DJ, songwriter, and producer Hayden James recently returned with his first single of 2021, the…
Kalabrese is a curious tastemaker and bold musical force that dares to tread the murky waters between indie and electronica, playfully emphasizing vocals on song based productions and presenting an album that pushes the limits and portrays dance music in a peculiar and natural way. Inspired by blues, funk, and all those beautiful dancers and tragic heroes of the night.
We had the chance to talk with Kalabrese ahead of the release of his latest EP, ‘Let Me Be Your Princess’ via Zufunkt Records.
Electronic Groove: Hi, Kalabrese, thanks for chatting with us today. It’s been a while since your last release, what keeps you motivated to continue writing music?
Kalabrese: Thanks. Some days I don’t necessarily need to write songs and other days I need to express myself, so always find a way to make it happen. Sometimes, that takes many months. I only want to release music that is worth listening to, and I will make music as long as I can. And good songs have to go out to the good people.
Listen to the ‘Dance Yourself Clean’ premiere
EG: ‘Let Me Be Your Princess’ will be out very soon, can you describe the production process, including Lara Stoll on the vocals.
Kalabrese: I had a good flow in my studio, starting with a kicking catchy groove, then recording my live-drums, feeling comfortable and finding the right harmonies (I call this my blues). Let it out and let it flow. Lara Stoll was passing by and I showed her the track ‘Dance Yourself Clean’ with a choir and some singing lines by myself. She could feel it and added some quirky lines. She was touched by another instrumental, so we created the B2 track ‘Ligestütz’ with lyrics that describe her daily struggle.
EG: Any particular meaning related to this release?
Kalabrese: I’m very happy with the song ‘Let Me Be Your Princess’. It’s one of my strongest hypnotic dance-jams since ‘Makelovedisco’ (2007). When I had played in the club I have seen the song’s potential. Very driven and full of positive, sexy energy.
“I only want to release music that is worth listening to, and I will make
music as long as I can”
EG: Are you working on a new album? Tell us more about it.
Kalabrese: Yes, maybe half of the album is done, but I still need to work and create more songs. I’m in a process, developing music following simplicity, stronger and straight to the point. Some moments are darker, some lightful or soulful. All different shades and phases should come together on the album. From dreamy, slowly to midtempo and faster grooves.
EG: How would you define your current sound?
Kalabrese: People say that I have a distinguishable sound. Maybe you can call it Rumpelhouse with songwriting elements.
EG: You have been part of the electronic music scene for over 20 years. What do you think of its evolution?
Kalabrese: Today we have a big output of different genres and some retro-trends reaching the younger generations. That’s funny and interesting to see. But beside of that, the music-industry is boring. Most of the people run for big money, pushing their career as much as they can which is nice for them if it works. But most of the music is no longer visionary. I miss those crazy characters who break boundaries creating something outstanding. I love to dance, getting lost in the night, surrounded by the peoples’ energy, and I also love to spend time in my studio and forget everything around me. But I don’t really push my career, I’m happy how it goes. It comes naturally. Don’t push it. Just be kind.
EG: What about Swiss scene in particular?
Kalabrese: We have a small scene in Basel, Geneva, Bern and Luzern. Particularly, my hometown Zurich offers a lot of nice places to go out. A young generation of music lovers come out to dance and we have a couple of strong talented producers and DJs, and some older gents are still around as well. That’s nice.
“The music-industry is boring. Most of the people run for big money,
pushing their career as much they can”
EG: Any other project you are currently working?
Kalabrese: I manage a music club in Zurich with my partners for almost 13 years, Zukunft. We organize parties and concerts, we have a lovely small bar and basement for dancing.
EG: Summer is just around the corner, what are your favorite things of this year’s season?
Kalabrese: I want to go to Italy and travel around with no plan, just to enjoy the summer breeze and the rich Mediterranean culture. I have a couple of bookings in Spain coming up, as well in the US, Mexico and Germany. All taking place at wonderful unique outdoor locations.
Kalabrese’s ‘Let Me Be Your Princess’ will be available April 4th. Grab your copy here.