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Wehbba: “I fell in love with the idea of making music and performing on my own”

With a string of chart-topping hits to his name and international success around the world, today Wehbba stands as one of Brazil’s most widely-acclaimed and highly respected global ambassadors for techno. Serving the circuit’s dancefloors with dynamic productions, Wehbba champions a tenacious work ethic that stems from an innate dedication to his craft.

Over the years, Wehbba has unveiled a consistent stream of stand-out music to add to his flourishing discography, including three full-length albums that span the course of a decade.

Here we caught up with Wehbba to talk about his latest musical projects.

Electronic Groove: Hi Wehbba, glad to have you on EG! How are you doing? First of all, can you tell us a little bit about how the past year has been for you during the pandemic and what the biggest challenges/changes have been?

Wehbba: Hi, thanks for having me. I’m good, thanks. The past year has been full of personal and professional challenges, as I’m sure it has been for most people. Recently though, I have been able to get some mojo back in the studio and have been working a lot on new music and new remixes, and there are lots of things coming up that I’m really excited about, not to mention that I finally started touring with my live show ‘Live Station’, that had been on hold since the lockdown started.

Electronic Groove: Congrats on the release of your remix for Martin Gore’s ‘Capuchin’. How did the remix come about? Any stories behind the process of remixing it for the ‘Third Chimpanzee Remixed’ compilation?

Wehbba: I’m a huge fan of Martin’s, his work both solo and with Depeche Mode have inspired me in how I approach creating sounds and melodies since my early days as a teenage musician. I was aware of the project, so I reached out, and they liked the idea, so they gave me the parts and he seems to have really liked the result. For me, it was just a big honor to be involved, and to get an insight on the raw elements of his production before getting mixed, etc.

 

Electronic Groove: Where do you look for inspiration when remixing a track?

Wehbba: It’s usually a single moment, from a single element, that grabs my full attention, and that ignites a whole idea. If there isn’t such a moment or element, I don’t think I’d be able to deliver a decent remix.

Electronic Groove: Can you talk to us about your beginnings in electronic music? Who and what were the early influences on your style and sound?

Wehbba: When I was a bit over being in bands, in the late 90s, I fell in love with the idea of making music and performing on my own, so I started to really explore the whole electronic music realm – I mean really explore. I would go to every single rave, every club night, every after hours, and just listen, and watch. I think this alone was the main influence on my style and sound. There’s a bit of everything in it, from Goa trance to drum n’ bass, from electro to hard house, and so on. I’ve always tended to gravitate towards techno though, and my early influences in that style were the usual suspects, Robert Hood, Luke Slater, Joey Beltram, Jeff Mills, Speedy J, among others.

“I am always on the lookout for different things and my mood is all over the place, so I rarely have one single
tune stuck on my playlist”

Electronic Groove: How have these influences and styles changed over the course of your career?

Wehbba: The benefit from drinking from multiple sources of inspiration is that it never gets boring. Sure, I have to work harder to avoid getting lost in too many directions, but I’ve kept on drinking from those same sources for the past 20 years. Sometimes I lean on a specific kind of sound for inspiration more than the others, and that goes on for a while, but generally speaking, I don’t think a lot has changed since my very first track.

Electronic Groove: What have you been currently listening to? Is there a track that never leaves your personal playlist?

Wehbba: I’ve been listening to a lot ofdub music, because of summer. Lots of Prince Jammy, King Tubby, Lee Scratch Perry, and so on. I am always on the lookout for different things and my mood is all over the place, so I rarely have one single tune stuck on my playlist.

Electronic Groove: Being from São Paulo, Brazil, are there any other Brazilian artists who we should listen out to?

Wehbba: There are many, but I have to confess I haven’t been connected to the scene down there as much as I should, since I have been living in Barcelona for the past 6 years. I don’t go more than once or twice a year, which isn’t enough to get a good feel of what’s going on. A few names that come to mind are some of the more internationally active ones like ANNA, Victor Ruiz, Gui Boratto, Alex Stein, DJ Marky, Terr, but some other people making big waves are Marcal, L_cio, Vinicius Honorio, Elekfantz, Lucas Freire, Fernanda Martins, the list can be huge, there’s an immense amount of talent in Brazil and I already feel it’s unfair to quote just this small bunch.

Electronic Groove: Besides DJing and producing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Wehbba: Coffee. I’m a big enthusiast and have been working pretty hard on my home barista skills. I’ve also been writing quite a lot, something I’ve done from a very young age, but picked up again last year during the lockdown. I’ve been mostly focusing on poetry, but I often write some lyrics or short stories. Last May I collaborated with a good friend of mine who’s an amazing painter, merging my poetry with her paintings, and we did our first exhibition here in Barcelona called ‘Instinct’. This is a project we’ll be developing a lot more in the near future.

“But really do it. Practice a whole lot, research, get to know yourself, your essence, as a person, as an artist,
really work on you”

Electronic Groove: Are there any other releases or shows in the pipeline for you?

Wehbba: Yes, finally! In October I have a remix for Kevin Saunderson’s E-Dancer project, which is part of the ‘Re:Generate’ remix pack on Drumcode, which I’m really excited about. I also have another remix coming up, something pretty special as well, since I paired up with my studio partner, ANNA, something quite rare for us, and we remixed one of my favorite tracks by Stephan Bodzin and Marc Romboy, called ‘Ferdinand’, which should be out in November. There are 2 more remix announcements coming up for early 2022, and my next EP will be dropping on Drumcode very soon, so lots of stuff coming up and I’m really excited – can’t wait for you all to listen!

Electronic Groove: Can you share one piece of advice for aspiring producers?

Wehbba: If it has to be just one: do you. But really do it. Practice a whole lot, research, get to know yourself, your essence, as a person, as an artist, really work on you, forget about what’s hot, what’s popular, what X, Y or Z are doing, just do you. People always connect with authenticity.

Wehbba’s remix of ‘Capuchin’ is out now via MUTE. Purchase your copy here.

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