Rediscovering themselves – as they like to say -, the Brazilian duo MadHouse, who lives in Ibiza, Spain, and is formed by Lio Junior and Thiago Casarejos, recently released the work “Maria”, a new single from their career that already carries the features in the duo’s new phase and is now available on all digital platforms.
Today, Lio and Thiago aim to express themselves through art (regardless of what it is), and to live their own truth. In addition, producing today in Ibiza, they seek to incorporate elements of Brazilian music into the sound they make there, which regionally has different sounds.
Known as the “temple of music”, according to the duo, great electronic sounds come from the island. Before working with rock and blues, the genres have been left behind since 2018 and today, in addition to new messages and inspirations conveyed by the songs, they delve into electropop.
Produced by DJ and producer Deeplick, – who produces remixes by Brazilian musicians such as Carlinhos Brown, among others, the new track “Maria” was written by Lio in 2017 – in Ibiza -, and finished only in 2019 – in São Paulo, when the music producer came up with a base suggestion. The music explores instruments such as the berimbau, tambourine and percussion, still carrying synthesizers and guitars.
To talk more about the new phase of their career, tell what it’s like to work with music in Ibiza and what is the difference between Spain and Brazil, the duo gave an exclusive interview to the Observatório dos Famosos. They also told fun facts about life on the island. Check out!
In “Maria”, you use elements of Brazilian music and take it to Ibiza. This new phase of MadHouse will be like this, will we see elements of our culture added to what you are living on the island?
Yes, we are focused on that. We come from Bon Jovi’s Hard Rock, Scorpions, Aerosmith… Our biggest influences have always been foreign rock! Our chip then dropped…”but we are BRAZILIANS!”. And our musical culture is very rich and extensive! We needed to incorporate that into what we liked and wanted to do. That’s when we started to design where “Get Mad” – our first album – would unfold.
We had already re-recorded a song (which we will release soon) “Espumas ao Vento”, by Accioly Neto, which was successful in the voice of Fagner and Elza Soares. We used a lot of agogo percussion, empty bottles and elements that represent our sound culture a lot in our version of the song and we liked the result. So we thought of having the berimbau and capoeira in a nearby area.
“Maria” was a commission for DJ Deeplick. He works doing remixes for several Brazilian artists and the way he incorporates every element, synthesizer and percussion into these remixes has us enchanted for a while, that’s why he produced our re-recording of “Espumas ao Vento”. Because of DeepLick and Álvaro Alves who recorded the guitars, Maria became what you are listening to today. It was written very quickly because the words were already there in the sound. We chose the synthesizers and some other details to better blend with what we hear and live in Ibiza.
How is producing music in Ibiza? Are you meeting many producers and DJ’s that you can add to your work? What is the main difference between making music in Brazil and producing in Ibiza?
Look honestly, producing, finishing, creating or whatever outside Brazil is liberating! And I say because in Europe, if you’re good at what you do, people want you and pay you what you deserve. There is no such thing as millionaire jabás for radio, television and so on. There is not only the record company or the publisher to help you earning on top of your work. If your music is cool, they approach you and want to play and ask you for the song. If you want to pay her to be on the radio you can, if you want a record company to help you, great, but it’s not the only way for you to be there on the radio or in the media or doing a show.
We knocked on the door of many Brazilian producers to help us in a new musical repositioning. And what we heard was devastating. Numbers. High numbers and figures.
They looked first at our number of followers and then at the type of music we were making. If it didn’t fit what was playing in Brazil at that moment, they didn’t even give us another space to try to negotiate it. It was a no. We got to hear that we had “a lot of quality to be in Brazil” and that depressed us because if we have all that quality, why not bet on our music then?
The problem with producing music in Brazil (and some other places too) these days is that everyone is thinking about NOW! There are isolated cases like (and not only) Tiago Iorc, Melim, Iza, Clarissa, Bacco Exu do Blues, Orias, Xenia França (That’s surreal!), which has a message and a well-crafted composition without being something too plastic to be released and consumed quickly and then discarded! This is just entertainment. Sometimes new artists appear already thinking about FAMA. And that’s already out of our minds nowadays. We’re singers, we want to sing and not do TikTok choreography, you know? We were not in that plastic profile. We wanted to talk about our injuries, our searches, our pains, etc. And in an artistic way!
It has a place in the industry for everyone, for Ivete’s super contagious Axé, for Anitta’s international and well-made funk pop, produced and broadcast by Anitta, for the country people, whether commercial or not, for Alok’s electronic pop, for Iza’s pop, for Pablo , but we felt out of place. The underdogs of the ride! No label and no musical genre and no space.
This caused us to withdraw from the public eye and stop releasing new music to first find ourselves musically, spiritually and professionally within the industry. When we defined our “niche”, we decided (this first hand for you) to create an agency in Europe to import small musical talents from Brazil that have little or almost no visibility, but have a lot of talent and can explore other places to show their music. We created the agency Between Mermaids with a partner from Monaco for this purpose, and to create audiovisual content for new artists and for MadHouse as well.
We’ve met A LOT of people in Ibiza since our first season in 2015, but having spent the entire pandemic quarantine in Brazil, we’re out of date on some changes in this period. So when we moved back to Europe, we needed to reconnect and re-network with contractors, agencies, bookers, clubs and music producers. We spent the entire summer in Ibiza focused on finishing our album and activating contacts and producers for our next album that we will start producing next year. And consequently new contacts and influences that will help us to compose more and more our musicality.
The impression that people have “from outside” is that the island is a constant party, but I imagine that’s not the case. How is the MadHouse routine in Ibiza?
Ibiza is known as the temple of music. A lot of what you hear, especially electronic music, starts in Ibiza or is inspired by something someone has seen or heard in Ibiza. Here’s an energy VERY different from anything you’ve ever felt. A constant Yin-Yang. We portray this in a clip of ours, “No More”.
If the island likes you, it tests you to the limit. And gives you everything to choose from. Work, parties, drugs, sex, spirituality, friends, fake people, all very easy! It’s up to you to know what you fancy and what you’ll take to life from these offers. Good choices make you persevere and the thing goes, but negative choices drive you into negative energy to the point that the island literally rejects you. This is very tangible!
During the summer season you can find parties everywhere. There are many clubs and bars. Restaurants and private parties. Everything for you to spend the summer or vacation. And this one has everything as we talk there, sex, drugs, etc. But there is the urban and functional part of the Island. It is a city like any other. People have jobs, routines, etc. Some people ask us if they have fast internet and like…YES! It is an island with several small towns within it. And some of these people aren’t interested in partying every day and during the summer they do lighter things. A nice restaurant, a movie theater, they take their children for a walk along more isolated beaches where tourists don’t have so much access. Anyway. It’s beautiful. A high cost of living, but with quality.
Our routine this year 2022 was a little different. We were reduced from staff and staff because we were still regularizing all this, as we recently returned to live. To work even as a DJ or artist across Europe, not having a work permit or contract, is illegal, and we are very straight forward about it with ourselves and our team. So at least 3 times a week we go to the studio to record, re-record, add elements, produce remixes, etc. We played a few shows to save our voices. We are rediscovering the island after the quarantine. A lot has changed.
I read that the new singles will have remixes and each one with the identity of the DJ that will work on the track. How are you choosing the artists to do these remixes? Can you give name spoilers?
That’s the most fun part. There are so many DJs and producers that we know and we want to work with them and they with us that are difficult. But we are prioritizing those that are amazing and few people know. We see no need for partnerships with big names because they are already big. But if there is synergy and friendship, why not?
“Maria” for example already has 2 super interesting remixes. One made by a Brazilian DJ and producer, who is a promising super talent in our agency called HeyDoc!, and another remix by a French DJ and producer who made history in Ibiza doing trance and playing in the Parallel Universe called StephaneDX.
And when will we have MadHouse shows around here? Brazil tour plans?
As we have just arrived back in Europe and we are organizing the house, we haven’t thought about it yet. Of course, if we are invited to a festival or any performance that is worth leaving here and going to Brazil and that is in line with our current mentality and musical positioning, we would love to. The political scenario in Brazil today is also a chaos to be an artist. So let’s be honest, with absolutely no arrogance but pure honesty. To stop doing our work earning in euros to be reduced again to an artistic and financial valuation that is less than the minimum that is ours and it is up to our team to perform, is no longer so inviting.
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