In Conversation – Ivan ‘Mamão’ Conti
Celebrated in his homeland of Brazil and by music aficionados around the globe as one of the finest percussionists, Ivan Conti’s new album is an experience. Its been quite some time between releases, so we caught up with the living legend.
K: Let’s talk about the new record, it’s been a few years since you’ve put out anything. Why did you decide this was a solo record as opposed to an Azymuth record?
I: First of all, it’s an experience. I want to do something for the people who like to dance. I tried for years to do something. I’m very surprised. I’m so happy.
K: Is that because you’re finding more DJ’s are playing your music?
I: Yes! In 2005, I did a project with the Brazilian Times. 5 DJ’s and 5 Drummers. This gave me an idea. This experience has really opened my mind.
K: And do you think this is the start of more solo work?
I: I think so. People like it very much and sent me messages asking to do more work. My son helped me with the record and my Japanese friend of mine. I’ll always try to do something new.
K: I know you’ve tried to push yourself throughout the recording process, you played a lot of the instruments on the album.
I: Yes, I try to play them. I add both electronic and acoustic instruments. As well as samples.
K: And how long did it take you to write the record?
I: More or less, 2 years.
K: Are you flying in other musicians or are they in other countries? I know you’ve worked with Madlib.
I: Oh, man. Madlib is special. He’s a very good friend.
K: How do you then get signed to a label from the UK? Far Out Recordings?
I: Joe is a good friend. An old Friend. As you know he released and recorded Azymuth. He came to my house and I said, “I’ll show you something” he said to me, “I like this one! Let’s do something.”
K: Joe’s a great ambassador for Brazilian music.
I: Yes, yes! He likes too much [laughs].
K: The record’s out now but are there any plans to tour the project like?
I: Yes, I hope so. In the beginning, I have to rehearse with my son and a few DJ’s and programmers because the record has a lot of overdubs.
You can support Ivan’s experience by buying his new album, Poison Fruit, out now on Far Out Recordings.