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Emerging out of the successful music duo Nature of Music, Mazi dives into his solo career as Alfa State. Like his previous music, his tunes are graciously intertwined with mesmerizing tropical beats and soft synths. He manages to always place the crowd in a peaceful trance and leave them dancing all night long. After releasing his new mixes and collaborations, Alfa State will be performing live at Camp Summerdaze, a 3-day experience in Northern Canada, offering wellness, workshops, and a curated lineup of musical acts all taking place on a private lakefront property this June 14-16th. We got the chance to chat with him about his challenges as a solo artist and his future music production plans. Here’s what Alfa State had to say!
After being successful in the music duo Nature of Music, what are some go the challenges you have faced with your solo career as Alfa State?
I would say one of the main challenges has been the lack of brand awareness towards my new project. Having been used to a more established brand before, I didn’t have to work as hard when it came to Marketing and PR since the fan base was already there. For the most part, we could just focus on the music side. But now starting a new brand as Alfa State, I am required to wear the marketing/PR hat again. Since it takes time away from production, it can be a bit challenging!
How would you describe the sound between the two aliases?
With Alfa State, the idea is to move more towards playing my own productions, edits and remixes, as well as to perform them Live. In terms of sound, I am aiming for a more driving, dance orientated vibe that is still deep and melodic. I think the soft side of me will always like the melodies and depth.
Even though you are a proud Toronto artist, your most dedicated listeners on Spotify are from Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. Why do you think your music resonates with the listeners in Germany?
The ‘beauty of data’… I actually didn’t know about this myself until I started using Spotify. But, there can be a few reasons for this. Algorithms are one of them. Or maybe the appetite for this sound in certain markets. One thing I do know, is that I grew up listening to a lot of music coming from Germany.
You have been announced for the lineup for Camp Summerdaze 2019. How will your set differ from shows you have played at CODA and other nightclubs in the city of Toronto?
For Camp Summerdaze, I am planning to play a hybrid live set consisting of only my own productions, remixes and edits. It will be the first time that I am playing this way so I am currently still learning and experimenting with all the possibilities. I think it will take some time until its perfect. But, the idea is to keep things simple, intuitive and fun. I am going to incorporate a drum machine, some midi controllers and soft synths. I also plan to use Ableton Live as my main host.
To me, Camp Summerdaze would be the perfect place to launch this idea. The location is phenomenal and the crowd is really receptive and engaging. Not to mention, so many friends that are going to be there. I am really looking forward to it!
You have released many mixes, remixes and collaborations over the last year. Are there any wheels set in motion for an album? Do you think albums are still valuable in this fast-paced, ‘single’- driven market today?
It’s an interesting debate, I have talked about this with Hernan and many others. I have heard varying views. Some say in today’s single driven market, a great single can be just as impactful as a killer album. We see this happen a lot these days! As a matter of fact many believe that albums are not appreciated the same way as before. As, certain songs will go completely unnoticed and only the top 2 or 3 tracks of the album get publicity and attention. Though, I still believe there is value in albums. I am slowly gathering tracks for that album because I want my first album to be produced over-time, and for it to show evolution of my sound. I want to collaborate with instrument players and singers to create a wider range of soundscapes. Something cinematic but still very electronic.