What kind of f**king question is this?
Chatting down the line from his Sardinian headquarters Italian uber-producer Dusty Kid (aka Paolo Alberto Lodde) appears sensitive when asked about rivalry from fellow students at his elite musical conservatory.
I never felt envied as a child, he insists, but I have to admit 90% of the time I was mistaken for a girl, so that might have caused a few bullying episodes.
Something of a child prodigy (he catapulted into the 6th form at his music school after one year of piano and violin lessons aged ten) hes nowadays even more precocious, producing a slew of exceptional dance cuts ranging from high-energy electro to minimal. Championed by everyone from Richie Hawtin to Sven Vath, Digitalism and Louis Osbourne, the 20-something rising admits hes already aiming higher, with fame something he actively wants.
It's been my dream to be famous since when I was a kid, Paulo admits, I think now everybody wants to be a techno star. But my goals right now though they're far away in the distance, lie in the pop world more than in clubland.
Despite his best intentions, hes also almost certain to remain a techno star, certainly if he continues to release tracks of the quality of new EP The Cat/ The Kitten or his tour de force recent techno masterpiece The Riot. Equally adept at minimal, soulful house tunes (new EP Anatome EP Vol.1) he remains on course to become one of Italy- and the worlds biggest new stars.
Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): You've released a vast range of styles in the last few years, from minimal to high-energy electro: where does your main passion lie currently in musical terms?
Dusty Kid: Lately I have been fascinated by early 90s techno, a time when experimenting was still an important stage of the creative process and when artists wanted to explore musical territories that nowadays are trampled on.
Skrufff: How much do you play your own productions when DJing?
Dusty Kid: I don't know if I consider myself a DJ as such, I always play live with my own productions. I do research music for personal pleasure and I like to buy and listen to records of any kind. I don't care about the genre, what I look for are elements that can catch my attention and that could be a melody or an intricate percussive line.
Skrufff: How important is playing live to you?
Dusty Kid: As I mentioned before, I'm not a DJ, I'm a musician and my live performance is a key element for me as it is the time when I can express myself fully exposing my own creations. I also give people the chance to hear new things that are created on the spot and not only music produced by millions of other DJ around the world. This is the way I can show what my sound is really about. To DJ is fun but it limits my creativity and doesn't give people the chance to hear what I work on when I'm in the studio.
Skrufff: You can top out of 300 students at your music conservatory: how much were you ultra-competitive at that point?
Dusty Kid: The first word that came out of my mouth when I was a baby wasn't mamma or papa, it was dico ("disco" which means record in Italian). I've always had a passion for music and music has been always at the centre of my life. A toy that had to catch my attention had to have something musical about it. My second passion as a child was Lego and Creamy Mamy. I've always been egocentric and the way to expose myself, especially to others, was to be the best in anything I did. Attending Conservatory has also compelled me to be competitive.
Skrufff: How much does the competition in the DJ/ dance music world match classical?
Dusty Kid: I think competition is part of our lives today especially in those activities that involve the mind and the heart. Arts and sports are perhaps fields in which men have always to do better more than any other job or hobby.
Skrufff: Italys club scene is famed for champagne bars and discos rather than underground clubs, what do you make of it?
Dusty Kid: Honestly, I can't say much since for now Italy has been ignoring its own artists stupidly opting always for the foreign ones just because their last names don't end with a vowel and they have to fly several hours before getting to the club. In general, ignorance rules here while in other countries electro is considered almost equal to pop and rock and young people always research about techno music festivals and other similar events.
Skrufff: We interviewed Benny Benassi several years ago and he dismissed most of Italys clubs for being glorified 'champagne bars ('the kind of club which is fashionable, but to be welcome there, to fit in you need to buy a bottle of champagne and have a big bosomed blonde on your arm. Music doesn't enter the equation'): how much have you encountered that scene coming up?
Dusty Kid: There are very few specialized clubs that focus their evenings on a certain types of music. In general these types of clubs are filled with people on any type and style, no one cares if you are wearing a shirt of a tank top, flip-flops or high heels. I think this influences the promoters of the most fashionable clubs that often opt for low quality musical guest and centre their structures on a specific type of people and look.
Skrufff: Have you ever considered relocating to Berlin? Or London?
Dusty Kid: When I was 18 I wanted to move to London when there was the full blown explosion of rock and dance crossover. The project then faded and the following year I moved to Florence working for a label that was doing very well at the time. The internet didn't have the power that it holds today so the location you were in could limit your possibilities. Now I don't have a reason to move and I travel enough to have the need to stay here in Sardinia with my family and friends. Without doubt now Berlin is what London was in the 80's and the 90's so you never know, maybe one day Ill move there.
Dusty Kids The Cat/ The Kitten is out now on Southern Fried as is his recent release Anatome EP Vol.1, on Boxer Recordings.
Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)