Carlo Lio (DJ, Toronto)
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: Blood In Blood Out, Bullitt Agency, Carlo Lio, Digital Dreams, House, Nathan Barato, Past Present Future, Rawthentic Music, Sci+tec, Techno, Toronto
Location: Toronto (Ontario), Canada
Genre: House / Techno
Toronto native, DJ, producer & businessman, Carlo Lio has teamed up with studio partner Nathan Barato to create Rawthentic Music. Carlo Lio productions have become a staple in the record boxes of the world’s leading DJs. His fast, deep pulsing tech-house, or groovy, chuggy minimal are inspirational and he credits his latest sound to his most current influences: Dubfire, Marco Carola, Carl Cox and Loco Dice.
CZB: What was the first music genre you enjoyed listening to and what were the first electronic beats you discovered?
Carlo Lio: I was born in 1981 and grew up on Retro. Until this day when I’m not listening to electronic music I am always listening to 80's music. As for electronic music, I discovered it when I was about 10 years old. My uncle and older cousin always listened to classic House. Since then it always stuck with me.
CZB: Tell me about the first rave party you went to?
Carlo Lio: The first rave i went to was called Bitter Sweet. If I remember correctly the DJs were Bad Boy Bill, Dj Dan, Bam Bam, CZR, Frankie Bones ...plus many more, and was held in Toronto at the Automotive centre. I believe it was in 1998.
This is where I first experienced a DJ.
I was fully blown away. After that first rave I think I went almost every weekend until 2002/2003 when the rave scene died. I wouldn't trade those days for the world.
CZB: What made you decide to buy your first DJ equipment?
Carlo Lio: Well, music was always a love for me, but it never crossed my mind to actually be a DJ. After the rave scene died, so did a piece of me and I thought to myself how can I get this feeling back? That's when it clicked and I decided to save money and buy equipment. Shortly after that I discovered Acid Pro & began to mess around with loops and started to make bootlegs and edits of hip hop tracks or whatever I felt I can re-create.
CZB: What event made you decide to give up on day jobs (what kind of odd jobs did you do) and how old were you at the time?
Carlo Lio: After school was finished I got hired at Royal Banks head office, working in securities dept. which is stocks & bonds. This job was alright I guess, but it wasn't for me. After 1 year at Royal Bank, I wasn't really myself anymore. My parents and friends took notice and realized I wasn't happy at all. One day I kind of just snapped and quit my job. I told my parents to bear with me and to give me 1 year to get my music/DJ-ing off the ground & if it doesn't work out I'll go back to work.
Thank God it worked out!
I was 24 or 25 at the time.
CZB: How did you and Nathan Barato first meet and how long did it take for you to decide to start your own label, Rawthentic Music, in 2006?
Carlo Lio: Nathan was a very big local DJ. He was one of the guys I would always go watch on a weekly basis. I was a fan, and that's basically how we met. Nathan actually started the label himself with his brother Jason & as we became closer friends I told him I wanted to start a label as well. It was then when he asked me if I wanted to be a part of Rawthentic. It made sense because we were best friends and a DJ duo as well (The Roaches). In 2010 I took over the label myself and have been solo ever since. For the record, Nathan & I are still best friends!
CZB: How did you hook up with SCI+TEC - it seems that your deepest relationship is with SCI+TEC?
Carlo Lio: Ali (Ali Shirazinia, commonly known by his stage name Dubfire) actually discovered a track of mine which caught his ear. I woke up to a myspace message from him asking about this track. He then asked me if I would be interested in preparing something new for SCI+TEC, which I did and it was all uphill from there!
Yes I agree, my deepest relationship is with SCI+TEC and for many reasons. I've always looked up to Dubfire & Deepdish. Both were a big inspiration to me over the years so to actually work with Ali was obviously huge for me. Besides that Ali has been an amazing person, friend & mentor to me over the past few years. We have become very close and as it's no secret he's really done so much for me, and really pushed my career. He really believed in my music and me as a person & I love him for that. The team behind Ali is also amazing. They have become my family and I can't see myself being anywhere else besides The Bullitt Agency.
CZB: How long has Past, Present, Future been in the making and how has this project been different from others before it for you?
Carlo Lio: Last summer Ali (Dubfire) and myself were touring together and it was then when he asked me to mix the 2nd installment of this compilation. It was a no brainer for me. I immediately said yes. I have never mixed an official compilation before so this was clearly a great opportunity for me.
The project took me a couple of months to finish and I am happy with the end result. The project is quite unique because although it is a studio mix, it was prepared with a live set feel. Constant changes, lots of added loops, tools & FX. So it's very different from your average track in - track out mix comp.
CZB: You are a movie buff… what is the movie you have watched the most times so far?
Carlo Lio: LOL... I am a huge movie and TV series fanatic. But the movie I’ve watched the most in my life is hands down Blood in Blood out VATOS LOCOS FOREVER!
CZB: Have you thought of doing a soundtrack someday … what kind of movie would that be?
Carlo Lio: In the position I am in now.. I would have to say "no". I like where I am right now and want to continue this for a while. Who knows what will happen down the road though.
As for the movie type... hmm I think some type of suspense style flick. I love eerie sounds.
CZB: What has been your most adventurous trip so far, DJ-ing around the world?
Carlo Lio: This is always a tough question because I have seen so much in such a short amount of time... but I would have to say Tokyo. It's always been a dream to go there, so when I finally went I was blown away. To see a place where everything is different is pretty wild. We ate some amazing and weird food like "Chicken Sushimi" and saw beautiful sites. It was definitely an experience I will never forget.
CZB: I understand that there is not a proper electronic music festival in Toronto… What do you consider are some of the reasons for this?
Carlo Lio: This is very true, and many of us here always ask why. I think it all stems from our rave scene. After they cracked down on it, it left a bad taste in everybody's mouth and electronic music really got a bad image.
All the parties went into the clubs and any events that were too big - the government put a stop to them.
So people just stopped trying. Luckily now in 2012 we are having our first Festival in the city called Digital Dreams. The team behind it is amazing and it will be a very proper party. Needless to say the hype on this event is huge as well as the line up: Dubfire, Richie Hawtin, Nic Fanciulli, Steve Lawler, Chus & Ceballos, Mark Knight, Art Department, Kaskade, Guy Gerber, Afrojack, Chuckie, myself + so much more.
CZB: You used to love doing Art … were you more into drawing … and could this talent resurface someday in your album artwork or image concept?
Carlo Lio: Yes as a young kid, art was my passion. I loved to draw. All my school books are full of drawings and not so much school work LOL. As much as i loved it and still do, I don't see this resurfacing. I put it to rest a while ago. I still like to doodle though. :)
Interview conceived by RiCo for CZB.ro
Many thanks going out to DJ Carlo Lio and Ben Molen from Beatnik PR for the interview opportunity.
Carlo Lio lines up his inaugural compilation, extending SCI+TEC’s Past, Present, Future series with a selection of tracks from the label’s vaults. Rather than serving a generic track by track mix, Carlo has been sure to re-interpret the tracks so they are representative of his signature sound.
Part 1’s focus is the ‘Past’ of SCI+TEC, and the tone is set by Kaden’s remix of Squillace’s tech-house smash ‘One Lobster Please’. The mix gives a fantastic journey through the various high points of the label, with Carlo’s approach evident in the dual use of Dubfire’s ‘Rabid’ before Luca Bacchetti’s remix of ‘Crazy Madness’ adds a playful element to the mix.
Part 2 then deals with the present sound of the label, whilst also nodding towards the future. Notable highlights are crowd favourite Paul Ritch’s ‘Common Sense’ with its brilliantly worked sample. The breadth of SCI+TEC is aptly demonstrated here with Nick Curly’s remix of Zoo Brazil’s ‘Slob’ and it’s eerie topline sit effortlessly with SHDWPLAY’s ‘Subconscious’.
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