A Sit Down With Paolo Mojo
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, 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, its clear hes still going strong.
" It just has to have a bit of soul and vitality and life about it."
Youve 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 wasnt necessarily much strategy to it either, I just loved moving around and playing music to people. So yes. Absolutely. Ive been a pretty itinerant soul since the earliest days of doing this, and the actual act of traveling is something I`ve 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.
Where did you get the name Paolo Mojo from?
Well Paolo is my nickname. My grandfather is from Italy and my dad used to call me Paolo since I was a baby, so Ive always been Paolo. Mojo came as part of a club night that I got involved with a couple of other guys called Desyn Masiello and 16B, that was about six or seven years ago. So I just became known as Paolo from Mojo, and it was just about the time that internet message boards became popular as well. I had to pick a handle, so to promote the night I called myself Paolo Mojo and it just kind of stuck from there. I won the Bedroom Bedlam competition with Music Magazine and they asked me what I wanted to be called and I just chose Paolo Mojo. I remember regretting it for a few weeks later but Ive grown to love it now. Everybody seems to like it and it is one of those names people seem to remember so I am comfortable with it.
Is it getting harder to be a DJ these days?
Its becoming very hard. There are more and more people buying into it, more and more people want to be DJs, theres more and more technology which levels out the basics meaning that youve got to work harder and harder to differentiate yourself. On the flip side, theres not many barriers to entry and most of the music is readily accessible but overall its definitely harder.
You are touring around to pretty much everywhere, has that just been since your Balance CD?
Well, kind of. Theres never really a point where you notice things have changed. I guess in 2004 I started to my own producing, I got an Essential Mix, then the end of that year I joined with Excession and the following year I did a lot of touring with Sasha. Then I wrote a few more records, things like 1983 and then I got the Balance. You know, all these little things kind of built up and built up and built up. Now there is another CD next year, dont think I can say who that is with but its a good one. So there will be a big world tour with that one as well. So you just kind of take it from day to day really. I suppose if I look back on three years ago I think yeah I have come along a bit.
What's been the worst experience you've had at an airport?
Generally things have been easier more recently as you find yourself turning left more on the plane the more you travel, which allows a certain degree of comfort and control. You also get wise to the ways of airlines and airports so you know more tricks. You also have more gold travel cards to flash about the place which tends to solve a few problems. Leaving Colombia was a bit heavy as documented. I've had a few missed flights and a few cancelled ones but I've somehow always got to where I need to be. Nothing for a while to match the 16 hour delays in Toronto a couple of years ago. I must admit travelling through Dubai a few months back I was thinking about Grooverider. I got questioned but they let me through after checking my passport. That kind of story clearly puts things like flight delays and cancellations into perspective.
Where are you at musically these days?
The Renaissance CD has recently come out and its essentially a cross section of house, tech-house and progressive house which is pretty much what I play. A lot of DJs say you cant categorise what I play but of course you can.
Who have inspired you inside and outside of music and why?
Everything inspires me or has the potential to. Books, films, documentaries, your environment, the people who you spend time with. I think this feeds into music just as much as music itself.
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 thats more than 2 decades now so naturally your outlook will change in that period of time. Ive 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.
What's your assessment of the music biz- wider economy right now? : how much is Oosh now about getting you higher DJ fees and more gigs as opposed to making music on production?
I think its essential to be putting out relevant and consistent music if you want to tour the world playing said music these days and without doubt I have that in my mind. However Im really happy about the music Im making personally too, so the balance is good.
Is there any advice you would give to the budding DJs/Producers/Promoters here in India?
Just keep following the things that inspire you.
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