Techno Vinyls Records ’ series of interviews, we talk to producers who have releases on our label.
Interview with Makaja Gonzales
What does producing mean to you? When did you start your music career and what motivated you?
- Music means freedom to me. Freedom to shape expression, creativity, innovate.I started in music in 1983 when I started as a radio deejay for a local small radio station. In those days, you had a lot of radio stations that were not legal, so without a license. It was then tolerated by our government. Later the rules became stricter,and almost impossible to run a radio station. Music has a magical appeal to everyone. You bring music to places in your soul and mind. Music is as old as humanity itself. I grew up in a musical family. My mother played the piano. My brothers and sister always played vinyl, or the radio was always on.
I grew up in the seventies, eighties. I heard all kinds of music. Funk, Soul, Blues, Jazz, Disco laid the foundation for me what I would later make: Industrial-Dark-Deep-Techno.
How have your releases inspired you throughout your career?
- Each release was a milestone in my career for me. After each new release, the next one followed, and before you know you are so deep in the music that you have grown so far,
that you have ended up on so many labels, have met a lot of people from the industry, that you are in fact running your own business. Every release you’ve made is a step forward. Music never gets boring, music gets the best out of you.
Do you like to collaborate with other artists? What do you think about remixing? Do you like to remix or do you like to have your music remixed?
- Absolutely. Collaborating with an artist is a challenge in itself. Because every artist can be called unique in his or her turn. Each of them have their own style, production techniques, their own networks. Through collaboration you come into contact with other artists, and that’s how the ball rolls on.I like to do remixes, but I don’t always do it. The reasons for this are that I also want to work on my own productions. It then depends on which artist I want to work with. I only work with people who are reliable, serious. That trust must be mutual. When other artists remix a track of mine, it’s a token of appreciation. I give every good producer (big or small) the opportunity to choose whether they want to make a remix, it is without obligation, but also a show of respect. I am grateful for the artists I have worked with.
How do you choose a title for your tracks? Do you think a well-chosen track and EP title matters?
- I am philosophical. A title is the beginning of a track. The title says it all, it is the introduction of what is to come, but you get to hear everything that happens during the track, like a book tells a story. Titles come out of nowhere and I write them all down. I just have to choose which one to use and start preparing thetrack. I get a title from life, it is everywhere you just look, and you must have a lot of imagination, an open mind, a deep sense of making the impossible possible.I always work from the sameconcept. First the title, only then do I produce, not otherwise. The title creates the track, it inspires me. For example, if the title has a dark name, I immediately know what I want to make, which elements I need to write the story. The same is true if it has an industrial name.I automatically choose which track belongs to the other track for an EP or album. The strength track of the release therefore becomes the title name of the release.
Is a well-designed cover important to you?
- To a certain extent. I like simple, simplicity, but also deepness. That depends on the label. If a label understands what my title says and thelabel anticipates, that’s a bonus.
How do you choose record labels (what is a good label for you and what are your expectations)?
- I now mainly work with labels that have more to offer, where good and well-known names from the industry publish their work. Because it attracts the attention of the public. When you are on a good label, it also attracts the attention of fellow artists, because a collaboration can happen sooner or later. In the past, when I started producing and publishing my works, I took every opportunity to release my works because it takes me more seriously as a producer than juststicking to a few small labels. Larger and well-known labels also means that your own music style is changing, you actually get better at what you do, and that is very motivating.
How do you see track sales in the digital millennium data flood (for example: how do you see the digital sales, promotion tracks, illegal downloads etc.)?
- It is the trend of our time. I notice a lot through the social network that many artists complain about the lack of royalties, or receive too little from giants like Spotify.
That every in-between person gets a piece of the art from the artist, leaving the artist, creator and producer penniless. That is downright shameful.I see that many of my fellow artists are quitting because of the greedy nature of big money people. Many artists are now looking for alternatives outside the regular giants to make money. The same also applies to the events industry. Small artists are not evenfeatured. That should change, to make talent visible.Illegal downloads are criminal behavior in itself. It is not a sign of respect, but of greed. It is being fought against by various governments in the world. For example, it is a criminal offense to download illegally according to American and European legislation, but the control on this is wafer thin, so that the chance of being caught is very small, the criminal can just go ahead.I’m not talking about stealing a made (published track), the copyright, that another criminal is going to release on his behalf. Unfortunately that also happens.
It is then a coincidence that you run into it because someone from your network discovers it. Much of that sort of thing escapes everyone’s attention because too much music is released per day, per week, per month. And! if you find out, and the label and artist don’t cooperate, who has the financial means to go to court?
What are your future plans for making tracks?
- I try to experiment as much as possible, try out what sounds good and special, and continue to build with that temporary new concept, because you always have to invent yourself.
Continue to innovate. Not to be afraid of failure, but to have the strength to dare to be creative and to be different from others.I am currently working on various projects, including the 3rd part of The History Of The World. In addition, my dream is to release more of mymusic on vinyl, such as albums. I also see what the future will bring.
Thank you for accepting our interview request, we wish you much more success in your producer work!
- Thanks for having me here.
VINYL ► Makaja Gonzales – Our Shadow
VINYL ► Makaja Gonzales – Two Tribes