Dance music thrives in Naples, Italy. Alaia & Galo have emerged from the bustling scene with an upbeat, funk-driven brand of tech house that has established them as local powerhouses. They've also found international acclaim. Their recent release "Who Is He?" on Defected sub-label Soul Heaven Records got the remix treatment from the enigmatic Claptone. It's just another in a string of heavily played releases that have put them on the road to the main stage.
How would you describe the type of music you create?
Someone, once, told us that we are the perfect junction among house and tech house, blending effortlessly elements from both genres. We love this definition, and we think it’s true!
What artists or genres do you listen to regularly when not listening to dance music?
We love to listen to a wide variety of genres, but almost all from the past, especially from the 70s and the 80s. From the 70s we love the funky and disco vibes of artists like Hamilton Bohannon, Curtis Mayfield, Roy Ayers, etc. but the list could be endless. From the 80s we love the electronic blend of bands like Depeche Mode, New Order, Kraftwerk, etc. Both the decades have been great for the music.
What do you remember about your first gig together?
Our first gig together was in our city, Napoli. Fortunately, we have always had lots of promoter friends who supported us, so we got a chance to play together even though our discography was nothing special. We were excited and the party was really cool… It marked a new beginning for our careers.
Choose one — festival, intimate or big venue?
Festivals! We love the happiness of the big crowd and the chance to share these moments with other artists. The backstage is fun too, nearly as much as the gig!
How did the two of you first meet and what prompted you to decide to create a partnership?
The first time we met, we both worked in a small radio in Napoli. Each one loved the other’s selections and so we became friends. After one year our paths diverged as one moved into big radio, and the other started DJing in the clubs of the city. We met again after some years and while we were talking about music (as always) we decided to join forces and begin our adventure as producers.
Italy seems to often fly under the radar as a country with a robust electronic music scene. Can you tell us about the scene locally for you where you live, as well as how you think the country approaches electronic music?
We live in Napoli, a city full of musical talent in each genre (Marco Carola, Joseph Capriati, Riva Starr, just to name a few). Since the 90s our city has seen great parties and promoters from house music to techno. In the last few years, the house scene went a little bit down, while the electronic and techno scenes grew a lot. Promoters Like International Talent, OrBeat, Woo!, etc, did amazing work bringing great names toNapoli and the people's reactions have always been enthusiastic.
Do you feel that the Italian scene has grown in the last decade?
Honestly, we don’t think so. In this moment, the greatest part of the clubs in Italy are really commercial, reversing the trend of the late 90s and first decade of the century when the global scene was pretty “underground”. But, maybe, this happened because music has changed a lot in the last 10 years.
You dropped "Beat of the Drum" in 2013 and it immediately put you guys on the map. What did it feel like to have that kind of breakthrough track and do you remember the process of creating it?
This track was created in just two days and it was really funny. We decided to do something special for the main break, sampling lots of phrases used in late 80s house tracks such as “Pump Up The Volume”, “Bomb The Bass”, “Doctorin’ The House”, etc, and the result was crazy. People loved the hook of the song, but literally went nuts in the breakdown!
Do you have any favorite pieces of hardware for production or any plugins that you find yourself using often?
In our creative process, we couldn’t do without our Moog Sub37 and Roland TR-909. Our favorite plug-ins are Soundtoys, FabFilter, and Brainworx (even though the whole Plugin Alliance suite is amazing).
Now that touring and shows have resumed, have you felt like crowds have a higher energy?
Definitely! In some countries, we had the luck to play in the first party without restrictions from Covid. People were crazy and screamed and danced all the time. And it’s been amazing for us, too!
Are there any songs you’ve been getting great reactions to recently (playing out live)? Ben Kim’s track “Somebody To Love” has got great reactions everywhere, in each kind of venue. We think that people, after more than a year spent in their houses, want to get positive vibes from music and a track like this is perfect: cool drums with a sample that everyone knows. People want to party!
What excites you about the future of house music?
We’re really excited about a change of direction in the actual productions. In this moment house music seems going back to its roots focusing a lot on the sounds of the “golden-era” days. We’re talking about Roland drums, M1 organ, Moog basslines, etc.
We’ve seen a rise in the last few years of artist-driven or branded events. Paradise, Elrow, Circoloco to name a few. Why do you think these types of events have grown so much and are there any you’d love to play?
We think that all these branded events are like a “box”. You open the “box” and you find a product, so the brand comes first of a DJ name. People who attend these parties know that they will find high-quality music, mood, scenographies, no matter who will be the headliner of the day. We’d love definitely to play at elrow!
Although I asked earlier for you to describe the type of music you make, it seems undeniable that your style is very uplifting and happy. There are so many different types and styles of electronic music. What is it about this positive uplifting type of house that draws you guys?
We have always thought that before being producers we are DJs, so all our productions are thought for the dance floor. And, honestly, we love to see smiling faces at our sets. That’s why we always try to spread positive vibes with our music. Sometimes we do this, sometimes not…
Can you tell us what you have in store for the rest of the year? Any new music coming out soon? Touring plans?
With ADE party and gigs all over Europe, as well as releases and remixes on Roger Sanchez’ Stealth Records, Milk & Sugar Recordings, Mother Recordings, and lots more, next months will be really busy!
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