously and those who want to do it because of fashion. So if you go ahead and anyway you realize the things you want to improve, in the end something good you combine it, but it takes a lot of self-criticism, you don’t have to think that since it’s a product of ours, then it’s beautiful, that’s a mistake, in my opinion, but we have to think that the record should not only please us and our friends, but also to others. There is a moment in which you realize that perhaps it is not the case to stay the hours in front of a machine, but maybe it is better to listen to so much music and throw down the idea when it comes to you.
But…if I had told the 2001 Simone that he would play at Wembley?
On the one hand we do not believe it even now, even the success of recent months is something that we have not yet realized, but on the other hand I cannot say that I would never have imagined it…you know the feeling of when you know that it is your way and you have to take it? So surely about Wembley, I would have taken it as a joke, but both Luca and Mattia have always been pretty convinced that we would have done something good. However, when you do things well, when you believe in it, when you work well, in the end something happens.
And it happened! Speaking of facts or numbers, what is the event that made you realize that “Piece of Your Heart” was becoming something so big?
So many events have happened so blatantly in these months that sometimes I forget even the various things that happened…
Well, I imagine that in these months you haven’t even had time to think…
Exact! Wembley, BBC1,…I have it! Certainly one of the moments when I realized what was happening was when we got global, when we were in front of people like Post Malone, Katy Perry, when I saw that it wasn’t just a flash in the fire…so many songs go global, they are there one day and then they go out…we have gone global and we still are. In addition to this, we understood it when maybe he tagged us a few VIPs, some actor or player who sang the song…
But is a song enough to get on the “Olimpo”?
Apparently, it would seem. However, you must always consider that it is a song that comes after 18 years of work, in the sense that it is not the first song we do. Behind this piece there are fifteen years of resident DJs, a thousand doors slammed in the face, people who have made fun of us (we found so many at the record level), tripping … but we went ahead, for the music. We don’t do it because we are masochists, we do it because we love what we do.
After this explosion I think it was still difficult to manage a little of everything around a hit, dates, festivals …
It all came together; we have the calendar closed until 2021. We have dates in incredible venues, like the Fabric in London, national events like the one that was at the Arena in Verona, Wembley, places we never imagined and that, in the end, they called us.
Everyone wants you!
It’s a time when yes…so many want us. Then of course we have our booking and we can’t go anywhere. Our sound is tech-house, so we go to certain places. It’s a good time for us.
Speaking of performances, one of my favorites is the one at Universal Music Studios in London, how did it happen?
It was born almost as the song was born, because it was conceived with us on keyboards and Josh who sang, so it was almost a repetition as the creation of the song…we are three DJs, but also three musicians, so behind the keyboards there we find it almost more comfortable than behind a console.
Are there any plans to bring this type of set on larger stages?
Absolutely, that will be Meduza’s second step. It doesn’t just want to be a DJ set, but something more.
I think it’s really important, because it’s a bit of a club experience that ultimately misses, it’s a different atmosphere…
Yes, that’s right, that’s it. In the future, not too far away, there is the goal of becoming, I don’t say an electronic band, because we are not, but something more than a DJ set.
Beyond this single, I know that you have also focused a lot on remixes. I know it may sound trivial, but what is the difference between the two?
Both are not easy, but in the singles you have more freedom…we could take the example of creating a person: you have to create the heart, the skeleton and then you have to put the clothes on, while the remix already has skeleton and heart, you just have to change the clothes, which is not easy anyway, because some clothes may not work well for some people. When you make a remix, you have to bring your sound, to be recognizable, but surely making a single is more difficult than making a remix. They are two different things and we like to do both, when we do a remix, we always try to make a club version, more suited to dancefloors.
Speaking of remixes, everyone has tried remixing “Piece of You Heart”, but what is your favorite?
The Joris Voorn one, because he manages to combine simplicity and harmony of the piano, with something more Ibizan and partying. I have heard very beautiful remixes, even unofficial, but the Joris one, in my personal taste, is the best.
After all that you’ve done, do you feel the responsibility to do something bigger?
Certainly, it is not easy, but I think the approach of getting yourself to do a piece feeling the responsibility of having to do one even stronger, is a wrong approach, which does nothing but put anxiety and leads to nothing. Surely, we go on making music the way we like it, also because with “Piece of Your Heart” we did what we liked: if this thing has rewarded us … you know how they say, a winning team doesn’t change. We always keep these intentions: work in harmony, calmly, without too much pressure, even if inevitably when you enter these mechanisms there are pressures.
I imagine you have received several proposals of collaboration in these months…
Yes, a lot. Some went to port, others for stylistic differences have not succeeded, but surely we were pleased to receive proposals even from really big artists, that you do not expect to be writing to you on Instagram…
Was Becky Hill one of them?
We came into contact with Becky thanks to Universal, because she also works with them. We thought this track before “Piece of Your Heart”, we liked her immediately…
Well, she’s a big name of dance music
Yes, she is very good, in the studio she is a monster. She went into the studio and in twenty minutes we did everything.
You’d be able to compose a record in a week!
Well, 20 minutes for 10 tracks…in two hours we can make an album (laugh)
You are the dream of any label!
Four albums a month, not bad.