An in-depth conversation with a musician about her music creation process, upcoming releases, and the inspiration she draws from nature, language, and emotions.
Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Release Date: 2023-03-11
Check out Yendo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyUEVxnVtfM
Mariana Masetto is an Argentine singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and teacher who has released eight albums and a vinyl, with her ninth album, “Numina,” in progress. She has been nominated for several awards, including Best New Folk Artist Album at the 2013 Carlos Gardel Awards and Best World Beat Album at the 13th Independent Music Awards in the USA.
In this interview, Mariana talks about her musical inspirations, minimalist approach to arranging, and the story behind her latest album, “Numina.”
Q: How did you get started in music?
A: When I was a child, I had a classmate whose father was an academic musician, and her house had a piano and several violins, which attracted me a lot. As time went by, I got into the habit of coming home from school singing songs that I remembered from a particularly vivid experience. It was all about rock and pop singers, so I started going to concerts and I really enjoyed listening to them, and I thought that one day I would be on stage singing. Firstly, I started to study percussion, and then I added singing to those bases that I was playing. It was a whole process, and it is a process that continues to this day, where I do my own songwriting.
Q: How would you describe your sound?
A: I like to think of my songs as stories, which later, together with the video, create what I think of as a film. I’m inspired by nature, by reflecting on it and trying to interact with it. I’m always looking for spacious sounds, and in general, I’m not a big arranger; I’m more of a minimalist. I focus on my voice and the lyrics driving the song. I think of myself as a message teller, not just another instrument. I always think that someone can resonate with what I’m trying to say.
Q: What are your plans for future/upcoming releases?
A: I’m in the middle of my ninth album, and I’ve just released “Yendo” (which means “going” in English), the third of eight songs. The idea is that it will be finished by June, when I will be performing my previous album as well as this new one live on stage. At the moment, I feel the need to compose at least one song a month. I already have the general idea for the album, and it is going to be called “Numina.”
Q: What has been your proudest moment as a musician so far?
A: Stepping into Abbey Road Studios to master my fifth album was one of the most powerful moments I have ever experienced. It was an absolutely unforgettable experience. It changed the way I think about my music. And a week ago, singing a song I had written in French in front of the Director of the “Alianza Francesa de Buenos Aires,” teachers, and students when I was awarded a Superior Advanced French Diploma. It was a unique event, which could not take place 4 years ago due to the pandemic.
Q: How do you plan to keep your fans engaged?
A: From presenting my music month after month with new ideas and videos on all the existing platforms. It is a job I love! And in turn, it feeds my work with the seminars I give with my singing method “Our Voice has Body.” At the end, I present some of these songs, and I love that they change regularly.
Q: What other genres of music do you enjoy listening to?
A: I enjoy listening to all kinds of music. Today, I am listening to Harry Style, Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel with his amazing new album, Ólafur Arnalds, and I also continue to listen to one of my idols Lhasa de Sela.
Q: What Elements Do You Draw Inspiration From When Creating Your Music?:
A: First and foremost, in nature. I love to watch birds and their interaction with the trees is a magical journey that I usually watch very carefully and it inspires me to tell stories. I also love to walk by the sea and listen to the sound of the water lapping the sand, I love to discover those deep basses that are often represented in my songs with a very big drum called “Huancara”, an autochthonous or native instrument from my country. I´m also inspired by reading books in other languages, the sounds of different languages lead me to a different immersion in my thinking about life. Today, my new album “Numina” is based on exactly this mixture. Each song has two different languages. The song I am releasing nowadays “Yendo”, is in Spanish and French. The video is subtitled in English.
Q: What Is Your Music Creation Process Like?:
A: The creative process begins with a variety of stimuli, such as an image, a location, an action, or even an unexpected encounter, that sparks a story, an idea, or a descriptive phrase. Next, the rhythm emerges from the chosen image, which is explored in different directions until it reveals its own unique rhythm. Then, the melody is created, followed by lyrics that are tied to the initial phrase and melody. Working in collaboration with my partner Ariel Gato, we refine these ideas together, like kneading dough for a delicious meal. As a sound engineer, Ariel is instrumental in bringing our musical ideas to life.
Q: Are there any other musical projects you are currently involved in?:
A: I have been dedicated to developing “Our Voice Has Body,” a unique singing technique that combines yoga and singing. This innovative method has helped numerous singers improve their performance by aligning their body, something that is often overlooked in traditional singing methods. I have been perfecting this technique for many years, drawing on my own experiences and understanding of the physical challenges that singers face.
Q: Tell us about your upcoming releases and provide further details about them:
A: My next release will be the fourth track from my next and ninth album and it will be called ‘Numina’. There will be another two more tracks in May. In June the album will be finished.
At the end of the interview Mariana Masetto expressed her enthusiasm for the concept of the new album, where each song is written in two different languages. The initial three songs consist of Spanish-English, Spanish-Portuguese, and Spanish-French compositions. Masetto finds it heartwarming and fulfilling to hear the fusion of these languages in a chorus or a unique verse. She is delighted with this innovative approach of blending languages while composing, which is reminiscent of her experiences traveling to diverse parts of the world.
Mariana Masetto on Spotify