Arts & Entertainment
5 min

O’Brother!

Brazilian-born, Moscow-based O’Halley twins put the world in WorldPride

XXXX Credit: Стас Свечников

There can be no doubt about it — Bachir and Fabiano Mendez Maroff are beautiful.

With flawless skin, impressive musculature and stunning green eyes, the twin brothers are like anatomy drawings brought to life through potent erotic magic. But as physically stunning as both men are, it is their ability behind the turntable that has been getting them the most attention. Born in Brazil but based in Russia, the brothers have become fixtures on Moscow’s underground music scene, and in the three short years since their debut, they have already played large-scale music events across continental Europe and South America and collaborated with some of the genre’s top artists.

The brothers sat down with Xtra to talk about their upcoming headlining performance at WorldPride 2014 — their first gig in North America.

Xtra: You’re originally from Brazil but are now settled in Moscow. When did you move to Russia, and what made you leave Brazil?

Bachir & Fabiano: That happened in 2011 . . . We were feeling bored in Brazil and thinking about making some changes. So we decided to [pursue] a new experience in a place that could be as different as possible. Moscow is an eccentric city with a rich and complex history that always sounded very interesting for us. This experience was something we wanted so that we could learn a new language and experience a different culture. Besides that, Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

What do you consider to be the biggest difference between Moscow and Brazil?

We probably would say the weather . . . but in fact, the biggest difference between the countries is certainly the people. Brazilians and Russians are very different. In Brazil, we have a huge multiethnic mix of people, and we like that because it enriches our culture and us individually. We can accept and live with such a mix of different cultures, understanding that we are not the same but we can be all one. In Russia, people are not like that. They don’t know how to get along with [those who are different]. That’s why the country [experiences] some terrorist attacks, like the latest two before the Olympic Games in Sochi. They just don’t understand or accept each other. Brazilians are more friendly and easygoing. Russians are without a doubt very difficult to get along with.

How would you describe the party scene in Moscow?

The party scene in Moscow is warm, and the city is a big metropolis with several options for all tastes. The underground scene is very strong, with plenty of rock and roll and techno, but there are also great trendy club parties from Ibiza and enjoyable after-parties.

When did you start DJing? How did that happen?

We started DJing in São Paulo, but there it was only a hobby. We have always loved DJing and electronic music. After moving to Moscow, we decided to take it more seriously. It was sort of the natural evolution. Because of the language barrier, we could not work in any traditional profession, but music is a universal language. We also wanted to do something that could make us happy . . .

Where else in the world have you performed? And how would you describe your musical style?

Over the past three years, we have played in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ireland, Greece, the Czech Republic, Spain, Ukraine, Turkey, Brazil [and] Italy . . . Besides that, we also play regularly in Moscow and other cities of Russia, like St Petersburg, and not only in commercial straight parties, but also in underground gay parties. WorldPride will be our first time in North America. We are thrilled to be headlining.

[As for] our musical style, it’s intense, energetic and happy. Our signature sound is also characterized by plentiful vocals and sexy rhythm.

Some people say that twins share a special connection that is unlike anything else. Is this the case between the two of you? How are you similar and how are you different from one another? What’s it like to work with a sibling?

Yes, that’s true! We experience that almost every day, and it’s always about having the same ideas or feelings at the same moment. Sometimes one of us comes to the other to tell something new, and when he does it, the other was already thinking about [that very thing]. That happens also when one of us thinks about eating something special in the kitchen, and when he goes there, the other is already eating what the other had in mind. About similar points, we have a lot of them. Because of that, we fight a lot — because we always want the same things. But for sure, we have also some different points. To give [another] example, we have different personalities and points of view about a lot of things. One likes blue, another grey.

About working with a sibling, there are lots of advantages but also some disadvantages. Working in a pair or in a group requires flexibility. We are together all the time, working together, and when the work is done, we are still there, together. Therefore some misunderstandings are inevitable, but it gives a good spice.

You are both very handsome and clearly work very hard on your bodies. Do you follow a specific workout regime? Any tips for folks looking to get fit?

Yes, we do it! But having a beautiful body is not our goal — it’s just our sport. We really like fitness! We usually work out every day during the week, including Saturdays. Besides that, we do a special diet based on a big source of protein and not so much carbohydrates.

For those who want to get fit, it’s indispensable to work out as many days as possible, always keeping in mind that your body needs one or two days of break for recovering during a full week. And that is not all. It’s extremely necessary to cut some kinds of food. Fat, fried food, soda and sugar [don’t] fit in a great body. No pain, no gain.

Have you ever been to Canada before? When you think of visiting Canada, what do you expect to see?

It will be our first time in Canada, and we are very excited! We expect to see a beautiful country with a lot of nice and friendly people to spend a great time together. We have some great friends in Toronto. Do you know Mathieu Chantelois and [his husband] Marcelo? We have been partying around the world with them. If everybody is as fun as them, we should have the time of our life!

What can folks attending your set at Green Space expect?

They can expect the finest house music and a lot of fun. We always turn out a great performance, and this time it won’t be different. We love DJing and having fun with our crowd, and this combination is fantastic. We are certain to give all of you guys a lot of fun and pleasure! So be ready!

The O’Halley Brothers’ top five songs of summer:
1. Lady Gaga – “GUY”
2. Conchita Wurst – “Rise like a Phoenix”
3. Katy Perry – “Birthday”
4. Calvin Harris – “Summer”
5. Iggy Azalea, featuring Charli XCX – “Fancy”