We caught up with an artist that has been on our radar for over a decade. Gui Boratto has easily transitioned his way through multiple genres, worked with the biggest artists in the world and has played on some of the most respected stages in the world. And guess what that means, we’re getting the chance to see him play a spectacular 3 hour set at Lighthouse Festival on the 24th of February.
We caught up with him to chat about everything from studio life, to Cape Town, to growing up Brazil and travelling the world to new albums and releasing music in 2018.
MCBN: You’ve got a big following of South Africans who have been dying to see you perform. This is a golden opportunity for a lot of them. Has South Africa ever been on the map for you? What do you know about our electronic scene on this side of the world?
I’m very happy to hear that. I’ve never been to South Africa. Actually, the only place I’ve been in the African continent was the north, Tunisia. I’ve met some guys from South Africa from the trance scene of the electronic music world. But it’s been years ago. I really don’t know what’s going on there. But I’m very excited to go to Cape Town! Very curious!
MCBN: Growing up in São Paulo, can you tell us how the journey began for you. What made you decide that music was going to be your career?
After years working on the publicity side of music or even producing other artists (not only electronic music but rock, Brazilian world music etc), I finally decided to do my own music. The first production signed by my real name (Gui Boratto) was the remix for the movie City Of God. Afterwards, I’ve released on labels such as Plastic City, Circle, Cocoon and of course, Kompakt, my mother label.
MCBN: Have you ever gone to a gig with a pretty solid idea of what you were gonna play and then arrived only to find the crowd completely different to what you imagined and had to change your game plan on the spot? How did you cope?
Yes, I did. Many times actually. Especially that I have lots of “pop” songs, with vocals, or other instrumental ones but with lots of melodies. I’m talking about songs like “Beautiful Life”, “No Turning Back”, “Like You” and also, my introspective side like “Arquipélago”, “Anunciación”, etc. I’ve always transitioned in between the mainstream and the underground audience. That’s why, sometimes, when I’m in a very mainstream festival and while I’m playing, I’ve noticed that people are freaking out with my more inner/introspective/sad songs. That’s the moment I totally change my directions and keep going this side. But at the same time, sometimes, in the middle of this darkness, I put a very “Solar” song, that refreshes people’s minds. It’s nice to do a little “slap in the face” kind of thing, in the middle of a set. It’s nice to be surprised.
MCBN: What can the crowd expect for you at Lighthouse Festival, are you someone who comes fully prepared pre-set or do you have your secret weapons waiting in the back of your record bag depending on how the dance floor reacts?
Well, I’m just finishing my 5th album. To be released this semester. Probably in the middle of June. So, I have a lot of thing in my pocket. Plus, I have some other productions I did to my label’s (D.O.C. Records) artists. So, I can easily play more than 3 or 4 hours. I love to mix the white and the black side of the music.
Nothing is preset. Of course I have a tendency to prefer my new material, but of course, people are expecting some past hits. I love to please the people that are there for me, for my music.
Let’s have a bit of the best worlds!
MCBN: If you had unlimited funds and lived in an ideal world what would be your perfect party to throw?
Parties more indie. With different and mixed “tribes”. Festivals that I absolutely loved to play, like Coachella in California or Lowlands, in Holland were just amazing. It’s nice to have Portishead or Queens of the Stone Age, and James Holden, Hawtin or Moderat on the same festival.
MCBN: In the age of ever-changing popular styles of dance music, you have managed to stay current and cutting edge with your sound for many years. Is this intentional and how does your own style grow as you get older?
I really don’t have a specific style. I love to transition into different directions. I love to produce albums. It’s when you can walk and experiment different moods. Different colours from this vast spectrum of music. The thing I have is a sort of a signature I’ve developed during all these years. I’m a musician. Production is very important, but first of all, the composition itself. The relations between harmony and melody.
MCBN: You have released music over the years that are still played on dance floors today, timeless classic as we like to call them. Can you let us know when we can expect some new music, will you be releasing a new EP/album anytime soon or can we expect some new singles of original Gui Boratto?
Of course. As I’ve mentioned before, my 5th album is coming soon. Be prepared. Soooo excited to play the new ones ☺
MCBN: If there is one artist today that you could work alongside, who would it be and why?
I love many artists. And I’ve also remixed lots of my “heroes”, like
“Massive Attack” or “Pet Shop Boys”. For my new album, I will have 2 collabs. One with “Booka Shade”, one of my favourite acts from last decade. And another with Brian Transeau, aka “B.T.” Brian is a monster. Incredible old school producer. He’s also very similar to me, as he is a guitar and piano player.
MCBN: What does Gui Boratto’s studio setup like?
Oh, that’s a very long equipment’s list. A keyboard player has a disease to keep collecting things. I love the best of both worlds, the analogue stuff and all the software that’s been released nowadays.
Here are some pictures ☺
MCBN: Coming from Brazil, a country with endless talent across all genres, are there any specific Brazilian acts we need to keep our eyes on?
Of course! L_CIO, M.A.S., Shadow Movement, HNQO and many more!
MCBN: Thanks for taking the time to chat too us, Gui. See you soon
Catch Gui at Lighthouse Festival on the 24th of February