Interview: ‘Easy’ Producer Mat Zo Talks Daft Punk And The Inconsequential Ramblings Of Twitter
Mat Zo can’t legally rent a car yet he’s already worked with Anjunabeats’ Above & Beyond, toured the world (a few times) and dropped more hits than Mike Tyson. His long-awaited ‘Easy’ EP – co-produced with American spinner Porter Robinson – is released today (April 7). After months garnering global attention, the enormous house anthem, artfully contrasted by soulful licks and big-room vibes that remain tasteful, sees a six-track remix package at last. Featuring edits by production stalwarts – ranging from drum and bass pioneer Andy C to indie artists Lumaitre – the music charts are due to explode at any moment. However, the behemoth EP feels like a mere precursor to the just-turned-23-year-old’s recent signage to Astralwerks, where a debut artist album is in the works for the British youngblood (born Mat Zohan), who VIBE pegged last year as one of our “DJs to Watch in 2013”. We’re still here watching, and listening.
The musical wunderkind remains tight-lipped when plugged on the recent Will.i.am illicit sampling of his track “Rebound”, which he created with Russian jockey, Arty… and rightfully so. He’s a combination of wise-beyond-his years and busy, leaving no time to stew in scandals. Zo did, however, find a moment to chat with VIBE about a deep admiration of Daft Punk, the intelligent reasoning for deleting his Twitter account and a full summer schedule of festival appearances. See how Mat Zo makes it all look so “easy”.
VIBE: Describe your sound at this moment in three words.
MAT ZO: Stuff I Like.
Being that your folks are musicians what was their reaction to your following their path in the biz as a producer and DJ?
At first they thought I was wasting my time, now they don’t think that.
Who or what was it that first turned you on to spinning?
The first time I got the itch was when DJ Pied Piper came into my school for a special music class.
If Daft Punk tapped you to do an official remix of any of their tunes, which would it be?
I don’t think I could remix Daft Punk. I’ve done many bootlegs of their tracks in the past for my gigs, but generally I will never be able to improve on anything they’ve made or will ever make. I’d probably reconsider if they actually asked me.
What’d you do for your 23rd birthday, which just passed?
I went on safari in Kenya
What was the best birthday gift you received?
Daft Punk helmet.
You had one of the most entertaining Twitter accounts within the DJ sphere. Why did you decide to take it down?
I took it down because I was starting to spend more time on twitter than making music, which is what I really love doing. Spouting my inconsequential ramblings was proving to be a bad habit. Reading other people inconsequential ramblings was also proving to be a bad habit. I’m much happier without it.
What festivals can we catch you at this summer?
In North America, so far Electric Daisy Chicago and Vegas, Veld Music Festival in Toronto and Electric Zoo in NYC.
What has it been like working with Above & Beyond?
They’re incredibly smart people, and I’ve learned a lot from them.
Best advice you ever got?
I can’t remember because I probably ignored it.