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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio’s Leo Justi and the One-Man Global Dancefloor

Rio’s Leo Justi and the One-Man Global Dancefloor

From the Mind of the Man Who Brought You Heavy Baile

By MTV Iggy
July 24, 2012

Leo Justi is a super intense looking dude, and his music doesn’t disappoint. The up-and-coming Rio-born-and-based producer even wowed MIA with his remix of “Bad Girls,” joining the ranks of the remix EP. Combining favela and global dance sounds with electronic madness, Leo has coined the term “heavy baile,” and we’re not opposed to that denomination.

Leo was crowned MTV Iggy’s Artist of the Week, so we talked to him about Rio’s reaction to his fusion, his upcoming EP O Homem Mau (“the bad man”) and what it takes to please MIA.

How does it feel to have so many fans rooting and clicking for you?

Good. I didn’t expect that so many people would be sharing the link. I thought they would vote, but not back me up like that.. real good.

For you, what are the most inspiring music scenes in Rio and why?

For ME the most inspiring scene in Rio is definitely the funk one, although it’s not that inspiring anyway.. The rap scene is getting better every day too.

Describe a day in the life of Leo Justi.

Especially lately my sleep has been real messed up, I’ve been going out a bit too much… I wake up at any crazy time, like 1pm or 7pm or 3am, spend a lot of time on the computer, ride my bike some, give German and guitar private lessons.. that’s about it.

What local artists would you recommend?

Wladimir Gasper, does crazy live sets, the band El Efecto, DJ Chernobyl, rapper Lurdez da Luz, Emicida.

Tell me a little bit about your international reception. Do you feel like electronic music is opening up to more global sounds?

It is, no doubt. I don’t know about the mainstream though, but David Guetta was in Brazil talking about how he believes that Baile Funk has so much international mainstream potential, so…

How is your music received in your home city?

Worse than in NY. But not bad… some people are starting to believe in me here, but when i was DJing in NY in 2010 people danced way more to it. Actually I think I sound almost more of a Baltimore/Philly/NY producer than a Rio one… sometimes.

How did you hook up with MIA’s remix EP?

I sent her a tweet last year, she saw it, heard my Soundcloud and DMd me saying “let’s get to worrrrk”. I passed out and then woke up and got back at her.

Can you tell me about some of the composition on your “Bad Girls
remix? What sounds did you go for and why?

Well it was kind of a surprising process… sometimes I worry too much because I had one good idea and I get stuck thinking about how to make that one idea become the best track I ever made. And sometimes I chill and play around..and then the best tracks come out.

What inspired “O Homem Mau”?

“O Homem Mau” samples old school bang bang story telling vinyls from the 60s in Brazil… as well as my other single “Gaitero” which, by the way is being released before “O Homem Mau”, via The Creator’s Project, where I’ll be playing along AraabMUZIK in August.

What can we expect in the future?

I’m preparing a lot of original tracks, maybe I’ll release a full album by the end of the year. Also starting to hook up with some rap people in Brazil, like Lurdez da Luz.

I worked with MIA on some songs but I’m not sure if they’re coming in the album. But I expect us to work more in the future, yes. And the stuff we did is really good, so if it’s not out on Mathangi, I don’t believe she’ll bury it forever… but I really don’t know.

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