#DiogoStrauzs :The Message (Brazil)
How to be broad while remaining coherent? How to propose without imposing? How to give free rein to one's imagination while freeing one's audience from theirs?
An artistic proposal, whatever its nature, appears as a hand outstretched, to oneself as well as to others. What is surprising in a creative process, is this double learning, between the one of the relation that one weaves with his public and the one that one weaves with oneself.
Not so surprising then that Diogo chose to make a EP between these two apprentice brothers, one day enemy, the other friend. To propose something is also to confront it, to make it vulnerable or touching, to make it sensitive or striking and it is between this narrow border that the so much wished coherence is animated. For Diogo, the coherence is precisely in the necessity to keep a course a guideline, a story which for him remains in the desire and the final need to make people dance and enjoy the music
Too often busy thinking about the complexity of the path, let's never forget the goal that often applies in the simplest principles that are.
The world is complex and heavy enough to have to impose itself further and that is also what music is for. Its value lies in the fact that it touches the feelings and not the thoughts, that it frees us from them by preferring to touch our emotions.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you listen to "Flight of The Sagittarius"your soul grooving to its bassline, dreaming to its vocals, remembering the losing times of "Em Busca no Perdido" don't think, just feel.
Diogo Strausz for Radio Loubard
Hi Diogo ! Such a pleasure to e-host you on Radio Loubard ! How you’re doing ?
It’s my pleasure to be here ! I’m fine, hope you and the readers too.
Could you please introduce yourself to our dear and lovely daily readers ?
My name is Diogo Strausz, I’m a Brazilian music producer from Rio de Janeiro, I’ve been writing music since I’m aware of my own existence, I already lived in France for two years when I was touring with my friend Voyou and I’m here today to talk about some new music I’m releasing.
We are here, travelling while reading these lines, to talk about your last release on Goutte d’Or Records for “Flight of Sagittarius”’! What is the story behind this EP ?
Flight Of Sagittarius is mostly a dance music oriented work with a big poetic license for also being orchestral and climatic. Most of the (short) lyrics talk about the relationship between the way we project ourselves towards the image era and who we actually are. As if we’re losing ourselves into a big ocean of virtuality. Maybe that’s the kind of thing you start thinking about when you’re confined in a foreign country, right ?
How did you make the connection with this new label of Cracki Records, Goutte d’Or Records ?
When I first got introduced by our good friend Guilhem Fenieys, the Crackis mentioned they had this new label which was aiming to experiment a little outside the scope of the musique actuelle and look for contemporary music being made in other places such as Lachinos and later me. So it was good-old marriage made in heaven.
As a sign of fire, the Sagittarius as a different kind of interpretation pretty relevant in our era as a part of a youth community and also part of a creative world. Sign of fire, of a fire that smulders under the ashes of prejudices, that warms hearts, gives back hope and self-confidence. Was the title of this EP an allusion to this signification ?
Actually the Sagittarius was brought as a symbol of the insatiable desire for new things that is so characteristic of our era and generation. And as a reminder of the importance to be present even though the world is trying so hard, all the time, to destabilize all of us in order to turn everyone into blind consumers. The way we’re bombarded with controversial politicians, memes, never ending discussions and an unprecedented amount of information. As the Sagittarius is always aiming at a distant idea and intensely running towards it with his horse legs, it reminds me of all of us. But I agree with you, there is hope and warmth if we don’t allow ourselves to lose our internal axis, cultivate our friendships, take care of our loved ones and be present.
This sagittarius fire is also a way to communicate and to generously transmit energy and love. As a shooting star represented by the arrow, this “flight of sagittarius” must indicate a direction to follow, lightning the darkness of our times by his hope message! Would you think that we maybe need this “sagittarius phone call” to find back hope and energy ?
It’s mostly a reminder that everything we need to be happy is already inside each one of us, we don’t need to be searching everywhere else.
But honestly, the beauty for me is to lose control over the narrative. All I want is for listeners of the song to find their own meaning and make this music their own, that’s the best feeling any artist can feel.
I’ve been particularly touched by one of our track from this EP : “Em busca no tempo perdido” that we can translate as “A la recherche du temps perdu” in french or “In search of losing times” in English (sounds better in french & portugese” sorry rosbif).
First of all, even if we can definitely find the Brazilian touch on it, it could really sound like an old French melancholic classic ! What kind of feeling did you wanna express with this one ?
It definitely sounds better in Portuguese and French. There is so much link between Brazilian and French music, from Villa Lobos to Tom Jobim. There’s a clear link between these composers with Ravel, Debussy, Chopin (even though he was originally from Poland) and Michel Legrand. And all of these masters are so relevant, they keep influencing generations and generations.
“A la recherche du temps perdu” by Marcel Proust is definitely one of the major works and pieces of art of French literature. The seven books of “La Recherche” are a discovery of the meaning of life through arts and literature by the main character. Does this story have inspired you in some ways ?
Yes, I was reading the first book when I composed ‘Em Busca Do Tempo Perdido’.
Do you feel close to the main character of “La recherche” ?
If you mean being absolutely descriptive, a little shy, observing all of the nuances in every human interaction and finding it the most fascinating thing, then yes. I’m definitely the guy at the corner of a party. There’s this idea of the Sagittarius being an extrovert but that’s not necessarily true, Jupiter (regent of this sign) is an expansive planet but it can go both directions, inside and outside.
“Deixa A Gira Girar” really pays homage to a golden age of Brazilian groove with reference to Tim Maia and other great artists coming through Soul and MPB music. What is the story behind this track ? Is that the most Brazilian track of this EP ?
It is the most Brazilian I believe, this is actually a version of a beautiful song by Brazilian vocal group Os Tincoãs. They were the group that brought the aesthetics of Umbanda (Afro-Brazilian religion) to a more popular place during the 60’s. All of their records are astonishing.
And Brazil right now has a big problem going on with the persecution of Afro-Brazilian religious temples by some greedy evangelical groups (not all, it’s important to mention). Anyway, I have this romantic view of the dance-floor as a powerful place of free speech and always wanted to make a dj friendly version of this song that could be played at a high energy moment.
Maybe in competition with “Bota a Cara no Sol” that makes me think of some Milton Nascimento track ! What did you try to do with this one ?
I’m so happy you feel that way about this song, it was very inspired by Milton Nascimento and Gilberto Gil. I always try to take this lineage of Brazilian music and bring it to a contemporary context, to think how it could be done with the resources and the aesthetics of the present moment.
How do you see the relation between France and Brazil in terms of music and culture ? Dear readers, I have to ask this question because I’m so in love with Brazil that I've probably been a Brazilian in another life for sure…
I think there is and there always will be mutual cultural admiration. There are different types of geniality and it creates beautiful conversations. I’m not a big football guy but imagine Zidane and Ronaldinho playing. This picture says everything to me.
We really need to talk about the clip of “Flight of Sagittarius” ! Absolutely outstanding and definitely cool as fuck ! How did you work and imagine this clip ?
The credits for this masterpiece goes to Romane Pineill, la réalisatrice of the video. Since the first moment when she presented her project and vision me and the label fell in love with it.
There are so many references to the 70’s era on the clip. How did this era inspire you ?
I think music wise it’s inspiring because of the combination between an already developed technology, allowing a lot of experimentation, with intense musicality.
It’s before technology could affect how the music was properly played, as there were not many tools to correct eventual mistakes. And that alone plays a huge role on how music is created. I know the question is about the video, but generally this excitement about technology without relying so much on it to compensate for our mistakes helped to create the disruptive energy of that decade in every cultural area: fashion, photography, film, painting etc… Think Clockwork Orange with soundtrack by Wendy Carlos and her modular synthesizer.
This EP is reinforced by the participation of 2 great artists and producers Yuksek and Mangabey. What do you think about this remix ? What did they bring to this EP ?
Tell me about it, I love the remixes. It was an honor to have someone on board like Yuksek, he was always an influence for me. And I fell in love with Mangabey’s work as soon as I heard his track “Time For You And Me” that samples “A Time For Us” by Joe Pass.
I think they brought not only a more dance music oriented approach to the tracks but they turned them into their own jams. It made the EP much richer to have their hands and these new versions of the tracks.
What are now the next steps for you ?
Now I’m focusing a lot on the live version for these songs, it has new jams in the live too by the way. After spending so much time in the studio and being confined I need to share the energy and see those hips moving. I invite our readers to stay tuned in case we have the chance to cross our paths at any time soon !