The 239th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Alessandro Diga.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I am 26 years old. Living in Breda, the Netherlands and I have been dj-ing and producing for almost 10 years now.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
When I was little kid I started playing the trumpet, but I was not cut out for that. At least not at that age. As a teenager I played in a rockband. When I was around the age of 17, 18 my brothers took me to an electronic music festival. At that point in my life I already started dj-ing, but it was just for fun. The atmosphere and the music I heard at that festival were honest and powerful, that after that I just knew: this is what I want to do. And I still think that way, maybe even more than back then.
3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
At the start it was really difficult. The only instruments I could play were ‘real’ instruments. And the way I produce or play a instruments is really different. Although I use a lot of instruments in my productions. Instruments are more straight forward. When I first opened Ableton, my first reaction was: How can I get a sound out of this? For producing you need more background knowledge in my opinion. But stubborn as I am, I pretty much learned it myself. As I did with almost every instrument I play. I believe you get more creative this way, because you are not afraid to color outside the lines.
4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
Sometimes you have a really good ‘main loop’ but to make it into an full 6 minute track, that keeps you interested for the full duration, can be tricky. Then I just leave it alone for while and most of the time I finish it later, with the desired result. The same goes for a creative block, I don’t force anything. It comes when it comes.
5. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
I am still a student, I work a couple hours a week and the rest of my time I spent mostly on music related business. The bigger part of my time I put in making music and finding new music. When I try to relax I mostly hang out with friends, going out, playing videogames, playing sports. Nothing spectaculair 😉
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
I pretty much listen to everything. Mostly I listen to old rock like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and the Ramones. I do not think it has an (direct) influence on my music, maybe subconcious. However I think It Is always good to listen to different styles of music. Just to broaden your horizons.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
The first I can not remember. Probably a Sum41 album. The last one is an Bonobo album.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I used to skateboard and listen to punkrock
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
There are many producers that are getting consistently overlooked, unfortunately. But I have to name one, I have to say my buddy Bjorn Wolf. He did a number of really good releases on well known labels, but never gets the credit he deserves.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Extrawelt, I have so much respect for these guys. When they decide to make russian gypsy music, I probably would still like it, because… Extrawelt.
Inspiration can come from almost everything. Good food, a nice evening out, nice weather and I could go on for hours like this. But also bad things like illness, fights and even death can inspire me. Most of the times the mood I’m in determines which atmosphere a track will have.
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
It is hard to not sound cliché here. I guess the most important part of this is to keep fun in the things you do. Do what feels right and stay a bit pigheaded. Then it comes naturally, I think.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Paul Simon & Simon Garfunkel – Sound of Silence
Alessandro’s remix of Mariano Favre ‘Bora Bora’ is out now on Golden Wings Music, you can purchase the release: here