Peppe Citarella is a busy man! The Italian not only is a highly successful artist himself, he also runs the very busy Union Records label. Our reviewer Mannix caught up with the man who doesn’t seem to sleep…
DMC: Peppe where are you at the moment and how do you feel?
PC : I’m in my studio in Italy, working on the next releases, the first will be in January with Nervous Records, a song for the compilation of my brother Hector Romero. That song will be a collaboration with my friend Mijangos.
DMC: Over the last years you not only have established your own sound and release material, but you have also built up one of the most significant labels, Union Records. Please tell us more about it and the aims you have with the label!
PC : in the last years I have had the chance to publish my music on so many strong labels and I’m really happy about that. As a natural progress in 2017 my label “Union Records” was born.
Initially I wanted to publish only my music, in fact the first release was “Organ Ride” with Davide Fiorese. After a few months I found several demos in my email account. The fact that many artists admired my music and had the desire to be produced by me was a big step and from this moment on my adventure as a record producer entered the next level.
DMC: It seems that you have a very open minded release policy. You can offer a very soulful nugget that is followed by a tough Afro Tech track. What is the thought behind this policy?
PC : Those who follow me, know my productions, which are also a reflection of the wide range of music styles I admire. I love soulful music but at the same time I’m very much into Afro and Latin. My father is a lover of Soul music and early R & B, he gave me my first records at the age of 13 years. They were from artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and many others of the time. I spent many many hours listening to them. My grandmother was a Latina from Puerto Rico, her father was from there and she had a Mexican mother. My love for Latin sounds certainly comes from her! All in all, Union Records reflects me and all the releases we push contain the music that gives me strong emotions and which falls within the musical genres that I love!
DMC: In the past the Latin element has been significant in your release schedule and with artists like Mijangos and yourself you have key players of the Latin House movement involved. Is that still an element you keep an eye on?
PC : Mijangos is a great producer and I am very happy that it is part of my label . His latest work “Aqui Se Baila” has been very successful and has been supported by many international DJs. I respect him a lot and he definitely deserves success. In 2019 we will continue releasing Latin influenced material for sure.
DMC: Speaking of release schedule-it seems you put out a record each and every week. Where do you get your material from?
PC : As mentioned before I get quite a lot of demos. The truth is that ‘I’m looking for less known artists with talent, and I’m sincere that I lose so many hours to paralyze with them. But my role is to give them advice and to intervene to help them as an engineer in my studio. In my opinion everyone should have the possibility to express their art. I personally have not been lucky about this and therefore I want to give to others the help they need. I’m A & R , engineer of sound, I do the mixing and also all artwork of our releases.
DMC: Most of the releases on Union Records are EPs or singles. It seems like you don’t focus too much on remixes, do you?
PC : Right, but in 2019 the remixes will arrive, the first will be Adam Rios and Mark Lewis for the song “Saint Evo feat. Zipho – I Wanna Know”. Then they will be followed many others ….
DMC : As mentioned before, you are not only label boss, but an artist yourself too. What’s coming up from you personally?
PC: I’m working on various releases for 2019, I mention some, I have a collaboration of 2 songs with Bobby & Steve on their label Groove Odyssey with the voice of Stephanie Cook and Jon Pierce.
I’m already preparing my album “Afro Latin” for the summer 2019 , with a Latin group called “Tribalism” formed by Dante Rivera, Vincent Sebastian Labra and the enchanting voice of Merenia Marin, and there will also be a release for Moblack Records the label of the great Mimmo Falcone, certainly one of the strongest labels in the genre. And finally there will be a song in collaboration with Mijangos, will be released in early 2019 on Nervous Records as mentioned before.
DMC: Final question, what’s coming up next on Union Records and where can we catch you play?
PC : In 2019 there will be many new artists on Union Record and there will be remixes of the already published releases. I will be present at the next event on the 29th of December at the Groove Odyssey party that will be held at the Ministry of Sound (London)!
Happy Holidays to all!
DMC: Thanx a lot!