From Madrid to Shanghai and Berlin – the story of electronic music artist Pepe Mateos

August 10, 2019
Posted in EMC Stories
August 10, 2019 Fleming

Spain – a country not only famous for its beautiful beaches and tasty tapas, has given birth to a whole lot of talented artists.

Pepe Mateos is one of them. The Spaniard has lived in various places around the world gaining a multifaceted perspective on his music productions, a trait which is most definitely hearable in his new tracks.

The Self taught man is now unsettling the Berlin scene with his unique sounding house tracks.

For the occasion we interviewed Pepe Mateos for our EMCStories with a Q&A and a 2 hour DJ Set that will blow all electronic music connoisseurs away!

The Fleming EMC: As a child you were influenced by Rock and Roll Music thanks to your dad who introduced you to artists such as Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck & Rolling Stones.

Tell us a little bit about your musical journey from Rock and Roll to House Music, they’re very different types of music so we’re curious to find out how you evolved into an electronic music artist from your early Rock and Roll days?

Pepe Mateos: My father had a massive collection of Rock ’n’ Roll vinyls, I grew up with his music and guitar riffs.

On Sundays I would wake up early to my dad playing his great selection in the living room for a few hours, those were great times!

My dad had a Technotronic cassette in the car and I would listen to it on repeat when we traveled to the south of Spain, it would drive my dad mad at times! He could not believe how I could listen to it over and over again.

In 1998 I was with a friend on the beach in Huelva listening to The Prodigy, it really fascinated me and I could listen to the track for hours, until the cassette literally broke down. My partner in crime (and neighbour at that time) Davirus had been a DJ for a while, performing with his brother under the duo “Download bros”. They used to play in clubs in Caceres (Spain) close to my apartment, I went to see him regularly and he introduced me to DJing at that time. They had a 909 Rolands in the house and some old equipment that we still use nowadays in our productions.

At first I was inspired by techno artists such as Oscar Mulero, Alexander Kowalsky and Mark Broom, I studied in Segovia and played techno for around 3 years until I met the sound of Ibiza.  I was introduced to artists such as Tiga, Claude Vonstroke, Vitalic, Samuel L and very much enjoyed their sound, however at some point my passion for Rock ‘n’ Roll and melodics developed my sound into something more groovy, less crunchy and more musical.

For me feeling the music is the most important, I’ve been to so many parties in my life and feel like an old school guy these days. I love creating rollin’ deep vibes with no more than 3 or 4 notes in the track.

*Technotronic was a Belgian electronic music project formed in 1988 by Jo Bogaert, who originally gained notoriety in the early 1990s as part of a cover band and as a solo artist under various New Beat projects, including the Acts of Madmen and Nux Nemo. The track below “Come On” had a big influence on Pepe Mateos as mentioned in the Q&A above.

The Fleming EMC: In 2015 you moved to Shanghai China because of the local support you received with your label Flow Musique and because of the importance of the club scene in that area.

Nightlife in China is very different and so is the culture. Tell us about your weirdest experience during your time in China as a DJ?

Pepe Mateos: One day we made a Spanish party in a club named Celia in Shanghai, after a few hours of partying the police raided the venue and stopped the music.  This was during my final year in China when the government was trying to close down the underground parties due to the drug consumption and the bad influence it had on its citizens (according to the government).

All the Chinese locals had to follow back to the police office and get a drug test done (In China you will go to jail for the slightest amount of drugs in your urine). That time I was playing with my friends Alecs Marta, Javi Kalero and Marcos Godoy, and thank God we had a copy of our passports verifying our Chinese visa, otherwise we would have needed to follow to the police office as well for a test..

Once the police left and took around 100 people with them we continued the party, but as you can imagine the police intervention destroyed the mood for the night big time.

The Fleming EMC: You have been making music for 17 years now, and produced no less than 500 tracks and edited around 150! Each of them with your own signature style, melodic and robust!

Out of all those tracks that you produced, which track has made the biggest impact on your career? Every artist has this one track that opened a lot of doors for them. Which one was it for you and how did it happen?

Pepe Mateos: That would definitely be the track “Pepe Mateos, Davirus – Mike lover (Original Mix), chosen by Marco Carola as one of his favourite picks in 2015.

On my birthday I went to Amnesia alongside my manager and told him it’d be amazing if Marco would play my track, and he told me to stop dreaming..

15 minutes later at La Terraza I was standing next to the side stairs watching my favourite DJ Marco Carola playing and you won’t believe what happened! Marco looked over the mixer, recognised me and threw me a big heart. At that time I was not that confident about my music so I thought he was throwing the heart to someone else. However, a bit later he played “Mike Lover”, and that on my birthday in Amnesia! How cool is that? I will never forget this special moment, seeing the crowd reacting to my track was an unreal experience and this moment will be grifted in my memory for life.

The Fleming EMC: You are currently based in Berlin, the centre of electronic music as many would call it.

We’re curious to know if living in Berlin as an artist had an influence on your development as an electronic music artist and producer?

Pepe Mateos: The reason why I decided to come to Berlin is because I am 100% focused on my work as an artist, I knew moving to Berlin would be a game changer for me and a new step in my career as a DJ and electronic music producer.

On top of that I have good friends living in Berlin who are in the same stage as me, developing themselves and working hard on their electronic music career. Another important reason for me is due to the music that is played in Berlin clubs that is almost forgotten in the scene, but has a big influence on me. I have no doubt I am evolving into another artist at this moment.  

My time in Berlin as well as my musical creations show a deeper part of my soul.  Everyone in Berlin is going in the same direction and it is an exciting place to live as an artist!

"The reason why I decided to come to Berlin is because I am 100% focused on my work as an artist, I knew moving to Berlin would be a game changer for me and a new step in my career as a DJ and electronic music producer. "

The Fleming EMC: You are the founder of two record labels; Flow Musique and Pothead Records.

As marketers we are curious to know how the label Pothead Records came into existence, and what the musical difference is between Flow Musique and Pothead Records?

Pepe Mateos: Well as you could have imaged there is a connection with weed, me and partner used to smoke a lot of it years ago and that’s how the name came into existence.

It was the first label we opened and we met a lot of artists in the Spanish scene thanks to our label Pothead Records. It was the kind of vibe we wanted to have in our early tracks, our sound was not that developed yet and we could not create that amazing analog sound with just a laptop.

Years later I called Davirus my business partner with the idea of opening a new label, he had a communication company in London at that time. This helped us put out great designs for our tracks and come up with a suitable name for our new label, Flow Musique. The idea was to use Hip Hop vocals in our tracks with groovy flows, hence the name Flow Musique.

The main difference between both labels is the overal evolution in the musical creations as well as the elements used in them.

Pepe Mateos created for The Fleming EMC a 2 hour podcast as part of our #EMCStories. A very groovy track selection that will grasp you from start to end.
EMC Stories is a new platform for non-commercial electronic music brands developed by The Fleming EMC. 

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From Madrid to Shanghai and Berlin – the story of electronic music artist Pepe Mateos

by Fleming time to read: 9 min