Who is Antonio Piacquadio? He’s been called many names: an artist. A party mastermind. A workaholic. One thing is for certain: Antonio Piacquadio is a visionary. Piacquadio never rests. With a trans-Atlantic DJ residency at Sankeys Manchester, plus a three-disc studio album coming up, not to mention the all-encompassing task that is opening and operating the new Sankeys NYC location, rest is not an option. Check out what Piacquadio has to say about his influences in NYC, his filthy tech-house sound and his latest stint at BPM.
Filthy tech-house with grooving basslines that rumble your core.
There are such a variety of strong cultural and musical influences in New York City, how do you think growing up there affected your interest in music?
I think the streets really had an impact on me, musically. I literally grew up with a boombox on my shoulder.
You played your first gig at only 14 years old, very impressive! How did you know at such a young age that this is what you wanted to do, and how did you have the guts to walk right into ACT III (one of the hottest clubs in the Bronx at the time) with your mixtape?
Well, the owner’s daughter had heard my mixes and she loved my music. We went to school together. She kept telling me that she wanted to take me to her father. I finally agreed, and the rest is history.
You’ve played at some of the top venues in New York City, including Sound Factory, Palladium, Tunnel, Limelight, Roxy, Exit and Mirage, as well as some pretty big stages worldwide including at WMC and the BPM music festivals. How does your set change depending on the venue you’re playing? Do you feed off the crowd in different ways?
My sound is my sound, basically. I do feed off the crowd, but for the most part, I am playing what I love. So far, the response has been amazing. At the BPM festival in Mexico recently, the organizers heard me play and they decided to add me to another set playing at a bigger stage than the one I was originally contracted for. I have been playing the music that moves me, and it’s a great feeling when others in the audience are moved, as well. Especially lately, I seem to be able to win over an audience that was perhaps not expecting me or necessarily familiar with my sound. Nothing in the world feels better than winning over a crowd!
I’ve read that you played a 36-hour, nonstop DJ stint at a small club during the infamous New York snowstorm that knocked-out power lines and paralyzed roads for days in early 2010. That’s pretty crazy! What has been your most memorable show to date?
My most memorable show was in Calabria, Italy, where I played a 10,000-person beach party at night! It was amazing. The energy was sick.
Sankeys Manchester was voted by more than 80,000 readers of DJ Magazine’s “Top 100 Clubs” poll as the #1 “best club” in the world. David Vincent, the owner, is now opening a Sankeys NYC in 2011, which you’ll be resident DJ at. How do you think Sankeys NYC will compare to its Manchester club? What do all the New Yorkers have to look forward to with Sankeys NYC, and what are you most looking forward to?
Sankeys NYC will be something New York nightlife has never before seen. I am very involved in the project on all fronts, and I am David Vincent’s go-to guy here in the States. It is going to be an amazing venue on all fronts. I am looking forward to helping create one of the greatest venues on the planet.
Any other exciting news you’d like to tell us?
I just released an EP on InMotion Music, which was a Top 30 Beatport-charting record. It is called “Attention” and was remixed by Steve Lawler, amongst others. I also have several productions and remixes coming out very soon. Visit my website for more news at www.antoniopiacquadio.com.
What’s your favorite club to play?
Sankeys Manchester, hands down!
Who is the craziest artist to play a show with?
They are all pretty crazy and unique in their own ways. [laughs] I can’t really pinpoint just one.
You’re on the road a lot. What’s your favorite time of year to be at home?
The holidays, so I can be with my family.
Track you’re most proud of?
To date, I would say, “Attention,” with remixes by leading producers including Steve Lawler. It was my first track to ever chart on Beatport.
It’s a toss-up between Danny Tenaglia and Carl Cox.
Do you have any superstitions or lucky charms?
No, though I do believe in fate and karma. I believe that if you do the right thing, even if it’s not in your best interest, good will comes back to you. It’s worked for me so far.
What’s on your rider?
My tech rider is pretty simple. I use 2 Pioneer CDJ-2000s, a Pioneer DJM-800 mixer, and good and loud booth monitors. In terms of hospitality rider, I was never into those crazy ones and don’t think I’ll ever be. It’s just not me. I’m not a prima donna and I still like to get my hands dirty. I think that’s what keeps my music filthy. [laughs]
Antonio Piacquadio Club Mania Mix (Jan 2011)