The festival scene is one of the most mercurial ecosystems in the music industry, which will forever be maddeningly unpredictable. And if the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it's that a lot can change in a year.
Despite past performances at Tomorrowland, Creamfields, EDC Las Vegas, and other illustrious music festivals, Bruno Martini has butterflies in his stomach as he prepares for his return to the stage after a lost year.
The Platinum-certified dance music producer is now primed to touch down in New York for the Electric Zoo music festival, an annual three-day dance music spectacular held over Labor Day Weekend. Ahead of what promises to be a monster performance, Martini chatted with EDM.com about his post-pandemic mindset and what fans can expect at the fest.
EDM.com: It’s been a tough 18-months for everyone, but you’re finally coming back to the U.S. in September to play Electric Zoo in New York City. How do you feel?
Bruno Martini: I'm super super excited to be back and be able to show people in the U.S. all the new songs I've worked on. It feels great to be able to perform once again at one of the best festivals around the planet, Electric Zoo in New York!
EDM.com: What are you planning for your set?
Bruno Martini: I'll bring a lot of new vibes and sounds! I had the opportunity to remix songs for Lady Gaga and Katy Perry recently, so of course those tracks will be on my set list.
EDM.com: Will you feel nervous? Not because Electric Zoo is a big show, but because touring for every DJ has pretty much been paused for the last 15 months due to the pandemic shutdowns.
Bruno Martini: Sure! It feels different now. I think it will take some time to actually get back to where we were. It's been a while, you know?
EDM.com: A lot of artists took advantage of the pandemic-related shutdowns to hone their studio skills and livestream. But there's nothing quite like DJing live in front of a jam-packed, amped-up crowd. What were you doing during the pandemic to sharpen your live DJing skills?
Bruno Martini: I have my own studio here in São Paulo, Brazil. My studio helped me a lot to get through this crazy pandemic. I had the opportunity to make a lot of new songs and challenge myself in different directions. I have my own equipment in my studio, which I was able to keep practicing, but I agree with you, nothing compares to the live acts. I mean, the energy, the butterflies-in-the-stomach…
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EDM.com: Do you think production—such as LED walls, lasers, pyrotechnics, lighting and other special effects—will be different at festivals in our post-pandemic world? How do you envision the mainstage festival experience to be different than it was pre-pandemic?
Bruno Martini: Me and my VJ, we worked a lot together in the last 18 months. We created a lot of new visuals and different concepts for my show. For sure I'll bring a unique experience for the audience!
EDM.com: Obviously when you’re playing the mainstage, every minute onstage counts. How much of your set will be pre-determined versus totally spontaneous? Are you leaving room in your set to go in a totally different direction if, let’s say, the crowd is more introspective and soul-searching than you’d previously anticipated?
Bruno Martini: As usual on festivals like that, we have a lot of effects, pyro, and so on, so I like to prepare before. It’s different when you play in a club. In a club, you have more connection with people. I don't like to plan. I like to go with the energy.
EDM.com: Do you think it’s even more important now than ever before for a DJ to be skilled at “reading a crowd”?
Bruno Martini: Sure. Now more than ever, we as artists need to give the fans great vibes and great energy! We need to fill the fans’ hearts with a lot of good energy. Give them the time of their lives, more so than ever.
EDM.com: Your studio album Original has been doing amazingly well. The singles off the album, namely “Bend The Knee” with Timbaland and Iza and “Wake Up With You” featuring Becky Hill with Magnificence, have done really well on streaming and even aired on U.S. radio. Can you talk about those singles, as well as the album overall, both in your home country of Brazil as well as in other countries? What are some highlights?
Bruno Martini: "Bend The Knee" with Timbaland and Iza did amazing in Brazil! That song already went Gold, here, and it plays everywhere on the radio in Brazil. I'm super happy with this song, also super grateful for the opportunity to work with the legendary Timbaland.
"Wake Up With You" is a song I had the opportunity to work on with Magnificence and Becky Hill. Becky's voice on that record sounds amazing. I'm working on a lot of new songs and I already have my next releases ready for the remainder of this year. There’s much more to come, trust me.