We speak to the man behind one of the biggest club tracks of recent memory.
Responsible for creating not only one of the biggest house records of last year, but also a mantra by which we at Defected have been living out ever since, Pirupa – and his all-conquering Party Non-Stop – had an impact that resonated outward from Ibiza to envelop all of clubland.
His next project is mixing the third CD of our Defected In The House Miami 2013 compilation; the eighth Miami-themed release and 50th in the overall series, and – somewhat unsurprisingly – Pirupa has once again delivered on every level.
Here, we speak to the Italian producer about how his life has changed since the aforementioned Party Non Stop and the challenges he faced in crafting this new mix.
Before you started out in music you worked for your father’s business… what was that business?
Yes that's right, I was helping him at his furniture shop; my father is an architect. It was not a hard job to me but I decided to strongly follow my interests in music after being released on labels such as Noir and Cécille, when I made Sweet Devil and Get Funky which both got to No.1 in the Beatport overall chart, so I thought I was probably going in the right direction. I decided to dedicate my days making music which was the thing I love the most....so I had to leave my father's business...sorry dad! :)
You previously said that 2010 was the best year of your life… with all the success you had last year, did 2012 top it?
Definitely 2012 has been the best one so far! After the great success of Party Non Stop I've been able to build a bigger fan base, to gain the support of the biggest players in the dance scene, and travel a lot all around the world!
How else has your life changed since the runaway success of Party Non Stop?
It has helped to better establish myself as a producer in the music industry, I've gained more exposure and it has given me an increased self-confidence!
The electronic music scene in Italy seems to be very strong at the moment, with lots of Italian producers and DJs breaking through. Does this translate to the clubbing scene there? Are there cities to compete with the likes of Berlin, London and Paris in terms of the availability of underground house and techno nights?
There have been increasingly more Italian producers emerging in the scene over the last couple of years and I'm very happy for this as there are some very cool guys out there who deserve some attention. However the Italian clubbing scene has not yet all the capabilities to compete with the English or German clubs where ticket prices are lower while sound systems are bigger! In Italy promoters and clubs almost never collaborate to organise big events, there is a lot of politics and bureaucracy, earlier closing times than before, and other aspects which slow down the development of the whole sector.
What has been the hardest thing about making a career for yourself in music? What sacrifices have you had to make along the way?
I think the hardest thing has been how my lifestyle has been shaped by all this. I've not usual times any more to have lunch or sleep, I spend most of the day in the studio, I travel all weekends all around the world which is something nice but at the same time very tiring. You have no time to see the cities you fly to and a lot of hours spent in airports, and really less and less time to be spent with family and friends. You have to choose the best way and I try to balance everything.
Tell us about the new mix for Defected… how did you approach putting it together?
I wanted to make a mixed CD with a particular flow; I started more house-oriented and with vocals to eventually evolve into something deeper and more techy. It took me some weeks to get all those tracks as I've been asking for from my favourite artists and labels to send me some unreleased stuff, so thanks to all those people who have helped to make it happen!
It’s probably fair to say your sounds works best on the dancefloor… was it a challenge compressing the two or three hours you’d usually be playing for into a 60 minute mix?
Well of course a DJ set is where a DJ can freely express himself and play with sounds, you have more time and therefore a wider and better selection of tracks, you can create a particular flow and, most of all, you have the public which is an instant and direct feedback. The challenge over a 60 minute mix is all about being able to recreate that ‘trip’; you want your listeners to have in a shorter amount of time what they would feel if they came to see you play live.
Are there any tracks on there in particular you’d like to highlight…?
I really love Lady of Time by Ruben Mandolini, I've been playing it since last summer and it was one of the gems of my DJ sets. You can easily recognise a good track when it always work! Ruben is definitely one to watch, I follow all his releases; we talk a lot and are good friends. The track by Paolo Driver has in my opinion one of the best vocals of the latest years and the one by Leon & Toky is one of my favourite deep house tracks of the moment.
As someone who has produced one of the biggest dancefloor hits of recent memory, what for you are the essential ingredients required for a track to make a club go crazy?
The best ‘ingredients’ would probably be a strong vocal hook, a fat and groovy bassline and/or a memorable synth/sound. This is particularly important; it must be something unique and memorable, something that will stick in your mind.
In the studio, are there any particular bits of kit or synths that you find yourself returning to more often than others?
I often use VST from Native Instruments, Arturia and Rob Papen while I find very useful sounds libraries like Loopmasters and Waveform.
What have you got lined up, release-wise in the next few months?
I had 2 EPs out in January, one on Material Series and another on Snatch!; both are doing well in the Beatport charts. Two remixes are going to be out respectively on Intacto for Chube.Ka (mid-Feb) and on D-Floor for Frankie Watch (mid-March). On top of an EP on Bitten with Albert Marzinotto (mid- Feb.), a full vocal single on Bacci Bros. (March), and an EP comprising of two tracks on Intec Digital (April), not forgetting I've included two unreleased tracks by myself in the Defected Miami comp. So quite a lot really… keep your ears open! ;)
Anything else you’d like to tell us about?
It took me more time to reply to this interview than to create a track in Ableton!
Defected In The House Miami is out now