Mentalny and his music

Maciej Widymajer is a Java developer on our Connected Car team. Although he only joined us recently, he already has some thought about working at MakoLab… but that’s not why Insights decided to talk to him right now. As he wrote in his note introducing himself to everyone in our weekly in-house newsletter, his “greatest passion is music. Not only listening to it, though, but, above all, making it”. Well, Insights wouldn’t be Insights if we let that go without tackling him to find out a bit more about it... 

You joined MakoLab really quite recently, in April. How’s it going?

Very well indeed, I must say. I had a warm welcome. I really like the project I’m working on. The team’s great and so is the management. No downsides so far!

Let’s hope it stays that way! In the note you wrote to introduce yourself in our weekly in-house newsletter, you mentioned one of your passions… making music. People would think we’d lost the plot at Insights if we didn’t ask you to expand on that! How did it all start?

Well, it wasn’t really anything original. I began with the guitar. My taste in music evolved along with Radiohead, my number one band, from the guitars of Pablo Honey and The Bends, via their breakthrough OK Computer, right up to A Moon Shaped Pool.

What’s your musical genre?

Because my musical journey began with the guitar, with rock, metal and grunge, and then evolved into electronic music, what I’m trying to do now is bring those two worlds together, combining live and electronic instruments. That may not be fully hearable in the numbers I’ve already published, but the ones that haven’t come out yet do confirm it!

What exactly do you do? A little bird told us that you don’t sing. So, do you play? Do you hum? Whistle?!

I do everything except writing the lyrics and laying down the vocals. That’s done by the people who sing my numbers. I don’t do the final mix and mastering, either. That happens in a professional studio. I compose, I do the arrangements, I play the instruments and I do the recording and producing. Let’s take Prisoner of Emotion as an example. First of all, I created the instrumental version in my studio at home. Then, while it was being mixed and mastered at the SeeSound recording studio, Duke of P Street heard it. The owner of the studio, Mariusz Manes, put us in touch with each other. Duke wrote the lyrics and sent me a demo of the vocals. For it to work in the number, I had to make some changes. I altered the arrangement by cutting some distinctive, disturbing sounds and changed the form to verse and refrain… and that’s how my most popular number to date was born. Mind you, in my opinion, the original version is still excellent and it would really work as the theme music for a series like Kruk. Szepty słychać po zmrok . I’m waiting for someone in the film business to encounter it!

We’ll certainly keep our fingers crossed for that! And we’ll be hoping to watch a series where the theme music is yours! And now, do tell us, where did the idea for your stage name, Mentalny , come from?

It goes back to when I was thirteen. I bought my first guitar and I played in a band called Normann Goodmann. We broke up in 2005. For the next year, the keyboardist and I tried to form a new line-up, but it didn’t work out. After that, my musical journey was limited to playing the guitar around campfires for a few years. I was living with the conviction that I had to have a percussionist and a bassist, that I had to have a band if I was going to carry on making music. And then… I discovered the computer. I began composing songs, arranging them, laying down the percussion, the bass line and the keyboards and playing the guitar. Obviously, the initial effects weren’t at all striking and the songs wound up on the proverbial back burner. As my home recording skills developed, though, I went back to them. I often recorded them from scratch. The results of my work steadily improved and three years ago, my wife told me that when I played something, she didn’t always know whether what she was hearing was the radio or one of my numbers and that they were good enough to publish. As I saw it, they still weren’t ready but, as they say, “There’s no such thing as a finished work, only a discarded one”. In the end, though, the time came when I felt that I was ready, (emphatically) mentally, to release them. When the numbers I’d chosen were ready for streaming, my stage name was completely obvious to me!

Music is one of the many interests you have. Where do you find the time and energy for it all?!

The answer to that’s dead simple. I don’t! The piles of books and comics waiting to be read get taller and taller and the number of numbers recorded on a voice recorder so I don’t forget them never stops growing. But I’m trying to catch up with myself. I’m waiting for some vocals from VVertigo for some new songs, I’m planning to release an EP, I’m reading Metro 2033 and I try to do some Nordic walking regularly.

Well, we’re fascinated by yet another extraordinary MakoLabber life story! What enormous potential we can see in Maciej’s skills… and it seems more than likely that we’ll be making the very most of him Keep a close eye on us because you might well be seeing the outcome before much longer!

11th August 2022
5 min. read

Kamila Braszak

Employer Branding Specialist

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