With Italo-Albanian DJ and producer &LEZ having a release out on Paco Osuna’s Mindshake Records this week, we catch with the talented up and coming producer to find out more about his background.
How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and DJing?
I’m 28 years old and I live in Bologna, Italy. I started using the daw when I was 8 years old and sharing my work online when I was 20 years old.
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’?
My father was always listening to music when I was a child, so I really grew up listening to music. It was something that came naturally, and it just kept developing as I got older. No artist inspired me besides my father, because I was very young.
How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any audio engineering programmes or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give you any advice early on that really helped?
Well, it was not easy. When I started using the first versions of software for music production I had to dedicate a lot of hours to understand the function of each device. It was a long process but in the end I did manage to learn by myself.
What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you hit a creative block, what helps you through it?
I love all the parts of the process, maybe I dedicate more time to the brakes and also to making the automations in the middle. The easiest part is the beginning and the ending of a track (hahaha). When I have a creative block, I just stop for a day, I listen to other music genres and relax. The next day, I’m back in business.
You have MIND BLOW EP out on April 28th on Mindshake Records. Tell us how you approached writing both original tracks?
I’m very happy with this release. It started after I met Paco personally. I knew he was playing some of my tracks so, one day, when he came to play in Italy, I attended the party in Italy and approached him. We talked about the possibility of sending him some demos for his label. So we agreed on me sending him some material. That’s when I started creating the tracks for Mindshake.
How did your relationship with Mindshake and Paco Osuna begin?
I have known Paco’s music for a long time, but the relationship started the day I approached him at that party. He is a down-to-earth person, so natural and with a big respect for people.
Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else did your inspiration come from for MIND BLOW EP?
I’m inspired by producers such as &me, Rampa, David Mayer and Adam Port, as I have always loved tribal music with an underground groove. My inspirations come from everything, from people, nature, this crazy world..
Apart from electronic music, what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? And do those genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
Yes, I listen to some hip-hop. I like an artist named “Future”. I also listen to some 90s electronic music. All music inspires me.
What was the first and last physical (CD, vinyl, cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
I remember buying a compilation entitled “Hit Mania Dance!” when I was 15. The last physical piece I got was a minimal vinyl by Cesar Martinez – “Mis Lugares”, released on Maintain Replay Records.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
Hum.. I prefer that people discover it.
There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound. What advice do you have for them?
Just to keep focused on what you are doing. Work hard, insist with yourself and keep working and working. Close your mind to destructive comments and follow your instinct. Things will come naturally with hard work.
If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week, what would your last track be?
Would be Ame – Rej (Original Mix), I think it’s perfect!