Noelia Maffiold “Being away from my home country made me feel closer to the sounds and the music in Colombia”
Noelia, you met Felix while studying at the Folkwang University of the Arts together at the Institut für Pop-Musik. At one point you went back to your home country Colombia. First of I would be interested why you chose Germany of all countries for your music studies.
Noelia Maffiold: I found the Institute because I had a boyfriend who was studying in Folkwang University back then – so he actually found the Master in Pop music and showed it to me. I got very interested in it because of the way the program was put together, so I decided to give it a try.
I chose Germany mostly because of this program, also because of the relationship I had. Still, I hesitated to apply as I didn´t know the language, so I thought I was not going to be accepted. But luckily, I was.
As I was one of your teachers there – still weird to type this for me –, I am curious to hear what you did take with you home from Bochum?
Noelia Maffiold: I took a lot, mostly from the Institute. Bochum was my home for nine months and in the Institute, I began to think about my music in many ways. It changed my way of approaching and thinking about music. I changed the way I saw myself as a composer and musician. It gave me a little more confidence in my work to be able to be there and meet the people I was surrounded with.
Being away from my home country made me feel closer to the sounds and the music in Colombia.
I also had the chance to see people gathering and making different stuff to push and develop the cultural scene in Bochum and I was very inspired by that as well.
You for sure met some new friends there during your Bochum years. Like Felix whom you now asked for a remix (that he contributed under his Nacht84 imprint). Why so, what is it you love about his music?
Noelia Maffiold: I saw Felix playing at a concert we made in the Institute for us and the teachers (“Work in Progress” was the name of the concert). He played a song with Isabelle Pabst who is another friend from the Institute. I loved the song and the way the two of them created an atmosphere for it. I thought the sounds they choose were very tasteful. That was the first time I thought it would be cool for us to work together. I liked the way he relates to digital sounds, that was very new for me at that time, so I think that made me very curious about his work as well.
Felix, what is it you fancy about the music of Noelia?
Felix Nisblé: I can still recall the day when I first heard Noelia sing. It was in this little bar in Bochum and I was immediately blown away by the tone and the honesty in her voice. To me it was right away clear that her music comes from a very deep place and that is something special that one cannot fake. Her music has this emotional directness and is also quite complex when it comes to rhythmic structures and arrangements. I really like the way she plays with those rhythms and how she easily lets her words fall into place.
Let´s listen to the remix:
How easy did the remix come to you Felix?
Felix Nisblé: I like to work with sonic material from other artist, once I find a loop or a sound within this material the first ideas usually come quite quickly. With “Desvestirse” it was very helpful to structure the song according to the structure of the lyrics. That helped me to figure out the arrangement. I think we just needed one revison where I exchanged some synths sounds and that was it. I was super happy that Noelia liked my take on her song.
Its is not the only remix, right? So maybe you can give us a little run through the remix idea and roster.
Noelia Maffiold: Correct. This is something that I called: “Desvestirse” (ENRAMADA) – which can be translated to something like: “Undress (BRANCHES).
“Desvestirse/ Undress” is the name of my first EP which was released in 2022. The remix was also an excuse to work with Felix, we have been talking about doing something for a while now and when I thought of making the remix I decided it was a good idea to ask Felix if he wanted to do it. The idea for me is to share different perspectives around the songs.
I am sharing five pieces of works from various friends that have created something based or in relationship with the songs of my first EP. The remix is the first one. In the next few days I will also share a choreography, some texts/poems, an image, and a video.
Where there are remixes, there are of course original songs. You release a record a while ago. How did you experience the recording process?
Noelia Maffiold: The recording process was a bit long. It started in Germany, and I finished everything in Colombia.
I took my time as I was beginning to learn how to produce my own songs, and this was also a new way to relate to music for me. I co-produced the EP with Santiago Sandoval, who is a wonderful guitar player and musician from Colombia. It is very homemade, a very detailed process. We recorded most of it in Santiago’s home studio with some other friends. I learn a lot by recording and producing these songs, I am still learning from that process.
Felix, whats your thoughts on the record?
Felix Nisblé: To me the record has a very unique and strong sonic identity, stemming from the combination of poetic songwriting and a very skilful production that finds a good balance between acoustic and electronic elements. I think the EP is very underrated and deserves more attention as it got so far. Also I dig the DIY approach that Noelia has, not only with this EP but in general. We share this approach and talked a lot about the struggles and benefits that it brings.
How was the record received publicly but also in your artist community?
Noelia Maffiold: After we released the songs, I have met a lot of musicians and people that are related to a part of the independent scene in Bogotá. I received very nice comments about it, and the EP has opened many doors for me. I liked the way people have reacted to the songs, most of them tell me that they feel very touched by it. Which makes me very happy.
Talking about community – as most of the kaput readers are based in Germany and Europe, how would you describe the music scene of your home country to us?
Noelia Maffiold: Colombia is full of great musicians and very interesting projects. There is an explosion of music, the independent scene is growing a lot in many ways. At least from my perspective. It is difficult still as an independent artist to be able to have time to make music, there are many things that could be better.
But still, I feel hopeful, there is an audience that is paying attention, or more attention to local bands. It is a very diverse scene also, as there are many rhythms from different regions of the country and from Latin América in general.
Noelia, Felix, what was your favorite song / track of 2023 so far and why?
Felix Ni: This summer I am obsessed with the album of boygenius. But its too hard to pick a favourite here so I go with Everything But The Girl, “Caution To The Wind”. Comeback of the year.
Noelia Maffiold: This is hard. I don’t know if it is my favorite of all. Because there are many songs being released every day. But I will recommend: “Vuelo” from Mav Nuhels.