Riva Starr has been a main stay in the world of house music since he marked his presence on the scene in the mid 2000s. Having honed his craft in his native land of Italy, the London based DJ has since gone on to feature on labels such as Damian Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels, Jamie Jones’ Hot Creations and Green Velvet’s Cajual Records whilst showcasing his vibrant skill behind the decks in countries around the world. Friday 24th June will see Riva Starr in the familiar surroundings of Egg London playing alongside Weiss and Dennis Cruz. Ahead of the event, we caught up with the man himself to talk about his new label Snatch! early inspirations and Italy’s chances at Euro 2016.
Hi Stefano! How are you today?
It’s sunny, so it's ALL GOOD!
Summer is in full swing at the moment, with you having recently played in Miami, Belgium and Malta amongst a flurry of other dates. Any highlights so far?
I have got to say that all the parties have been amazing lately. People are more ready to hear my sound and we are building a nice momentum around the Riva project and the label snatch.
Malta was a hell of a party on the terrace of Cafe Del Mar with an infinity pool and the sun shining bright - wow that was a cool party! But, also my first time at Heart in Miami and playing with Armand Van Helden at We Are Festival were amazing!
You took your label Snatch! Records to Barcelona for Sonar last week. The showcases are something you’ve been doing for a number of years. What’s so special about Barcelona and OFF Week for you?
Well everyone is there and you've get the chance to catch up with DJ friends and also the fans. We also have the chance to listen to other DJs sets which is great to feel the vibe of what's going on around the cub scene.
Snatch is known for having given a platform to DJs like Pirupa and Solardo who have really broken through since their EPs on the label. Is finding new artists important for you?
I’d say crucial. It’s too easy to release stuff only from well established artists. Our aim is to push things forward and to always be on the hunt of the next fresh thing. We want to keep it fresh and interesting firstly for us and then also for our fans.
Having released both chart topping tracks and underground anthems. How do you find a balance between the two? Do you prefer making one of the two?
I just make music and then whatever comes up is always a big mystery to me LOL. I don’t like to plan things in advance. I also have 5 or 6 side projects so everything that doesn’t fit the Riva style goes into other folders.
During the beginning of your career you could be seen playing long sets up to ten hours in your hometown of Naples. Do you still play extended sets today? Where do you think the line is when they become too long?
Not very often but I always ask if that’s a possibility. I did one a few years back at Egg LDN and it was incredible fun. I used to play very different sides of club music and I really like to play at different hours and pull people into my trip throughout if you know what I mean.
You’re named after a famous Italian footballer, Gigi Riva. Are you going to be watching the Euros this year?
Of course! Let's see what Italy will manage to do this year.
With Italian house and techno having such a big presence today, are there any particular artists from your native country that have helped inspire you at the beginning of your career?
Well, all the Neapolitan scene for sure, from Marco Carola to Gaetano Parisio and Rino Cerrone but also local heroes who were mainly DJs that really helped me to develop my sound. That’s why my next EP on Snatch! will be titled 'Naples Play Bass'.
What have you got planned for the rest of the year? Do you have lots of your own music planned for release? Can we look forward to another album anytime soon?
Yep I’m pretty much sorted till early 2017, there’s going to be lots of surprises!
You’re playing at Egg London in London on Friday 24th of June alongside Weiss and Dennis Cruz. Have you played at the club much before? What do you like most about playing in your hometown?
Yes, I've played at Egg LDN several times and it has always been crazy fun. I'm really looking forward to this party. The soundsystem, club and vibes are always amazing!
Interview with Josh Plews
Photos courtesy of Phuture Trax