DJ Fabrizio Parisi: Music is like a beautiful woman
If you are competent and know how to love it, it will make your life wonderfulEkaterina Tomova
Having two gramophones in front of you, vinyl records and playing those like instruments instead of just letting them run, wow, it is an incredible feeling! My passion for gramophones as musical instruments (scratches, cutting, etc.) was born when a friend of mine showed me footage of a European competition from the DMC series. Personally, I think that if you have not gone through gramophones and vinyl records, you cannot call yourself a DJ, Fabrizio Parisi says in an interview to Telegraph Media.
Fabrizio, Distant Call is the latest track to come out of your studio with The Editor. What is the story behind it?
The Editor and I are always open to interesting collaborations and if they happen to involve a young talent, all the better. We have long talked about making a track that would take people way, way back in time… to the primitive part of us that comes from Africa! Nick Muscella is a very young DJ, 19 years old, who sent us a song idea, asking us to review and release it, if we like it. Not only did we like it, we decided to infuse it with that Afro-feel that had been occupying our thoughts for a while. In the end, we got a collaborative track and we are very happy with it.
You grew up in the heart of Rome. Your mother is Bulgarian and your father Italian. You have travelled all over the world and yet for the past four years you have been based in Bulgaria? Why?
Something really strange happened to me four years ago. One morning, after a gig, I woke up at a hotel room on the other side of the world and my mind was suddenly flooded with these childhood memories I had from Bulgaria - the music school in Rousse, my first rock bands and stage appearances, my start as a DJ, my friends. I had already been thinking about starting my own label and I made the decision to do it in Bulgaria. I travelled to Sofia and you probably know the rest. The Editor and I have been a team for over a year and I am extremely happy that I have found someone on the same wavelength as me! This is extraordinarily rare in our business.
Your father was a music manager who worked with Duran Duran. Does your love for music come from him?
Yes! My father, who is unfortunately not among the living anymore, used to wait for me to finish up with my long hours of playing classical music (I was six when I took up piano lessons) and play me records. We would listen to Santana, Rolling Stones, The Doors, Led Zeppelin. He would take me to all sorts of concerts. I remember one in particular, it was of Carlos Santana. We went backstage and I watched the show from a spot that was practically on the stage. I was seven. I did not exactly know what was going on, but I knew at that point that whatever it was, I liked it, and I wanted it for myself one day!
What made you chose electronic music?
It is rooted in my childhood. Again, it has to do with a concert I watched backstage thanks to my father several months after the Santana experience. Donna Summer was performing and what Giorgio Moroder did for her laid the foundations of the electronic dance music worldwide! I was not aware of it at the time, of course. All I saw was this beautiful woman who appeared on stage in a transparent ball. I saw the light effects, her, her voice, and that sound, that pulsation, the hundreds of people dancing. I had no words for it, I was seven.
You are among the first Bulgarian DJs to use gramophones as musical instruments. What does it feel like?
Having two gramophones in front of you, vinyl records and playing those like instruments instead of just letting them run, wow, it is an incredible feeling! My passion for gramophones as musical instruments (scratches, cutting, etc.) was born when a friend of mine showed me footage of a European competition from the DMC series. That is where I saw people creating different sound from the sounds in a song. Personally, I think that if you have not gone through gramophones and vinyl records, you cannot call yourself a DJ.
This time last year, you released the track I Can Survive. How does one survive nowadays?
What keeps you going in these times is lots of faith, love for the people around you, positivity and a tonne of work. I think that all of us, and I mean globally, allowed for everything that has been going on to happen, and it is up to us to fix it! As a child in Bulgaria, I was often told that folk tale about how calling on fate to come help you does not work, and that formed my way of thinking.
Did you really spend one Christmas in custody because you and your friends had been putting up obituaries of Metallica guitarist Cliff Burton, who died in a tragic accident in 1986?
Yes, I was in school in Bulgaria and the times were very different back then. I was labelled a “capitalist” (a child of 11-12) and I was often arrested because my father was Italian. We were big fans of Metallica and when the accident with Cliff Burton happened, we decided to make obituaries and plaster them around town. Within an hour, I was arrested by officials from the Ideology of Youth department with the State Security. I spent Christmas at the police station, answering ridiculous questions. Something I had to go though, I guess.
What is Fabrizio Parisi like away from the limelight?
A perfectly regular person, who likes to go hiking in the mountain, whenever possible, pour himself a glass of white wine and enjoy nature.
What does music mean to you?
It is like a beautiful woman. If you are competent and you know how to love it, it will make your life wonderful. When I am on stage, I am transported to a different dimension. It is just me, the people in front of me and Her Majesty Music!
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
The latest single from the Fabrizio Parisi & The Editor x Veneta collaboration is due any moment now, as is a very interesting remix featuring Greg Gould & Inaya Day. I plan to get back on the road, as I have several gigs booked in Bulgaria, Australia and Egypt. That is, if the situation (surrounding the pandemic) does not change again.
Fabrizio Parisi is among the most popular figures of the European house scene with over 2,500 live parties all over the world, nearly 51.5 million views on YouTube and 1.25 million streams on Spotify. Born in Basel, Switzerland, to a Bulgarian mother and an Italian father who was a prominent music manager, he took up piano lessons at the age of six. He later learned how to play the drums and in the early 1990s caught the gramophone bug and became a DMC champion of Bulgaria in 1995. He built a career simultaneously in Italy, Bulgaria and Turkey. For almost a year now, he has been the host of an hour-long weekly show on Italia Radio 1 together with names like Benny Benassi, The Cube Guys, Federico Scavo, Luca Guerrieri, Flashmob, Gianluca Vacchi. For the past several months his sets have been on the Ibiza Radio playlist.