Interview: Maracuja Records, Berlin

Shortly after I returned to Berlin from a sojourn in Italy, I went to go and stay with my dear friends Denis Altschul and Rolf Azvedo.  They had mentioned this crazy idea about setting up a recording studio in their recently vacated ‘extra’ room in their flat in Berlin.  While drinking some passion fruit juice one morning, we decided to start cleaning the room…

That was 6 months ago.  Maracuja Records now has a fully working home recording studio, an international base of fellow artists, musicians and event managers as well as a warm and growing community focusing on supporting each other to do shows in living rooms, cafés and outdoor spaces around the world.

Rolf finally resting after a full day building!
Rolf finally resting after a full day building!

I got to interview Rolf recently about some Maracuja’s creative process in supporting a growing community of music makers and lovers.

What is Maracujá?

Rehearsing at Agora
Rehearsing at Agora

RA: It is an organic way to materialise ideas and to bring imagination into reality. The process began in december last year as we started thinking about how to produce our own work, and now six months later we not only have musicians interested to give their support, but different types of artists also getting involved.

What has Maracujá been working on?

Luter planning and cutting
Luter planning and cutting

RA: In order to be able to support more artists and let the people involved learn and share with each other, we have two challenges to keep Maracujá growing: management of artists, by giving to them the chance to concentrate on their projects and the creation of a comfortable environment for them as well as ourselves to work.

This month we have two external events planned and will curate Danilo Timm, an incredible singer who has been helping Maracujá to become more professional. He is currently recording and producing an album with us. It is going to be his first concert with Maracujá. On the other hand we are developing the infrastructure of our studio. It has been used for recording, rehearsals and music classes by an intern as well as by external artists.

For us, making things happen is just the effect of enthusiasm.

What has been your favorite project/band/concert/jam session so far? Why?

Hosting Vendridi Soir from Switzerland
Hosting Vendridi Soir from Switzerland

RA: Three months ago, we hosted Vendredi Soir, a swing jazz band from Switzerland. They had a tour through Europe with five shows in Berlin, and we were able to exchange a lot of information with them. Together, we organized our first jam session. It was a very important step for us to know what we can do, as well as what we want to do. After that, we managed and curated a classic music trio performance which included an online live stream of the concert. From this experience, we at Maracujá, learned so much how we can work together and how to get the best from each one individually.

https://soundcloud.com/maracuj-records/groupmuse-at-maracuja

So how does collaboration work?

RA: It is not easy, because the people are not always connected to us. There are many collaborators happening with new people coming and going all of the time, which changes the possibilities as well makes the work not only difficult, but also very interesting. In order to be organic in our process, each person needs freedom to do what they wish without disrupting each other or go outside of our main concept for Maracujá.

The completed recording studio
The completed recording studio

The building of the new studio was a large part of this learning process. Without the studio, it would have been impossible to support so many professional artists working together for very long. In order to avoid such obstructions, we decided to plan for the future and to work on it now.

What’s happening for Maracujá in the future?

Stepping up to sing
Stepping up to sing

RA: We are currently organising Maracujá’s communication with the world through developing our PR. We also started collaborating with a poet and an art journalist in order to document all the events, and to make it accessible for everyone. Another important point we have been planning recently, is the finance part. We need a healthy system to keep us growing with transparence and fairness. We want to make the share of knowledges possible for external artists, especially kids. I would love to see these happen soon.

Live jam session at Karneval der Kultur in Berlin, 2015
Live jam session at Karneval der Kultur in Berlin, 2015

We want to work together with more and more people, to bring different ideas together. This is why it is difficult to preview the path Maracujá is gonna take in the future, and also makes it impossible to preview upcoming events. In this case it is important for us to support and be part of projects we believe in. For us, making things happen is just the effect of enthusiasm. 

Where can we learn more about Maracujá Records and show support?

Maracuja Logo
Logo design by Luter Filho

RA: Like I said before, we are working on the communication part and will soon have a platform to keep people informed about our work. At the moment, the best way to stay connected to us is through our Facebook Page (maracujarecords) where you will find updated information about us and can also share your ideas and projects.

Animated Maracuja Remix!
Animated Maracuja Remix!

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Other links for Maracuja Records:

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