#MusicInTheAir Podcast hosts this week :
The exits for Villahangar continue. As previously announced, here we are at the second release of the new year: the label has just launched a new track for 2023.
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 after Melbourne, currently lives in Italy. He tells: “I was born and raised in Sicily then moved to Australia, and I have been living there for many years, and now I have decided to move back to Italy”.
On the occasion of his second 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. Lizwi – Imikhuleko (Original Mix), which will soon be launched with Villahangar.
An Afrohouse track with a totally new experimental point of view: a solid groove that marries a melodic and emotional synth, designed to accompany Lizwi’s touching voice, able to reach the depths of the soul.
Imikhuleko, title of the track, means ‘Prayers’ in ZuluIl: the lyrics are a combination of two South African prayers, made poetic by Lizwi’s intense and magnetic voice. Deep, emotional and spiritual atmosphere and vibrations thanks also to the Rooney synthesizer used for the hook, marry a text full of meaning designed to excite and reach very high introspective peaks.
He explains in fact: “The atmosphere and vibe of the track were inspired by the meaning of the song which refer to a South African prayer, so the vibe had had to be somehow deep, emotional and spiritual. The synth used for the hook was a Rooney. I did spend a lot of time creating the synth sound that perfectly matched the song and the vibe as well as the meaning”.
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 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 then 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 after 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. “Recently I came out with a single on Sondela called Hold On who is featuring Sobantwana from South Africa and it’s a Afrohouse song. At the moment I’m writing music myself, but I also like to collaborate with other people, but collaborations have to be creative for me, no point in doing always the same thing”, he says.
How would you define your musical style today? And were there any differences with the past, an evolution over time?
Definitely I feel my sound always evolves because that’s the natural thing. And because my sound is really the expression of who I am, I think it reflects my changes in life somehow.
Which musical genres have influenced you over time and which ones influence you the most today?
I listen to any genre of music from hip-hop to classical, experimental, electronic, so every style influences me and my music, right now, I’m really into ambient and playing with melodies and textures.
When and how was your first encounter with music and how did your musical journey start?
I can’t really remember, but I always sung traditional songs. I always enjoyed listening to music, and then when I was a teenager, I started to enjoy the technical aspect building speakers, pulling apart mixers, so I guess curiosity is a big thing for me that pushes to discover new things.
What music do you listen to when you take off your DJ headset?
Any kind of music.
Your artists/djs/producers of reference always and at the moment?
I take inspiration from any artist that I think can expresses himself in a good way, I can say that if there is a piece of music that I really like.
What evolution do you think electronic music is experiencing on the international scene?
I think electronic music evolves all the time there is so many influences from different cultures and artists are experimenting with different instruments whether there are using real instruments or electronic instruments. It’s very hard to say I think we are leaving in a great era for music because there is going be so much diverse music.
01. Leo Guardo feat. Lizwi – Imikhuleko (Original Mix) / VILLAHANGAR
02. Luca Guerrieri, Nomvula SA – Ufana NeZulu (Original Mix)
03. Stylo & Vooz Brothers ft. Natalie Wamba Berry – Mandala (Original Mix)
04. AWEN & Enoo Napa – Redemption (Hyenah Dub Remix)
05. Sky White ft. Karina Skye – Afro is The Future (De Cave Man & TonicVolts Remix)
06. DJ Merlon and Enoo Napa – Two Zulu Men In Ibiza
07. Fabio Aurea, Paso Doble – One Man (Original Mix)
08. Thee Suka – Mano Mano (Sammi Ferrer Remix)
09. WhoMadeWho – Silence & Secrets (Black Coffee Remix)
10. Anorre, REBRN – Blueprint (Original Mix)