International DJ and charting producer; in-demand remixer; Beatport Music Awards nominee; Olivier Giacomotto is a proven and integral player of the electronic music scene. During 2010 alone he managed no less than eight Top 10 hit productions (and that’s not counting his silent co-writing credits with some very well known producers and songwriters). Whono’s Music got to know him a bit better before he comes back to Australia for the second time.
When you took on the role as a producer assistant at Townhouse Studios in London in 1999, did you already know that you wanted to become a music composer?
I got into music at the age of 8, playing piano in the house where I grew up, then practiced more instruments like guitar, bass, synth, etc… so when I had that first big studio experience in ’99 I already had that project in mind, even if it was a blurry picture of it. I wanted to make music or work in the music industry – as producer or A&R – as long as it was related to the music industry.
What was the most important thing you learnt at Townhouse Studios?
I was assistant of Magnus Fiennes, producer of All Saints, Tom Jones, Morcheeba, Neneh Cherry and more. I learnt a lot just by watching him work every day, writing, composing, programming, his studio was full of gears, all kinds of vintage synth, effects, samplers and drum machines. I started making coffee and tea, then one day he teached me how to use an Akai MPC3000, a Mini Moog and an ARP 2600; that experience was priceless. This is also where I learnt to work hard during hours, arriving at 9 in the morning, leaving the studio at 10 at night or even later. But it didn’t matter, I was happy learning how to make music!
How did you come about making music for video games and movies?
I didn’t write for video games, the company Rockstar Games was looking for new music for a new game they were developing, so they contacted Definitive Recordings and we licensed a few tracks.
With that much music being released by you each year, you must spend a lot of time in the studio! How often do you produce, and can you tell us a bit about your studio set up?
Well, I spend less time in the studio nowadays, it depends on my touring schedule, but it’s a minimum of 30 hours per week, it can go up to 50 hours a week, it depends on my touring schedule, and my family commitment. with more than 10 years of experience i work quite fast, i know how to translate my ideas into music way faster than before.
In the studio I like to keep things simple, a laptop, a soundcard, a pair of good monitors, and a small room with a great acoustic treatment. everything i produce is made by plug-ins, even the mastering, there is no hardware involved at all. that let me the possibility to work in a hotel room, in a plane, in a train, etc…
You have also been doing a lot of collaborations with other artists such as Los Paranos, John Acquaviva, Umek, and Popof to name a few. What is essential to make a collab work well?
John and I are now long time friends, we work together for 10 years, we cook together too, so it’s easy to express ideas and to write songs with such an good communication. UMEK and Popof was a one time shot, we had similar sounds at that time, so we exchanged ideas to develop new songs. One send an idea to the other, the idea is developed in the studio, then sends it back, then comes back with feedback, then it goes back and forth until the end of the creation process. Communication is essential, once we agree one something we move forward to the end.
Where are your productions taking you at the moment?
I listen and produce all kinds of music, movie soundtracks, reggae urban pop, etc… lately i have the project if mixing real instruments and electronic instruments, no matter the BPM or the style. It’s just at the state of seed right now, I need time to develop that concept. It’s all about making music for the beauty of it – like art – far from the industry standards, not for DJs. I just need to write beautiful songs; music needs to come out of me every day, I guess I think too much…
Melbourne will be very lucky to have you back again, this time at Brown Alley for ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’ on March 24th. What can we expect this time, a year since your last visit to Australia?
My last gig at Revolver Upstairs was so good that I left the club and forgot my MIDI controller on stage… I loved playing in Melbourne. The thing is I never know what I will play… it depends on the crowd, on what is played before, on who play after. My goal is to always get the girls on the dance floor, so expect some sexy grooves, a couple of new remixes, and some collab tracks i just made with my good friend Noir.
Catch Olivier Giacomotto tonight at Brown Alley tonight for TNC. More information can be found on the Facebook event page.