Artist Spotlight

Piero Pirupa

Italy

How would you describe the type of music you create?

Tech & House, because in my tracks, there are always house roots but also sometimes techno, above all I like to create very energetic music, which makes you dance a lot, but also in the last 2 years, with the pandemic I have made more radio-friendly releases.

What do you remember about your first gig?

I remember that I was 16, that I had 2 big bags of vinyl with me, it was 2001, it was summer and I was playing at a private party in the countryside, I was nervous and my hands were shaking, it was nice because no one knew me as a DJ since in those years I was PR for events in my area, it was a surprise for everyone, but since my brother was also a well-known DJ in the area, they immediately began to respect me all because technically I was always good, according to many friends I looked like to many famous DJs, you know 20 years ago the technique was fundamental, especially with vinyl, not like today that everyone can do DJs with sync.

What kind of music did you listen to as a kid/was playing in the house?

A little bit of everything, from the psychedelic rock of the 70s to disco music, I am also very attached to synth-pop music of the 80s, up to the electronic music/house and techno of the 90s. I had so much vinyl at my father's house, my uncle too, you can't understand how much music I listened to every day I really have to thank them for giving me a huge musical culture.

Italy is a country that I think most people don’t always associate with electronic music. That being said, there is obviously a diverse and strong scene there. Could you tell us about where specifically you are from, what the scene was like when you came up, and how you’ve seen it change over time?

True, Italy is more associated with the history, culture, but not electronic music, especially where I was born and raised, Teramo, a small town of 50,000 ppl. There have always been a few clubs, I have worked in several and let's say that from 2001 to 2009 I was very active in organizing important events with international DJs, but then in 2010 I started traveling around the world and I was no longer able to make party in my area, then in recent years, even before the pandemic, electronic music no longer existed, it has been canceled by radio music, reggaeton, hip hop, but every year I go back to my area to have at least one party to get together with all my friends, those who do not have the opportunity to listen to me around the world.

You’ve been releasing music since 2007. Although you had some early success with a handful of releases, it feels like it took a few years for you to really start establishing yourself. Could you tell us about those early years, and even before you released music officially. What was that grind like and is there anything you miss from that time? 

It took about 3 years to do my first # 1 on Beatport, then between 2010 and 2012 I did another 2 # 1 overall on Beatport and also a # 1 on the UK club chart. I think these years were the ones that made me known in this world, but you can't understand how much work there was in the years before, I started in 2006 to produce music, at first my sound was horrible, sometimes I am ashamed to listen to the releases I made in those years, the tracks sounded really bad, then from 2009 thanks to the help of some sound engineers I was able to make my productions sound better and better, to use vst and loops that had a better quality. I miss those years, I had the studio in my bedroom and it's amazing how I made those club hits inside my bedroom. Last year because of the covid I left London and went back to live in Italy, not having the studio anymore I had to make music again in the historic bedroom and in those days I also did the cover of "everybody's free" so I think that bedroom has something magical.

I would say for the most part, up to this point, your sound was primarily in the tech house world. In 2014 you released an EP on the iconic Saved Records called Can You Hear Me. First off, how did you connect with Nic Fanciuilli, and what inspired you to create an EP that had this type of sound? It felt like a bit of a shift for you and some of your follow up releases stayed in this lane like Cristallo and Rising.

Yes I wanted to explore new sounds, that Saved release helped me a lot to make myself known also by artists like Damian Lazarus, Blondish and others on that deep house style. I had known Nic for years, I had already done a Saved release called "Guarda", which was also an Essential New Tune on Pete Tong's radio show on BBC Radio 1 Dance. In those years I was always in ibiza both playing in clubs but also because I like being on the island and ibiza gave me those deep Balearic sounds that then made me produce Saved, Cristallo and Rising. Ibiza influenced me at that time by changing my sounds.

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In 2017 you release the Out of Control EP with Relief records. It felt like a return to the tech house sound. You follow this with an Elrow Release, Armada, Sola, and Solotoko. Such an incredible string of awesome labels. Did you think that the Relief release helped open some doors for you or was this all in the works at the same time?

I worked for months to make a release on Relief, I sent many demos to Green Velvet but he had always declined them, until he signed "Out Of Control" EP, I was very excited, surely that release gave me a boost in doing Elrow, Sola and all the others. I have again had massive support on all these releases from all the great DJs. I started doing tech house again, I missed going back to my origins, from 2017 to 2019 I produced and released many tech house tracks that I'm really proud of.

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Everybody’s Free was such a monster track. Both the original and the deeper purpose remix just smashed the charts. Did you know when you made it this would be a hit and what prompted you to reach out to Deeper Purpose for the remix?

Thank you, I have always believed in this track, it has a special meaning and is perfect for what we have experienced in the last 2 years. Spinnin' sent me a list of artists who could remix the original, I had expressed my preference on a couple of artists and one of them was Deeper Purpose, he liked the idea to remix an iconic cover and he did a great remix. He's one of my favorite producers and I was so happy when he accepted to remix it.

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Your last few releases feel like you can really do what you want now. You’ve shown a lot of diversity in the last year whether it’s How do you feel, Gimme Luv, or Stronger. Do you feel good about where you’re at right now and what is inspiring you these days in the studio?

Eehehe, yes, I feel very comfortable, I must say that in the last 2 years I have experienced a lot, thanks to the pandemic I spent all my time in the studio and I started doing everything, house, techno, EDM, pop, breaks, minimal, I enjoyed myself, it's been fun. In recent months I have produced some electronic, melodic demos but always with tech & house grooves, I would like to merge what I was doing in 2014/15 with the tech house stuff I've been doing lately. In the coming months, however, there will be many cool releases on D4 D4NCE, Spinnin', Good Company, Repopulate Mars and on my NONSTOP label, a mix of house and tech house stuff which I'm really happy to release.

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