A driving force within the Italian and international dance music scene since 2005, Sandro Bani makes his debut on Swiss imprint PinkStarBlack with a powerful club-ready cut, La Rara. We got the chance to chat to Sandro about his career thus far, and his powerful new release.
RM: Hi Sandro! Welcome to Raver Mag. Where are we speaking to you from today?
SB: Hey! I am in Milan at the moment. I am resident DJ at Bobino Club in Milan, so you’ll find me there often!
RM: You’ve been a prominent figure in the Italian and international dance music scene since 2005. Can you tell us about your journey in the music industry and how you got started as a DJ and producer?
SB: I started out of emotion in 2004, on my first night as a customer at a world-known club. I left that night with my eyes shining with emotion, I looked at my friends, I pointed to the DJ and told them that I should have been behind the decks making the audience feel what the DJ had made me feel that night!
RM: Your latest release, “La Rara,” on Swiss imprint PinkStarBlack has been gaining a lot of attention. Can you describe the creative process behind this track and what inspired its unique sound?
SB: The inspiration came from the “current” trend and the sounds that I can, and want, to showcase during my DJ sets. I often play the as Resident DJ in various clubs, trying to produce songs that have an impact on the dance floor, taking inspiration from what already works, but always putting my own spin on it. When you are a Resident DJ you notice many little things while looking at the dance floor and you understand that every song you have in your head must be played at that moment of the evening; I was looking for a transition sound between the more commercial part of the night and the more tech house/progressive part and I “created” LA RARA with these sounds, which in my opinion are very useful.
RM: You’ve had the opportunity to share the stage with some renowned artists like Fedde Le Grand, NERVO, and R3HAB. Can you share some memorable moments or experiences from performing alongside these artists?
SB: The opportunity to look closely at the BIGs at work is always something more unique than rare; many times, you take inspiration from them even just by hearing a mix between one record and another one, or simply the idea of putting your hand to a song that has made the history of dance music just because they reproduce it. The best part still remains, to this day, the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to talk about music and productions but also about everything and more. Sharing is an art that I believe all the “big DJ’s” have at heart and that the “smaller” ones are still looking for.
RM: You’ve performed in various countries, including Croatia, Spain, Montenegro, Greece, and Morocco. How have different international audiences responded to your music, and do you adapt your sets based on the crowd’s preferences?
SB: I always try to adapt my DJ set based on the duration and on the audience. So many times, I take inspiration from the national charts of the main DSPs, then I look for bootlegs or mashups that align with my musical genre that I want to showcase on that night and use them as a “track-breaker” in the middle of my DJ set. However, having been born and raised in clubs as a Resident DJ, I am also used to studying an idea for a night and completely changing it if I see a different situation related to something I have in. The DJ’s goal is always to excite and entertain; if I see that after 30” of a record the dance floor isn’t s “wow” as I expected, it’s the time to change it up.
RM: As a resident DJ for Zrce Spring Break festival and Bobino Club in Milan, you must have witnessed the evolution of the electronic music scene. How has the scene changed over the years, and what trends do you see shaping its future?
SB: Well, the first gigs were spent in smaller venues with Technics SL1200 and Ortofon in my hands together with 2 or 3 bags of vinyls; I would say that the evolution was primarily “where to find music”… First the physical stores and their magazines, then the specialized DSP rankings and digital newspapers, and now TikTok and Spotify dominate (if a song works there, it also works on the dance floor). Now the dance floor wants songs not too long, whereas before everyone wanted to listen to a song in full; today we are very influenced by “everything right away”, while previously there was a much higher perceived value. I am convinced that soon there will be a return to the past, to something exclusive and in “limited edition” in order to still bring as much value to music as – and I hope more – than it once was.
RM: Your music has been released on prestigious imprints like Do It Yourself, Spinnin’ Records, and Ultra Records. Could you share some insights into your approach to selecting the right label for each release and how it has contributed to your success?
SB: Many productions you think of them one way and then make them another. Not because you don’t have clear ideas but because you realize that your idea wasn’t the winning one during the production. Knowing many labels and spending a lot of time in the studio and in contact with expert producers, you understand how a song can be suitable for one label rather than another. On one hand it’s experience and passion, on the other it’s trying until you find the right Label.
RM: You’ve also performed at fashion shows for brands like Armani, JOEONE, and Elisabetta Franchi. How does performing at fashion events differ from club gigs, and what do you enjoy most about combining music and fashion?
SB: At Fashion events you find and listen to songs that you would never find in the rankings of the most famous DSPs and that top DJs are unlikely to offer in their sets. Perhaps the best part – besides playing for famous brands – is precisely this; search, listen and propose sounds that you wouldn’t normally look for on a dance floor.
RM: You are the Co-Owner, Co-Founder, and A&R at Jackpot Records and collaborate with Music Rails. Can you tell us more about your role in these ventures and your vision for the future of your record imprint and music distribution company?
SB: It’s a question that requires an infinite answer! It all comes from passion and because – I know it’s strange coming from a DJ – I really like being behind the scenes to understand how everything works; when you understand it, you always try a path that may be the best one for you, due to the know-how you acquire. It’s fun with love and emotion and all together it leads to collaborating with realities that allow me to make music my reason for living. For Jackpot we are developing strategies that will lead us to have main artists with us for at least 3 releases per year each, different from each other in musical genre and mood. While with Music Rails I currently deal with artist assistance; It’s not a difficult role but I can assure you that it takes a lot of passion (and sometimes a lot of patience) to be able to manage a significant number of “artistic” requests. I can certainly say that the future of both these realities is rosy and still in full development today!
RM: With your extensive experience in the music industry, what advice would you give to aspiring DJs and producers who are looking to make their mark in the competitive world of electronic dance music?
SB: Start and continue even if you don’t have clear ideas; the path will be defined as running and there is nothing worse than staying still waiting for something that if you don’t walk you will never encounter. Start with an idea and twist it if necessary, start several projects at the same time but remember to finish them, listen to as many musical genres as possible and the advice of friends (especially those who don’t know much about music – it’s difficult to explain but many times it’s better that way). If you are also a DJ, try as many beats as possible on the track and don’t stop scrutinizing every single movement and/or scream on the dance floor.
RM: What’s next on the horizon for Sandro Bani? Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations that you can share with your fans?
SB: Surely many edits and new singles, there will be new releases soon and news on the events front; I have already been confirmed for the Zrce Spring Break 2024 in Zrce, I will continue the Residency at the Bobino Club in Milan for both winter and summer season, between 2023 and 2024 I will be present on the console in Val Gardena for the best Apres Ski of the Country, for 20 days continuously, at the end of the “Saslong” ski world cup slope.