#MusicInTheAir Podcast hosts this week :
The releases for Villahangar continue. As previously announced, here we are at the fourth release of the new year: the label has just launched a new track for 2021.
To continue a year full of interesting news and stimulating sound adventures all to listen to and enjoy, the DJ, music producer and sound engineer of Italian origin Leo Guardo, who currently lives in Melbourne.
On the occasion of his first official release with the label, he is a guest of this week’s #MusicInTheAir as a protagonist, curating a selection of songs for his Podcast that includes his Leo Guardo feat. Tabia – Mbokodo (Original Mix), just launched with Villahangar. An Afro-Tech track inspired by the Mbokodo movement in South Africa, with a great atmosphere, and where the second part changes a lot: to the drop he added a more electronic and aggressive atmosphere, all to listen to.
A track enriched by the splendid voice of Tabia, who he strongly wanted. He comments in fact: “Basically I opted for a beat that has a kind of South African vibe, but I added melodic elements to work with Tabia’s voice, I like how the melodies with pads and synths work with her vocal melody. The first time I heard Tabia was because Doug Gomez asked me to remix Amadlozi by Jabzz Dimitri. I was fascinated by her voice, I think she has so many emotions coming out and the lyrics often raise important and social issues. I never get tired of hearing her, she is very gifted and can strike you in the chest. So without a doubt I wanted to work with her, for Mbokodo she made an incredible performance and the message is very strong”.
Mbokodo is in fact also a track that carries with it an important message, to which Leo cares a lot, and which focuses on the theme of violence against women. The title, is a term that in South Africa often refers to the saying “You strike a woman; you strike a rock.” In fact, he explains: “It represents the strength and courage of South African women, although the issue does not only affect the South African community, but the whole world. I think music has to have a powerful message and we, as artists, have a responsibility to spread those messages to change the world. Of course, violence in general is a big problem, we have to raise awareness and push change through music”.
His career as a DJ began very early, and already in 2001 he earned the respect of the house scene with the presence at one of the most renowned parties in Italy, the Docshow at the Chalet of the Roses, in Emilia-Romagna. But it was in 2008 that from Italy, of which he says “I have very good memories, especially with family and friends. It’s where my life journey began and shaped the person I am today,” he moved to Australia with the firm intent of perfecting his sound engineering skills. He says: “I came to Australia to have a different experience and then found out that Melbourne is a fantastic city to live in, so I decided to stay. My experience in the audio industry as a sound engineer has been amazing, I have had the opportunity to work with all the major TV channels here in Australia, many production companies, producers, artists etc. I have developed professional skills and a vision that you can only get years of experience and hard work. In addition to technical knowledge, I learned the most important skill, that of working in harmony with people!”
There are several projects of the nearest past and future he is working on. The most recent song “One” is a collaboration with Makz Keys and Lee Wilson. A Soulful-House track with an afro atmosphere, but which boasts a more mainstream melody: it is in fact enjoying a lot of success on Spotify. At the moment he does not foresee DJ sets – in Australia it is now winter and even if some parties are held, there are still restrictions – but his approach is positive, with a view to evolution: “I feel that the pandemic has given the music industry the opportunity to change for the better, we must look at the positive aspects, I do not believe in returning to what it was before, I believe in change. Since the digital revolution, live music has been the only tool to generate income, but music is not just money, parties and events… maybe it’s time to think differently and change the world!”
What do you remember about the Docshow at Chalet of the Roses, in Emilia-Romagna, since so many years have passed?
The Docshow was all about house music, club culture and clubbing community…it was a way to connect and have fun with others, it was a big family. Unfortunately, I feel that today it’s very different, only few places/parties can give you that vibe. Today the underground party feels like a concert, but it wasn’t intended that way and certainly has lost its true nature.
As a sound engineer, how do you find this to affect your approach as a dj?
Being a sound engineer only affects the way I dj technically, but then it’s all about the music, the energy and the dancefloor.
What do you think about the Australian music scene? What do you think are the differences with Europe?
The Australian music scene is great, there are amazing artists and musicians, especially in Melbourne. I guess there is a general freedom of expression which helps to be more creative. Although nowadays music differences are getting smaller and smaller, I think that the European scene injects fresh ideas and experimentation.
What evolution do you think house music is experiencing on the international scene?
I think that in general music follows the cultural and social evolution. We are experiencing a big shift, we are changing the way we live and think about the future…music follows that, as a result you hear a coming back in melody and more emotional music, more ‘organic’ elements as we feel the need to be more connected to mother earth and obviously more important messages.
01. Cee ElAssaad, Sparrow & Barbossa – Libre (Original Mix) / Redolent Music
02. Ian Ludvig – Colors / Madorasindahouse
03. Leo Guardo feat. Tabia – Bayamemeza (De Cave Man & TonicVolts Remix) / MoBlack
04. Leo Guardo feat Idd Aziz – Niamini (Enoo Napa Remix) / Tribe Records
05. Leo Guardo feat. Tabia – Mbokodo (Original Mix) / Villahangar
06. Literatura, Al3ne, Enoo Napa, Black Soda – I Am Nature (Original Mix) / Inward Records
07. Noah Slee – Radar (Enoo Napa Remix) / Best’s Friends
08. De Cave Man & TonicVolts – Zulu / Unreleased
09. Gil Bokobza feat. Lizwi – Isalakutshelwa / Madorasindahouse
10. Djeff, Kasango, Betty Gray – Let You Go (Saint Evo Remix) / Kazukuta Records
11. Saint Evo feat. Venessa Jackson – The Myth (Leo Guardo Remix) / Celsius Degree Records
12. DJ Chus, Sparrow & Barbossa – Nyakua feat. Idd Aziz (Original Mix) / Redolent Music