This month Portuguese producer Luis Clara (a.k.a. Moullinex) presented the world with his third album, Hypersex (DiscoTexas). It’s an uptempo collection of tracks that musically counters the dire times we’re living in. Clara began working on the album in 2016. He influenced by world events including the refugee crisis, the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando and the election of Donald Trump.
While negativity seems to be everywhere, Clara believes that we can dance our way to a better world. With that sentiment, he’s written Hypersex a “love letter” to club culture, a “world with room for everyone, regardless of their origin, political views, race, religion, gender, and sexuality.”
Clara realized the album with a coterie of collaborators from all over the world. We turned the tables on him and asked his guests to interview him. Read on for a Q&A where Clara speaks about the importance of artists speaking out in hard times to his songwriting process.
Your most recent singles have all come with a very particular message. In making Hypersex, how important was it for you to speak on the woes of the world; and do you feel that’s a responsibly of artist (specifically musicians)?
— Shermar Davis (featured on “Carnival”)
I believe that if you have an audience, no matter how big or small, you have a responsibility toward it. I owe my life to those who created what is nowadays known as “dance music.” Though it’s been whitewashed into a mere lifestyle accessory, dance music at its core carries a legacy of inclusivity, acceptance and, ultimately, change.
Clearly you are a multifaceted person: You have a high qualification in computer sciences; you’re a DJ, producer, musician, performer and also you have your hands on every single aspect of your work which, by the way, is associated with really cool, dreamy concepts and visual artistry! With that in mind, would you ever consider collaborating with other artists beyond music?
—Catarina Salinas from Best Youth (featured on “Hidden Affection”)
In a way it’s happened for this record, where all these artists came in to build the collective visual identity of the album. I’d love to work on animation next, possibly score a soundtrack for an animated film. I’m obsessed with watching other people work on their craft, as you get to learn a lot from someone doing what they do best, and many times even completely different skill sets can help you in direct and indirect ways. This being said, I think amateur/uneducated approaches to something can often yield very interesting results.
Luís, when you’ve been working on a song for so long that you start to question if it’s awesome or just plain crap, how do you proceed? Also, we know you’re very much into food, can you describe your songwriting process as if you were a chef?
— Ed Rocha Gonçalves from Best Youth (featured on “Hidden Affection”)
I usually show it to people whose opinion I value—people like you! It’s very hard to abandon an idea once you’ve put your heart and time into it, but I think you need to train to do it. But some times (and only some times) you need to work very long on something just to reach the state where you can judge it. As for the chef metaphor, I guess I just look at what I have in the kitchen and throw something together for a meal. Cooking is like making music, in the end you want to make people happy.
What fears did you have during all this process of making Hypersex?
— Da Chick (featured on “Daydream”)
The biggest fear I had was not achieving something cohesive, as I was involving many different people in the record. However, the result to me feels “glued together,” much like the dance floor feels like a single entity despite having completely different people in it.
After so many tours, concerts and DJ sets, do you still have fun on stage and on the road? Or would you rather stay in the studio working on music?
— Marta Ren (featured on “Like a Man”)
Though I love to spend time in the studio, I still have lots of fun on stage and on the road! This amazing band (Gui, Tomé and Diego) are responsible for that. It’s inspiring to play with them. I feel compelled to become a better musician myself. And they all bring great video games too.
Do you think people will find out one day who I am?
—Tee Flowers (featured on “Open House”)
I’m sure may of them have already. They just don’t wanna spoil it for everyone else.
Image by Nash Does Work