Raffaele Rizzi (It): “Thinking about my debut makes me a little nostalgic”

Marcy and Rafaelle laughing - date: October 2016

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My First Gig DJ/producer Raffaele Rizzi (Italy)

raffaele in actie 3 - Raffaele Rizzi (It): "Thinking about my debut makes me a little nostalgic"

In March 2017 Marceline interviewed the charismatic and driven Italian techno DJ/producer Raffaele Rizzi about his DJ-debut in Naples. Raffaele remembers: "The audience was really young, warm and responsive."

“I remember my first gig very well. Thinking about it makes me a little nostalgic. My debut took place near Naples, in a villa. I was still very young, only 15.”

“Of course, I was very nervous. Playing for an audience is not the same as playing in your own bedroom. Only after you’ve had a gig in front of real people, you find out whether you’re heading in the right direction. Or not.”


“It was a private party. Music-wise the emphasis was on minimal/electro sounds. The audience was really young, warm and responsive. DJ Hollen was also present at my debut. Since then, I’ve happily often shared the stage with him.”

“Preparing a set at home has never had my preference. Of course, I always take more music than I will ever be able to play during a set. You simple never know what crowd on the dancefloor you will get confronted with.”

raffaele in actie 1 - Raffaele Rizzi (It): "Thinking about my debut makes me a little nostalgic"

Happy man

“I grew up with music. My father is a huge lover of rock, electronic music and dance and he has an incredible vinyl and CD collection. That lead to the fact that my family has always supported me. As far as that goes, I consider myself a happy man.”

Rino Cerrone

“You’re asking if I ever had a mentor? Well, from a technical point of view, that was my good friend Marco Cardinale. He taught me the basics. How to approach the DJ-world and how to play at my strength. He was incredibly patient with me. As far as my music-background is concerned, I would like to name Gabriel Ananda. The fantastic sound of the master was of the most influence to me: Rino Cerrone. I’ve been very fortunate because I got to meet him personally and I was able to have my first release on his label Loose Records. That was a huge honour.”

Shaky hands

“Talking about that first gig though, I will be honest. My hands were shaking and I was very nervous about the public’s response. Yet, soon after I started playing I noticed that the crowd was totally enjoying my set. Right there, in that instant, this incredible feeling was released that only a DJ can understand, and I said to myself: ‘This is what I want to do!’”

raffaele in actie 2 - Raffaele Rizzi (It): "Thinking about my debut makes me a little nostalgic"

Up for the job

“In the end, all went well during that first gig. Despite the fact that, on beforehand, I was afraid that I wasn’t quite up for the job yet and that the music would stop any second. Yet, being a debutant, I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience as an artist. In retrospective, I wasn’t simply satisfied, I was ecstatic!”

“The dance scene is a world within one never stops learning. Every gig, every crowd is unique. What I’ve learned most the past years is: when to play what. Also, when I’m scheduled before the headliner, as professionally as I possibly can, I try to warm up the audience for that DJ. I’m convinced that a good DJ must be able to adapt to the line-up and the crowd.”

Read more First Gigs

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