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Dario Dea: “I would love for the music scene to focus less on popularity and image”

Italian-born, Lisbon-based DJ & Producer, Dario Dea is known for a wide range of styles, ranging from disco-infused Indie Dance to a more energetic and deep club vibe. After more than 15 years of musical experience and production, Dario’s taste for music continues to evolve; with House and Techno as his primary genre, Dario’s sound is deeply rooted in a mix of blues, rock, and Jazz (with influences from Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Pat Metheny) and modern electronic beats from the underground world (Dixon, Ame, Gerd Janson). Dea has been a resident for Plus Minus (Dubai), Hovarda (UK), Parable (UK) and has released on prominent labels such as Anathema, Blue Shadows, MoBlack, Secret Fusion, Nein Records, and many others.

EG caught up with Dario Dea to learn more about the drop of his newest single ‘Chiado’, his move to Lisbon, ties to Anathema, his future endeavors, and more.

EG: Hello Dario! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us today. Where are you based right now? How have you been?

Dario Dea: Hey! Thank you very much for having me! I recently moved to Portugal, about 30 minutes south of Lisbon, and this has definitely improved my quality of life and also allowed me to build a really cool music studio in my house (finally!).

EG: Congratulations on the release of your ‘Chiado’ single! What has the initial reception been like so far?

Dario Dea: Thank you! It’s been going really well! ‘Chiado’ made it to the top 100 Hype Indie Dance charts on release day and it has received a lot of support! It’s a rather Summer-y/positive vibes track, so I think it will work well for this summer season!

EG: ‘Chiado’ is quite a peculiar name. Does it mean anything? Where did the inspiration come from?

Dario Dea: ‘Chiado’ is an area of central Lisbon and it’s one of the first parts of the city I have been exploring as there are a lot of very typical shops and cafes and little alleys to get lost into. I remember I was on my way back from Lisbon to Setubal (the town where we live) and I started working on a bass line and a few basic drum patterns, and as I got back to my studio I just felt very inspired. The whole process (which usually takes me at least a few weeks) took only 3 days from the first note to the final track, so I would say Lisbon is a great inspiration for me!

EG: And what can your fans find on this release, musically speaking? Is there an element that sets this one apart from your other releases?

Dario Dea: I think this might be one of my most “indie” tracks so far, especially in terms of drum and lead synth sounds, where I took a lot of inspiration from classic 707 and 808 drum kits, as well as 80s music. You can definitely hear that influence in the Juno-60 lead synth patch, as well as the use of reverb. This is the first track I have produced in my new Portuguese studio, where I now have access to a lot more hardware synths and I have more time to experiment, so hopefully, you can hear some of that in the final product.

“The whole process (which usually takes me at least a few weeks) took only 3 days from the first note to the final track, so I would say Lisbon is a great inspiration for me!”

EG: By the way, we’re big fans of your ‘Fantasy In Our Reality’ remix for Anathema Records. Any plans to return to the label soon?

Dario Dea: Anathema Records is one of my favorite labels and the founders have been working super hard and are genuinely nice people (which is always hard to find). We don’t have strictly defined plans for a future release, but I would definitely like to work more with Paco (Fec) and the team!

EG: What do you recall from that particular session remixing Fec and Haptic’s track?

Dario Dea: I remember being completely mesmerized by the vocal. When Fec sent me the original I basically begged him to let me remix the track, because I felt really inspired and wanted to work with Haptic’s beautiful voice. I remember having a lot of fun working on the lead synths and bass line.

EG: You’ve traveled quite a bit and held residencies at places like Plus Minus (Dubai), Hovarda (UK), and Parable (UK). Were your travels always music-related? Do you enjoy being ‘tied’ to a place for a bit?

Dario Dea:Traveled quite a bit” is an understatement! In the last few years, I have lived all over Italy, Bruxelles, Dubai, London, and now Portugal. Most of these moves have been related to my day job, as well as family requirements. While in the past we were just happy to explore new things, travel, and get experience abroad, I think Portugal is going to be our home for quite some time (my wife and her family are from Portugal!)

EG: These past few years gave us all a chance to slow down and reassess. What would you like to see more and less of in our scene?

Dario Dea: In the past few months, I noticed many new artists coming up, which is always refreshing and inspiring. Personally, even though I know it’s like trying to empty the ocean with a spoon, I would love for the music scene to focus less on popularity and image and more on music and quality, but I realize that it’s just part of the game at this point.

“Anathema Records is one of my favorite labels and the founders have been working super hard and are genuinely nice people (which is always hard to find)”

EG: What else can we expect from Dario Dea in the next few months? What new milestones are you looking forward to?

Dario Dea: Right now I am answering these questions from an airplane directed to Barcelona, where I will play at a Twelve Notes showcase in Macarena Club with my partner Packim, Olderic, Alican, Cipy, and the rest of our little gang. For the time being, the only thing I can anticipate is that there will be a pretty big release coming out in September (shhh!) and I am currently working to launch an event series here in Portugal, so plenty of things to look forward to!

EG: Thank you for your time, Dario! We wish you all the best!

Dario Dea: Thank you very much!

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