Rising up out of Brazil's hotbed of formidable talent, Mochakk (AKA Pedro Maia) embodies a level of passion and drive that has placed him in a league of his own. His insatiable hunger for knowledge means he has a broad palette to draw from, channelling his deep well of influences into his vibrant creative output. As anyone who has witnessed him in action will attest, Pedro wears his heart on his sleeve, often expressing his honest love for music in an endearingly physical manner. His skills as a selector have led to bookings at globally renowned clubs, like DC-10, while his productions encapsulate his diverse sonic identity. Commanding the global stage with vigour, humour and his illuminating personality, Mochakk is laying down the foundations for an enduring legacy...
Mochakk spent his formative years in Sorocaba, an hour and a half outside Sao Paulo. There he began to develop his identity through skating, with the influence of his parents' artistic endeavours and love of music, also feeding into his persona. Both his mum and dad were (in his own words) music nerds, with disco, 80s hits, jazz, blues and rock, alongside Brazilian music, on rotation in the house. Driven by his innate curiosity, Mochakk began to search for the artists he heard being played at home, going down rabbit holes, from Pearl Jam, to "Top grunge bands" to learning what grunge music actually was, or from Linkin Park to hip hop. This early grounding in deep investigation and joining the dots between a myriad musical styles, is the essence of what Mochakk is all about.
Through skating, hip hop was, of course, intrinsic to the soundtrack of Mochakk's youth. He caught on to the connection between the funk and disco his mum loved, and the samples that were being used in hip hop. By 2012, his rapidly developing knowledge, and thirst for more, led to experimentation with the classic FL Studio. Being a fan of Guitar Hero, but with no hip hop alternative, he "gamified" production by trying to recreate parts of songs and tunes he liked. So began his route into beatmaking, which he still does now.
Originally, Mochakk went to college to follow his mother's footsteps into fashion, with music kept on the side as a hobby. But the music began to take over and he decided to leave fashion college to focus on gigs full time. Most pertinent to his growth as an artist was a chance meeting with a stranger who became a friend, and the first person to introduce Mochakk to DJing. Cesar Nardini was pivotal in Pedro's route into the clubs, giving him the chance to learn how to beatmatch at his house and then inviting him in to play at his under-18s party "New Generation." Along with Nardini along with Jay Mariani and Mohcakk set up Dogghauz Records, a movement in Brazil uniting the new generation of producers and creating a moment for a lot to unfold. It was a way for the trio to challenge the status quo of how the Brazilian scene was unfolding at the moment.
Here is where Mochakk's stage persona was developed. Far from being an performative, Instagram-driven display, he was translating a personal habit to the stage. It's something he's always done, with friends, or strangers, "Look, check out this part" while playing along with it. A trait that comes from his passion for the music and a background in breakdance, too -- where dancers interpret the music in a very physical way. For Mochakk, this is all about respecting the music and bringing people's attention to specific parts, with him simply the vehicle for it. This authentic response is deeply rooted, instinctive, and vulnerable and only present in a small percentage of the time he is DJing. Most of the time, as he says, he's just selecting and mixing.
With an abundance of knowledge behind him, and still only in his early twenties, Mochakk has quickly established himself as a potent force from Brazil. With millions of fans worldwide, his vision is to use his growing platform to highlight other artists from his home nation, alongside the seemingly endless list of things that he loves. He wants to share his expansive world with his huge fanbase, in the hope that introducing them to the music, art and artists he loves will spark a movement. "If it's only me on top and nothing else is happening, it's not the top for me," he says. "I'm more about seeing a whole movement going on." This humble, community-focused outlook lies at the heart of what will be Mochakk's legacy. "If somebody's got a cool brand that is based on something that matters, I want to see that grow. I want to help with that," he adds. Like the social and political influence of Tropicália in the fifties and sixties, Mochakk wants to build something homegrown that will bring a positive influence to the world.
Curiosity is often the key to making life interesting, and it's something Mochakk has in plentiful supply. A natural born entertainer, who regularly devours music, history and cultural information by the truckload, he is a unique artist whose energy and enthusiasm are contagious. From his humble beginnings at New Generation to the big stage at Coachella, Mochakk keeps it 100 every single time, sharing music with thousands of fans in the most intimate and authentic way. And it's that realness that will keep him performing at the highest level for many years to come... as long as he can bring everyone with him.