L_cio (photo credit: Mauricio Landini)
The first thing I thought when I saw L_cio perform at Vegas in São Paulo a month ago was “intense.” With the light from the screen illuminating his face and his dark eyes penetrating the crowd, he looked as if he were casting a spell on the dancefloor. Though despite the depth of his performance, Laércio Schwantes Iório is surprisingly laid back. His post-show demeanor is light and friendly, and once he cracks a smile, you realize that the man you just saw on stage, while a force to be reckoned with, is quite human too.
Though trained as a flutist, and having grown up in a household with parents in classical music, L_cio took a different path, though continues to cite his upbringing as having a critical influence on his music. As a part of the ever-growing, ever-changing Brazilian electronic music scene, L_cio strives to constantly create new music. He challenges fellow DJs to push the envelope and to go beyond the confines of what he considers “colonial” thinking. And L_cio has done just that, himself an anomaly in that he began as a producer and not a DJ. All of the music he plays out live is original and often times put together on the spot creating Live PAs (in other words, improvised sets of his productions).
Though L_cio leads a different life by day, it still goes without saying that his influence both in and out of the club is immense. He has been recognized by and released music through sites and labels all over the globe, including but not limited to Brazil, Italy, Spain, the United States, and many many more. His minimal yet profound style is what sets him apart from many artists now attempting to go in the opposite direction, and he proves that sometimes more can be heard in a whisper than in a yell.
That said, it’s an honor for me to present the exclusive Retail DJ “What’s Good?” interview of producer, creator, and innovator L_cio:
Why L_cio? You have a beautiful name, so what made you choose to shorten it in this way? How is your artist name pronounced?
L_cio is just that – an abbreviation of my name (Laércio). If you were to say this aloud, however, it’s more difficult, but I suppose it could be said like “Ele cio” or “El cio.”
I’ve read that your parents were classical musicians. Based on that, how did you end up going into playing and producing electronic music, which is quite far, musically speaking, from classical?
This greatly influenced me and my work, especially in terms of melody. Electronic music production is quite different, but through it, you can appropriate from many different sources, including classical music.
How would you describe the music that you make, and in your opinion, how does it affect your listeners? Do you think the experience is different for those who solely listen to it vs. those who are dancing to it?
Describing my sound is a bit difficult, but I would characterize it as Brazilian electronic music. Listeners take a while to get used to my sound, but after they begin to feel the music and understand the idea behind it, they react positively, especially when I use vocals and piano samples. Listening at home and listening live are certainly very different experiences, but in both cases, one has to ease into my sound calmly and attentively.
When we spoke before, you mentioned that you had produced all the music you played during your set at Vegas. Do you always play your own music or do you occasional play the work of other artists/DJs?
Yes, that’s exactly what I play: Live PAs. I only play my music, but I began in electronic music on the production side (differently from many producers who began as DJs). I’ve never played a typical DJ set, only live PAs.
In your free time, what type of music do you like to listen to? Does this music influence what you play/produce? Are there any other sources of inspiration beyond this?
I listen to lots of electronic music and original funk. In the end, everything influences what I produce and play in some way. But in general, my inspiration comes from my life, from the experiences I have. I would also say it comes from poesia concreta and religion.
How would you describe yourself, personality-wise? Do you think your personality on stage is different from the one outside of it?
I think I am a down-to-Earth and sincere guy, and this is reflected in my shows, which are also very authentic (in that they involve the music that I have made myself).
promo pic from his "Capoeira" single for shhh.fm
What do the tattoos on your hands mean? I saw them and found them very interesting, but I kept thinking what could they mean?
The tattoos on my hands actually don’t mean anything. It’s just something I created for aesthetics.
Do you have any others beyond these?
I have more tattoos elsewhere: one on my leg (a bar code with my birthdate and the birthdate of my daughter), one on each arm (poesia concreta by Pedro Xisto), and one on my back (an electroacoustic score by composer Flô Menezes).
I’ve noticed that the electronic music that seems to be the most popular in Brazil is still a bit “cheesy.” Do you find this to be a challenge or something that you ignore completely? Do you think there are enough people with minds open enough to change the state of the electronic music scene there?
The Brazilian music scene is super interesting, but it still needs to create its own personality or identity. Honestly, we still have quite a bit of “colonial” characteristics. Few places in the country provide the opportunity for growth of new things. Fortunately, I have had a few experiences that give me hope that one day, we will have our own scene, one that’s exclusively Brazilian and authentic. Yet there are also ready various producers and DJs who are coming out with very good, innovative work (like Holocaos, Bmind, Cavalaska, Oblivion, and Dada Attack, among others). But we still need to move forward and progress quite a bit. It’s truly a challenge. . .