Exclusive Interview: Meduza talk Tomorrowland NYE and reflect upon 2020
Best known for their breakthrough song ‘Piece of Your Heart’,’ released at the start of last year, the masterful Italian trio Meduza looked to grow on their incredible successes after a storming 2019. With a Grammy nomination under their belt for the aforementioned release, the group consisting of Mattia Vitale, Luca de Gregorio and Simone Giani had even bigger plans for 2020.
Dropping two new originals over the past 12 months, they charted at number one for the first time anywhere in the world, reaching the summit of the Irish charts and climbing the rafters in many others across the globe. Across a difficult year during a global pandemic, the three also found innovative ways to share new music with fans online and have the opportunity to do just that once more in 2020, landing themselves on the lineup for Tomorrowland’s New Year Eve virtual event. Ahead of their performance on the 31st, they sat down to tell us what to expect on the night, about their year in music and what the future holds for the Meduza project…
Luca, Mattia, Simone, great to speak with you! It has been a strange year for all of us, how are you all and how have you been coping with the pandemic over the past 12 months?
Since we started lockdown here in Italy, we started working again in the studio, all three of us together… finally! We’ve been making new Meduza music, working on a lot of stuff for both the club and the radio; we made ‘Paradise’ and we wrote a lot of new tracks so that when the pandemic is over, we will be able to release everything.
2020 saw great success for your incredible production ‘Paradise’ alongside Dermot Kennedy, what was it like working with such a talented singer/songwriter and how did the collaboration originally come about?
Basically, we discovered Dermot last year when the label asked us to remix ‘Power Over Me’. We immediately noticed that his voice fitted perfectly to the Meduza sound and was so fresh and cool so we decided to write something with and for Dermot talking about the distance we have from each other during the current, hard times in the world.
We thought he was the right singer for this idea because he uses similar lyrics in his songs, and we love his voice, so we sent him our idea, which he loved immediately and decided he had to be the feature on this track.
You are no strangers to stand-out collaborations having worked with the likes of Goodboys, Becky Hill and Shells in the past as well. What have you learned from working with such incredible artists and do you have any more planned in the near future?
Yes, we love collaborating with other people because we think collaborating with other artists, especially from something different than house music, helps you create something new and fresh for your music thats not ‘standard’.
It’s like you can have more creativity in terms of creating and writing and we love this as producers. We love to experiment and do something every time that sounds new and fresh, we also love learning new ways of writing music and lyrics from artists that come from a different world than house music.
Another of your highlights this year has been your enchanting ‘Discopolis 2.0’ remix for Lifelike and Kris Menace. Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind this magical release.
We got a list of remix requests from our management and there was this track ‘Discopolis 2.0’ that was one of our favourite tracks ever that we’d play almost every time during our DJ sets. We were immediately into the idea and we already knew what to do with this kind of track in terms of remixing, so we were excited to start on this track and remix. We are pretty happy about the remix and the feedback we received from everyone, we are happy in what we did.
There is no disputing your production prowess in recent years with astounding records such as ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ and ‘Lose Control’ bringing you Diamond and Multi-Platinum success. With three brains working in tandem in the studio, how do you go about making originals and remixes that you are all happy with before you release them?
Sometimes we argue in the studio, in fact a lot of time we argue but it’s for the benefit of the group, obviously. We are friends first of all so what happens in the studio stays in the studio. We argue because we love the project, and because we are perfectionists, we know that we need to keep a high level for each project and we don’t want to let people or ourselves down when we make music.
There are points when where we all agree with the same point of view and obviously it’s good to have more minds thinking about the same thing. But is also good to sometimes see a different point of view and see how other people look at what you are making in a different way so you can find out if you are doing something right or wrong or how you can improve your idea.
When we all agree on the same thing, we assure 100% that it will be the right thing to release; before releasing a track obviously there is a team discussion on how to improve the track, but yes, we need to be 100% happy first with the entire track before we will release it.
At We Rave You we would like to congratulate you on your #2 ranking in the 1001 Tracklists Top 101 Producers of 2020 list, what is it like knowing that so many DJs are supporting your productions?
It makes us really happy and we feel blessed because for an artist, the fact that other artists are trying to copy or follow you and your sound is a good thing and a positive thing for the entire industry as you can mould a new scene – a new generation of producers and musicians. We’re trying to do our best to keep standards high and try to do our best on every track we make. We are so happy for all the achievements were getting – from the Grammys’ to DJ Mag, MMETAs, and even 1001 – every single award is important for us because you can realise in that moment you are a part of something – creating something – new in the scene that everyone can recognise.
It has been fantastic to watch you guys improve consistently over the past couple of years. With things hopefully returning to ‘normal’ in the near future, what are your main goals as a group for 2021?
Continue to release new Meduza music, collaborating with other artists coming from different genres – trying to bring them into this world. We also want to continue to work on the club side of our project with people that we are inspired by and respect in the underground scene. We also look forward to building a live show for 2021/22, a concept where we can all be on stage together performing the music we create with live instruments as well as with a DJ aspect – a new step that we’re eager to take in the future.
Finally, we see you are looking to finish 2020 with a flourish as you are set to perform (DJ) during the Tomorrowland New Year’s Eve virtual stream. How does it feel to be a part of such an exciting spectacle? Do you have anything special planned for your performance? Any new Meduza tracks?
It’s a little bit sad that our first Tomorrowland ever is restricted to a streaming experience – but we are excited to be part of this journey, I’m excited to work with this group, they are so talented and crazy and they make you comfortable in every way possible. I (Mattia) prepared a special set for them, with 4 or 5 unreleased tracks that we’ve made during 2020. It’s going to be interesting because that set will tell the story of what Meduza will be in the next two years. I’m excited to watch the stream back, the scene they created with the 3D projections is spectacular!
Featured Image Credit: djs arena