One of the world's biggest techno DJs steps up.
How did Joseph Capriati become one of the world's biggest techno DJs? It most likely stems from his popularity at home. Capriati was born near to Naples, and the size and enthusiasm of his fanbase in the city is impressive. You'll be able see this at most of his gigs, with young people in the front row waving Italian flags (with "King Capriati" written on them), chanting, "Nap-O-Li!" For several years Capriati was a resident at Marco Carola's Music On party at Amnesia, a key destination for travelling Italian clubbers, where his skills and reputation swelled. People used to say Music On was only about Carola's sets on the Terrace, but Capriati did what was thought to be impossible: he turned the Main Room into a huge success. Capriati had been playing international gigs for years, but his sets in Ibiza gained him a truly global following.
As a DJ, Capriati is all about precision. He plays direct, high-impact techno and house music, and exerts a tight control over his audience. He probably learned from Adam Beyer in this respect. The two have been close collaborators for years, playing back-to-back and appearing on each other's labels, with a big chunk of Capriati's 12-inches being released on Beyer's Drumcode imprint. Capriati also seems to have a flourishing creative relationship with Jamie Jones. He played a string of dates at Jones's Paradise party at DC-10 last year, exposing him to the ardent UK crowd who flock to the event. In 2016, Capriati landed at #25 in RA's top DJs poll, his highest-ever placing.
Capriati plays to vast crowds all the time, but if you thought he was just a big-room specialist then we'll point you to his RA podcast. It's 75 minutes of deep, trippy house and techno that works best under a low ceiling with the lights turned down.
You can catch Capriati playing at Resistance this upcoming Miami Music Week.
What have you been up to recently?
I have spent the last two months in the studio. I decided to take a break from gigs to have more time to dedicate to productions. I haven't been producing original tracks for almost two years, since I wanted to listen to music and I wanted to take a step ahead with my productions because making music, making art is what I enjoy the most. I believed that I could make it better than before, with a different spirit, too.
This year I will have been traveling for ten years. I got started at 19, touring around the world and I have tried to grow up and learn as fast and as much as I could. Now I want to express myself without any connections to any labels or brand. I prefer making art by myself, focusing on my label, my team and people that follow me.
I have so much to learn and I am working hard on my mind expansion. I do not consider myself a genius, but I am a well-rounded DJ, and I am really keen on focusing on productions and the music I play. I am working on a new album and a new EP is almost ready, it will be the third release on my record label
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded entirely on vinyl in my new studio in Barcelona. It's been a while since I started buying vinyl again, and even if I play digital I transfer vinyl to WAV files and play them. Purchasing vinyl helps improve musical selection, and this is what I learnt in the last two years, because due to my young age and non-stop traveling I had lost a bit the importance of this.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
The mix is about DJ essence, mixing records with two decks, no effects, no loops. Normally, when I play gigs, I use Traktor controlled by CDJs as if they were two CDJs with USB, but via Traktor I can get a better versatility from the tracklist and I can quickly search through the history and music for the tracks that may come to my mind in that very moment. I also do it because this way you can move the loops and it allows to me to make edits with vocals or classic tunes. I can also do basic sets without effects or loops or more energetic sets, with a faster selection. Anyway, for sure it is my vision what a RA podcast is.
You played back-to-back with Jamie Jones quite a bit last year. How did that come about and what do you enjoy about playing with him?
I met Jamie Jones in Ibiza and it was initially his idea, but after we took the decision together and decided to give it a try, with no marketing or media purpose, we had not been musically in touch up to then. Doing this back-to-back in the terrace at DC-10 was a surprise finding out that we were following each other, it was a true revelation.
I do have house background, as from 1998 (since I was 11) until 2003 I was playing classic house. I discovered techno in 2003 and my life changed, but my house basics are still there and now emerging again, especially in Ibiza, when I rediscovered these vibrations for the house sound. Now I am working a lot also on these similarities and playing with Jamie for sure is something that comes from the heart.
With you touring so heavily these days, is it more of a challenge to find the headspace to produce music?
Definitely traveling and playing so much reduces the time to work in the studio, and this is not good, that is why I decided to reduce the number of gigs, just playing the essential ones, so that I can save time to spend more in the studio. This is a tough decision to take because many artists when they are so in demand prefer to take it all at once and take as much as they can because the future is uncertain.
Personally, as I am only 29, my goal is to play as long as possible so this decision makes me happy because I prefer making art rather than being wild as if I was at the end of my career. I'm young and I want to play and make music as long as my body can manage, and I will make it happen. I will keep working hard to grow as a man and as artist, and I'm not scared of any scene change or hype, as I don't want to be "hype" because it is sooner or later going to end. Only time will tell, and I'm ready for that!
What are you up to next?
The next step, as I already said, is working on my label, Redimension, that I recently launched, on which I want to make pure art without thinking into any music standards.
I want to release a new album, which I have been working on for the last two and a half months, and I'm still working on. Once ready, it will be my third album, and it's gonna be beyond expectations. On the tracklist there are collaborations with Louie Vega, one of the godfathers of house music, and two tracks with Eric Kupper, another legend, a real master of keys. The other tracks will range from techno, to dubstep, electronic.
With reference to gigs, I will perform at one of the most important to me, in NYC on March 15th, at Cielo with Louie Vega. It's a back-to-back on classic house vinyl, as it was in the past when I used to listen to him playing at events in my hometown as a kid. It's going to be the time of my life sharing this experience with one of my idols. Furthermore, during Miami Music Week I will play an all night long at Trade club on Monday, then Ultra with Carl Cox, then I will continue with the Joseph Capriati Invites, which is a project where I perform with artists I respect the most, which got started last year during Awakenings at ADE. It will take place again during Off Week in Barcelona at Poble Espanyol, with artists such as Len Faki, Eats Everything, and again at Awakenings at Gashouder.