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Italian DJ and producer Fabrizio Marra, with a flourishing career in the global dance scene, remains humble and exudes positivity. In 2021 he shared the story of his debut with me, recalling a moment of unexpected silence. "I accidentally removed the wrong vinyl."
“I’ve always had a passion for music. As a child, I played the piano. Despite not reading notes, I wrote down the songs on the piano keys to play the tunes I loved. I think I was around eight years old.”
Love for Music and Dancing
“My parents greatly influenced my musical development. They both loved music and dancing, often going ballroom dancing together. When I was sixteen, I enjoyed going to discos and clubs. I practically hit the dance floor every day of the week. Getting people to dance has always fascinated me. We used to travel from Milan to famous places on the Riviera Romagnola, like Riccione and Rimini, where the world’s top DJs performed. Nothing held us back; we always had a backpack ready for a club or festival.”
Indoor and Outdoor Space
“My first gig was in the early ’90s in a small club near Milan. I was eighteen or nineteen. The club had indoor and outdoor spaces. There were about 300 people inside and another 1400 outside! It was summer, so the tent was packed.”
Jewels from the '90s
“Was I nervous? Well, you could say that! My hands trembled every time I had to put on a new record. I played gems from the ’90s, like Gat Decor’s Passion and Urban Soul’s Alright. I also went back in time and included a track or two from the seventies. House music wasn’t mainstream yet, so I tried to integrate house tracks into my set.”
“The set went really well in the end. I could vibe with the crowd perfectly. Of course, I had brought some special tracks that I knew would be floor-fillers. Yes, several of my friends were at the gig. At that time, my DJing was still somewhat of a joke.” (laughs) “It only became a real job later on.”
Making an Impression
“I wasn’t focused on winning the audience over that first time. I mainly wanted to impress the owner because I hoped to get a job out of this performance. Paid, of course. And what do you know? That’s exactly what happened!”
Realizing a Dream
“Anyway, the fact that I was DJing for an audience for the first time was fantastic. I was realizing my dream. I wanted time to stand still, and my gig to last forever. At one point, I kept thinking that each track was my last. With that in mind, I filled the last half-hour.” (laughs)
“Yes, I made mistakes too. Once, while mixing, I accidentally removed the wrong vinyl. Suddenly, there were 30 seconds of silence.” (laughs) “Fortunately, it turned out well because when the music came back in, everyone on the dance floor screamed with joy. I never had a mentor. I am driven by passion and curiosity.”
“I learned from that first gig that it’s important to always stay relaxed. I also learned how to read the crowd and teach people something musically. It’s easy to get the crowd dancing to commercial tracks, but it’s really cool when you see people going crazy to your music.”
More DJ than "Studio Animal"
“Now, I’ve been DJing for over thirty years. I started producing in 2008. The market is good for producers right now, but I’ve realized that I’m more of a DJ than a “studio animal” I simply get a kick out of getting people to dance.”
Ministry of Sound
“I recently turned fifty, and I still learn new things every day. I don’t look too far ahead and wait to see what the future holds. Over the years, I’ve played in most exclusive clubs worldwide, with great artists. I performed at the Ministry of Sound with Frankie Knuckles, played in Amnesia and Pacha in Ibiza, in Dubai, Beirut, Miami, and New York. I also performed at festivals like Extrema Outdoor, where I played alongside Carl Cox and Loco Dice. I do have some plans for the future, but I can’t say much about them yet. You’ll hear more about it soon.”
Nightlife is Tough
“I have no idea where I’ll end up and how long I’ll keep on DJing. Nightlife is amazing but tough. Moreover, my age is starting to take its toll. On top of that, the new generation has plenty of talent. They manage to stand out faster with their heads above the rest. They are often production machines of the highest level.”
“The internet has resulted in a flood of DJs consisting of talented young people. When I started DJing, we went to a record store to buy vinyl. We all tried to be as exclusive as possible. Now there’s a huge stock for everyone. Technology facilitates this. In the end, it still comes down to having taste and skills to understand the dance floor and make an evening successful.”
Who is Fabrizio Marra?
DJ Fabrizo Marra has been entertaining the masses for over twenty years. Growing up in Milan Marra he indulged himself with the musical stylings of Donna Summers, Earth Wind & Fire and George Benson. When he got older, Fabrizio Marra became passionate about the ever expanding genre of house music.
After over twenty years in the industry Fabrizio Marra is trying hard to promote some of the most exclusive deep-house & soulful mixes available. He credits his friendships, links and collaborations with highly respected and recognized producers for his climb to the top. Fabrizio Marra has played at clubs around the world, like London, Barcelona, Sheffield (UK), New York and Winter Music Conference in Miami. He’s also being sought after in Italian clubs back home.
Fabrizio Marra is an artist that continues to evolve and develop with consummate ease. New sounds, new developments and new frontiers; they all remain an instrumental part of his thrust forward as one the planet’s leading underground house music tastemakers. As a producer Fabrizio Marra continues to smash preconceptions about not only his style but the wider spectrum of house and techno as well.
Fabrizio Marra’s style remains perfectly emblematic of the dance floor dexterity needed in the modern clubspace, bringing the seductive groove and swing of classic house just as readily as the energy of techno. There are few who balance musical maturity with such an exciting creative edge, and it’s the experience informed from his illustrious past combined with the forward thinking surge to the future that makes his musical manoeuvres so irresistibly potent.
This interview with Fabrizio Marra is originally published on This Is Our House in October 2021.