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TENZO aka Overdrive talks freely about launching his new act which will be showcased at Tribal Village, Steelyard on 14 January 2022!
Reported by Jessica Alici
Submitted 12-01-22 12:28
Goncalo Malosso aka Overdrive is a huge name in the Psy-Trance scene as a well-respected producer and DJ. Now spreading his composer wings - he is launching his new act TENZO and showcasing his new Melodic Techno sound at the next Tribal Village which is happening at the Steelyard, London on the 14th January 2022!. We thought now was the perfect time to discover more about this super-talented maestro!
Hi Tenzo! Talk us through your musical career, how did it start?
As with most artists, my passion for music started at quite an early age. My father had an enormous vinyl collection and I would spend hours listening to all kind of blues, jazz, soul and rock. One particular thing that popped my initial interest was the ability to change the RPM of the player and how I could manipulate the sound with it. When computers went mainstream in the 1990s I discovered the Windows recording application; I would record my samples and derived so much fun from manipulating them with the pitch function of the program. I left it as I grew up, although my music listening was daily. I went through a PunkHardcore phase that lasted a few years only to be mind-blown with my discovery of electronic music, particularly Psytrance. Around 2003 my music production quest started. I got a copy of Reason 3 and Acid Pro and started learning and creating my own beats; I soon progressed to Cubase SX2 and started to take things more seriously. As the years passed I’ve ended up creating a record label and I used several aliases until I reached professional level with the project Overdrive, which was signed to one of the most respected international labels of Psytrance - Dacru Records. This was an important stepping stone in my career as a music producer, it enabled me to tour all over Europe - Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Austria, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands and Mexico.
You have made music as Overdrive for psy-trance and now TENZO for techno. What made you want to expand your artistry to techno?
I've been producing Psytrance for more than 17 years and after attending a techno party in London a couple of years ago, it just clicked; it was time to expand my musical expression into a new genre. I've always been a big fan of melodies and Melodic Techno allows me to explore different feelings and ways to express them musically, which feels very refreshing after so many years working with the same genre.
Who/what are your biggest influences and inspirations?
My biggest influence is the Human Spirit, the infinite possibilities that exist within each and every one of us. Every real artist, every real art piece, every true expression of the Mind and the Soul are real inspirations for me.
What has been the highlight of your musical career so far?
Touring Mexico for a month was definitely one of the biggest highlights gig wise, followed by two editions of the amazing BoomTown Festival. My debut release for TENZO reached number 2 on the Beatport Driving Techno TOP 100 chart; that came as a huge surprise and definitely got things rolling for this project in a great way.
What other work do you do apart from music?
I do a lot of audio post-production work, mixing and mastering. I am also a professional Chef!
How do you think your friends would describe you?
Straightforward, professional, motivational, positive, creative, stubborn with a wild imagination!
What are your biggest loves other than music?
My son is my biggest love above everything else and I hope one day he follows his dreams just like I am doing.
I love to cook! it's been my job for 2 decades and I do it with a passion!
I love to teach and share my knowledge about music production and technology.
Sci-Fi movies, good Mediterranean food and a nice red wine are right up my ballpark.
What are your biggest dislikes in life?
I hate lies and fakeness.
How did you cope through the pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic came as a blessing in disguise. After losing all of my bookings in 2020 all the way to mid-2021, I found myself unemployed and gigless which hit me in an unexpected way. But… The pandemic gave me something back - free time to produce! During the time I did a lot of music and stepped up the quality of writing and production.
Not working against the clock was of essence for my creativity to bloom further.
Early in 2020 I decided I needed something new and TENZO was born. The pandemic gave me lots of time to study and develop the project fundamentals that I am now pushing forward. I managed to create a full hour of originals and remixes during this time and I am very happy with direction the project is taking.
Have you ever suffered with ‘writer’s block’? If so, how do you move through it?
I think writer's block is a wall that every artist is bound to hit at some point or another in their path. The way I found best to cope with it, is to not resist it. In my case the dreaded block arises when I'm either tired, unhappy or it could just not be the day for writing. If I'm running to a deadline which happens often, being completely empty of ideas can be a daunting experience. At those times I go for a walk in the park to decompress, I do some exercise to get my energy going or I distract myself with some online stuff, perhaps studying a new plugin or watching a tutorial. This seems to help overcome the blockage, it brings new energy and ideas to the table.
Do you ever get stage fright? If so, how do you manage this?
Not anymore, but I used to have it a lot in the beginning of my career. I came to realise that the reason behind it was lack of experience and especially insecurity about the quality of my work.
As composer I feel you get judged more harshly due to the fact you are the content creator, the engineer and the DJ all in one go; when you are facing line ups and you find yourself slotted in between two DJs heavily armed with the latest bombs on Beatport or some of the best international acts, you have to ready, especially when it`s your own music. This motivated me to try and always become better. I treat every gig as the ultimate gig - from the small 150 ppl party to mega festivals with thousands of people. I look at every event and I prepare for it the best I can with the highest standards that I can achieve – flawless (as possible) physical/digital and setup and mental preparation. This allows me to face a dance floor with a reassured mind. I usually have 2 backups in case the machines fail, but never gig without at least one backup running in parallel which gives me peace of mind and space to focus on the experience rather than worrying that it could all fail and there's nothing I can do about it. I apply the rule of the 6 P's - Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance - this has worked out great so far!
Do you think artistry can be taught?
Depends on what you see as artistry…
I believe we all have creative abilities, some are more inclined to the Arts, others for things that are human made, conceptualised, created and implemented in the world.
Art is expression, and some things can only be expressed in an artistic way as they are way too complex for our limited verbal output and conceptual thinking.
Some things need a different outlet in order to be felt and understood completely, so in my opinion it really comes down to what do you want to share with the world.
Why do you want to learn music?
What do you have inside that is raging so much to come out that you want to learn the skills of your preferred Art and give your contribution to the immense pool of human emotion when you probably don't have enough time to express it?
A new perspective? A message? Why is it so important?
This can't be taught; it comes from you, from within…
The technical skills can be learned but for what purpose they are used only the person knows.
IMO it is a very personal quest, a very private one that we are giving everyone to experience our side of. I find this beautiful.
Technical skills come from outside; for me, the trigger for artistic inspiration lies inside.
We then fish out from the world more inspiration, as the outside world meets the inside world, critical mass is achieved and this is what I live for. I feel blessed I have so much I need to give back to the listener in terms of my own personal experiences and emotional make-up. It completes me as a person being able to do it, seeing the reaction from the public, the connection.. It feels like a bridge between the unspeakable magic and normal day to day life.
What is your studio set up?
I have super powered PC running Cubase 11 Pro, a trustworthy pair of Adam A7X's feed by an RME BabyFace audio interface, AKG K-701 headphones, one Arturia Keystep, Akai LPD8, a vintage AKG D310 mic, Serum, Spire, Sylenth1, Pigments and Vital are my go to VST's and I very fortunate to be working in parallel in a studio of London based artist Montez where I have access to a Moog Subsequent 37, Access Virus Ti 2, Nord Rack 4, UAD processing, among an array of analogue gear and other modular synths like Microfreak, Model D, Neutron, all being fed into an UAD Apollo onto a pair of top range Genelecs, all served in a custom built room, properly acoustically treated. My Heaven!!
When you make a track do you follow a process?
I do. It all starts with a feeling... The process is basically giving this feeling a story that I can translate into music. In my uninspired days, I get kickbass drums rolling and start adding elements to create the groove. After reaching a certain level of complexity I then deconstruct the section backwards and that gives me something to start developing. For the melodic content I keep for the right moment and when I'm on it I don't let go until it's exactly how I want. It takes as much time as it has to and it doesn't matter if I'm working early the next day. The foundations are only left alone when it’s solid, so the next session I am developing the idea and not creating it.
You’re playing at the legendary Tribal Village event on 14th January 2022! What does this mean to you and what can people expect from your set?
I've been wanting to play at the mighty Tribal Village since I arrived to London in 2014, I'm super excited to be launching TENZO at this event!!
What are your hopes, dreams and plans for the future?
I aspire to reach new heights with my music and always learn more about my craft.
You can catch TENZO playing at the next Tribal Village event at the Steelyard, London on the 14th January 2022!
You can follow Overdrive/TENZO here:
Listen to his music here:
All images are courtesy of TENZO and not to be reproduced without permission
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Other Features By Jessica Alici:
The Psy-Sisters chat about music, achievements, aspirations and the 10-Year Anniversary Party - 18/12/22!
Earth Needs a Rebirth! Discussions with Psy-Trance Artist Numayma
New Techno Rising Star DKLUB talks about his debut release White Rock on Onhcet Republik!
PAN expands on many things including his new album 'Hyperbolic Oxymoron' due for release on the 14th April 2022 on PsyWorld Records!
Psibindi talks all things music including her new collaborative EP 'Sentient Rays' on Aphid Records, her band Sentience Machine and 10 years of Psy-Sisters!
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.