Italian artists DJ Taz and Alfieri came together recently to collab on “Real Love” on Ocean Trax Records and we caught up with them to find out how they met and came to work together, and how it works…
Hey guys, how are you, how has 2023 been for you so far?
DJ Taz – Well, what to say? 2023 started off great, with a great desire to start again after 2 difficult years, and we all know why!
Alfieri – Hello friends, my 2023 started great and is going really well 🙂
What inspired and influenced the new release on Ocean Trax Records?
DJ Taz – Oceantrax for us means HOME! A staff that always understands us all the way, and that always values our music. And then, Gianni Bini, is always an inspiration for us!
Alfieri – Oceantrax has been an exceptional label for us. They welcomed us like family, and this is great for us!
What is your current studio setup like? What gear, hardware and software is in it?
DJ Taz – Like many producers I have a home studio, and it’s well equipped, with just the essential to produce. Two KRK 8 inch monitors and the rest all Presonus, a MacPro M1. And my favorite program: LogicPro
Alfieri – I don’t own a studio, as I’m more of a vinyl salesman, and a music lover! I come up with ideas, which I then propose to Dj Taz. We do the rest together.
How did you first meet each other and why work together?
DJ Taz – Well, Alfieri and I met because we have the same passion for vinyls. He is a seller, I am a collector… We met at a vinyl fair, two words were enough, and we immediately got in tune 🙂 Then we became friends, and we decided to produce together. He’s always the pickiest one. I more instinctive.
Alfieri – We met, at a vinyl fair! DJ Taz came to my booth to buy vinyl, and we became friends!
Who does what? Is one best at bass, the others synths or whatever?
DJ Taz – Generally, I create some beats, ideas mostly……. I send them to Alfieri, because we live in different cities. Me in Palermo and he Bologna. If he likes the idea, then we’ll meet in the studio and we’ll make everything together. Then we employ musicians, and we make the record.
Alfieri – We usually develop an idea first, then we compare and if we like it, we start working on it. Then we employ musicians to carry out the production.
How did you hook up with the vocalist and who wrote the lyrics?
DJ Taz – My desire has always been to make a record with a true SOUL voice! I discovered Heyoka Jones on YouTube. She sang Karaoke and I immediately fell in love with her voice. I tried in every way to contact her! I asked her to collaborate, and she sent me her vocal! The rest is magic!
Alfieri – It was a discovery of Dj Taz, he found it on YouTube…..he sent me the video, and we fell in love with Heyoka Jones’ voice.
How important are they or is it more about the sounds of the voice in the mix?
DJ Taz – I’ve always thought that sounds are important, but the voice is the most important thing! A voice can also make you dream! Cry! Rejoice! If the song is overwhelming, the vocals can take you to another level! If you put a nice MIX to all of this, then you get magic!
Alfieri – Everything is important. I’m the most fussy about these things!
Who did you look up to when you came up through the scene, and is it important people see people who look like them when they are coming up?
DJ Taz – My artistic references are many, I have always loved black and soul music, from Earth Wind & Fire, Tina Marie, Luther Vandross, up to Bruno Mars, Musiq Soulchild, Dr.Dre, Quincy Jones, DJ Kaled, really many….I could write a book! I told you earlier that I’m a vinyl collector 🙂 As regards the productions, I have always tried to create my own personal style.
Alfieri – I’ve always been a fan of underground music, especially the English one. Passionate about all the productions of the well-known UMM label, in fact my first nickname was PeppeUmm 🙂 But generally I was inspired by artists like: Spiller, Todd Terry, Mousse T, Coccoluto, Gianni Bini….they are some of my references.
What else have you got coming up?
DJ Taz – What else do I have planned? I would like to flood the world with good music! So much Soul! Today the mainstream offers liquid music, for consumption! Poor quality, with stupid content….young people won’t have anything to remember in a few years.
Alfieri – We’re already working on a new record, which seems to be a real Funky House bomb…… we’re undecided about which item to include. Maybe for this new production, we will include a male voice!….But at the moment we don’t want to give spoilers 🙂 Follow us and you’ll know 🙂
DJ Taz & Alfieri feat. Heyoka Jones single “Real Love” will be out on Ocean Trax Records on 24th March
DJ Taz – Instagram | Facebook
Alfieri – Instagram | Facebook
Heyoka Jones – Instagram | Facebook