For DJ and producer Ilario Alicante, all recent successes come down to one thing: he started clubber, still considers himself a clubber, and he will always maintain that vital link with the dancefloor. Ilario’s rise has been nothing short of meteoric. A record-breaking Time Warp debut at the tender age of 15, acclaimed productions for Cocoon Recordings, Cécille Records and SCI + TEC Digital Audio, and famed sets over the past two Ibiza seasons, have all firmly established him as one of the scene’s most serious new contenders. MEOKO has the pleasure to have a chat with him about his ascend into success.
Ilario welcome to the fold… Thanks for taking time out of your no doubt busy schedule to talk to MEOKO. Where are you?
I’m back from We are Fstvl which was really an amazing experience. Now i’m in my studio in Berlin organizing new music for my next gigs.
You played your very first gig at the tender age of 15 at the mammoth Time Warp festival do you see this as your lucky moment and how did you cope with it at the time?
I was a bit “older” i was around 17/18.
I always went at timewarp as a clubber and i think it’s one of the most important and beatiful festivals of our scene. Was just amazing. Anyway I never been nervous and i don’t know why… i just ride the mood without any stress. I love what i do, and i have the possibility to do it in the best places..so there is no reason to be nervous… i can only be happy.
I played even at the manheim’s edition this year and it was unbelivable. The production that cosmopop does is something massive.
Your first release came in 2008, Vacaciones en Chile, you were only 18. Did the signing come as a surprise to you at the time? How much of a noise did you have to make as a fresh-faced producer on the scene?
Well, i really didn’t expect that success that it got. I knew that the track was really good but not big as the attention that it got from the people and colleagues. It made a lot of noise on the scene at that time. Lots of older people were speaking not so good, called me “meteor” but i never replied to these gossip things, because it was normal. I’ve just replied with facts and i’m happy to be still here after 6 years from that track.
It states that you feel that your experience as a dedicated clubber and fan of electronic music is the secret ingredient to your success do you feel that electronic music is sometimes made by people who don’t hav e their hearts in the right places?
U can feel this straight away. I mean when there is somebody that is doing this job or music only for business, without passion, it’s impossible that u can’t recognise this.
Music it’s love, this job is a passion. If u don’t feel emotions with music, how can u transmit them to the people that are listening to you?
How have you made the transition from club goer to touring DJ? Has it changed your views or opinions towards music and the industry at all?
When i started to tour as a dj, i’ve seen the other face of this scene.
There are lots of things that u have to deal with… . Sometimes u have to coexist with some situations that maybe u don’t agree with. The solution is to find a balance, to don’t trespass a certain line. Anyway the music is pure and nothing affected my opinion towards it.
Your eclectic roster of labels that you work with points towards an unhindered, broad range of influence, from the minimalism of Cocoon to the deep groove of Cecille. What’s next on your production schedule? Will you be revisiting the labels that you’ve been with previously, or are you hatching a new plan?
I will continue to release on Cocoon. That’s my main label where i’m thinking to release an album on it.
I have my own label called Deepmoves where i released great artists that i like, from Nina Kraviz to Ryan Elliot to the Dancemania’s legend Parris Mitchell. Then i have a techno series called V_chronicles which it’s released by Pushmaster rec. It’s going really well and i’m really happy about this.
I will revisit all this projects with new stuff but i will hatch new labels as well.
Being so young and entering music at such an early age, we’re guessing that you had to have a strong willpower and unbending focus at such an impressionable age. There seems to be a larger percentage of teenage music producers in 2014 – what advice would you give to these budding names in the scene?
To believe always in themselves. To put always the love and passion on what they are doing. Sometimes is not easy to stand up from the massive music producers and djs out there, but if the music you do and you play is great, people will recognise it, sooner or later.
We’re on the cusp of another busy season in Ibiza what’s on the cards for you this year on the white isle? How have you watched the island grow over the last five years and do you think the changes have been positive?
Every time that i land there, something special it’s happening. I immediately feel better and a good mood pervades me. I’ve a special relationship with Ibiza. It’s where all begun for me.
I was selling tickets for the discos in 2006/7. So i’ve seen the isle from all the sides. I think that It’s normal that every year it’s changing. Some people are complaining but i still love that island. There are just more things where u can choose to go for spend your time…. you just have to do the right choices.
Cocoon are celebrating 15 prosperous years on the island in 2014, bolstered by a reputation as one of the coolest and most consistent parties on the island. It’s a testament of the longevity of Sven Vaeth’s empire. What’s been a highlight for you over the years?
Not because i’m playing there, but Cocoon it’s THE party on the island. If there is techno music in Ibiza, we have to say thanks to Cocoon. But i think you know the story so i don’t have to explain nothing
My highlight was when Sven did his first all night long set in the magic terrace. Emotions all the way.
Finally, tell us some more about your label, DeepMoves; what is the ethos of the label, and why did you start it? Is it necessary for producers to be able to start their own imprints and go DIY?
The ethos of the label is simply to promote interesting music from respectable established artists and upcoming talents. To have a nice mix of both on the label is ideal. Also to be releasing a format which is very close to my heart and that is vinyl. I started the label because I wanted to have a platform to express the music I love and enjoy but necessarily could not play in my DJ sets or that some people may not associate Ilario Alicante with. I don’t think it’s 100% necessary for producers to start their own imprints. For me an imprint should only be started if the quality of music is guaranteed and is there to release. The music should always come first.