Ready to strike: Marco Faraone's slow 'n' steady journey to success - Artists - Mixmag

Ready to strike: Marco Faraone's slow 'n' steady journey to success

All Marco Faraone ever wanted to be was a DJ. But that doesn’t mean he’s ever been in a hurry...

  • Words: Louise Brailey | Live shot: Maci Corti
  • 9 March 2016
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But as 2016 squares up to be his biggest year yet, he remains unflappable. “I don’t think you ever need to force something; everything has to come step by step.” Faraone is fiercely critical of artists who fast-track success with manicured PR strategies – a sentiment that rings strangely anti-careerist in an age of compressed buzz cycles and calculated campaigns. “If you force something, it’s not going to be something you can keep forever,” he says, every inch the philosopher – albeit one given to dispensing emojis on WhatsApp.

He particularly hates social media, especially when used as a PR tool. “It used to be about the music, but now with social media it’s mostly about
the ‘noise’ surrounding it,” he laments. “Before, the DJ really took care with the music; you were a famous artist because you played good music.” It was precisely this quality that caught the attention of Ida Engberg when they shared a bill in Madrid in 2011. One of the first big-
name artists to believe in him, she pointed him in the direction of hubbie Adam Beyer, who duly signed him up for releases on Truesoul and Drumcode. Faraone still remembers the phone call: “It was the day of my birthday. I was in Rome about to play when I got a call on Skype. He said, ‘Happy birthday – send me the masters!’ I’ll never forget that.”

But if Beyer offered a leg up, Faraone was eager not to rush things. Instead, he’s been careful to follow his instinct when it comes to his productions; rather than meticulously building his brand through one recognisable (read formulaic) sound, he has built up a diverse body of work across a surprising range of labels, side-stepping from Moon Harbour to Get Physical, Truesoul to Desolat. The next couple of months will see him drop a record on Ovum, as well as the massive Drumcode release he trails at the club. His excitement about that one is palpable: after the interview he receives a series of texts from Beyer, finalising the record. He sends a selfie back, mortifyingly including Mixmag in it. Of course, this wide stylistic bandwidth has allowed him to express all facets of his musical character, from flamboyant tech-house to slate-grey warehouse techno via the John Coltrane and hip hop samples of his debut album ‘I Will Wait’ (naturally). It has meant his reputation percolated slowly, his music landing in the record bags of taste-makers like Beyer, but resistant to the kind of audience who want more of the same. However, he remains resolute, his eye on the long game. “Maybe it’s easier to reach to top if you produce the same music all the time. People will recognise you as, say, a techno artist. Me, I find it very boring to release the same music.”

Faraone’s free ranging tastes can be traced back to his adolescence when he would scour markets for used vinyl, zoning in on hip hop, drum ’n’ bass and later, house and techno. His first exposure to music, however, was through his dad, a hobbyist DJ who dished out the hits of the 80s for local radio. Young Marco was quick to seize on his dad’s collection of commercial pop as practice fodder, learning the magic of Jean Michel Jarre while feeling his way around the turntable. Like many kids growing up in the sticks, music became an escape route. At 15, his mum gave him a seemingly quintessentially Italian choice: ”She asked me, what did I want, turntables or a scooter?” He opted for the former, knowing in his heart that they would be the most effective – if not the most direct – route to freedom. But as his life increasingly shrunk to the size of his parent’s garage where he kept his decks, he began to feel alienated.

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