Maro Cyberpunk and game soundtracks

Marek Walazek in Maru is a man who has been dealing with music on many levels for many years and, as I will admit, does not complain about the lack of work. Daily he runs a recording studio and a world-renowned company that produces specialized studio equipment. In the past, he laid the foundations for Chada, Hemp Gru, and WWO. later with DJ Frodo They set up the MXF project and started collaborating with, among others Smolestybobek or Bizet. I also handle music for computer games, commercials, and TV shows.
A few years ago, Maru thought he’d create a futuristic acoustic musical…and he did. The premiere of “Rejects” began in an instant. We thought it was a good time to talk about a new album or work on a game Cyberpunk 2077 movie.

Do you feel like an unknown producer in the hip-hop environment?

I don’t want everyone to know who I am. I didn’t push myself on a pedestal. For example, I didn’t care about my social media presence. Now that changes a bit. At the moment I’m promoting a “rejects” project, not exactly myself. As a rule, I have not worked with Polish rappers, only because they call some huge numbers on the streams. My current style of music doesn’t suit this younger generation of rappers, although I’ve done some recent productions recently. Older listeners relate my diverse musical activities – from Grogra to MXF. And if not, they have plenty of catching up to do. (Laughter)

I always thought your style would suit any artist.

Today I’m not in my way with the rap music that has emerged in our country over the past few years. Especially with those two minute skits made for TikTok. I am more willing to collaborate with pop artists. In addition, rappers are reluctant to pay. It is another thing to produce, colloquially, for an ordinary label, and something else to sell tunes for a few hundred zlotys. There is a Polish rapper who does not want to pay for the music. They think the title in parentheses next to his title is enough for me. I had many of these offers. I care about the whole thing music production (arrange, mix and master), not just a beat maker. I want to work with artists who want a complete piece of me and want to work with me as a human being. I don’t want to send someone a backtrack, because I don’t really know what will happen to this tune later and what it will sound like in the end.

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Were you disappointed when you received such offers of cooperation from the rapper?

I don’t waste my time on such things. I spend a few hours producing the rhythm. I often come back to it and think about it. In the meantime, it turns out I’d do better by the hour if I worked in a quick service bar, without an investment in the studio and many years of schooling.

Why do such ridiculous situations happen?

This is only the fault of the producers who agree to these rates. The Beatmakers take it all in their power. As you know – “By working one enterprise per day during the month, you can earn 30,000 zlotys.” But this is just a theory, marketed by educators from tutorials. Nobody is going to get a single win a day, let alone a sale. For someone who sits at home at the computer and composes music on basic equipment in the bedroom on “trial versions” of the software and is able to sell six thousand zlotys sleeping in a few weeks, that’s an amount you can live on. Everything is correct. I only have a production studio and these 6000. zlotys not enough for me even for rent. Not to mention the equipment consumption or the amount of time I spent teaching. So it’s hard for me to compete with people who agree to such basic terms and who screw up the market themselves. The same is true for sound engineering at this point. There are boys who make a mixture of PLN 200-300 … Later it turns out that the artist is satisfied with the quality of these services, because the audience does not demand more from them. Often the songs that are available in the market do not sound very professional, but they are enough for the listener. So why would an artist spend more on music when they can serve up a mediocre dish, and it will still be a crowd pleaser? There are great restaurants that few people attend, but there are fast food outlets with queues. Currently, fast food restaurants are celebrating their victories in Polish rap. In the United States it is called MED (Minimum Effective Dose), and in Poland it is called simply – how to make money and not make money. Generally, people spend 5-6 times more than they would on a music video versus a piece of music they want to promote. In fact, they spend more on the clothes they appear in the video than on the song itself.

You work with people from many countries. Is it different abroad?

Definitely. There is a completely different work culture. Above all, people are rewarded fairly. Well, there are beaters that sell primers for as low as $5, but as a rule, these beats are used by amateurs. People from the first league rarely make it to such establishments, although of course there are stories that the $5 has become an international hit.

Marek Walazek aka Maru

© Mixon

You are not interested in competing with beat makers because you deal with so many other things on a daily basis.

I have things to do. I don’t get bored. There is a lot of work with sound. Tunes don’t have to be selling. I run a recording studio where several people work every day. We produce for different artists – including artists from the pop world, because they know what you’re paying for. They mix on an ongoing basis, which is why there are so many requests. New orders arrive every day. I’ll be doing movie music in a moment… I also make music for commercials a lot. Besides, I also have my own electronics company – Bettermaker, which produces internationally recognized devices for recording studios.

And you make music for computer games.

Computer games have played a huge role in my life. I’ve spent a lot of time in this world. For example, played in human kombatAnd Street FighterAnd Super Mario if Cans. It was a fun form of entertainment and a reason to meet friends. I grew up on computers and the first consoles. Later on more advanced keyboards. I passed this on to my kids, because at the moment I have 11 different game consoles at home. X-BoxAnd nintendoAnd Playstation 4 And so on. We have an entire closet full of consoles. (laughs) My kids are very young, but they can handle everything.

Computer games have a huge impact on the sound of your music?

Absolutely. When you play the game, the background music is mostly music. Each game has a musical setting, so it subconsciously encoded what it heard. It was a bit of a Lo-fi sound or certain patterns of repetition of what was going on in the game. My teaser for computer games has gone hand in hand with teasing new technologies and sound engineering. At some point, I lost touch with gaming because my favorite PC game was making music. When people show me their new console, I show them my picture. It looks a little different, it’s 40 square meters which is my studio.

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I made music for the game “Cyberpunk 2077”. Is this your first job like this?

Before, I was playing music for small computer games twice. Unfortunately, these games did not reach the market. These were start-ups. One of the games was a horror game, the other a brawl. So you could say Cyberpunk is my first official game where I made music – three songs to be exact. I fulfilled my dream and I am happier because I can compose the songs I wanted. I had a free hand. No one forced his thoughts on me.

No one forced your thoughts with your new album, Reject. So far, two singles have appeared. How do you rate their reception?

We have just started promoting, but I am already satisfied. Lots of people came back to me with positive feedback. I feel the pieces are appreciated. Although my republic is small. I can see that interest in the project is not only in Poland, but also in the United States, Germany and Finland. I hope it also translates to an interest in the physical medium. I’d like to go out to people who have this project and play live groups.

Marek Walazek aka Maru

Marek Walazek aka Maru

© Mixon

You release the album yourself, but it seems that there have been talks with other companies.

They were excited to get my album out. Also outside Poland. Unfortunately, neither of them understood the audio format of the music and did not know how to sell it. They wanted to release it as a regular album. They didn’t quite know how to bite the design. They asked why there are no Poles and why there are no radio singles. did not notice. I had the impression that they wanted to make this project superficial so they could release some singles and show it off as a regular LP. For me, the most important thing is to show the date it is in. I made this album out of love for music.

What do you count on in the rejection project?

This is a very good question that I don’t know the answer to yet. (laughs) My utopian dream is for people to appreciate this project for what it is. I hope there are enough people in the world who will appreciate this format. We try to reach them. We give ourselves time. This album will not lose its expiration date. In a year or five, it will be completely new.

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