Paolo Mojo shares his insight and experience as he gets ready for Modulate on FRISKY
A bright light in the underground electronic music world for decades, Paolo Mojo has been traveling the globe, transmitting his deep love and lifetime dedication to music to all who listen. As a DJ he has played at notable venues including Womb in Tokyo, Ministry of Sound in London, Avalon in Los Angeles, Warung Beach in Brazil, Wonderland in Ibiza, Chinese Laundry in Sydney and Zouk in Singapore, as well as created the timeless Renaissance Digital 01 & Balance 009, which have earned him the reputation as “master of the mix CD”.
His productions are the backbone of his music, where his personal sound finds expression and is shared with the world. With releases on such labels as Mouseville (the only ‘outside’ artist to do so), Bedrock, Toolroom, Renaissance, Positiva, EQ Recordings, and many more, his sound has been spreading its way across the globe to a wide audience. With the way his newest track The Feels has been making its way up the progressive charts, it’s clear he’s still going strong.
Paolo is now getting ready for his next project: Modulate. A new show on FRISKY that will feature exclusive and emotional music, built on the deep roots of his past and ready to take the listeners into a bright and beautiful future.
He has many interesting things to say about a career in electronic music, communicating through sound, and what to expect with Modulate. Read on & get ready:
What is your focus on these days?
My focus these days is to achieve a balance in all the things I do.
Ten years ago my focus was solely on being DJ and a producer of my own work. I’ve had a more recent period of time where that was no longer the case and it’s fair to say I had something of a hiatus from my own artistic career. I did some different things. I’ve had plenty of interesting life experiences! But my first love and most instinctive gift I have to offer is to create and present music for people in a way that touches them – and me – and I’m now focusing on that again as a priority. I do other things as well nowadays; some natural progressions really – I help write and execute music for other people, I’m starting to get into writing for picture (ads, tv), and I produce records for other people too.
I also enjoy helping others and passing on whatever knowledge and experience I have gained, and that has manifested itself in teaching people one on one, and presenting and creating various online courses and tutorials in how to create music or apply techniques and even advising newer artists on the various aspects of running a career. But I really got the bug again to present my own vision. So that’s what I’m doing. And I’m trying to keep it simple – write records, send records to labels, put records out – people listen to those records, and I play them to people around the world. Everything else follows from that. I’m also enjoying a budding partnership with a new musical partner which is going to result in some new directions for my music. A relocation for the moment, to Barcelona, to facilitate that has also been a recent focus. The itch to move around hasn’t left me yet, although I will always consider London my home.
Have you changed your outlook or goals since the beginning of your career?
Yeah I think so. I mean if the term ‘career’ encompasses the period of time since I began playing music, then that’s more than 2 decades now – so naturally your outlook will change in that period of time. I’ve had to recalibrate a little bit how I relate to certain aspects of the music industry. The relentless push to market oneself is not something that sits naturally with me. If I could sit in a studio and make music all week, and dj 2 8 hour sets at the weekend and then go home, take Monday off and start again and not have to TELL anyone about any of that, and let it all speak for itself well, wow – I would be a very very happy bunny haha.
But you have to be able to let people know about what you’re doing and that’s where the publicizing stuff comes in. I’m trying to get better at it.
You’ve been referred to as a “true international DJ” – Do you feel that your travels have influenced your style?
I think that label came from an extended period of time where I literally was bouncing around the world week in week out for several years playing tunes all over the place, in some really far flung corners too, alongside myriad visits to the bigger cities. There wasn’t necessarily much strategy to it either, I just loved moving around and playing music to people. So yes. Absolutely. I’ve been a pretty itinerant soul since the earliest days of doing this, and the actual act of traveling is something Ive always loved. Some people dislike the mechanics of it, but I enjoy it all, airports, hotels, new cities, new foods new smells, new sensations basically. the idea of being constantly ‘going somewhere’ has always appealed to me and has always fired my creativity.
I guess I’m a spiritual hobo.
What does the music mean to you & how do you communicate that through your productions and DJing?
Most of the music I produce as myself is instrumental. In fact, a forthcoming single is literally entitled ‘Without Words’ or actually the Spanish translation of that (Sin Palabras) as I like to create abstract sonic canvasses that people can imprint their own thoughts and feelings and interpretations onto. That said, I’m in awe of people who create songs with real integral meaning through vocals and lyrics, and its certainly something I plan to get involved with myself. I also enjoy working with people to execute their ideas in genres that may not necessarily be areas I’d work in myself
What are your plans for your new show? What can listeners expect?
I have been lucky enough to have enough people tell me they really enjoy the way in which I present and mix music. I like to weave a pattern, tell a story, and I often use the metaphor of composing a melody – you write musical notes in a melody, the order, and cadence in which you play them creates a feeling – I think exactly the same thing happens when you mix pieces of music together in the same way – you can create something special. You might play 30 records over a 3 hour set and the way you put them together will either create a melody or not. Anyway – I’ve basically not done enough of that recently, certainly in terms of sharing it with people who enjoy what I do, so I think its time to change that.
The show itself is called Modulate – it has several interconnecting meanings which are all relevant – firstly the idea of exerting influence on something to change its properties which I believe is the key quality of mixing music together, the basic function of mixing two songs together to create something entirely new, is the rawest enjoyment for me, from DJing and always has been. It also has a specific musical meaning, changing keys at certain points in a composition to invoke an emotional response. As composers, we do that all the time, and I inject that into my DJ mixes too. I see no discrepancy between writing a song, or writing a DJ mix. Finally the idea of modulation as relates to synthesizers and electronic music arrangements – changing the characteristics of sound over time is something that fascinates me, how can you keep an essentially loop based composition for 7 minutes interesting and engaging. Or in this case, 2 hours haha.
Initially it’s going to be about presenting my vision and I can guarantee every show will have exclusive material from myself that wont be heard anywhere else. As time progresses other people and guest mixers may become involved but I want to establish a benchmark for quality and create something of a product that people will enjoy listening to, and coming back to listen to again.
Check out Paolo’s track Flüx & download for FREE:
Modulate premieres on July 5th @ 2PM EST [convert timezone] – be sure to tune in or stream on-demand after it airs: