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For The Record: Piero Pirupa, 'Disclosure make me happy during this sad time'
The Italian tech-house DJ/producer reveals some of his favourite records and new releases, and why he cries like a baby every time he hears Nessun Dorma
Last updated: 8th Apr 2020
Boasting one of the most bizarre music videos of 2020 (featuring Barry from Eastenders snorting little Barrys and generally getting off his nut) for 'Braindead (Heroin Kills)', Italian tech-house DJ/producer Piero Pirupa can already lay claim to one of the year's most recognisable dance floor bangers.
The NONSTOP! label boss has already racked up close to two million Spotify streams for the anti-drugs anthem, which features the line 'heroin kills, stay away from pills, if you use cocaine wave goodbye to your brain’, originally voiced by Public Image Limited drummer Martin Atkins on 1986 track, 'Fun With Music', by Brian Brain.
The techno thumper follows past Pirupa hits like 2009's 'Sweet Devil', 2010's 'Get Funky' and 2012's 'Party Non Stop', with the Abruzzo-born DJ releasing on some of electronic music's most esteemed labels, including Defected, Drumcode, Crosstown Rebels and Toolroom.
He says: "I grew up listening to a lot of rock, punk, disco and electronic music from the '70s and '80s. I started DJing about 20 years ago and have been on the international scene since 2008.
"Some of you may know me from 'Party Non Stop' released in 2012 on Desolat/Defected, which became the underground track of that year. Or for my last release, 'Braindead', on Island/Realm.
"We’re experiencing a very bad period, the worst in recent years due to the Coronavirus, which has brought the whole world to a stop. But the music goes on and we’ll come back stronger with a greater desire than ever before!
"In the coming months, I will continue to work hard in the studio, creating and releasing new material. I'm very excited about what I've got coming up, so please check out my social pages to stay up to date.”
Is there a record you can't stop playing right now?
“Yes, the new one from Disclosure, ‘Tondo’, just released on Island Records, makes me feel happy in this very sad period.”
How many records do you personally own?
“I started to buy and spin records around the year 2000 and in the beginning, I spent lots of money on promos and vinyl. I’ve travelled many times from Italy to London to buy secret promos at places such as Plastic Fantastic etc - the best times of my life. I think in the end I've acquired more than 2000 vinyls.”
What’s the weirdest, rarest or most expensive record you own?
PP: “A promo of Royksopp ‘Poor Leeno’, white-label, cost me around £70. I fell in love with that record when Pete Tong played it for the first time on his BBC Radio 1 show. I’ve since lost the vinyl and I can't find it anywhere!”
If you could only play one record for the rest of your life, what would it be?
PP: “Underworld, ‘Born Slippy’. Trainspotting was one of my favourite movies back in the day. I absolutely love this record and I have beautiful memories of that period; the first raves and parties I went to. Amazing.”
Give us your top three recent releases:
PP: “Alan Fitzpatrick vs Patrice Rushen, 'Haven't You Heard' (FFRR); the sample is magic! Ben Rau, Jansons, ‘The Player (Knee Deep In Sound)’ - big tune! Jansons is one of my favourite producers. Green Velvet, ‘Joeski - BARBEE (Relief)’. Classic Green Velvet bomb, destroys all the dance floors.”
Which new artist/band/DJ should we be listening to right now?
PP: “I definitely recommend keeping an eye on Jaden Thompson, he's releasing wicked music. My Italian friend Lorenzo De Blanck is also producing bombs. These two are for real, both cool and forthcoming artists.”
Do you have a musical guilty pleasure?
PP: “The Opera, classical music, Luciano Pavarotti. Nobody knows about this ha! But every time I hear ‘Nessun Dorma’ I start to cry like a baby!”
Best live performance you’ve ever seen?
PP: “Four years ago, Radiohead at the American Airlines Arena Miami; goosebumps and tears. I also have to mention the first time I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Milan, on their Stadium Arcadium Tour in 2006. I’d never heard a band so powerful and full of energy, they were crazy!”
If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
PP: “There are so many but I’d have to say Larry Levan. He's influenced me a lot, disco music is very present in my productions. He was a legend and true inspiration.”