DJ interview: Victor Simonelli

DJ interview: Victor Simonelli

A prolific name in the New York dance music scene (and indeed, all over the world!), DJ and producer Victor Simonelli remains as passionate about music and the dance music industry today as he was at the beginning of his career. Born and bred in Brooklyn, New York is still his home, however this summer sees him visit the white isle to spin his signature sounds at BROADWAY – the Lazy Garden Party at Supperclub Novum Ibiza, presented by White Ibiza. Here, he tells us how he first discovered his passion for music…

How did you first get introduced to dance music?
Growing up in a home full of records (my dad’s), I couldn’t avoid music! My earliest memories are digging through his collection. At around age 10 my grandparents gave me my first boombox (a Sanyo) and within minutes I was tuning up and down the NY radio dial, and started recording cassettes almost instantly. This was when the term ‘disco’ was widely used and there was nothing like NY Radio. By the time ‘House’ (amongst other genre names) started being used, I had suitcases of cassettes (which I still own), my own record collection (which includes some of Dad’s), I was doing mobile/block parties and had just started attending the Center For Media Arts. After Graduation (and after trying for almost a year, and being turned away many times), I finally got an internship at Shakedown Sounds (studio owned by the legendary Arthur Baker). I eventually moved into editing, then onto mixing, remixing, production and writing, and this allowed me to meet many others in the Industry. I pretty much lived at the studio from that point on. This was my ‘foot in the door’, as the saying goes.

What was the club scene like in New York back then?
There were so many clubs and parties to choose from on any given night. Radio stations were part of ‘the scene’ in New York – radio followed clubs and it was true appreciators of music (club DJs, via radio), who determined what was being heard by the entire city. When I started, the music we loved went from the clubs to radio and was heard in parks, on beaches, on subways, throughout neighborhoods, just everywhere. It was part of everyday life in NY. Besides all the great independent record stores there were to pick and choose from, even chain stores carried 12” singles. Being in NY was being fully immersed in the scene.

What’s it like now?
Now, there are only so many clubs open in NY, though there are nice smaller parties going on here and there, and some good monthly and occasional parties happening. There’s very little of our music on radio now, unfortunately. Though those doing it in NY are as deeply dedicated to it as ever.

When did you first become aware of the clubbing scene in Ibiza?
I heard of it when I first came to England in the early 90s and visited pretty soon after. Compared to NY, Ibiza IS clubbing. I like the collective focus and enthusiasm of people from all over the world, in the same place at the same time for the same reason.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
God. Understanding and appreciating the gifts we have been given. Sharing love (through music), and doing as much as I possibly can while I am here. I feel very fortunate, and love working with great musicians, artists, those who speak through music…

What can we expect from your set at the BROADWAY party?
I like to let the music speak for itself. Come and find out!

DJ interview: Victor Simonelli