Black Pomade

By: Dream Chimney

The following interview was conducted on May 8, 2024

Black Pomade We welcome Lisbon circuit regular Black Pomade, DJ and producer originally from Milan (Italy), founder of the Ruínas collective and the Whoopee party series. Black Pomade released music on Last Forever Records, Stereo Ferment, Modmotif, Dig This Way Records, Youngbloods, and on vinyl for Martino Edits and Windmill Re-Edits. In 2023 he launched the vinyl-only edit series Manzo Edits and for 2024 he has upcoming releases scheduled on Whopee Rec and Rollover’s Anything Goes. We welcome him with some questions on his music process, influence and the future.

Hey Black Pomade, congratulations on releasing 'Manzo Edits Vol. 4 '. How does it Feel?

I'm thrilled to have reached volume 4 with Manzo Edits. Scouting artists, mastering tracks, designing graphics, pressing, and distributing: every record release follows immense work! Luckily I collaborate with a great team of professionals who make things very enjoyable for me, and the feeling of knowing someone on the other side of the world is spinning your track is unbeatable!

Talk us through the release, are there any standout tracks you're particularly excited about?

I personally select every track for the label, so asking me this question is like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. I can say that this release hosts really talented artists and has received exceptionally positive feedback so far, so I'm eager to see how it performs in the stores.

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The EP is out on your own Manzo Edits imprint, what was your inspiration to start own label?

I've been playing obscure edits for a long time and always dreamt of starting my own. They're a fantastic way to revive tracks that might not otherwise get club play, making them dancefloor-friendly. The inspiration for starting the label came when friends who were also working on edits began sending me their work. Their tracks were so good that I thought they deserved a proper release platform, which led to the creation of the first volume. Its success fueled my enthusiasm to continue.

Aswell as yourself the EP features edits from Jamaimo, Unison Apollo & Digei De Bairro how did those collaberations come about?

After releasing the previous three volumes and receiving support from notable DJs like Laurent Garnier, Yu Su, Bill Brewster, and Scarlett O'Malley, the series began to attract attention. We now receive lots of demos, and I'm also well-connected in the scene, which allows me to invite respected editors to contribute. This record is the result of a mix of both approaches.

Can you describe the connection between your music and your Italian roots, and how they continue to influence your music today?‍

The influence of my Italian roots is subtle but present. I often find myself buying records, even in Thailand or Japan, that turn out to be Italian—both from the '90s and recent releases. There's a shared cultural background that makes the sound familiar to me. I admire how many Italian composers strike a balance between being innovative and slightly cheesy, which is fun and danceable yet intellectually stimulating. Many Italian DJs and artists from the '80s and '90s have heavily influenced my productions and DJ sets.

You've recently been touring far east asia, how have you found it? How is the scene out there? Any is there any particular stand out gigs?

Touring East Asia has been a fantastic experience. Initially, I was apprehensive about losing momentum in Europe, but that hasn't happened. I still have significant gigs lined up in Barcelona and Lisbon. This tour has allowed me to connect with various scenes and cultures, and I'd highly recommend such an experience. The response has been great everywhere, from Bangkok to Tokyo. While the scenes in Japan and Korea are already mature, other places like Vietnam or Kuala Lumpur are still growing, and I expect to see more big names there soon.

What has been the highlight of your career so far? Can you talk about a specific moment or accomplishment that stands out as particularly meaningful to you?

I've been lucky enough to experience many memorable nights in my career, but one vivid memory is from the night I opened at Lux Frágil in Lisbon. It's a prestigious venue, and being part of such an esteemed lineup was an accomplishment. Despite initial nerves, the dancefloor filled up quickly, and the positive feedback from clubgoers and bookers was overwhelming. That night left me so happy and showed me that all the hard work had paid off.

Which other artists have had a big influence on your sound?

Instead of mentioning just my generic influences, I’d like to highlight a few edit series that have significantly inspired my work with Manzo Edits:

Eros - Each track is a standout hit. Tastefully edited, sexy, dirty, and versatile enough for various settings.

Super Value Special Edits – This series truly embodies the Italian flair I mentioned earlier.

Pleasure Of Edits – Definitely the most dancefloor-friendly with its modern and crispier sound, without sacrificing the original feel. I’ve played many tracks from this label countless times, and they’ve never let me down!

Hot Biscuit Recordings – The reinterpretations in this series are incredible, like taking a classic, stripping it down to the essentials, and elevating it to an entirely new level. A perfect example is -Donna Not Donna” by Pete Blaker, an absolute masterpiece.

I might have left out some other influential series, and I’ll probably kick myself later for it. If anyone is eager to explore more of this music, feel free to reach out to me on social media. I’d love to share more recommendations!

Can you share some insight into your creative process when producing music? Do you have any particular rituals or methods that help you stay inspired?‍

My creative process is still very messy and can be frustrating. I spend hours not satisfied with the sound or groove, but then suddenly, something clicks, and I find the right path to finish a track. There’s no particular ritual or secret; it’s about putting in the time to explore and experiment until something interesting enough emerges.

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Can you tell us about any challenges you have faced in your career and how you overcame them? Have there been any specific obstacles or difficulties you've had to navigate as an electronic musician?

The most challenging moment came when I moved to Lisbon, disconnected from the music scene I knew in Italy. Initially, I thought my music days were over. However, the unique vibe of the city reignited my passion. Breaking into the crowded scene was tough, but perseverance paid off. Now, playing at major venues and having a residency are achievements I once only dreamed of. I am grateful for all the people who have been part of this journey.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians trying to make it in the industry? Are there any particular tips or strategies you've found to be particularly effective in building a career as an electronic musician?

Taking it slow and steady has worked well for me. Building a career in music is a gradual process where things eventually fall into place. Also, it’s crucial to question traditional approaches. What worked in the past may not work now. Stay open to new opportunities.

What’s one artist we should be listening to right now?

Check out the roster at Whoopee Rec. I’m currently doing A&R for the label, and we have some incredibly talented artists. Each one brings a unique touch to House Music that really stands out. They're definitely artists you should be listening to right now.

What's next for you?

Not many people know yet, but I'll be moving to NYC this summer. My focus there will be to integrate with the local scene, and perhaps even start my own night and venue if the conditions are right. In terms of music, I have an exciting feature with a talented vocalist coming up, which has received great feedback on the dancefloor. Additionally, I’m planning my own EP on Whoopee Rec and another volume of Manzo Edits. Stay tuned!


Check out the latest release from Black Pomade.


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