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DJ Mag Canada had an opportunity to speak with Italian techno superstar Joseph Capriati recently…
The last couple of years have been big for you. Working with the who’s who in the techno world. Are you living a dream?
For me I am really living a dream right now. Since I started to DJ I always saw my life as being in this world and I can’t imagine anything better than playing and making music. It is a big dream come true and every day I am trying to do things better, step by step. My dream has become my reality so it is important for me to do that as best as I can. I am very glad to be working with some of the best DJs in the world and have their support and to play in some of the best clubs and festivals. I am very proud of this and hope that it will continue.
You grew up 30 minutes outside of one of Italy’s more known cities, Naples. Tell us what the scene is like there?
I grew up in Caserta, which is also where I was born. We never had a proper techno scene there, just a few clubs when I was young, and they all played very commercial music. But not far from Caserta is a place called Old River Park where illegal raves started to happen with DJs like Dave Clark, Marco Carola, Rino Cerrone and Tom Clarke. I had the opportunity to discover this place thanks to some of my friends in 2002 and from there I discovered techno music. Before this I was very influenced by house music but since discovering techno it has just been my one focus. Napoli is very different of course. There are always big parties there since the early nineties with guys who have pioneered the scene there like Marco Carola, Gaetano Parisio, Rino Cerrone and MarkAntonio. I am very happy and glad to be part of the new techno scene in Napoli.
Your biggest musical influences?
My earliest influences came from house music – people like M.A.W, Louis Vega, Kenny Dope Gonzales, Tony Humphries – this was the music I was listening too when I was discovering my passion for music. But I also listened a lot to hip-hop and I think this shows in my production now with the strong kick and bass. Not many people know this but I was also a break-dancer back then with large baggy pants and shirt – a very different style from now! For techno my influences have been Dave Clark, Adam Beyer, Marco Carolo and a lot of Neapolitan producers and I have to thank them for helping me to get started
What does Joseph Capriati use in the studio?
My first experiences working in the studio as a producer were all through digital technology and so I am essentially a digital producer making music in the computer but I always try to use some hardware, particularly when I master my music. I think these days it is really possible to do anything digitally but you have to work very hard to get a perfect sound. It is very easy to make average sounding digital music or for your productions to sound a little bit flat.
Releases. What does 2012 have in store?
I plan to make not too many releases this year but only working with a few very good labels. I will continue my work with Drumcode and the next release will be very soon – a three-track collaboration EP with Adam Beyer. I am also now working on my next album that I hope will be released on Drumcode. I have already written 4 or 5 tracks so I am working hard for it to be ready for the end of the year. I will also do a few remixes in the near future. One for Cari Lekebusch – a remix of an old classic track of his called ‘Unite’ which will be released on H-Productions in April, and then after that there will be a remix for Paco Osuna’s ‘Mideshake’ label.
The state of EDM. A lot has been said about the mainstreaming of it. Good or bad for the industry, long term?
I do not have much of a problem with EDM becoming more mainstream but I don’t like it so much when it becomes more about the artists image than the music. Of course, as a performer image is important and you need to be able to work with the media to grow your profile but it should still be more about what comes out of the studio and not what is sad in magazines or o Twitter. That said, it is great to see electronic music finally becoming popular and having an impact on a global scale. For so long it has been a marginal genre of music so it is good for those who have worked hard at making EDM to finally get their reward.
Your upcoming gig at Footwork on the 18th of the month, will be your Toronto debut. What have you heard about the city, and are you looking forward to it?
I am very much looking forward to coming to Toronto for the first time and of course to play at Footwork as I have heard so many good things about it from Adam Beyer and Marco Carola so I think it is a perfect show for me and a very good start in Toronto. I don’t know too much about the city itself so I am looking forward to exploring and learning of the history. This is easily the best thing about travelling so much. Its so interesting to discover new places and sample the culture and food etc.
Is there anywhere in Canada you haven’t played yet, that you would love to one day play?
I came to play in Montreal last year at Circus Afterhours and I am going to play for them again on this tour. That was a great experience and I hope to go back every year, maybe to play at some of Montreal’s festivals like Piknic Electronik or Igloo Fest. I have also heard there are good things happening in Vancouver and Calgary and of course if there were other good parties I would love to play them. The most important thing for me is that there is a good soundsystem and the people know my music and what to expect.
You are in Naples for one night and one night only, and you want to hear proper music. Where do you go?
For me this is an easy choice. It would have to be Old River Park as it is the best place in Napoli for techno. As it is an outdoor venue, there are only a few events a year during the summer months. It is a 12-hour party that runs from midnight to midday or 8am to 8pm. The setting is spectacular with a mountain overlooking everyone and a river running behind you. Really it is like a mini festival with really amazing sound and always a lineup of really exciting DJs.
Where is Joseph Capriati in 5 years?
I don’t know… an awful lot has happened in the last five years so it is hard to imagine the future. I hope to continue like I am and to continue to realize my ambitions; playing in the best clubs and festivals and collaborating with the best, most professional people in the music industry. As long as I am able to continue to make the music like and to travel so I can show to the people what I like and to make them happy. That is my dream. Lets see…
Words: John Mitchell