Interview: Gaston Zani

Gaston Zani adds to an already impressive catalogue of music with his debut release on Eats Everything and Andres Campo’s EI8HT Records imprint.

Previously Zani has released his productions on labels like Alan Fitzpatrick’s We Are The Brave and Carl Cox’ Intec, and his new Something 4 Your Mind EP brings yet another layer of sonic goodness to not just his own fans, but to the wider spectrum of techno.

We spoke to him about the new release, how it came to be signed to EI8HT Records, what he has coming in the near future and how he’s been coping with the current global pandemic. Get the full discussion below.

You’re about to debut on Eats Everything and Andres Campo’s EI8HT label with your Something 4 Your Mind EP, tell us about the tracks, and how they landed on EI8HT?

Something 4 Your Mind is probably the release that I’m most excited about. When I started creating the track, I had very clear ideas for it. I wanted to use the vocal of the mythical ‘The Realm’, sampled in this particular way, I know that it is well known and that there are thousands of tracks that have already used it before in many different styles, but I wanted to give it my personal touch, raw and groovy at the same time.

The other two tracks were created to fit the EP, keeping the same line and formula, in the case of The Way We Like To Raw I gave it a more aggressive touch and increased the BPM of Sound Barrier to offer something a bit more different.

The story behind how this EP ended up on EI8HT was unusual for me but at the same time I think it was the best way to get signed, I was playing at GlobalMusic Festival in Zaragoza, Spain in October of last year and at that time I had only Something 4 Your Mind done and I played it at that festival, Andres campo was behind me and listened to the track and he liked it so much, then when I finished my set and went backstage Andres approached me and asked if I could send it to him for him to play it, so I said yes and mentioned that it was unsigned and if he would sign it to EI8HT. “Let me play this track to Dan and I will let you know soon” and the rest is history.

And it includes three original tracks, why no remixes for this one?

Actually my main idea was always to release Something 4 Your Mind as a single, I wanted it to be the main protagonist since I had been testing it in my sets for almost a year and other artists like UMEK and Matt Sassari that I sent the promo to were playing it all over the world, the feedback was incredible and more artists who heard the track asked me about it and wanted to try it too.

EI8HT wanted to release a minimum of three or four tracks on an EP so I had to work on two more tracks to complete the release and that’s how The Way We Like To Raw and Sound Barrier were born. Regarding the remixes, there was never anything planned for this release, but if the tracks work as well as we hope, I would love to see Andres or Eats remix any of the tracks in the future and give them their personal touch, it would be a dream come true.

You also have a label of your own, Addeepted, what can you tell us about what to expect on there in the coming months?

Addeepted was my first record label created in 2016, where today I am using it to give new opportunities to young producers with great talent who may not be known today but have a great future ahead of them, but Addeepted is not the only label that I have, right now I am more focused on what for me is my main label called we(R)aw and where we work with more established artists such as Matt Sassari, Andres Campo, Filterheadz, The Yellowheadz, Carlos Perez and others.

In the coming months there will be some very interesting releases with artists that I am very excited to see debut on we(R)aw, such as Uto Karem, Cristian Varela and Ukrainian producer Xenia. We hope that we can continue to work with artists of that level in the future.

And how about your own productions on other labels?

We are entering the final stretch of 2020 and I have to say that this year I have been lucky enough to release on labels such as We Are The Brave, 1605, Octopus and EI8HT, and before the end of the season I have a new EP on Agile Recordings, together Uto Karem and a couple of releases on my own we(R)aw label.

In the past, you’ve released with Tronic, We Are The Brave and Intec, what advice would you give to an aspiring producer trying to get signed to these kinds of labels?

Have the right email maybe? Haha joke! Sometimes it is a matter of patience, these kinds of record labels take their time to reply, I mean months in some cases, so if you are a very talented producer but do not have patience and send your music to multiple labels at the same time because of the lack of responses then you may find yourself doing more harm than good. Write a good email when sending demos, it must be short and direct to get their attention, and if possible, exclusive emails.

Another way could be by collaborating with an artist who is already signed to those labels, that would certainly increase the chances of getting signed. But always be yourself when creating music and try to not imitate the style of a certain label just because it is a top label, that will also help the label owners know what your real sound and style are and if they like it, they will definitely sign your music.

As a techno DJ, the global pandemic has taken away your livelihood, how have you been keeping positive through the whole ordeal?

This is a difficult question, in these delicate moments it is hard to stay motivated. Uou miss that human warmth that the public gives you on the dance floor, that connection with the people around you, it is also hard to create music that you do not know with certainty will be played soon in a club or festival, artists do not support your music at events because there is nowhere to do it. Then you get into an internal conflict thinking or trying to innovate and find a new formula, but I am very positive and always look on the bright side of things, so I have been able to focus on improving on streaming platforms like Spotify since it is the best way right now to reach a large audience, and also polishing my social networks, I know that soon we will be back with more energy than ever so I am preparing myself every day for it.

And can you share a few albums that you’ve had on repeat this year?

Sam Paganini – Satellite (I’m in love with it and can’t stop listening to the full album), Dense & Pika – Neon, Radio Slave – Radio Silence Pt. 1 and Marco Faraone – No Filter

Lastly, you get to spend 5 minutes with your younger self after the first time you ever open a DAW, what do you tell him?

Do not waste your time with Logic, you will never understand it, go directly to Studio One and you will save time. I would give myself the best possible production advice and tools that I could use in every moment, and maybe talk about future musical trends to see if I could be ahead of my time or even be the creator of a new style, who knows! But above all, I would tell myself to enjoy every minute in the studio and be happy with the outcome.

Gaston Zani’s Something 4 Your Mind EP is out September 25th on EI8HT Records.