Aug 20, 2013
interview
Giuseppe Ottaviani

Summer has been busy for Giuseppe. Outside of performances in Ibiza and Buenos Aires with stops in every city in between, the Italian producer released his highly anticipated Magenta album. Giuseppe sat down with LessThan3 during his vacation in Rome to discuss his album, analog vs digital, and the importance of passion.

Giuseppe Ottaviani feat. Eric Lumiere - Love Will Bring It All Around (Original Mix) [Black Hole]
LessThan3: Congrats on the new album! It’s obvious you put quite a bit of work into Magenta.
Giuseppe: Thank you! Magenta took 15 months while I was also touring and working on other mixes. I was fortunate to collaborate with several talented vocalists and producers on many of the tracks. I’m really happy with the result, and that’s the most important thing for me–to be happy with my music.
LessThan3: So you were working on your album a lot on the road?
Giuseppe: Traveling and touring really inspires me! The sensation of thousands of people jumping in front of me provided so many ideas! As soon as a show was over, I’d write down some melodies to try and capture the emotions from the night. Then when I’d get back home, I’d finalize everything in the studio.
LessThan3: What’s the significance in the name Magenta?
Giuseppe: Colors have a very strong non-verbal language, and I find colors play an important meaning in my life, from the colors in my studio to the colors in my house. Magenta gives the message of passion, non-conformity, and creativity. Above all, it represents the highest level of universal love.
LessThan3: When it comes to producing vocal tracks, do you know the theme of the song and help write the lyrics, or do you just let the vocalist do the writing?
Giuseppe: It depends on the song. Sometimes I’ll have a clear idea and make a demo and send it to a vocalist. Sometimes I’ll have a track that I think would sound great with a vocal, so then I’ll send it off to my songwriter to see what he can do.
LessThan3: What inspirations do you find for your music outside of EDM?
Giuseppe: Since I’m classically trained, my biggest inspiration would be the Italian composer Ennio Morricone. He’s written music for hundreds of movies and TV shows. Also, the original electronic rework of Adagio for Strings by William Orbit is what brought me to electronic music. At the time, it was the perfect match between the classical music that I love with the high energy of dance music. The combination of those two elements moved me to begin creating dance music.
LessThan3: You’re proud of the fact that you still use analog instruments. What’s your position on the analog vs. digital debate?
Giuseppe: Producers should make music however way they feel comfortable. I’m from the MIDI era when there were no computers or software available. All you could do was spend a lot of money on real keyboards, real mixers, real synthesizers. Since I feel comfortable finding new sounds with that setup, I still produce with analog. I don’t make new sounds with just mouse clicks. I’m not very good with software. I’d rather jump on a keyboard with knobs and faders. That being said, I strongly believe analog gear sounds better. I use software a lot, but nothing compares to the unique emotions of a real analog outboard.
LessThan3: Trance has seen quite a transformation in the last few years. What’s your opinion on the direction the genre is heading?
Giuseppe: Music constantly changes, but that change is why music is beautiful. As for the direction trance is heading, I don’t have an opinion. I just categorize music as good or bad, and as long as I stay away from making bad music, I’m happy.
LessThan3: With the highly competitive nature of producing trance music, do you feel there’s pressure to change your sound to stay ahead of the curve?
Giuseppe: I like to be influenced by other artists to evolve my sound, not by the pressure of the competition. Once you’re making music under pressure, it loses its fun. While I understand that I have to make a living from producing music, any change I make to my sound is motivated by my passion to make good music, not money. As long as passion drives me to make music, I know I’m giving the right message to the fans.
LessThan3: You’ve had a busy summer; what gigs stand out as your favorite? What gigs are you looking forward to?
Giuseppe: I just did a gig in Ibiza–that’s my favorite summertime spot, so I’m looking forward to heading back later this month. I’m off to Switzerland this month for the first time in three years followed by stops in Buenos Aires and Mexico in September. This November, I’m touring Australia with Stereosonic–that tour will be the highlight of my year.
LessThan3: You’re billed as a live performer. What makes you different from the typical EDM act?
Giuseppe: All of my performances are by feel; I never play a setlist. I’m at the venue an hour before my set to get a sense of the night so once I’m onstage, I’m playing what the crowd wants in that moment.

Fans aren’t coming to see me play just a certain type of music. I’m not a DJ–I’m performing live with keyboards, mixers, and a laptop. When you come to my show, you get my music and my sound delivered live, and that’s something I’m very proud of.

LessThan3: Tips for aspiring producers?
Giuseppe: Do more than downloading a plugin and using a preset. Try to create your own sound, a sound that gives you a unique signature that people can recognize you by.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Giuseppe: Secret Of The Sahara by Ennio Marcione.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Giuseppe: Passionate. Non-conformist. Energetic.
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