With “Ditto” recently released from his Movments EP, a piano-driven, sun soaked drop of downtempo electronica, we asked Mazoulew to introduce himself.
Who are you?
My name is Matthew Zouhar Lewis, I make music under the alias Mazoulew. I am an electronica producer and composer currently based just outside Milan, Italy.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Hertfordshire and when I was about 18 I moved to London to study. I spent about 13 years in London before I just temporarily relocated to Italy for a little break and time away from the city.
What do you sound like?
I have never tried to conform as such to a single genre, because of this, people have said my work is anything ranging from dance floor downtempo/house music to ambient-neo classical works. I have a very eclectic taste in music and I listen to a lot of different forms, I like to bring as many of these different aspects into my own words
Why should we listen to you?
I am trying to make music that resonates and connects with people, in a time where perhaps that is needed more than ever, but to make a connection you have to first take the chance to listen.
What have you released so far? What else have you got coming out in the near future?
In 2018 I released the ‘Pangaea EP’ which was a defining moment for me as an artist, it was the point in the road where I really focused myself on my solo work. Since then I have released a string of singles, releasing on labels such as Armada Music, Inside Records, StereoFox and others. July saw the release of ‘Ditto’ which is the first single from my forthcoming record, ‘Movements’, so far I couldn’t be happier with the response to it. Following this, the next single from ‘Movements’ is entitled ‘Tourist’, it’s a very different vibe from the first single so I am really excited to share it with you all.
Which of your tracks sums you up? Why?
It’s a really tricky question for me, as I say my work is very eclectic so I struggle when asked what track personifies my sound, so to speak. I feel like a record is capturing how you feel in a specific moment of time so when I listen back to my work it brings me back to exactly where I was during the creation process, who I was with, what I was doing. It is transportive and for me, this is really special.
How did you get into producing to begin with?
I got into this when I was really young, probably around 13/14 years old. My older friends at the time were all making DnB and Hip-hop so I grew up in that environment. An old friend of mine was making DnB using two Korg Electribes linked with a Midi cable, he sequenced everything on there, no computers involved at all. Not having any technical comprehension at the time, I found this honestly so inspiring and almost magical, it was definitely a driving factor that got me hooked into it.
What are three things on your studio shopping list?
I used to have a lot of equipment and toys around me, but I have been stripping back and removing things in the last couple of years, taking the studio back to the bare bones and essentials. I have found that having less equipment has allowed me to really focus on developing ideas and not simply getting lost in tech which I have found very useful. That said, one piece I have always had my eye on and given the recent re-release is the Prophet 5 by Dave Smith. I played on an original unit years ago and just fell in love with the tone, it’s always kind of stuck with me. Maybe once all my current projects are tied up I may add one to the studio but will see.
What or who is your biggest influence and why?
Another tricky question really, I take influence from so many different places I don’t think I can unequivocally say who is my biggest influence. I take a lot of inspiration from art, cinema, literature, and architecture. Music is just one thread of the inspirational canvas for me. I think when I was younger I would look to others more and think to myself ‘I would really like to sound like them’, but the older I get and more time I spend developing myself as an artist I am now saying to myself ‘I would really like to sound like myself’.
Who or what have you sacrificed for your art?
A lot is the short answer. I think most specifically ‘time’, we all only have a finite amount of it and we have to be very conscious of how we spend it and who we share it with. I know for me personally I have sometimes been selfish with my time and very focused on work, this has ultimately cost me relationships and friendships with others but it’s a decision I felt like I had to make to achieve what I have. The life of an artist is never a simple one and I guess all we can hope is that those closest to us can accept us for who we are and the circumstances of our lives.
Where can we hear your music?
What one song would feature on the soundtrack to your life?
Ghost hardware – Burial
What motivates you?
I think the idea of failure or just generally underachieving drives me a lot. I have never cared what others thought about me but subsequently have always been very hard on myself in terms of what I do and what I achieve. Setting myself personal goals and then meeting them motivates me as I get a lot of satisfaction out of this.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
When I am not making music I spend a lot of time cooking, I learn cuisines from all around the world. I feel there is a lot of synergy between music and cooking in that it is the mixing of techniques and ingredients, a balancing of components resulting in a culmination of flavours and expression. I find the process of cooking very therapeutic and a nice escape.
Complete this sentence: At heart I’m just an …
At heart, I’m just an artist trying to tell their story one piece at a time.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve received ?
Don’t wish away your life, hoping you are further ahead and down the line than you actually are. Enjoy the journey you are on as you will look back and think very fondly of moments you are currently going through.
Where will you be in five years’ time?
I hope I have the opportunity to connect with more people through my music and that I continue doing what I love.
Ditto Mazoulew’s first single from his Movments EP is out now. Buy / stream Ditto.