101 with Fabio Florido

Every dancer, every darkened club, every DJ, and every artist that Fabio Florido encounters leaves an indelible impression on him. Every life interaction has culminated in his arrival at this exact point: balancing a compulsive passion for music creation with a passionate consumption of nightlife.

Fabio fell in love with electronic music and club life when he was a teenager, and spent the majority of his youth in nightclubs and deep in the studio, developing a fluid style that drew from techno and tech house. Moving to London at the age of 21 immersed him in a deeply influential but wholly unique nightlife scene, where he broadened his horizons week after week.

Now based in Berlin, a place where he feels especially welcome, Fabio is a regular fixture in its renowned clubs and the city has provided an additional layer of input and inspiration to evolve and sculpt his sound. 2015 signalled the beginning of yet another upwards phase for Fabio, which was followed by EPs for Dubfire‘s SCI+TEC stable, Pig & Dan‘s ELEVATE imprint, and essential Italian label 303Lovers.

Momentum will continue to gather pace for Fabio Florido throughout 2017, with more live sets and studio work that will combine analogue and digital into a single soul with an upbeat groove.

Fabio Florido‘s rise to his most recent heights – joining the likes of Nicole Moudaber, Chris Liebing, Dubfire, Loco Dice and Paco Osuna as a PLAYdifferently MODEL1 Ambassador – is the outcome of a lifetime of learning. We've invited Fabio to our refreshed 101 article prior to his performance at Sonus Festival at Zrce beach on Pag island. Enjoy the read.

What was the funniest / most bizarre request you’ve ever had while playing?

Not so long ago I was playing in Italy in a club where they also host different nights speaking music wisely. I thought I was playing really nice and groovy when suddenly a girl came to me asking if I could play Reggaeton. What’s funny here is not only the request but the face of the girl, I realized her mind could not process my answer: "No sorry, I don’t have any".

She just couldn't understand that I have none, so she stayed by my side for at least 20 minutes thinking I was kidding and that I'll surprise her at some point. She definitely selected wrong night to party! Almost comparable to a guy who asked me to explain my setup, plug-ins, and cable wiring while I was playing full on. Can’t wait for more!

Can you describe your studio setup for us? 

I’m using Ableton Live as a sequencer, very intuitive. Digital-wise I use mostly plug-ins from Native Instrument combined with Push and Machine studio. Then I’m running some analogue machines; AKAI - MPClive, Elektron - Analog Rytm and Roland - Tr-8 for drums/bass lines.

Moog - Minitaur, Dave Smyth - Pro2, Pioneer - Toraiz, Roland - Tb-3 for Synth and bass-lines. Everything goes through an RME fireface800 to my Genelec monitors. 

Could you tell us the story about your first gig? 

If you mean my very first gig, then we have to jump back for 7 years when I was organising parties in my hometown (Prato, Italy) together with some of my best friends. I was coming from few years of only making music and I didn't have the desire to be a DJ so my personal baggage of unreleased tracks & loops was impressive and for the first year of my career, I played live.

The first party was in a small club (it doesn’t exist anymore) which we filled up with a great atmosphere. I still remember all the friendly faces who came to dance and to have fun with us. It was just the first one of a long series!  

Name three artists that currently inspire you. 

Richie Hawtin, Sebastian Mullaert, and Carlo Ruetz.  

Recall the worst experience of ‘killing the vibe’ in the club. 

I was dancing with my eyes closed and "flying" with the music when I suddenly felt something in my throat which became stronger within few seconds. I've opened my eyes and realised that everyone was crying and making gestures of choking. We all had to run out because someone exploded a pepper bomb on the dance floor. That’s it, the night was sadly over for me and the vibe was completely killed by an idiot...

What do you do before and after your set? 

Hmm... it depends. I’m often in the mood to go the venue early to get the vibe of the night, to have a drink with the promoters or friends if there are any and to listen to the local DJ which I find very interesting and it helps me understand what type of crowd I'm going to talk to.

After the set, I can stay a bit or leave to the hotel/airport to sleep or fly to the next adventure. Something I'm doing recently is a roughly 20min meditation session and I have to say it helps me a lot to concentrate later on!

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Hehe, I think when I was living in London. The first job I've had when I arrived in town was in a restaurant... but I wasn’t even a waiter... my duty was to go around the table once the food was served and ask costumers one by one if they wanted salt or pepper on their food while I was carrying both salt/pepper shakers in my hands.

Don’t get me wrong, every job is respectful but what I’d like you to picture here is a 19-year-old Italian guy with no English at all asking people for pepper and salt all day. I just didn't understand any different questions from people. Terrible.

What are your favourite labels at the moment? 

I’m sure that I’m going to sound weird now but I must say the truth. I’m really, really selective with the music and I usually dig hours only to find few tracks that I want to play (there are more tracks that I like though).

I’m picking them from an immense range of labels which is continuously expanding and lately, I rarely fully like a labels output in its entirety, sorry! I love to follow artists directly other than labels nowadays.

Imagine a cold winter, a fireplace and two glasses of wine—what song would you play?

Pink Floyd - "Dark Side of the Moon" and much more!

Last but not least. What's the best advice you've ever received?

To remember that we are made to be happy and full of love. The fact that when we suffer we feel “pain” is simply because we are not made to suffer! We have to do everything possible to be happy with or without money and with or without luck and that's all to create our own reality.

By Saša, edited on 14 June 2018