2020 saw Joseph Capriati release the 13-track album ‘Metamorfosi’ via his very-own label, Redimension. The trance and tech-house styled album included features from legends such as Louie Vega, as well as the hypnotic track 'New Horizons' which is an ode to Joseph's hometown of Naples. This album has since shaped a fresh perspective on making music for Capriati, as well as spurring the inspiration of his new Ibiza residency.
The Italian artist explains to Mixmag how this new view on DJing focuses on “quality over quantity” as he seems to have moved on from his record-breaking 27-hour set at Sunwaves Festival and his 25-hour marathon at Heart Nightclub in Miami.
Reaed this next: Joseph Capriati tells us how he performed a 25 hour DJ set
Playing everywhere and anywhere, Capriati has been mastering his “gift” to make people dance since he was just 11-years-old. Celebrating various genres of music and working to support fellow DJs, Capriati’s life has revolved around his drive to give deserving tracks and artists the spotlight. His aim to spread joy comes in many forms. One significant moment came in May this year, when Capriati teamed up with children’s charity UNICEF to create' Joseph Capriati and friends', a fundraising event helping over 7 million children affected by the conflict in Ukraine. The party was held in the iconic Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, and was open to the public with a variety of educational aspects included. Supported by the Naples’ Mayor and council, who acted as sponsors, the event also included DJ-sets from Luigi Madonna, Gaetano Parisio, Agents of Time and Cassy.
Capriati’s 2022, just keeps getting better and better as he now is due to conclude his Metamorfosi residency at Amnesia, Ibiza, on August 19. The exclusive three date residency resonates his mission of “quality over quantity”, with line-ups including Michael Bibi, Ben Klock, Len Faki, Reinier Zonneveld, Markantonio, Chris Liebing, Sven Väth and Indira Paganotto.
We spoke with Capriati ahead of his Amnesia residency launch about how he’s watched Ibiza change for the better and the worse and meeting Diego Maradona, which you can check below alongside an accompanying mix that was recorded at the opening night on July 22. If you aren't able to head to the climactic party this Friday, you can catch Capriati hosting his own residency on BBC Radio 1.
What do you get up to when you’re not DJing?
I get around 2,500 tracks every week, already filtered by my tour manager, so I listen to all of them and I make different folders for different kinds of music. I create a techno folder, a groove folder, a house folder. It's a lot of work but I always have the right music for the right moment, you see.
You know, the more you go forward and you grow, you understand that these details are the most important thing to do. It’s not about how long you play. I used to play a lot of long sets before but now I play three or four a year and that’s a very special thing to me. Now - as I’m my only critic - I can see that hard work pays off as the quality of my sets improve. There is a lot to learn but this is good and I’m happy with what I’m doing.
I don’t think I could manage listening to that many different tracks a week!
I mean if I’m not 100% on a track I won’t add it into my set, when before I was more concerned about quantity over quality. I now select less tracks each week and if I’m not sure I have the right amount of music I select tracks in different ways, in ways I wasn’t doing a lot of before. What I’ve learnt is it’s about going back to going through records. I have like 8,000 vinyl at home which is where I can find a lot of stuff that I haven’t been playing. When I was playing in the past, I didn’t have any money for records. I didn’t have a rich family or someone giving me any money. Even when I was playing in my hometown I wasn’t getting paid — only sometimes and when I would get paid it would be 20 euros. So I never really got the chance to buy records until I started to travel. I didn’t have any internet so I was learning about music from tapes. Then people were recording and selling nights from Napoli on the streets and the DJs didn’t even know.
I have opened up my music knowledge and vision a lot and I like to play different styles. I always follow the example of Carl Cox. He’s my musical hero. I don’t play, for example, jungle or drum ‘n’ bass but I like it and maybe I will one day. But Carl Cox’s message is very clear to me.
You’re just about to kick-off your residency at Amnesia - how are you feeling?
So we’re doing three Fridays this year and if everything goes right, we’re going to go up to doing a maximum of five or six. It’s very incredible for me to see that this is happening especially in Amnesia. Amnesia is my home as it was where I first started in Ibiza. So Marco Carola invited me to play in 2012 and now 10 years later I have my own nights there.
With Metamorfosi we are giving something back to the island that is filled with passion. I love Ibiza but I don't want to make a business here. I want to play for the island. I love the vibe of the island, for me the spirit of Ibiza will never die. Even nowadays there is the luxury and VIP life, which is amazing for the island but sad for the real clubber that doesn't have that kind of money. Prices on the island are getting too high which is an issue for the humble people. That is something that I wish for the island to change.
Read this next: Jamie Jones: "Ibiza has outpriced almost a generation of people"
I am making the Terrace and Main Room very different sounds. So for the Main Room it will be proper techno while in the Terrace it will be groove and house. So yes, this is my dream vision of Amnesia with production in full effect. I want to invest into the quality of the event and the future. We’ve been working hard for six months. If it was happening before the pandemic I would not have been ready but now I am a hundred percent ready. I really want people to experience a proper club night to make them feel the hard work of passion and knowledge behind this. I hope this stays in people's memories and hearts and wakes up the soul of Ibiza.
The real Ibiza can’t finish. I see that Carl is back on the island to DC-10 on Tuesdays which makes me really happy as he’s 60 this year and he’s still bringing something real to the island. I’m hoping to do the same.
How would 2012 Joseph react to seeing himself now, 10 years on?
I believe playing music the way I do is a gift. I love music more than myself. I started at 11-years-old and I've always wanted to spread what I can do with music. I don’t want to be hype and I could have been when my name was exploding in 2014 but I didn't want to. I stopped making music for five years because I was not happy with what I was doing and I didn't want to follow what the label wanted. So that's something I’ve come back with — my album ‘Metamorfosi’ is a vision. My gift is to make people dance and I believe in what I can do and I enjoy it.
It's about evolution. If you evolve, it's about taking risks and wanting to change by playing or producing the same stuff.
Can you tell me more about your UNICEF charity event ‘Joseph Capriati and friends’ back in May?
This is something I’d been wishing to do for four years. I spoke with my manager of 15 years who is from Napoli about my wish and he told me: “Okay we need to start to work on this”. In Italy if you DJ electronic and techno music they don't take you seriously, and to combine with a big charity organisation was not easy. So I started the communications with UNICEF which was the most incredible thing as it's the first time in Italy something like this had happened, and it happened at the Stadium Maradona . This also made it very meaningful as I knew Maradona and met him in his house in Argentina. My life changed because I met not the football player but the person. He was very magnetic. It felt like destiny to play at his stadium.
So, we did this daytime event with a special line-up and made it an experience not just for clubbers but also for families. I tried my best and I think the message was very powerful. We had about 15,000 people after organising it in 6 weeks. Next year, hopefully, if everything goes right we will probably repeat — we have more than 10 months so after summer we will see.
Read this next: Italian Pride: We met the new school of Italo Disco in Naples
What else have you got coming up?
I have a lot of music that I am going to release in the winter time. My good friend Rony Seikaly, who is an old basketball legend but also an incredible artist, is working so hard and I really love what he’s doing. I will be playing [a track I am remixing for him] in Ibiza, which is a groovy track that you will enjoy for the last bit of the summer.
And expect many new things for the winter time, as I also want to create a new label for groove, house and tech house.
When making the album was it in mind that the name would evolve into a night?
It wasn't to be honest. It's a great message for the island, Metamorfosi. But yes, it all happened naturally. And it's not going to be only in Ibiza but a few elsewhere in the winter.
Can you tell me about the mix?
I like to make mixes in the moment as it needs to come out of the soul not the mind.
Joseph Capriati is currently showcasing his residency Metamorfosi at Amnesia, Ibiza. Get tickets to his last show of the residency here.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter
Kidoo - 'Ass Out'
Iglesias & RSquared - 'The Chant'
Last Vision & Alessandro Diruggiero - 'Strenght'
Eddie Amador - 'The Funk' (King Unique's Speechapella)
Kidoo - 'Thrill Of It' (Original Mix)
Mauro Vetter - 'Take Control' (DJ Entwan Remix)
Rub A Dub, Joey Daniel - 'Brothers All Black' (Original Mix)
Roland Clark - 'I Get Deep' (Acapella)
Bobby Shann - 'Under Control'
Trent Cantrelle, Jaceo - 'Systematic Addict' (Original Mix)
Eddie Amador - 'Rise' (Shocapella)
Outway - 'Troubles'
Murk - 'Dark Beat' (Danny Daze Fundamental Remix)
Sebastian Ledher, Lex Green, Albert Aponte - 'Yurema' (Original Mix)
David Lohlein - 'Dominica'
Blaze - 'My Beat' (Acapella)
Joe Vanditti, Michel Tallè - 'Rewind' (Unreleased)
Unknown Artist - 'Untitled'
Simone Liberali - 'Take Off' (Original Mix)