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10 Questions with Fabio Florido

22/10/19

Hi Fabio, thank you very much for having us. To start things off, can you tell us how your career as a DJ started?

Hi guys, it’s a real pleasure! My career started the day I set foot in the first club when I was about 16. Since then, I’ve spent years of theory, of constant presence, at least twice a week in the nightclub world. I am an observer by nature and I believe that I have stored so much emotion and information unconsciously during those years. Between the ages of 21 and 22, I began to have the image of myself playing instead of the “X” DJ I had gone to hear, thinking presumptuously that I would do even better (hehe). After a first unsatisfied approach to turntables, I soon switched to a hybrid Live. My mind was already trained to look at a track as pieces, elements that I could extrapolate and overturn, you have to know that I started producing music at the age of 18 (without ever releasing a track), but the material and hours spent were really a lot! So, I finally started to release my own productions and thanks to so many friendships in different countries, I started my first steps as a DJ.

How would you best describe your sound? Which DJs, bands, and other artists have most inspired you whether visually, acoustically, or in any other form?

My sound is a mixture of many different genres, but somehow it feels like one during a DJ set. I’d say a rolling, energetic and positive techno, but equally deep and dark. I’ve been a fan of classic rock, heavy metal, American pop & hip hop. Metallica, Pearl Jam, Iron Maiden, Prince, Michael Jackson, to name a few of my favourites. Every time I was fully immersed in the genre, even in the style of dress as a teenager, I suppose? Then, everything was wiped out at a glance with the arrival of electronic music! I would tell you a lie by naming several artists at random because in reality there is one out of all that has inspired me since day one; Richie Hawtin. We can call it a real tremendous crush on his music and an incredible similarity from what he was preaching with what I felt was my way of seeing music, people, the world.

You are both a prolific producer and a DJ, as well as a Model 1 / PlayDifferently Ambassador. Which side of your job do you like most and why?

For at least four years I thought I wanted to be a producer for life, hidden in my room or in a corner of a club. I wasn’t interested in the figure of the DJ at all. But when I decided to try it out, I knew immediately that playing music for and with people was the most wonderful thing in the world. When I listen back to a set of mine it gives me the same emotion of having made a new track. During a set I cut, extract, decompose and reassemble pieces of music from other people to create a constant one piece of rhythm that at that point has no longer an owner! It’s only happening at that moment in that place, every single one in the room is responsible for the creation of that moment. I truly love it.

You were born and raised in Tuscany, an Italian region that has always been at the forefront in terms of electronic music and the underground culture. Italians have also always been some of the most passionate crowds in the clubbing scene. Over the years, however the electronic music landscape has changed considerably with many clubs closing down, but many festivals popping up instead. In your eyes, what have been the most apparent changes in the Italian clubbing landscape? Is it better or worse now?

Everything is a cycle! Nothing is permanent, nothing and nobody on this planet can stay the same over the weeks, imagine over the years. There is no fault or merit to blame on anyone, simply things have gone like this. People are less and less subject to making their own decisions based on what they really want to do/listen to. They are conditioned by social media, what “others” do, or by what a handful of mainstream agencies, promoters and DJs propose. You go to festivals because you find the headliners, you forget about the clubs because those same DJs “can not” play, given the exorbitant cachets, and, you don’t want or don’t have time or money to discover and understand if maybe a more underground DJ could be even better for you! In this moment we’ve gone backwards. It is in many artistic fields, in any case, even this moment will pass and who knows what the future has in store.

Having lived in different electronic music hubs in Europe, which one do you prefer? Tuscany, London, or Berlin?

It was all absolutely necessary; four years in London, four seasons in Ibiza, five years in Berlin and of course the Tuscany roots, to give me the opportunity to live to the full, to experience first-hand different situations and crowds. Each one happened exactly in the way and at the moment it was supposed to happen and I truly loved each one of these places. But Berlin is what represents me the most. Here is where I’m doing one more step forward with my music and the understanding of techno and it’s frequencies. Anyways, I’m open to falling in love with a new city in the future, who knows?

You’ve travelled the globe multiple times. What has been your fondest memory so far? If you had to choose one place, which would it be?

Probably in Ibiza, when after (many years) plus two seasons working in public relations with a specific goal, I magically reached it … to play as a resident for my favourite artist, in my favourite party: ENTER. The most cherished memory was when Rich himself made me the offer. Imagine yourself! However, after years of travelling, I can say that my favourite place is Latin America, especially Argentina and Chile. I am convinced that in one or more of my past lives I have lived there, it is a true certainty as much as it is true that I have two legs and two arms. I can’t explain it to you, but when I step outside of the plane, every part of me feels at home.

You used to live in London. What were your usual hangout spots at the time? Is there anything you look forward to doing when you’re back?

I was in love with the whole town. I arrived when I was 19 years old, I remember that I raised my nose every day and I was pervaded by a thousand emotions realising again each day that I was actually really living there! Covent Garden, Soho and Shoreditch were my favourite places. I went to fabric every Saturday for four years and many Sundays for Wet Yourself. When I wasn’t there I was at The End or other more secret warehouse parties. Half Baked was also a great option for a Sunday, well, Aquarium too ahaha. When I come back, I like to dive into my memories just walking around the city at random. I walk, I observe, I breathe the smells and the memories arrive like gusts of wind… moments in which all the cells of the body believe they have gone back in time! They were years without many concerns, without having to account to anyone, in which you only think about today, which party to go to, you really follow the flow of events without putting up resistance. Things that are more difficult to achieve in adulthood. However, I do not think of this with nostalgic sadness, but simply as a part of life to which I owe so much and to which I will be eternally grateful.

Which tracks have made an impression on you recently? Any tracks that you feel you just have to play regularly?

Apologies for the short answer here but with all my honesty, no, not really! There are a lot of incredible tracks where I love the basslines but they don’t tell a story. It’s more like a loop. Then you have thousands of copy paste tracks with no soul. Feels like many producers are forced to make music that fit in certain labels and not anymore for themselves. Sad!

If you had to give any advice to upcoming DJs and producers, what would it be?

Respect yourself and others around you, always! Base your decisions on what you feel is right and not what people tell you to do. Of course, it’s crucial to create a team that supports you, but the fact remains that you have to make the decisions yourself, no one knows it better than you. When you were wrong even if you had listened to your feelings, never mind, perhaps it was necessary. You fall and get up, you fly and crash on the ground, everything is necessary to form your persona. The important thing is to listen to yourself and to decide from a place of love, not envy not egocentrism. Detach as much as possible from social media, this doesn’t mean not being present there, do as many posts as you want but don’t let yourself be trapped in watching what others do. It’s fine as long as it inspires you, but certainly not when it creates suffering for the continuous unconscious game of “comparing yourself with others”, especially famous DJs. It makes no sense to spend hours a day watching videos of other DJs’ playing or having a top life… you’ll end up forgetting who you are!! Be authentic instead.

Finally, what are your thoughts on the current ‘climate crisis’? What do you think the electronic music industry can do to ameliorate the overall situation?

I am grateful and it fills me with joy to see that finally, this great problem has come to light, so much work still has to be done, but the first step of awareness has already happened, now it is really in our hands to continue to behave in an ignorant way towards the environment or radically change our lifestyles. I feel quite at peace, I sold my car 12 years ago, I’ve been vegan for 6 years now, I’ve removed all kinds of plastic from my rider and as much as possible from my life, I’ve just started to offset all my flights. I think that the electronic dance industry should impose direct rules on the agencies: If you want to continue working, you have to offset all your artists’ flights. Would be great if they could set up a bunch of rules for everyone to follow. Then invest money to help and research. But above all and without any doubt, to constantly INFORM the young public of all countries at every event.