He’s long been considered one of the original fathers of trance, ranked among artists such as Armin van Buuren, Gareth Emery and Paul Van Dyk. Considered a pioneer in the genre, the Italian-based DJ and producer is responsible for bringing us classics such as “Beyond Monday”, “Through Your Eyes,” and “No More Alone”. Also a co-founder of the project NU NRG, the trance titan sat down with mybeatFix to share his earliest memories in the music business, as well as where he sees it all going.
You started playing piano at the age of four. How has this influenced your musical style?
I’m from classical music and I studied piano for over 7 years; it really helps me when it comes to writing melodies. That’s why I’m producing Trance music more than anything else: melody is always the most important part and it’s what makes me feel good about the genre.
Tell us a little bit about your role with NU NRG.
It was brilliant at the beginning, we had a great feeling all together and we did a great job. Unfortunately, some time things just don’t go as you wish and we reached a point where splitting up was the only way to go ahead in my career.
In an interview you refer to the melodies as being central to good trance music. Do you think that is still present in today’s more progressive scene?
Well, what we call trance now doesn’t have much to do with the kind of trance that brought me into the scene. I’m not saying it’s not as good as before, I’m just saying it’s different. But of course the melodies and vocals actually are still the most important parts and that’s why I’m sticking to this style.
What are your thoughts on today’s music scene in general?
It’s pretty obvious that EDM it’s stronger than ever but focusing on my style, since I can’t speak for others, I’ve noticed that it’s moving around the globe, changing places and growing in new countries, while slowing down in other countries where the scene was quite big before.
Was there a point in your career when you stopped and thought, “Wow I’m really doing this?” or did you fully expect all the fame and success?
No, never. I’m actually the kind of guy who doesn’t really care about fame, it’s still all about the music for me and what makes me feel good. It’s a passion first of all and I’m lucky enough to have had the chance to turn my passion into my job. I’m also the kind of guy that thinks there’s still a lot to learn and strongly believes the best is yet to come.
Who was your favorite DJ when you started producing, and who is your favorite now?
Beside all the obvious big names that are still on the scene like Paul van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Armin van Buuren, and Tiesto, I used to be a huge fan of Mauro Picotto. Apparently he changed his style at some point and I miss him. Right now I’m still very influenced from those artists but I can’t hide that probably my favorite one is still Paul; what he plays in his shows is just of out this world.
Which of your track holds the most emotional value for you?
There are two actually that hold the same amount of emotion: first, “Dreamland” because it was the starting point of my professional career back in 2001 with NU NRG project, and second “Linking People” since it was my starting point as a solo artist in 2006. Both of them have meant a lot for me and bring back such a great memories.
What is one of the most important things you’ve learned on your journey as an artist?
People and music are continuously evolving and what was big “here” is now big “there” and one day will come back again. Trance music is up and running with its new “dress.” As I said before it doesn’t sound like what it used to be back in the days but has a new fresh sound taken from all the influences around the market today.
Can you share your proudest moment as a DJ/producer?
My proudest moment as a DJ, or better to say live performer, is every single time I see smiles on people’s faces when I play. As a producer it is, again, every single time I see people singing a song of mine.