A Sit Down With DJ Phonat

15:27 Mar/27/2018

In the last few years Phonat has become one of the most respected and esteemed electronic producers in Europe first coming to our attention with the release of his eponymous debut album ‘Phonat’ and since going on to find in productions in the bags of and name in the mouth of some of electronic music’s biggest names.


"I like my work to speak for itself, other than posting online about yourself."


Describe the processing of creating your tracks.

The process is like this: I do a bit of work until I’m saturated and keep coming back to it. It’s a constant remix process. I add lots of different layers of complicated stuff that’s organic and talks to each other. Then, in the final stages, I take out everything I don’t need. With Phase To Face I twisted things so many times, it changed completely. A track like this is so removed from the original concept. It’s a very natural process of throwing shit loads of sounds at a project and scratching bits away to reveal a painting underneath.

What does your studio setup look like?

MacBook pro, Cubase 6.5, RME interface, Event speakers and Novation keyboard. Pretty essential!

Your music is not just one single style, I mean you are mainly house music, however you can vary your style of music from house to electro to dubstep, why not stick to one particular sound?

I like varying things up a bit, I mean when i go and play shows for different crowds, I always need to learn to adjust to how the crowd is moving and what not. You have to feel the crowd, and when you see that they're going one way, you have to adjust. If they are going wild, kick in some electro/dubstep, if they want smoother, trance like music, i put some house/minimal style. You always have to adjust to the crowd unless you're gonna lose them.

Do you like what you do?

I’m very precious about what I do. I don’t like making music because I have to. I only make it when I want to. I want to make something new and there has to be a reason for my music to be there. I don’t want to pollute my Soundcloud with repetition.

You took a pretty big break from music after 2010’s Cockroaches EP, what were you up to in the years between then and Identity Theft?

Mostly smoking weed. In the spare time I’ve worked on many commissioned music jobs to pay my bills. I don’t like the pressure of having to make money with my own music, I like to be free to do whatever I feel like and it has to be fun to do it. Otherwise there’s just no point.

When did you start writing music? Did you learn by ear or were you taught to read/write music?

I started playing the guitar when I was about 12 but I didn’t get into music production till I was 16. I’ve learned everything by myself. Sometimes I regret not having studied music theory properly cos I’m too lazy to start now.

So you're saying that the music industry in Italy isn't a big thing?

Not exactly, I mean the music industry in Italy has grown over the years, however in order to be internationally reknown, for people to actually look up your music online and to see who you are and to make a name for yourself, Italy wasn't the place. In London I was able to meet different guys, such as Skrillex and what not, and was able to expand my musical talents and reach another level in my music career.

You’ve got a pretty tight crew in London. Can you tell us a bit about them and how you guys met?

It all started with me sending demos to Heavy Disco and Mofo HiFi, labels that are run by The Young Punx guys. We then met in Italy when they came for a gig near Turin, after a good chat I decided to move to London. We shared a studio space ever since and became best buddies. Until Hal got himself a fish tank, the clown fishes got a bit in between our friendship I think. I then met other great characters (and musicians) like NAPT, Bobby Tank, Blende, Ali Jamieson, Sharooz and Peo De Pitte to name a few. They taught me the art of drinking pints and sarcasm. And mum jokes.

What was your most Indecent moment as an artist?

My craziest night was probably when I was playing a concert in Japan, and that was probably my greatest concert ever. The crowd was a blast, the show was fantastic, and then there was an after-party that kept me up for a whole 24 hours. Basically, that was probably the craziest night of my life.


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