Dario Margeli is a singular producer who has opted for a New Retro Wave-style production. Examples of this style of electronic production are hits like “Blinding lights” by The Weeknd or Running In The Night and Ollie Wride’s FM-84. The song is fast and danceable and has great analog synths.
We have had the pleasure of speaking with him and this has been the result.
Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music? Was it all internet based?
I studied music when I was a teenager in the 1980s. I played bass. I made some cassette demos but nothing happened. Then I stopped. Many years later in 2010, I had a website for rare 45rpms and a re-issue label in California, Now Again, contacted me and I helped with a CD re-issue project by Kourosh Yaghmaei. That got me excited and I decided to start making music again thanks to Pro-Tools and software.
I am American but my parents were from Europe and the Middle East. I do not do live shows. This is because being a solo artist, I would have to hire musicians to play and I am not sufficiently famous for a big concert.
On my recordings I work with musicians over the internet. They send me their parts, I edit them and mix them with my Protools.
Who have been your main inspirations (both musical and in “life”)? And how have they affected your sound?
I do only 1 song a year. So I like to take that opportunity to write about something important. I read self help books. Motivational books. Buddhist teachings. What I learn there is the main inspiration to start a song.
Musically, it is hard to say. The vocal melody is very important and it must be very original. So I allow myself to be influenced by Middle Eastern musical scales. For example improvisations by Shajarian.
There is western music that I like. I know that Chic and Nile Rodgers helped shape my songwriting. I also loved Brit Jazz-Funk, such as the 80s band Shakatak. Larry Heard (Mr Fingers), I liked him, but I don’t know if that shows in my music. I also like elegant Italo-Disco like Fotonovela by Ivan.
How would you define your sound?
In general I am a self-help and motivational songwriter. For my sound I allow the musicians I work with to decide what they want to do. I would say that my music is non aggressive. The vocal melody is the most important.
The arrangements can be with guitars or it can be electronic. It is like the band The Beloved in the 1990s or Everything But The Girl. They had songs backed by guitars and songs backed by electronics.
How has your sound evolved so far?
At first it was more aggressive. But then when I started to practice meditation and work on my personal mental well being, I started having a more positive and gentle approach to music. I have done rock, soft rock, electronic and even Smooth Jazz music.
What can you tell us about your last song? What inspired you? What do you want to convey?
My new song is called “I’m That Kid”. Although I am an experienced rock musician, this time I have opted for a New Retro Wave style production. Examples of this style of electronic production are hits like The Weeknd’s “Blinding lights” or Ollie Wride’s Running In The Night and FM-84. The song is fast and danceable and has great analog synthesizers. The song is about remembering the freedom we used to experience from fear. When we are kids, we are not worried about the future, we are playing and having fun. That is freedom. With the song, I want to feel that freedom from fear.
Listening to Spotify:
The video of the song on YouTube:
How are you living the current situation because of COVID? Has your work affected you a lot? Do you think there is hope? I feel like the underground scene will continue to persist.
To sustain myself, I have an office job during the day. The music never pays enough, even before Covid. Thankfully I have had office jobs even during Covid. So I cannot complain. The only problem is that I can only make 1 song a year while working in office jobs.
What projects are you working on right now?
A project like “I’m that kid” is very hard for a self produced and financed musician. After the songwriting, I do everything alone, so that requires a lot of time. I cannot pay a PR company so I have to do the promotion myself too.
After I finish the songwriting, I have to look for musicians and work with them. Then I have to produce the music and mix and master. Afterwards I have to do some sort of music video. Then I have to do a publicity campaign. These days with so many social networks it is complicated to advertise a song. I also have to chase playlisters on Spotify since that is now the most important place for music.
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