In conversation with independent music producer Rico Casazza
Independent music producer Rico Casazza’s musical inspiration varies between genres, but what I can say is that each release can be defined as bold and impactful. The DJ has performed around the UK, Europe, and Latin America dabbling with Techno, Electro, IDM, Ambient, Downtempo. His latest offering is his album Purple Wave, available for stream and purchase via the link.
We find out what makes Rico tick in this exclusive.
Who were your first musical influences that you can remember? Who inspired you to start producing music?
I have always been interested in music since I was a kid. My first influences were from my father’s record collection, he was a big collector of rock, classical, ambient, and jazz music. Even though I don’t have a family deeply rooted in music, music has always been part of my life and I always had this music obsession. Strange stuff! LOL
I was born in Italy and some of my earliest music influences developed by myself was listening to music from the radio in the ‘90s, unfortunately back then you couldn’t really find lots of serious electronic music from radio stations. I was exposed to mostly pop commercial dance music, which was and still is very strong among Italian radios, which is quite dull.
Towards the end of the ‘90s, I was lucky enough to meet some people that showed me Trip-Hop, Drum’n’Bass, Jungle and I got interested in that darker and deeper aspect of electronic music which I still love to these days.
I got inspired to produce music by playing a video game from PlayStation in ’98, it was a videogame/program called: Music 2000.
I was in love with that program and I remember spending hours making music and beats and listening to them on cassette on my way to school, this is how it all started. From then I bought some computers, the earliest version of the PC, but the real deal was when I moved to London, making music here was a game-changer.
What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?
Success as an artist does not necessarily mean being famous, it means being able to express what is inside your mind and being happy with the result of it. Whatever you put out as a form of art, connects with other people making them feel something, that’s a success to me.
A real success for an artist is the actual ability to transfer what is in your mind to the real-world, arts connect the mystic world of imagination to the real world we live in. And for those that are lucky enough to experience that, well it’s a good thing when your music touches other people, souls, it beats any job paycheck.
What I really wanna achieve with my music is being able to express what’s in my world and connect with other people and living by doing what I love. That is a real personal success that every artist aspires to.
Fame’s not necessarily something that I’d call success as this has a lot to do with luck, contacts, and marketing.
What does your current software/hardware setup currently consist of?
I am an Ableton Live user, been using it for the last 11 years, I also use synthesizers and hardware equipment, I would say is a combination of Hardware / Software.
I’m a big Elektron fan and I currently own and have used quite a lot of Elektron synths.
Outside of music, what inspires you?
Life is the biggest form of inspiration, whatever happens to me daily is an experience that modifies my perception.
People, and Nature, watching and experiencing other forms of art is also food for the mind that helps you create. The universe surrounding us it’s the invisible force that makes us do what we do.
What kind of relationship do you have with the internet? How does this inform your artistic expression?
Love and hate I’d say!
Definitely, the internet does have a huge impact nowadays to any artist because you can have an impressive reach of your creation to a worldwide audience and is all free. In terms of getting inspired its also very good, and to connect with fans and other artists.
I’ve done so many collaborations, signed record label deals, publishing deals, I’m also working with music using the internet, seems that without the internet I’m empty LOL, which is very controversial to say because the more you are inside the web the more distant you get to the real world.
On the dark side, the internet does make you distant, and it’s a big form of distraction and a value changer. To a young person, the internet can be self-destructive, and can put in your mind wrong ideals because we all know the internet can be a place of first quality bullshit were you can absorb bad images and hateful content and can distract your mind to stuff that is not necessary. And then again it became addictive and you ended up checking “some stuff” in the morning and ended up in a tornado of news and images that can ruin your mood. Also, the amount of information a person receives on a daily from the internet can be very stressful by turning you into a vegetable.
Another very interesting thing about the internet is the ability of an independent music producer to sell music without the need for a record label anymore. This is something I truly respect and I think is the way forward in life. I have been releasing music since 11 years with record labels, and many times I have made 0 to little money on the music I made, Now I’m using mostly Bandcamp for selling my music: https://ricocasazza.bandcamp.com/
https://ricocasazza.bandcamp.com/ it’s the place where I will release a lot of new music, and also some of my back catalog.I’m quite tired of chasing labels and especially tired of making little to zero money on the releases I make with my music, which is the same story for most of my artist friends out there.
I know also what labels go trough, paying for mastering, promotion, artwork, DJ pools, so the possibilities to earn some decent money with your music released with labels are very very hard in the electronic underground, unless you make a featuring with Justin Bieber.
With Bandcamp at least you have the feeling like buying something directly from an artist, where a fan gets to connect with someone whose work they love, and experience the satisfaction of supporting the creation feels right; “Here is my Bandcamp page, you can follow me here for new music.”
As a performer or as a member of the audience, what single show has been the most memorable for you?
As a performer, I have played in many places and festivals around Europe and America, but what I really love are those small clubs where you can get a maximum of 30 people where you can form a beautiful and cozy connection with the audience and everything becoming a ritual. An amazing memory I have was once I played in Porto in a bar facing a river, we were playing in an after-party that lasted 10 hours and there were only like 30 people, and we became a family at the end. We travelled together with music for all those hours making it like a collective meditation. I love those moments, and there was a beautiful sunset too and too much Vinho Verde.
Any new or upcoming artists on your radar?
I’m listening lately to a lot of Chillwave, which a sub-genre of Vaporwave. There’s something in that music that gives me an incredible nostalgia every time I listen to it, which is a phenomenon not from only my experience but a bunch of other people. It’s not a new thing, its been around for a few years, it’s one of those underground movements that is alive under the surface of many electronic music genres and is not necessarily popular. I listen to everything usually but lately, this Chillwave movement really captivates me.
As far as names there are some names of good producers out there I’m listening lately:
Yu-Utsu, Lobec, Buzz Kill, Santiagø, Lukrø, Eraldo Bernocchi, Ly Sas, Kozber, Penso Amor Digo Furia, Metalogue, T-scale, Xname, WLFJCK
Please suggest an album for us to listen to.
Deru – 1979
This album is pure bliss, best melodic / deepness approach, and sick sound design. It’s an ambient cinematic album, it has the type of melodies that send me into another world.
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
In terms of new releases and a new project, I am always working. I haven’t stopped releasing music since I started back in 2007, making music it’s my main purpose in life. I also have upcoming EPs, remixes and maybe an album in the near future, too much to mention right now, but expect quite a lot :).
Also with my other project Bonasforsa, which is a duo partnered by me and my friend Kozber, we are planning to release an album with our MCs: DELO, Ayite, and Kdotmelody.
We are planning to release it on our band camp, and we are currently looking for funds to get it pressed on vinyl and promote it properly.
Famous last words?
Broken melodies for a broken society.
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