Cyberpunk 2077 is an action role-playing video game developed and published by CD Projekt. The story takes place in Night City, an open world set in the Cyberpunk universe. Players assume the first-person perspective of a customizable mercenary known as V, who can acquire skills in hacking and machinery with options for melee and ranged combat.
Cyberpunk 2077 was developed using the REDengine 4 by a team of around 500, exceeding the number that worked on the studio's previous game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015). CD Projekt launched a new division in Wrocław, Poland, and partnered with Digital Scapes, Nvidia, QLOC, and Jali Research to aid the production. Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith was a consultant, and actor Keanu Reeves has a starring role. The original score was directed by Marcin Przybyłowicz, featuring the contributions of several licensed artists, including A$AP Rocky, Run The Jewels, Grimes, Gazelle Twin, Refused, Ilan Rubin, Richard Devine, Nina Kraviz, Deadly Hunta, Maro Music, Rat Boy, and Tina Guo.
The setting for Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in Night City, an American megacity in the Free State of North California, controlled by corporations and unassailed by the laws of both country and state. It sees conflict from rampant gang wars and its ruling entities contending for dominance. The city is reliant on robotics for everyday aspects like waste collection, maintenance, and public transportation. Its visual identity is derived from the four eras it underwent—austere Entropism, colorful Kitsch, imposing Neo-Militarism, and opulent Neo-Kitsch. Homelessness abounds but does not preclude cybernetic modification for the poor, giving rise to cosmetic addiction and consequent violence. These threats are dealt with by the armed force known as Psycho Squad. Trauma Team can be deployed for rapid medical services. Because of the constant threat of physical harm, all citizens are allowed to openly carry firearms in public.
Warsaw, Poland-based electronic music producer and DJ Maro Music has three original productions on the official Cyberpunk 2077 game release and one track—“When It’s War” with Deadly Hunta—on the official soundtrack. We spoke with him about his experience producing music for the game.
EDM.com: We hear you have three original Maro Music productions in the game. Congrats! How did you get in there?
Maro Music: Thank you! Yes, I have three tracks in the game and one made it to the official soundtrack. The track of mine that made it onto the official soundtrack is one I did with Deadly Hunta, titled, “When It’s War.”
EDM.com: We’ve seen TV commercials and outdoor and online ads for this allover, in seemingly every major U.S. city…
Maro Music: Yep, there are outdoor and TV ads all over the world.
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EDM.com: We imagine it was not easy getting to be a music producer on this project. It’s awesome to have a track on the official soundtrack…
Maro Music: There are probably around 500 songs in the game overall, so yeah. I’m pretty happy about that. As for the music itself, I felt like home. The songs I made for Cyberpunk 2077 are really close to myself and what I feel. The game inspired me a lot.
EDM.com: On the tracklist for the official Cyberpunk 2077 soundtrack, the title for your track includes, “Footage Missing.” What does that mean?
Maro Music: The game creators named my “band” (the band consisting of myself and Deadly Hunta) by the name of Footage Missing. That’s the name of our band in the videogame. In the Cyberpunk 2077 virtual world, every band or artist has an alias. The game happens in a parallel world and we all have alter-egos. The music is timeless and current.
EDM.com: So can you also explain what “Radio Volume 1” signifies, for readers who are perhaps not avid gamers?
Maro Music: Pitchfork leaked the news about the game ahead of its release. Basically, the official soundtrack consists of two compilations that will be promoted on streaming services…essentially, Radio Volume 1 means that the song will play in any virtual “vehicle” or “location” that has a “radio,” in the game. Cyberpunk is a parallel virtual world, so you have radios and radio stations in there.
EDM.com: We were able to attend a private listening session where we could hear your three Cyberpunk 2077 tracks on a state-of-the-art studio sound system. Your music is so immersive, cinematic, and a couple of them were terrifying in terms of emotion. On the technical/production side, how are you able to get that level of sound quality in your tracks?
Maro Music: Well, thank you! I take “terrifying” as a compliment [laughs]. My tracks and songs were all made using Bettermaker. All my masters for Cyberpunk 2077. I’m a professional mix/mastering engineer for a living and I work with several Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated engineers and producers.
I did my own mastering for Cyberpunk. Other artists’ mixes were also sent to be mixed by me on Bettermaker, my company. Bettermaker makes premium-quality analog mastering processing with patented digital recall from your D.A.W. Bettermaker is crafted for professional mastering, mix engineers and music producers, and it offers premium sound quality and convenience with fast, precise recall and automation.