It's a fact - trying to book a small slot in Pagano's diary is a mission, but we did it, and managed to ask him the questions that you sent in. A top contender for 'DJ of the moment', he is currently a resident for Megawoof! and plays regularly for the Matinee Group.
His official biography says this about him:
"DJ & Music Producer Pagano is originally from Italy, but is now based in London, where he is often singled out for being a true innovator. His unique blend of different genres of House and Electronic music have become Pagano's trademark sound and has caught the attention of partygoers and music lovers the world over. Pagano’s passion for electronic music is as close to an obsession as it can get: Pagano is a real music geek! His ability to connect with the crowd is unmatched because Pagano main aim is to share the music he likes with like-minded people".
Pagano has played extensively, here at home in the UK and all over the world. In the UK some of the events he has spun at are (some now defunct, some still going strong) Saturdays at Heaven, DTPM, Trade, Matinee, Abstract, Crash, Party Proactive and Extreame Euphoria. Internationally he has DJ'd at Space in Miami, Industry in San Fran, Privilege in Ibiza, La Demance in Brussells, Qube in Rome, and the infamous Rapido in Amsterdam.
You can see his upcoming tour dates on his website
, as well as his Myspace page.
As a producer, he has completed a number of releases on some prestigious labels, under his own name or under various alter egos. Doing the rounds at present are his mix of Robin S - 'Luv 4Luv', 'God Save the Queer' and new track 'Back to the Future' with scene-legend Stewart Who?, and 'Loca', a haunting number, with Wilmein, which has left a mark in the mind of many that have heard it out on the dancefloor. Samples of all the above can be found by clicking here.
In 2006 Pagano decided to launch his own independent record label in the UK, and so he came out with the Deviate Records concept. The idea was to create an unrestricted platform to showcase the evolution of his sound, and the sound of the most talented of London’s up and coming producers. The Deviate Records style is all about unique combinations between different musical genres, hense the sound that comes from it is always, fresh, cutting edge and technologically advanced. You can visit the Deviate records website here.
So on with the interview:
SO: Hi Pagano, Thanks for giving scene-OUT and it's readers the opportunity to ask you a few questions.
P: 'That's no problem, in fact it's my pleasure to be given the oppurtunity'
SO: OK, well here goes then with question one. What hooked you on becoming a club DJ and since when did you know you wanted to be a DJ? What bands/music inspired you when you started playing back then?
P: "All I can say is that while other 8 years old kids wanted Hot Wheels miniature cars to play with, I was asking my parents to buy me the latest Italo-Disco and Synth-Pop releases from Den Harrow, Raf, Novecento Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and the likes. I started putting cassettes together for my classmates’ birthday parties, but I was mixing these tunes I liked with the songs from the cartoons my young friends liked: I learnt quite a lot at a young age, that's why a good DJ always needs to look at the dancefloor…!"
SO: When did you start producing?
P: "I started producing in the nineties. My first productions were a sort of UK Hard Dance meets Euro. I remember hearing Alan Thompson playing at Trade a track I produced called ‘The Ride’: I remember thinking that’s it! I am famous now! Oh dear! Anyway, a company I used to work with has recently re-released some of that material, trying to cash in on the success of my recent House and Progressive releases. When listening to some of them I am now ashamed: they sound awful, so cheesy. But it was ten years ago, club music was different and I was in my early twenties, so I did not really have great experience in the studio."
SO: What are the three gigs that you have done that you were most proud of?
P: "I actually have more than three! Approximately four or five years ago I got booked to play an event at Privilege in Ibiza alongside Benny Benassi, Mario Piu’ and other Italian producers. The promoters put together a line-up of the DJs they considered the best Italian exports at the time and it felt great to be included. Of course, to say the event was full of loud Italians wearing sunglasses is an understatement!
It was great to be selected to play at Space as the DJ representing Italy at the Miami Winter Party Festival in 2007. I also really enjoyed my DJ set on the main floor at the last ever Trade at Turnmills: many regard Trade at Turnmills as the London nineties version of NY’s Studio 54. So to be part of the closing party line-up made me very proud.
Playing at Rapido and La Demence in Europe is also lot of fun: those two are probably the best events in continental Europe. My residency at Megawoof! is great too, it draws such a friendly crowd."
SO: Is there one in particular that you would like to play again?
P:"I am still playing some of them, but I would love to play at Space in Miami again."
SO: The next question got asked a number of times by our readers. Why don't you have a podcast?
P: "Aghh - Why? What's wrong with cassettes?!"
SO: This is a good one. Is Pagano really your family name? As Mono points out, it's just too good to be a coincidence... (pagano agg. 1. heathen adj. 2. pagan adj. — clubbing's a kind of alternative religion?)
P: "Yes, it is my surname/family name. It is actually quite a common surname in some areas in Southern Italy. It really does suit me, doesn’t it?! I love it…"
SO: When do you sleep?
P: "I try to make the best of every opportunity. Some of my closest friends think I am actually addicted to Ambien! (SO: thats a drug used to cure insomnia)
Generally Monday is my day off, which feels great because everyone hates Mondays, while I usually spend them in bed or on the sofa watching DVDs.
Been waiting to ask this question for a while now. Have you ever played at Fire, been offered or would you even consider it if asked?
P: "Uhm, somehow I feel this could be controversial! Around 3/4 years ago I actually used to play at Fire often for some straight after hours hosted by the Most Wanted Agency. Until recently the gay events at Fire were famous for their Funky happy sounds, and I have never really played that style. Things seemed to have changed now and my fellow ‘Trekkie’ Dave Cross, from the Fire office, has recently tried to assimilate me…and I’m sure you know that famous line from the Borg: resistance is futile!"
SO: From that answer then can we expect to see you at Fire over the coming year?
P: "You'll just have to wait and see, never say never!"
SO: What’s your take on the London scene at present?
P: "From a punter point of view I think it is fun. There are a lot of different types of events from various promoters. Competition is always healthy because it forces everyone to up their game. But as a DJ, what I really hate about the present scene are the club politics. These seem to bring the worst out of everyone involved. One thing is negotiating for a booking, another thing is bully an artist/DJ to force him to work for you: this sort of behaviour is for me absolutely unacceptable."
How did you get into playing in the London scene and which are the clubs you most like playing at?
P: "I used to only play the straight scene thanks to the success of my releases on Mauro Picotto’s BXR and Nukleuz labels. But when Heaven changed its music policy and Wayne G left, before the G-A-Y takeover, two friends of mine named Santo and Renato who were close to Heaven’s management at the time, suggested my name to Gavin Nicholls and David Inches. After a couple of gigs Gavin and David offered me the Saturday night residency. The Heaven residency represented a great opportunity to show what I was capable of and helped me to develop my career further. I'm lucky in the fact that I only play at clubs that I like, so when you see me DJ'ing at Egg, BarCode, Megawoof and Matinee, I'm enjoying it as much as the clubbers."
SO: How would you describe your music style?
P: "I am generally not really keen on labelling music styles. An enthusiastic clubber once told me that my music style was quite original and unique for London. So I guess my music style is best described as the Pagano sound which I tend to see as daring, sexy, energetic, percussive, electronic and cutting-edge".
SO: Cool. One reader writes: ‘Marvellous’ and ‘My Religion’ are some of your earlier successful tracks, and have a dark feel to them, is this reflective of a side in your personality?' What do you think?
P: "It surely is. The dark side is fascinating…!"
SO: You started playing a lot abroad, you are a resident in Rapido (Amsterdam, Rotterdam and London), you are now playing in Rome (Mucassassina), Padova (The Block), La Demance in Brussels and you are planned to play at Fate club in Berlin... how is it playing to the crowd abroad compared to the London crowd? What more big events are you scheduled to play this year?
P: "I love playing in London, but since I am Italian I really enjoy playing in continental Europe too. I think London has always had its own trends and music styles, but it is slowing catching up with the rest of Europe. In Europe people are probably more open minded and less spoiled, therefore they listen more to the music. Forthcoming bookings abroad include more gigs in Amsterdam, Brussels, Rome, Ibiza and Barcelona where I will play the Rapido event hosted as part of the Circuit festival."
SO: A music question from the pot 'My favorite track is Loca featuring Wilmien, which was just released under Stereo Productions, can you tell me what the song is about? Also I understand some other famous Dj's are working on a remix, can you tell me who and when are they due for release?
P: "The track is about loosing yourself to the music. It is about not caring about what people might think or say about you. It is about being yourself; it is about letting your hair down. The release date has not been confirmed yet. The promo of the original mix has just been released as part of the Miami Music Conference sampler of Chus & Ceballos label Stereo Productions. The feedback in Miami has been so good that DJ Chus himself, among others, is remixing the track".
SO: Tell us about your latest release featuring Stewart Who?
P: "The track is called ‘Back To The Future’ and has been signed to the American label KULT Records. I actually produced this track about a year ago, but it has taken a while to finalize the package for the full release. I have been getting an incredible feedback on this so far, both from the public and from some legendary DJs and producer of the international House scene.
People like Danny Rampling, Cevin Fisher, DJ Vibe, Quentin Harris, Mark Picchiotti, have sent to the label amazingly positive comments about the track and they are all supporting it during their DJ sets. Of course it is an honour to know the track is in the playlists of such important DJs, but what really makes me happy is that they got the message me and Stewart wanted to send out with the song…"
SO: Thanks for your time Pagano and for answering all the questions.
P: "No, it was fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing your readers out in London and further away over the coming Summer".
There you have it....Pagano - in words....!!! Here's his latest diary if you want to catch him:
01.05.09 - Barcode Vauxhall (London U.K.)
02.05.09 - Megawoof Birthday! @ Colosseum (London, U.K.)
03.05.09 - RAPIDO After (Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS) - 7 Hours Set
09.05.09 - Abstract @ EGG (London U.K.)
15.05.09 - MUCCASSASSINA @ Qube (Rome, ITALY)
17.05.09 - Breakfast @ EGG (London U.K.)
22.05.09 - Barcode Vauxhall (London U.K.)
23.05.09 - Megawoof @ Colosseum (London, U.K.)
24.05.09 - MATINEE Group (London, U.K.)
30.05.09 - Barcode Vauxhall (London U.K.)
31.05.09 - Breakfast @ EGG (London U.K.)