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Versatile artist Davide Ferrario releases new work called Desert

A conversation with Davide Ferrario

A new year, a new interview. We start off with a great chat with a fantastic versatile talent called Davide Ferrario. Davide opens up and talks about his time during the lockdowns. And his fantastic release ‘Desert’ that also contains sublime remixes. Love it.

Connect with Davide Ferrario on Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Hey Davide, nice to have you over here at Tanzgemeinschaft. Let’s look back at 2020. Everyone sees this as a bad year as it obviously is, in a lot of ways. But what were some of the highlights for you in 2020?

Hi and thank you for being interested in my works!

Undoubtedly this has been a heavy year for everyone. Probably the entertainment scene is one of the most affected from the pandemic restrictions. Italy, as you might know, has been between the first countries that got knocked out. This forced me to stop. So I spent a lot of time listening to new music and thinking about what I wanted to do, as a musician and producer. 

I live alone, I couldn’t go to the studio for more than two months so in the beginning trying to find a bright side was not easy, but I’ve tried to find a discipline during that long lockdown and i think in the end I got it. I did some apparently useless things, like sampling with my MPC, the only piece of hardware I brought home, from a bunch of old vinyls a dear friend recently gave me. I’ve also kept myself trained, physically and mentally, trying to not let myself go. I’ve released some music I’ve been conceiving that day. The soundscapes of End Of An Era and Desert have been conceived between the walls of my house, and I have published them both. That’s something to be proud of.

Oh, and I have also bought my first Playstation!

How about streaming live sets? Was this something you did? If not, why wasn’t this something you did?

That’s sort of a sore point for me. In the beginning, that was funny and everything looked like a new way to keep our job alive. During the year, though, two things happened. The first: artists, management, record companies etc. started to think that this could have been a reasonable replacement for live music, so they started the real business. The second: as the first thing happened, people suddenly lost interest in it. And that makes sense. 

There were too many offers and above all you can’t replace live music with the speaker of a smartphone. Live music includes many experiences, in addition to the event. You met people, you dance, you fall in love, you cry, you feel the emotion of the crowd around you, sometimes you have to travel, if you don’t live in the same city, so there are a lot of entities involved in this world, such as hotels, bars, restaurants and so on. As i said, it was funny at the beginning. Every musician, every dj, every singer, actor or whoever you want was live on Instagram or Facebook with their telephones and absolutely no angle. That was nice. It was a way to keep ourselves alive and people felt it.

I did some sets. I also did a live performance, playing some instruments, but then I quit. I suddenly got bored about it. Not judging anyone, that’s to be said, but we must aim to get back to live music as it was.

What were (other) ways you kept close with your fans? 

It has to be said that I am not overwhelmed by people. Especially from Italy. The most comes from foreign countries. This interview is a good example of that.

Social networks, by now, are still the best way to inform people of what you’re doing, but again, i am not a maniac about that. I am not the thousands Instagram stories guy. Sometimes cool stuff happens in my studio and i totally forgot to take pictures. That’s me.

Did you experiment with new things during the lockdown periods? Did you try a new setup perhaps, used or integrated new sounds, stepped out of your comfort zone? Fill us in.

Well, partially i answered that in the question before but yes: i’ve done something. First of all I definitely completed the process of getting all my music done with real instruments. What was missing was a real piano, so I got one and I brought it in my studio suddenly after the first lockdown we got in Italy. That opened me to a lot of ideas. I used to have a Casio keyboard before, that was controlling some plugins, but a real piano is a complete game changer. It’s such a complex instrument. A lot of sounds come from every point of it and a simple chord can picture a lot of images in my mind. So I stopped using plugins for generating sounds. I own some synths, some drum machines, various pieces of a drum kit and so on. This sometimes makes life much harder, you know, especially when you have to edit something you already printed on a track, but i couldn’t do anything different. That’s a philosophy, as I always say. And different instruments bring you different ideas. The mouse can be one of them but not every of them, if you understand what I mean.

One thing we know of is you released a fantastic EP “Desert”. It’s even more fantastic with the remixes of the great artists that have been gathered. Tell us about it. How did this track come together?

Desert is my first sung job. That’s quite unexpected because I always produce instrumental tracks and I’ve always been refusing vocals on my music. Happy to say I was wrong. Paola (Dalai’s real name) and Tommaso Ferrarese are great friends and great musicians and they did the lyrics and the vocal arrangement. Everything came so naturally that once we made it we liked it. There were no doubts or uncertainties. My Other Side Of The Moon loved it and asked Enoo Napa, Neil Amarey, Mike Dem and Breeze And The Sun to do some remixes. That was an awesome job and that’s why I love this label. All of them liked the track and this makes me feel so honoured. Remixes are like deconstructing and rebuilding something. They all did superb work.

Davide Ferrario’s Desert” is available. Grab you copy on Beatport.

The video below shows you master quite some instruments. How did you become such a well-skilled musician? 

I am a musician, first of all, and like every musician, I love every piece of hardware I own in my studio. I try to get the best out of every one of them. The first instrument I started to play as a child was the guitar. In Italy people know me for having been a touring guitarist, can you believe it? This is the furthest thing from electronic music.

In Italy people know me for having been a touring guitarist, can you believe it?

The truth is that I always played everything that passed by my hands so I quickly became a multi-instrumentalist. I’ve never studied music and I’ve learned everything I know mainly alone and watching musicians I love. That’s what I suggest to people when they ask me how to play an instrument well: play over your favourite records.

When you sit to compose/produce, what’s generally your first move? Drums/synth work/melodies? What DAW do you use and what are your favorite plugins if any?

Recently the piano had a great primacy on that. If I sit there I always come up with something. Maybe I don’t like it, in the end, but it’s easy for me to construct harmonies. I rarely use lead parts. It’s not my language. My music works like a soundtrack, I can say, so I try to describe pictures I have in my head. End Of An Era, as an example, is a great proof of that. To me that track means a specific frame from a specific moment of my life. I don’t care about burbling my emotions to other people, but i’d like to be the soundtrack of someone else’s life.

Technically, my DAW is proudly Ableton Live since 2007. I love everything about that software and it’s still the best way to communicate with my machines. I’ve been beta testing all the versions. I am already working on 11. I only use plugins for FX, equalize and compress, they are mainly from UAD and Acustica Audio. Everything else is hardware.

If you could change one thing about the music industry – what would that be and how would you change it?

There’s a lot to be said about this but luckily I quit my interest in the music industry and started concentrating on music, which is something different.

There’s a lot to be said about this but luckily I quit my interest in the music industry and started concentrating on music, which is something different.

Everything I could say would be interpreted as the speech of a guy that lost its race to the golden pop success.

I often speak with major companies and alike, but honestly, that’s not my place. I would like them to go further in experimenting, but it’s the same old trivial story.

Something about inspiration. What or who inspires you—inside and outside the world of music?

I am obsessed with places. Houses, mainly. My family has changed four houses since I was very young. Last time we moved I was 24, I think, and I was already doing this job. As a result, I miss those places every day of my life. The idea of a place that does not exist anymore makes me go mad, and that’s the case. That place, with that furniture, that pictures hanging, that energy and that lives inside is not still there and they just can’t exist again. So every place I visit I think: “will I miss it? Maybe someday I will miss it, even if it’s not my place, so take notes.” Probably it has something to do with my youth, who knows, but that’s still one of the most strong inspirations I have.

Who should, according to you, be on our music-radar these days?

A new ep from Burial, Four Tet and Thom Yorke has been released some days ago, Two interesting super dark electronic tracks.

The new EP from Dee Montero, Meridian, is beautiful. And I love the music from All Day I Dream and Stil Vor Talent. I always keep an ear on them.

Speaking about Afro-house, which is something I’ve always dug in, Enoo Napa, who did one of the Desert remixes, is one of my favourite producers and then, of course, the next release from My Other Side Of The Moon, from my mate Viel, is a great track.

Thank you.

It was a pleasure. ❤️

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