Exclusive Interview with Master Music Make DJ LODATO
Miami Music Week 2017
by Stephanie Piedrahita
New York baed DJ/Producer LODATO is one of those producers that hit home with a unique vibe and feel that is simply unforgettable. After numerous residencies in New York performing in some of the biggest venues in the city he began touring the world. Each stop was an experience, an adventure and a place for him to not only meet new friends but also gain the support of his fans who cannot go without his music. Overall his music has a strong House influence that resonates deep in the hearts of all these days. Chill vibes and a strong ability to produce music will take his energy to the masses in 2017 and beyond. Below, we had an opportunity to catch up with him, this is what he shared up with us:
I bet coming to sunny Miami feels like a great way to finish off your tour! Tell us how that was like for you, where did you go?
It was a week long cruise that we just did which at the beginning got us sea sick, it was rough but it ended up being so much fun and we’re here enjoying the sun, eating good pizza. Today we released “Breathe Again” so it’s already an excellent start to Miami Music Week.
How long did it take to produce your new track? Has it been a long process or was it more spontaneously inspired?
Well, we didn’t rush it really because the whole idea was to do a duet between Joseph Duveen and Jaclyn Walker and you know…it kind of came quick now that I think about it. It was more like tweaking that took time because I wanted it to come out as perfect as possible. Today we started to release it, we filmed the video before we left and that should be ready in the next few weeks which we’re really excited about. It’s definitely gonna be pretty interesting considering it was all shot on a green screen! Yeah, we wanted to go for that Sin City feel. Tonight I also find out my results….
Oh yes, a little birdie did tell me you were nominated for a few things this week! Tell us about that, it must feel like such an honor.
Oh I know, I think it’s five nominations.
You’re up for Best Remixer of the Year right?
Exactly. It’s crazy. I feel incredibly humbled to be recognized for that.
Walk us through your creative process.
Well, I wake up. I open up an app on my phone and order a very large coffee. The biggest one you ever did see and I get the spark plugs going, hit the studio and that’s basically my routine. From home to Starbucks then back to the studio, listen to some new records.
Question for the people, what is your Starbucks order?
Iced Venti Vanilla Latte.
Aside from coffee, what other essentials do you need to have with you on tour?
Just my computer. That’s it.
Really? Yeah, that’s basically it. Now with technology, I can be anywhere at any given moment and turn on the computer and start something or fix something or whatever…which amazes me because we didn’t have those tools prior to this generation you know? So it’s pretty cool.
It’s interesting you say that because a lot of producers are classically trained or they’ve done some kind of formal coursework, do you think it’s mandatory for anyone that wants to breakthrough this industry?
Fuck that. No.
No? No. Because I was the kid that had no musical experience and I am a YouTube learner. That’s how I learned how to do this and I constantly sat there, staring at my screen for years before I got to this point. That’s what it takes.
So the first thing that kid who’s going to Ultra for the first time, who sees DJs performing and thinks “I want to do that”…what’s the very first thing that have to do?
Get home safe from Ultra and start researching. Everything is out there for them now. You’re click away from having endless knowledge. It’s sometimes too much…
Do you think some people in this industry take advantage of that? Where they do go online, they learn, get a handle on it and then their ego blows up. What advice would you give to someone to avoid that?
You know what? Screw that ego stuff. Guess what, we’re all just human beings. You’re just making a feeling for someone, which is a huge responsibility and is an unselfish thing to do. You need to remember what you’re doing for others. I mean I’m grateful if I can change your mood or make you feel a certain type of way. You just broke up with somebody and you want to cry your eyes out? There’s music for that. It’s an emotional thing. I don’t see where an ego can even fit into the category of that.
Speaking of emotions, as a DJ you read the reactions of a crowd at gigs. Do you feel more comfortable in intimate settings or massive events?
It really doesn’t matter. I feel like you make a connection, make eye contact with one person…it doesn’t matter if there’s 500 or 5000, you’ve connected ad changed how that one person feels. You know what they say, you can change the world one person at a time. I’m a firm believer in that. I started off with that motto and I’m going to continue doing that, one person at a time.
What has been your favorite memory while performing?
I gotta say my most recent gig which was Inception At Sea with Joseph Deveen playing the electinc guitar. That was definitely a different feelings because I’ve been DJing for 15 years and it was a totally different experience having to share the stage with him on a guitar. Also, just playing your favorite record at the time, either one that I downloaded or I made it, and seeing the crowd’s reaction is great every single time.
How would you describe your sounds to someone who’s never heard your music before?
Emotional Electronic Energy.
Sounds like a future album. Oh yeah, I definitely like that. You’re gonna have to send me this interview. But yeah, I would describe it like that because I like the journey itself when I’m listening through a track. Like flying through my song in a spacecraft. I always like the modern, futuristic aspect of dance music with a little classical touches.
Speaking about journey, you started over 15 years ago. Who were your early influences when it came to producing?
The first person that always comes to mind is Tiesto, he’s the godfather of it all. He definitely started it off…watching him and other young, aspiring producers is a true inspiration to me because he’s covering all grounds, you know? You can’t ask for anything more than what he’s given. He also carries a lot of responsibility when it comes to his fans.
Do you feel these pioneers of music have a responsibility to bring others up with them? Sift through people who maybe aren’t taking seriously to find someone with pure talent —
Sift through thousands and thousands of emails, which amazes me, and then they pick yours. That is an amazing feeling and totally different because you’re being judged by someone you look up to. That feedback is so important.
What do you have coming new music-wise?
Some more awesome shit. We started some rough skeletons and now I’m gonna head back to New York, cleaning and finishing it up. So some more studio time, I’m gonna be working on a solo project soon and keep collaborating with Joseph Deveen and Jaclyn Walker. There’s a natural chemistry there and I enjoy their company in the studio. We all live around the block from each other, we’re practically neighbors so we can go get more coffee.