« EQTV: Watch “Sleep When I’m Dead” by K. Rose | Main | EQ Interview With Sam And The Womp »

Friday, August 17, 2012

EQ Interview With Pop Music Heavyweight and Super POP Producer Fernando Garibay


by Raj Rudolph

When you mention the name Fernando Garibay, a lot of you may go "who?" and some of you (who are actually paying attention) might say "Oh My God". But even if you haven't heard of him before, you most certainly have heard his music as he's the mastermind producer behind quite a few big songs including "Quicksand" by Britney Spears, "Lights" by Ellie Goulding, and even "Stars Are Blind" by the one and only Paris Hilton.

But what really has put Fernando Garibay on the map is his more recent work with Lady Gaga including the "Born This Way" album which has spanned some major hits like "Marry The Night" and "Edge Of Glory" - all of which have undoubtedly infected your radio stations for months no matter what part of the world you live in - perhaps even Narnia.

I recently caught up with Fernando Gariby to talk about his crazy life right now, what's brewing with his new album, working with Mother Monster and how the world is ready/set/go for the comeback of Latin freestyle music considering the current surge of EDM.

If you are in or around Spain in a few weeks, you can catch Fernando Garibay DJ'ing for us at the Poptronik Festival where the man himself promises to be debuting some new material from his recent diva duty sessions - he's been locked in the studio working on some fun "art pop" - or so we hear...

Why hello Fernando, so I here you have an album coming out.
I do! But you know right now, I’ve taken a little break from it because I’m on full-fledged diva duty. I can’t say specifically who I’m working with but I love my divas. I was raised by women so my love for women is great to begin with. For a woman to carry a song and make it powerful and make it her own and carry her strength through that song inspires everybody – guy or girl, whatever. For me to have that vehicle to express my music through is the holy grail for me. When I get called on to work on these big projects, I’m like yes, I come second because nothing else matters.


It’s an amazing outlet to have to be able to express yourself through our modern day pop divas.
It’s shaped my world. I was named after an ABBA song and it was over from then.

What is one of your favourite diva duty moments in your vast pop music career?
You name it. I was lucky enough to work with Whitney Houston. I had an incredible experience with her in the studio – it was dramatic but it was incredible. I worked on her last album. I’ve worked with Britney Spears. And, this person is not related to me, but she’s my sister – Gaga’s kinda changed my life in the way that we could make amazing powerful music that actually stood for something and it’s able to change people’s lives. I have people coming up to me saying “your music changed my life” or “it gave me hope” and that’s really why I wanted to make music in the first place.

Obviously with Born This Way, Gaga helped bring you to the forefront, tell us, what is she like to work with as an artist?
Incredible – imagine hanging out with your best friend and making music together. You just crack jokes, have a drink, have a couple shots and make music. The only stress involved is because of her hectic schedule and how massive she is and the hard part is maneuvering through those hurdles. Other than that, in the studio it’s a ball. We are playing around making music, like were in each other’s bedrooms and it doesn’t change.

I think I kinda saw that when you guys were on stage and you were performing “Americano”…
Yeah!  It was amazing. We flew my family to the Mexico City show because it was the last show of the tour and we finished the album, it was turned in and everything. I went there not prepared or anything with the only thought of showing my family the concert because they have never seen it. So I take my family there, they meet Gaga, take all these pictures and everything, then she’s like “Hey you want to come on stage with me and perform “Americano” in front of your people? I’m like “sure” and she’s like “OK we got five minutes, take off your hoodie and here’s a jacket”. Literally I took five tequila shots and went out in front of 70,000 people. I still can’t believe that happened. It’s a testament to who she is. She’s real, she’s like a bro and a beautiful woman all at the same time – such an incredible combination.

Incredible. I'm dying to know more about your "featuring" album coming out soon...
We have some really really cool featured artists so far. I want to leave it a surprise because it’s growing every day. I’m probably going to start off on an EP first, but every artist I’ve worked with, I’ve learned a sense of how music can influence a movie, a fashion film and how it plays a part in your daily life. Of course I love big records so I’m going to make these records big.

I can’t imagine a Fernando Garibay record that was minimalist.
Laughs – If I go down, I’m going to take everyone down with me in flames. You gotta go down in a fun way. It’s kinda like my fantasy football of songwriting, brining together all these people I admire.

Come on Fernando – tell us who is on the record…
Matt Morris. He’s an underrated songwriter on the indie music scene for awhile. Mega talented – Justin Timberlake talent, a prolific writer and I feel like I can give him a shot he deserves. We are also working with Matthew Koma. I don’t want to give it out, I’ll save it, but there are some major artists you know that will be featured on my album!

Some say 2012 was a dud year for pop, I think the opposite though. What records have inspired you this past year?
I don’t listen to my own music, because once I do I’m in a new universe, so other people’s music is not a problem! I think it was a great year for pop. Here’s my summation of pop on August 3rd 2012. This year brought indie pop to the forefront. Finally the indie alternative world since the 90s have come to the pop world again, because of Goyte. Equally interesting, along comes this new artist with a song called “Call Me Maybe” that just demolishes everything in the charts. The temperament of this pop song is a calling card for everyone in the world. It shows that one song can be bigger than the artist and in turn, make the artist great. It takes a great artist to deliver a song but when you have a song that is greater than the artist – it makes the song bigger than itself. It’s one of those songs that you’ll always remember, even if you don’t remember Carly Jae Repsen.  It shows the power of a great pop song and the power that art pop has in this generation.

EDM has also had an amazing year – it’s exploding. As a DJ, how has it been for you in realizing the big surge in electronic dance music again.
I love what EDM is doing. I’m a Beatport geek. There is so much music out there online. The accessibility of music has improved the palate of music listeners – raised the bar. Now music has to be dope, really good for people to pay attention. There’s so much music and anyone can make it now, so the bar has been raised. In terms of what I like to DJ, you can lose an audience in 15 seconds. It’s a great gauge for the world, it’s like a microcosm of a world. I do a show in Vegas, it’s electronic music, cool house, cool indie-pop. If you can rock a show in Vegas you can rock a show anywhere, because you have to play enough of hook, enough of heavy beat, enough of electro programming to keep their attention spans. You do it like a song. You have your birth, you to your big choruses, and you go down to your verse, peaks and valleys. That’s what I do, I literally remix on the spot. I’ll throw in a ballad from the middle of nowhere and loop it into the middle of a house beat. I love doing that – it drives people crazy.


We’re super excited to bring you to the Poptronik Festival next month – have you ever played Spain before?
I haven’t! I’ve been to Barcelona, I’ve never played in Spain!

We are going to popping your Spainish DJ cherry then…
Yes, here’s the thing. I have a whole Latin house thing that I do. I have some really cool salsa records that I’ve done. I’m gonna play some really cool stuff. It’s gonna be heavy. I love big beats, I love driving a crowd to a crazy state. But Latin music is the core essence of my music. Latin, salsa and flamenco music is the core foundation of why I make music. When I get to play that in electronic music, it’s insane. It’s the best ingredient. I’m definitely going to do a Latin house section…

One of my favorite dance music genre’s that still has yet to make a proper comeback is Latin Freestyle music. What’s your thought on the genre and it’s imminent comeback?
Right! Miami Base! Well you’re right on the gauge. You’re not the only one who has been thinking about this area of resurgence in pop music. You’re right on the temperament of what’s coming back. Those songs like Expose still sound fresh. I grew up in East LA / South Central so when I was a kid, it was all about that – high energy freestyle and electronic dance music. You can hear little elements of it in “Born This Way” but it’s because of the energy factor. It’s always moving, bright, and almost like shimmery. Like the Italo disco moment. The trick is going to be repackaging it. It needs a new interpretation and a few new faces – we need to get that energy of freestyle back to the forefront.

So the album is coming out, you’re in diva mode right now, you’re gonna be spinning for us at Poptronik – so much going on, but it’s been a true honor to speak with you today – you’re a true electronic pop person.
I’m eternally grateful for getting to showcase my music at Poptronik and I can tell you that I’ll probably be debuting some new music during my set, watch out for my tweets – it’s gonna be fun!



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Never miss an EQ beat! Membership RULES and that's why we have setup our first-ever EQ mailing list for members!

    Subscribe to our EQ Mailing List and we'll make sure to send you our latest and greatest email alerts straight to your inbox! From exclusive contests and swag, to breaking news about our EQ Live events and tours - you'll be "in the know" on-the-go! And don't worry - we're spam free and won't share your details!


EQ Interviews

  • We don't just blog about pop stars, we talk to them too! EQ is committed to "digging a little deeper" and "getting closer" to generate original pop content that goes beyond the average pop waffling and news bytes so that you are always "in the know" from the artists themselves.

    From the mega stars like Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert to the latest indie sensations like Bright Light Bright Light and Simon Curtis, to the electronica and pop pioneers like Imogen Heap and Erasure, to X-Factor creations like Joe McElderry and Shayne Ward, they all have contributed some great interviews to EQ.

    Click here to access our extensive EQ interview archive.

    "I too am an Electroqueer!"
    LADY GAGA interview

  • Click here for more EQ interviews with the likes of Lee Ryan, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Monarchy, Example, Calvin Harris, Blake Lewis, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, Agnes, Erasure, Imogen Heap, Roisin Murphy, Little Boots, Patrick Wolf, Lights, Basshunter, Frankmusik, Dragonette & Darren Hayes to name a few...

Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 10/2004