Hey Mancini, lovely to meet you

I’ve been a big fan of yours and all the hedZup releases over the last 5 years – do you have 2 or 3 from yours and the labels back-catalogue that really stand out to you as landmark releases in the labels history?
I’m really happy that you like it! It’s hard to choose, as each release has its own singularity, but for the vinyl, I would say the HDZ06, a various artist with Nick Beringer, Chris Stussy & Toman, Justin Pak and Mara Lakour which was our first record to reach number 1 on the charts on Deejay.de and the fastest sold out. On the digital side, I would say the DJOKO EP which broke all our sales records and on which I was able to remix him. Finally, more recently, the anniversary compilation of the 5 years of the label, on which we tried to gather artists marking the label like Rossi, Jorge Savoretti with whom I made a collab track, WLAD who collaborated with DJOKO, The Willers Brothers, Ray Mono… There were many to play the game! 
The label was Vinyl only for a while wasn’t it? The artworks are always standout covers also, do you have much input when it comes to the designs?

At the beginning it was only vinyl, then we developed the digital part of the label. We wanted to give access to the music of the label to those who couldn’t afford to buy vinyl decks. The artworks are very important of course, we try to match the atmosphere of the EP. On the vinyls, we chose to make colored ones so that each record is unique. Our logo, which we love, is at its second version, it was created by a graphic designer friend of WLAD. The new series of artwork inaugurated in January 2021 was created by a young talented Argentinean graphic designer. We needed freshness and that passed by the renewal of our graphic chart, we are very happy with the result.

You’re based in Paris of course, what is the current Parisian scene like, what were the go to places for parties before the pandemic?

It’s hard to say because it still hasn’t started yet again in France, and I wonder which places will have survived this crisis and will be able to reopen. Anyway, there are many new outdoor venues announced for this summer, it seems promising. There was the Concrete/Dehors Brut era which made Paris a lot of talk worldwide but it’s over now. The mythical Rex Club remains the safe bet, as well as the Nouveau Casino where we held our first hedZup showcases. I’m looking forward to see how this scene will be reborn after the pandemic, maybe a new cycle with a new energy starting. 

Also, what young French DJs/Producers should our readers be keeping an eye on in the future?
There is a nice energy lately. To name a few, you have a young producer from the south of France, Robin Rafa that we are releasing in July, very promising in my opinion! You have Theos, a young musician, that revolves around the Oden & Fatzo crew. You also have Hideo who is one of my students in 1-2-1 who just found a label to release his first EP, I’m really proud of him!

You’ve just released on OKAIN’s Ball Park Records, how did that relationship come about?
I’ve always enjoyed his music, I’ve been following him since the time of his releases on the mythical TSUBA label in the late 2000s. At first Okain contacted me to release on his label Talman, but we couldn’t find the right music and then a few months later he told me about his new label Ball Park whose vibe was more in line with my music. We were able to easily build the EP from there and he got Madvilla as a remixer who did a great job. I’m really happy with the final result !
Do you have many hedZup label showcases booked in for the summer? And do you have any plans for ones in the US for 2021?

We have a lot of dates to come in France, in Europe and even internationally, some are postponed from before the covid and new ones. If our friend the covid leaves us alone, we should travel well in the months to come! Concerning the US, it is “work in progress” we are working on a tour and on obtaining the visa. 

What type of things do you like to do when you’re trying to switch off after a heavy day in the studio? How do you unwind?

I like to do sports, because sitting all day on a chair in a studio is not ideal for the body! There’s nothing better than a running session to clear the mind, it’s often in these moments that ideas come out!  Since a few weeks, I started skateboarding again, which I used to do a lot when I was a teenager, it’s really good for me. Spending time with my girlfriend, friends or family, whatever the activity… everything is good to air the spirit and feed your creativity because the moments alone, locked in the studio can sometimes be difficult.

What do you have coming up for the rest of 2021, both on a release front and gig front that you would like to share?

A lot of things are planned with soon a remix that will be released on Key Records, a rising Uruguayan label, a collab EP with Alex Ranerro in vinyl and digital that will be released on Djebali’s label, it’s a great satisfaction because it’s a label on which I always wanted to be. And obviously, In the second part of the year I have a full EP on hedZup. Concerning the gigs, if everything goes well this could be another Summer of Love! 

Thanks for talking with us Mancini, and it’s been a pleasure!!
My pleasure and thanks for the interview!

Mancini’s “Plaits Time” is out now on Ball Park

Grab it here