One of Belgium’s finest exports from the vineyard of electronic music, we took time to catch up with Fernando Costantini. At only 28 years of age, he is an individual with a head wiser than his years. Through travelling the world and gaining a wealth of experience, Fernando has his own story to tell. From family to friends, his journey has allowed him to develop a series of relationships that have resulted in collaborative productions, b2b partners and some relationships at the purest level of simple friendship. As you will begin to understand, music has only complemented his life experience and vice versa. We hope you enjoy getting to know the other side of Fernando as much as we did.
Tell us about your hometown of Brussels in Belgium…
It’s not exactly Brussels where I live. It’s a place called Charleroi. It’s a city of around 200.000 citizens. A small city not really surrounded by an electronic scene but we still have one place called Rockerill. It’s an old abandoned factory. They have different genres of music there; from Rock to electronic music. It’s like an artistic platform.
My city is also famous for its super old former colliery (Bois du Casier, which is now closed) where Italian, Greek, and other nationalities would go to work, like my Grandfather. Without forgetting the biggest museum of photography in Europe. I can only describe my city as an industrial place bordered by an underground atmosphere.
Electronic music is such a vast field of genres. What was your first experience house & techno?
I was 15 years old. My brother brought me to a party with him. But I was not really listening to that kind of music cat the time. I was more into hip hop. Then over time I start to hang out more and more, but I had no money and as I was far from the capital so every penny were important. But then, I went to Ibiza to visit my brother with my parents, and that’s when I discovered guys like Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Tania Vulcano, etc, etc. When I came back from there, I slowly switched to electronic music.
Who were the DJs that most influenced you early in your career?
I don’t have any precise names, it was a long process of maturity. In your life, you are always inspired by everything and not only deejays. For example, I was inspired by my Uncle that was playing guitar. I’ve been inspired by conversations, by a trip, by a moment. I remember I was fan of “I’ve Got the Power » by Snap.
Then, in life you become surrounded by friends that have a different backgrounds and they showed me a lot of stuff that I was ignoring. I think, your career is a constant process of influence. And that’s what it’s all about, being influenced by everything, music can influence your way of thinking, your feeling. And then your music evolves too but you still keep your touch on it.
When did you decide that you wanted to take that next step and start DJing?
From the point when I began spending my time near deejays when I was partying. I was dancing and same time checking their skills, spying on certain tracks. And then I would go back home and try to find them. I started slowly collecting vinyl. And then a friend gave me his turntables and told me… “You have two weeks to mix one records with another one!” I played every day for 3, 4, 5 hours.
When you first played abroad, it must have been amazing. But when it became more and more regular, was it easy to make the sacrifice and leave Belgium behind?
At the moment, I don’t see it as a sacrifice because, I don’t have any children, so no responsibility. I love what I do and when it comes to music, it’s never a sacrifice. I’m young and I have the opportunity to travel, to discover countries, landscapes, sunsets, culture, education, food, and different music. What a better way to discover life and the world?!
I did sacrifice to buy my equipment, to buy vinyl, etc, but with sacrifices, you measure the true values of what life brings you.
You’ve worked on a number productions with Alexandar Kyosev. Being from different parts of the globe, how did you first meet and what made you decide to work with each other in the studio?
We actually met through Facebook. We added each other and started talking. We had a super nice vibe and became closer. And then, we decide to produce together. We started sending each other projects. It was a natural project, nothing forced. All done by the friendship we created.
With music now being released at such a pace, choosing music that really moves you must be at sometimes a difficult task. What is it about any particular track that grabs your attention?
I can’t really say, there is so much good music out there. There are masterpieces everywhere from old to new. I’m an unconditional groove lover.
You’re part of ‘The Gang’. How did first meet tINI? It must have been quite a moment when she became interested in your talent.
We first met in 102 Club, in Neuss, Germany, when I saw her playing for the first time. We met later that night and had fun and that’s where it all started. tINI has been a great inspiration for me in the past years, and I’m glad to share a friendship with her.
I saw you play b2b with Bella Sarris at this year’s tINI and the Gang closing party. Some people say it takes years to get an understanding between two DJs for it to really work. How did this develop between you both?
We didn’t think about it… But it was actually also a long process. We both took time to develop our friendship. It didn’t start this year. It’s already been 2 years since we’ve known each other.
And then, at a rave, we played 7 hours B2B and really enjoyed it. That’s where it all began, and we started to get closer. In life, it’s all about time.
Tell us about your debut at Space for Richie Hawtin’s ENTER.
It’s actually more than special because the first time I went to Ibiza, I went to space with my brother and I sat down during the party in the sunset room (now Sake bar). And when Bella told me that I was going to play with her where I sat 12 years ago; It was a kind of magic. My father started laughing and my older brother’s friends came to see me play. We reversed the roles, but they were still dancing this time to my music.
Whilst travelling round the world, you must have had some great experiences. To date where have you been that has most blown you away?
JAPAN. They are so polite and grateful. They are really caring. They know what it means “sharing is caring”. They pay attention to details. They are helpful, friendly. And the atmosphere is incredible there. I loved it. And there was a temple I visited that helps develop your 6th sense… the energy was incredible over there… I will never forget that.
In between the hectic party schedule what do you do for relaxation?
The usual things. I read books, walk around, hang out, cinema, sports. Just normal stuff.
If I gave you an iPod and you could only pick pick 5 songs of any genre, what would they be?
(For when I walk around)
Adriano Celentano – Il Ragazzo della via Gluck (Which reminds me my mother when we used to sing together)
Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards (For my Sunday mood)
Kenny Hawkes – Sleaze Dubbing (From my first year in ibiza)
Thomas Melchior – Love Was (Smiles all the way)
Where should we look for you next in London?
I will be in London for playing Unleash with Bella for a 4 hour B2B set on the 19th of December :).
Thanks for your time, Fernando!
No, Thank you Meoko and see you all around! Ciaoooo
Listen to Fernando’s MEOKO mix, recorded straight from Brussel’s legendary Fuse
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