Last month Beatport announced the winners of its Sander van Doorn, Martin Garrix and DVBBS "Gold Skies" remix contest. We caught up with the winning duo of Brazilian producers, Gui Arruda and STIW, to see what they have planned next other than a shopping spree with the $1,000 worth of Plugin Alliance products they received for their victory.
PA: First off, congratulations on winning the Sander van Doorn, Martin Garrix, DVBBS – “Gold Skies” remix contest put on by Beatport.
Gui Arruda + STIW: Thank you, we appreciate that.
PA: What did you do when you heard the news that you had won?
Gui Arruda: I spent a day questioning if it was real or not, but after the e-mail response I got very, very happy.
STIW: It was a sleepless week.
PA: So when did you first start working together?
Gui Arruda + Stiw: We’ve been friends since 2011, but our first track was “Wild West” which was released about a year ago I think.
PA: When working together, what is the production process like? Are you each responsible for certain elements or is the whole process collaborative?
Gui Arruda: I work with Logic, and my creative process is based on how I’m feeling when I’m working, or what feeling I would like to convey through my music. I start with the main melody, I spend a lot of time creating song parts parts on piano, and after that I start with the beat. I like to make everything work together. For example, my hi hats need to fit with the melody etc… We’ve just finished producing 3 tracks together, including Gold Skies, and these productions were all very collaborative.
STIW: Our processes are a little bit different because I work with Cubase. When we come together on a project the sound is very different than when we work alone. On my own productions I usually like to start with the drop.
PA: Do you currently work with Plugin Alliance plugins?
Gui Arruda: I like to use bx_digital V2 when I need to correct something in a master.
STIW: Not yet, but now I will!
PA: Gui, what do you like about bx_digital V2?
Gui Arruda: I use bx_digital V2 because it has a great Mono/Stereo interface that allows me to work on the stereo image. The nicest feature is the auto frequency solo (auto listen). It helps you quickly focus in on specific frequencies that need attention.
PA: What are some other favorite production tools and how do you use them?
Gui Arruda: I like to use the Fabfilter Pro-Q, it’s a simple tool for mixing Mid-Side. I usually use the URS Strip pro compressor on my kick and bass for parallel compression.
STIW: I work a lot with Sylenth1. I like the way it sounds. Usually I’ll run it through Sausage Fattener to add some punch. Sometimes I’ll just add the plug and play around with it for a bit to come up with new and interesting sounds.
PA: Gui, your first release was back in 2008, and since then you’ve been steadily releasing tracks ranging from grooving Tech House, to Main Room Progressive. What tracks are your most proud of and how do you keep your sound fresh?
Gui Arruda: I usually don’t like to think about genres when I’m making music. I like to focus on the feeling of a song and how to best communicate that feeling to listeners. That’s most important to me.
I worked with tech-house up until 2011, my main references were Axwell and Steve Angello. I like the sound of the Swedish House Mafia so they influenced my style quite a bit.
There are two tracks that I produced in 2010 that I’m really proud of. Richie Hawtin played the track, “Playboy”, which I produced along with Victor Ruiz and Barudi.
Also, Marco Carola played my remix of “Preliminares”.
Around that time I was considered “too commercial” for the tech-house community. I have a good feeling that the “Gold Skies” remix project will really push my career forward.
PA: Stiw, you have big release coming up Sept 15th. Can you tell us a bit about this project?
STIW: Bruno and I have tried to produce together for a while but we weren’t coming up with anything good enough to release. Then we teamed up with Raul Mendes and we created “Headbanger”. We’re really excited about this release.
PA: Any plans on working together in the future?
Gui Arruda + Stiw: Yes, we are workig on a new track called “Joy” with a great NYC based singer named Milana May.
PA: What is the club scene like in your area?
Gui Arruda: I’m from Itu, Brazil, and our scene is big because we have a club called Anzuclub, all the big names play there.
STIW: Since 2010 I’ve been the resident dj at a great house music club here in Cascavel, Brazil, called Bielle Club. I’ve worked really hard to grow the scene in this region and it has become quite big.
PA: Are there any exciting gigs, or production projects on the horizon for you two?
Gui Arruda: Yes, I’m always working on new music. Later this year I’ll be going on my first European tour. I’m really excited about it and I’ll be announcing dates and cities soon.
STIW: Same here, currently working on new music. Many clubs her in Brazil have been contacting me since the announcement that we’d won the contest.
You can keep up with Gui Arruda and STIW here: