We recently had a talk with Edinburgh based producer, artist, studio engineer and all round good chap Mario McPherson, about his path into engineering, production, dance music and beyond and found out what he is up to and what the future holds for him.
1. So, Mario, you have had an interesting career path so far, one that has taken you from DJ to Sound Engineer to now producing and owning your own label. Tell us a bit about the choices and events which have taken you from there to here.
I started out as a photo-journalist specialising in the nigh life events, movie premières, notorious DJ’s and parties I had been sent to cover, in 2002 I choose to switch paths and became a DJ using the contacts I had as a photographer. This saw me DJing in many different places including a number of the fashion week events. By 2008 the hobby had become a profession. In to 2011 I moved to UK (Edinburgh) I studied Sound Engineer and in the 2nd year of the course I chose Electronic Music production. In 2015 after being lucky enough to work and study at Soma Records, learning Ableton and focusing on master engineering ,I found myself with the skills needed to publish all kind of genres from Ambient to Techno House.
2. And what is the latest project you have on the go?
I love dance music but I want to challenge myself and now I have 3 female vocalist with the aim to start producing more electric song styles. I feel as an artist I have something to tell via my music besides limiting myself just to dance music. My next album is going to be a compilation of various female artist’s full of songs, regardless the genre ambient, dance. No more instrumental.
3. You are also working with Nathassia Devine, how did that come about and what is in the pipeline?
I got a message from Jason (Interdimensional Records) telling me Bruce Elliot-Smith is in Edinburgh and want it to meet me, I went to the venue and I met Nathassia Devine, we click immediately because we both speak Dutch. Bruce invited me along on the“Follow The Light of the World Tour “ 2017 which took us all over the UK to record all the shows, to interview her after every show for Nathassia TV and Remix a couple of songs.
4. What has been the most interesting, challenging or unexpected musical project you have been involved in so far?
Producing a track for the producer Robot Koch & Little Ashes called “ The Big Now.” From a vocal and a few bells recorded with a phone, I had to produce a whole track, I was less of what you would call a remix as I had to started pretty much from scratch. The most challenging was reworking a track in a Beatport competition. The track was The Heart of The Noise by from Jean Michel Jarre, and the task was to take a piece of totally ambient electronica and reimagine it as a full on dance track.
5. You are based in Edinburgh, what is the city like for electronic music, and original music as a whole?
Ufff, what a question! I love his city it’s the most friendly and warm place I have ever lived, in. I have live in Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Madrid, Barcelona and I would choose Edinburgh over all of them. It’s very difficult making a living out of music out in the provinces, its very difficult to find enough regular places to work. I have been sending my CV to work as a volunteer in several studios and I have been rejected several times, even when offering to working for free. I have been a DJ in a few clubs and I have been called back, I think my music makes people dance too much, and it’s very competitive. In photography, video, music, any creative career, if you want to succeed you need to move to the main capital, like London, Berlin, Madrid, Paris and the like so I’m very grateful to Edinburgh for allowing me to start building a career.
I’m also very grateful to Glasgow for also giving me the opportunity to learn and be encourage and supportive. A special thanks has to go to Simon Stokes from Soma Records.
6. And what does the future hold for you, what are you aiming for going forward?
This Month I’m moving to London for six months to study Native Instruments at SRR Studios, still working for Nathassia Devine and Bruce Elliot Smith, and my aim is get as many projects and contacts I can. Hopefully Edinburgh will become my place to rest and London my base for work. Also I really must finish the album I working with, which still doesn’t have a name .