Influential Italian DJ and producer LEON has played around the globe in renowned clubs from Fabric London, to Rex Club Paris, to Amnesia and DC10 in Ibiza and beyond. Well respected amongst his peers, he has been a resident for Marco Carola’s Music On since its inception in 2012. With releases in recent times on the likes of Hot Creations and Crosstown Rebels, LEON is now set to move into an exciting new phase of his career with the launch of his label FUTURA. We’re excited to be speaking with LEON today in light of this new chapter!
Leon, a pleasure to have you with us at DMCWORLD today! First off, how are you and where are you based at the moment?
Hello and thank you so much for this interview, it’s a pleasure for me. I’m ok, a little tired of this situation caused by COVID, but we finally have the vaccine and soon everything will be over. I’m at home, I live in a small city on the Adriatic coast close to the beach and at the same time I also have an amazing mountain 45 minutes by car.
On the 28th of May your new label FUTURA is set to launch with ‘Get Back Up’ from yourself featuring Jones 2.0, along with two remixes which we will get on to shortly. Can you tell us a bit about FUTURA and the inspiration behind launching it?
After many years of career and even more in music I thought the time had come to create my own brand, during this year and a half of stop I had the opportunity to reflect well on what to do, one last but very important desire, so was born FUTURA, a visionary brand that will appear on the electronic music and club scene. In this project I will have no musical and conceptual boundaries, I will put all my imagination and passion for music and the club into action. I will bring in new artists but also well-established friends and I will always try to have interesting forms of art.
‘Get Back Up’ is a super release and sure to set the label off to a great start. Can you tell us a bit about the track and how you decided that it would be the starting point for FUTURA?
I want to be honest with you, I didn’t want it to be the first release of FUTURA. I was ready to release with a new artist called LUCIO and with remixes of Luuk Van Djik and Sublee, but with the whole team we have reasoned and yes maybe my new tune is strong, its message is strong especially right now in this hard moment for all of us, that’s why we decided to make it 001.
Jones 2.0’s vocals on ‘Get Back Up’ are very powerful. What was it like working with him on this track?
It was cool, I had this beats ready for a long time, something old school Detroit house and initially it was for a friend of mine who lived in Bali, Elliott Shaw and he wanted to put on a rap voice of his friend, but then we couldn’t, so after 1 year I said, I have to finish this track and I contacted Jones 2.0 who just heard the beats and exploded with this super song. It was very exciting, he’s very talented and lives in London, his style is very similar to THE STREETS, I love it.
The two remixes come from fellow Italian Koko and from UK based duo Frankel & Harper. Both artists brilliantly put their unique touch on the record. Can you tell us a bit about your connection to the remixers and how you selected them to remix this release?
First of all I must say that in the last two years I have followed both artists and their productions and they are really talented, then I can say that we are friends and they immediately accepted my invitation. They immediately believed in this project and they helped me to realize this release is so important, these guys will go a long way I’m sure, they are very strong. Koko gave a dub touch to the track, something was missing and now finally there, Frankel & Harper have done something explosive for a different market, more UK Bass garage, because I thought that with that voice you could do something different and I think we did.
What else can we expect to see from FUTURA in the near future?
FUTURA will be an artistic and experimental platform, we have scheduled all releases until January 2022 and we are moving forward in organizing the first parties in the world. We are always looking for super artists and new sounds, we will always try to be at the forefront with the music, graphics and videos. This will be our feature, always surprising, it won’t be easy but we are trying. There are so many really special people who are working behind this project.
The last 18 months have been very tough for the scene, with the absence of events being a huge factor. What was the last event that you played at? What aspect have you missed the most about events during their absence?
This is an important question. I am still very disappointed with how things have gone for our sector, especially in Italy, many of my colleagues and friends have started to do another job to survive. It has not been easy for any of us. Governments have not respected us, they have not considered us, some have deprived us of the freedom to support culture and art, and this is unsustainable, unacceptable. What world would it be without art and without culture? I understand that priority is given to the health of all of us, but too often we have been treated as if we were a problem. Anyway my last date was about 1 year ago here in Italy with Marco Carola and it was epic. I was born to do this, I want to go back to a club with people, it’s my life, it’s my breath!
Thanks a lot for chatting with us today Leon! We’re super excited for you and your new label and wish you all the best on the journey. To round things off, aside from Futura, are there any other releases coming up from yourself soon that you can let us in on?
Thank you Thank you Thank you. I have something that will be out this year, on FUTURA for sure, a remix on legendary Mr. C and David Scuba label SUPERFREQ, an EP on DO NOT SLEEP and another EP on NOTHING ELSE MATTER, and also try to finish a bomb track with legendary Len Lewis!