With a career that spans 20+ years in the business, Italian producer Paolo Martini continues to rock the dance floor with his own productions like ‘Fiamma’ and the recent one ‘Sparks EP’ in collaboration with Alex Neri

Working tirelessly in the studio, Martini has seen his music supported by some of the industry’s biggest names including releasing and being supported by labels such as Hot Creations, Moon Harbour, Snatch!, 8Bit, Terminal M, and of course his own Paul’s Boutique imprint.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us and can you start by telling us about who influenced you musically in the beginning and then during the early stages of your career and do you still follow them? 

Hi to all 🙂
We have to go back in the days where I used to listen to some Disco & Funky artists who later became real legends such as Chic, Giorgio Moroder, Brass Constructions, BT Express, Gino Soccio, Cerrone … the list is big! After that around 1989 I made my first trip to Ibiza and since then I fell in love right away with the first records which came out in the market with this new genre that at the time was branded ‘House music’. Since then I’ve lived and played every style that’s evolved from it, from acid house to techno and so on.

One of Italy’s longest serving house music DJ & producers, can you tell us how you got your first big break and what the scene was like then?

That was in the 90’s. The scene was incredible, people were just waiting for the weekend to go out clubbing! During that period, we had hundreds of clubs everywhere in Italy and every weekend was like the biggest event of today! The clubs used to open from Wednesday to Sunday with thousands of people enjoying partying. We have to remember in that period the economy was healthy, we lived great moments and there weren’t any crisis at all compared to today. It was very different and people just wanted to party. My first big break was in 1992 when they asked me to play regularly at ‘Area City’ in Venice, and at the time it was one of the best clubs in Italy…it was a dream come true!

Originally making your mark with long-time friend Gianni Bini as Bini & Martini you clocked up dance floor anthems such as “Dancing With You”,”Happiness”,”Burning Up”,”Say Yes”,”Stop”, and do you have a favourite track you’ve produced and why?

I like them all. If I have to say a favourite it could be ‘Happiness’ which was one of our biggest releases with a huge Remix by David Morales who of course helped the track gain bigger exposure in the UK and the rest of the world. Also ‘Dancing With You’ is something thats still got a special place in my heart for personal reasons. By the way the biggest one in terms of sales was ‘Eclipse – Makes Me Love You’ which was a UK Top 20 htt in UK. That was a great tune!

Italy’s always had a huge presence in the house scene through its clubs, labels and producers and why do you think it’s such a special relationship? 

We are Latin…we have music in our blood…aren’t Italians the biggest classical musicians of the past?  Vivaldi, Verdi, Rossini… just kidding 😉 I don’t know…,probably we are predisposed to it.

You’ve worked with clothing brands such as Diesel and Adidas, and how did that come about and do you have any favourite memories from these times?

For Diesel we were chosen (me and few others DJs ) by Nicola Parente, who was the promoter of Area City in Venice and a very good friend of Renzo Rosso, the owner of Diesel. They wanted us to represent and wear their brand while we were working in the clubs so they did a big marketing campaign around it and it worked really well. After a while I got asked the same thing from Adidas.. I did always and still have a couple of pairs of Adidas shoes in my wardrobe so it was quite special for me to be sponsored by them;-)
Actually I’m sponsored by HTC Los Angeles, a clothing brand that’s increased its popularity over the years (it’s huge now!) They produce incredible stuff.

How are your recent release ‘Fiamma’ on Paul’s Boutique and latest ’Sparks EP’ with Alex Neri on Snatch! do you still get excited when your release come out or when you hear them in a club? 

Yeah of course… it’s always like the first time! I get excited like a child as I produce my music with 100% passion and I put a lot of effort in. When I hear or I know my tracks are being played around the globe it makes me feel very happy and makes me feel like keeping on doing what I do even with more energy.

What have been your 5 outstanding moments during your career and why are these so special?

The first time I played at Pacha Ibiza in 1996,.
I remember the first record I played I was shaking! I used to go  and dance there before and to be able to play this amazing club was like a dream come true, I couldn’t believe it! The same thing happened at Ministry Of Sound back in 1994. The club at that time was an institution in the UK around the world. Good memories as well at the DJ Awards when myself and Gianni won one in Italy for the Remix of Jamiroquai ‘Love Foolosophy’. Other huge experiences are my time as a TV presenter of a weekly show ‘The Sound of the Underground’ within the successful ‘Match Music’ TV format and of course my first time on Jamie Jones’ night ‘Paradise’ at DC-10 in Ibiza  a couple of years ago, that was magic!

You played the BPM Festival earlier this year, and what have been the Live highlights for you so far?

Together with Riva Starr’s Snatch! crew we had a great night at Salsanera. The line up was incredible as well as the atmosphere. Also the party with Roger Sanchez at Wah Wah was quite excellent!

Can you tell us about your DJ set up and do you have a favourite format or piece of equipment and why is this so special ? 

I like to create the right mood and atmosphere with the music, no particular equipment. All I need are 3 CDJ Players (usually I use the third one for playing’ various accapellas/fx on top of the tracks) and an Allen & Heath mixer and a Pioneer RMX 1000 for the effects.

What does the future hold in store regarding productions and gigs?

Quite a lot! After my first solo release ‘Fiamma’ on my label, which after 2 months is still #2 on the Tech house chart on Traxsource there followed my fresh one with Alex Neri which is climbing the Beatport chart at the moment, I have an exciting release on Jamie Jones & Lee Foss label ‘Emerald City’ on early September called ‘Red Rocks’. Both tracks on the EP are a bit different from my usual sound. They have a funk/disco vibe and I’m very happy with the result. After that there’s a release on Mother Recordings, Material and a couple more but let’s keep them secret for now 😉 I have a busy summer as well with my gigs…most of them are in Italy but I’m really excited about playing Egg LDN on August 11th with Leon & Pirupa. I also have in the pipeline a couple of gigs at ADE in Amsterdam in October.

And lastly what 4 tunes will be in the bag when you play Egg Ldn on Friday August 11th?

For sure I will be testing out some new stuff and besides that I’ll definitely be playingMhod – ‘She Moved To Mars’
Malandra Jr – ‘Dance Warriors’ (Riva Starr Remix)
LucaJLove, Bradii – ‘Who Really Knows’ (Ruben Mandolini Remix)
Paolo Martini,Alex Neri – ‘That’s It’

Paolo Martini joins Leon X Pirupa on Friday August 11th at Egg LDN and for more info go to www.egglondon.co.uk