Interview: Davide Squillace
A renowned DJ & producer, label boss and art creative, Davide Squillace’s career is constantly evolving with innovative ideas, from music to art.
Since establishing his music career over a decade ago, Davide’s dynamic sound, an eloquent mix of techno, dance, indie, instrumental and downtempo beats, continues to light up and inspire dancefloors, spanning over many continents.
On 9 July, Davide Squillace will be part of the annual Torino celebration of techno, Kappa Futur Festival, where he joins the likes of Chris Liebing, Marco Carola, Solomun, and more on the festival’s first day. Anticipating the event, we caught up with Davide to discuss his impressions on the space, the political responsibility of DJs, and much more.
“I am Italian and proud of my culture and background but I strongly believe we don’t need borders, especially when lives are involved.”
As a native of Barcelona, with Sonar/Off Week having just wrapped, how was the experience there this year? As the Sonar brand grows, how have you seen the festival change over the years? What does that event mean to the city of Barcelona?
I’m not exactly a native, I am 100% Italian … But yes I have been living here for 14 years and I feel at home in Barcelona.
Sonar is great! What I really feel make the festival even more special are the Off Sonar events. They attract a massive amount of people to the city not only for Sonar but for more underground label parties etc. For the city, it is a statement. It is a great business and for once a year it makes Barcelona the capital of electronic music.
Speaking of Barcelona, many consider it to be lesser-known dance music “centre”, operating under the radar from the, more known, London and Berlin’s of the world. Do you agree? How do you rate the scene in Barcelona?
Barcelona has everything and the living expenses are lower in comparison to other major cities. We can’t forget that we also have the best weather!
Most of the artists that I know are choosing to reside in Barcelona because of the great food. It’s easy to live in central Barcelona; in 20 minutes you are at the airport, which are straight connections to the rest of the world… and you are never far from the beach!
Is there anything Barcelona’s dance music scene is still missing that you would like to see?
Yes, unfortunately we have a really strict policy. There are too many rules, for instance it´s not possible to be open till late… we can’t even run to an after-party and even worst it’s impossible to host parties on the beach or in other open-air venues without dealing with a slow and conservative bureaucracy. Barcelona’s dance people are working miracles, but the way of life in the city makes it hard. There’s no Uber, and the strict laws make it difficult to make new business here.
Last summer, I saw you in Antwerp as part of Ida Engberg’s Techno For Humanity event. For those who don’t know, it was the first electronic music-centred awareness event regarding the current refugee situation in Europe. As I didn’t get to ask you then, why did you decide it was important to be involved with that event? What are your impressions on that situation now?
It is important for only one reason: human rights. I am Italian and proud of my culture and background but I strongly believe we don’t need borders, especially when lives are involved. Many of them are children which we can’t close the door on. I just became a father not long ago, so I am very sensitive to these issues.
Do you think that DJs and dance music figures should be more political in their personas? Meaning, do you want to see more opinions coming out of artists and the music they make? I have heard many conflicting opinions on this matter.
Honestly, not really, but if you have an idea and your idea can help to make the world a better place then express yourself. We do have the power to move masses which can also be a risk.
But yes a lot of us are getting closer to energies, veganism, karma, yoga. I see them as ”first world problems”.
I really try to help in a different way.