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Different visions for different music

CosmoBlog : Mujia & Tajo

Mujia & Tajo is a duo from Switzerland. We immediately fall in love with their unique sounds, a mix of emotion, reflection, laced with acid cuts and spacey synths. It was a real pleasure when they accepted our invitation to be part of our first compilation.

What’s your cultural background? What’s the music you used to hear at home when you were a kid at home?

We are Luc and Sandro, both live in Bern, the beautiful capital of Switzerland. We grew up here and also went to the same school together. That’s where we got to meet each other for the first time and very soon we discovered that we both had a common taste of music, so that gave us a special bound early and led us to being good friends for all those years. Sounds a bit corny, but that’s just how it is…

We both originally come from hip hop music. But when it comes to hip hop, we are still stuck in the 90`s and early 2000`s. Eminem, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and all of that stuff, just to name a few.

Don’t get us wrong, we are still very open to the new music styles and artists that are holding up the flag now, but to us it never quite reaches the quality of the good old time hip hop that we still love and listened to when we were younger. So we basically grew up watching and listening to the famous ” Up in smoke tour ” on repeat haha That had a huge musical impact on us and if it wasn’t for that, we probably wouldn’t be making music together now…

What’s been your all time musical preference through life?, give us 3 bands or producer from your life?

that’s a tough one… hard to put any of them in a top 3. We already named some of the greatest on the question before but we also gained a lot of new ones with the growing love for electronic music. Which is why we would prefer to focus on some of the artist that had an impact on us lately, with our project.

Here it’s also hard to name just a top 3 but we would go as following: 1. Ninze & Okaxy
2. Landhouse
3. Chris Schwarzwälder

Your artist name is Mujia & Tajo. Could you explain us a bit more the story behind your name and how did you guys first meet.

Our name was a longer process. We didn’t wanted to have a name that sounds similar to other producers, so we wanted to avoid “basic tags” that are already often used in the electronic music industry. So to us, there were no English or German words allowed XD With that in mind we individually began searching for words or phrases that sounded nice but also can be related to our music. If that was given, we’ve put them on a list…

Mujia (Luc) : So one day I decided for myself to use the “ji” in my name, just because I liked the esthetical looks of it. By overlooking our list I found the word “Muya” which was an old native expression for “calm/ quiet”, since our music isn’t always loud and noisy we both liked that and my name “Mujia” was born.

Tajo (Sandro) : A little while later I went on a road trip trough Spain and there I visited the beautiful city of Toledo, near to Madrid. On a cosy afternoon I was sitting by the river “Tajo” flowing around the town, and there it just hit me “Mujia & Tajo”. I don’t know how I actually came thinking about that, but I liked it from the very first second. Then I called Luc and told him about my idea and how it felt like being here at this place, he was in for it right away. It is a good reminder for us why and what for we want to make music, to re-create those unique special moments and let people be a part of it or let them think or dream about their own experiences…That’s how my name “Tajo” came into our project.

Why and how did you start to make music together ?

We were always very interested in music and it also was very often our top topic to talk about, so it probably just had to come this way, ending up with us doing our own tunes.

Luc: ” About 10 years ago I bought FL-Studio out of a mood and began to experiment with it, making my very first shitty Hip Hop beats. I then showed them to Sandro and explained how I did them and I don’t know, maybe a week or two later he was making his own beats using Cubase. That went on for a while like that and we always compared our songs together, discussed how to improve and what to do different. In the end effect it was the logical step for us to sit together and try to work together. Sandro is the more “musically” of us, he is the one with the better understanding of notes and who can play the piano. While I am the one focusing on the details of the track like when and where to use the parts of the melodies or telling him to play it different, arranging the track and all of that stuff. I guess we complete each other pretty well.

Do you have any relation to spirituality?, if so, does this translate to your music?

Not in an obvious way at least, we wouldn’t consider us as spirituality persons, but maybe in some hidden parts of us there is a spirituality that wants and needs to be found. But that chapter is still ahead of us…

Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?

Some of our tracks do have a special meaning or story behind it, but definitely not all of them, sometimes we are just sitting in the studio jamming around until we like the basic parts of the song and then we start working it out.

We already explained the story of our song “Palena” in the interview with, which is an homage to our hometowns river Aare, people around here love to swim in it or go river rafting all day long in a little rubber boat.

Another good example for a hidden meaning is the song “Aviva” which is dedicated to one of the best friends from Luc. Her second name is Aviva, and so we tried to express the emotions and feelings of a strong relationship in that song.

Which are your favourite technical tools to create music?

Well, first of all we use Cubase as an DAW to connect everything. We are big fans of the plug-ins from Native-Instruments and we also often use the synths and plug-ins from U-He, such as the Diva Synthesizer, which is brilliant. Besides that we newly own an Moog Sub37 which we are learning to use properly. And in the end we always try to add some real organic notes, with the percussions we have or with the also pretty new guitar standing in the studio.

How do you see the current scene in Switzerland ? and compared to the rest of the world ?
It’s hard for us to compare it to the rest of the world, because we haven’t really experienced a lot of other countries’ for a longer time. So we can only say how we feel about it in Switzerland. We think that downtempo music is becoming bigger and bigger around here, we see that in the many great events happening, all the great artists playing on those events and the growing audience visiting.

There are also a lot of great musicians, each of them with their own individual styles. “Kyrill & Redford”, the LOKD Crew around “Dandara”, “Arutani” and “Avem”, the lovely fellow “Geplantes Nichtstun” from our hometown, just to name a few of them…

We also have to mention the guys from the “Laschan Laschan” Collective, they have just spend a lot of work, heart, sweat and love to establish this genre in our hometown Bern. We recently recorded a podcast for them and were happy to give a little something back.

So if you are planning to play in Bern, make sure to knock on the door from the “Club Lento” hosts.

What do you have planned for your future projects?

We are constantly producing new music, and at the moment we are working on our debuts for “WAYU Records” and also the guys from “Akasha MX” which were some of the early supporters for our music.

Besides those projects you can always expect us to release a song here and there or on our own on our channels. Also one of the future steps for us would be to create our own Live-Set, but that is still in its early shoes and needs a lot of work to get there.

Could you give a little description  to describe the track you made for the compilation?

“Bosque Negro” is an impassable terrain, covered by dense forests and inhabited by wild animals. We’ve carried the idea of doing a song like this for a long time now. Transporting the feelings of a dark and yet beautiful place on earth, nearly undiscovered and filled with all those noises, creaking trees, howling winds and singing birds. A trippy journey through unexplored territory.

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