Born in the buzzing city of Genova, but grew up in the small town of Treviso, Saverio Celestri found his true calling at the ripe age of 14 mainly through playing records at various local parties. Being completely self-taught and drawing energy and inspiration from the music, the crowd and the scene, he immediately geared up, sat down and gave his best shot at making his own music, which got him his first record deal on the turkish label Bosphorous Underground at the impressive age of 16. In the years that followed, Saverio continued to improve his craft and polish his skills, delivering outstanding releases on big names such as Kina Music, 1Trax, Soulman, Batti Batti and Nothingwithx to name a few. Now, at only 21 years old and after finally relocating to Berlin, the young Genovan DJ and producer is already a key part of the Select*Elect crew and is starting to harvest the ripe fruits of his work, while also leaving his unique fingerprint on the house scene.
His agency Inground Bookings was kind enough to hook us up for a talk and this is the interview that ensued. Enjoy!
Hello Saverio and thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
Tell us about your childhood. You online biography mentions you started djing at only 14 years old and landed your first release at 16. How did it all start and what led you to take the musical path?
Yeah, I've been dealing with electronic music since I was really young. It all started with DJ-ing in little clubs in Treviso, my home town. It was later that I started making my own music in my basement.
What about your first released track, the one on Bosphorous Underground. Was it the first track you made? What did you use to produce it in terms of gear and software? What was the idea and inspiration behind it?
Right, yeah that was the first track I ever made. Me and a friend were just playing around with that track for fun, but when we'd finished making it the opportunity came to release it. We used Cubase 5 and a keyboard for it, nothing more!
So are you still using the same gear now or what did you upgrade to? What is your typical work flow when it comes to making music, both technically and inspirationally?
No, I've upgraded my system since then. Right now I'm using Logic Pro software and a collection of analogue equipment that I've built up since.
When did you decide to leave your place of birth and relocate to Berlin? Why did you chose this city in particular and didn’t go for a more latin city like Barcelona for example? Also, London seems to be the place to go for most aspiring house artists while Berlin for those more techno oriented...
I decided to come here because in the place I was before, I didn't feel like my music was being understood: first of all by the promoters and then later by the people going to clubs, to dance. So I chose Berlin because I think it's actually one of the best places for night life. Also personally, it's the best place for me to improve and grow my own music within the culture.
Interestingly enough Select*Elect also recently relocated from London to Berlin. How did you manage to become a part of the crew? Do you think it was destiny that brought you to Berlin and, ultimately, together with Select*Elect?
Yeah, I believe destiny brought me to them. Select*Elect have helped me a lot because they gave me a chance to play in some really great clubs here in Berlin. Clubs like Weekend and Humboldthain Club.
A lot of your music is released on vinyl. Do you also collect and play vinyl, or do you think that the medium does not matter and anything goes, as long as the music is good? What do you think about this whole vinyl revival madness we are witnessing right now?
Yeah, I really believe in and support the vinyl format and that's why I collect. In fact, what I do most of the time is search for music, discover new artists and labels and spend a lot of time inside record stores! In my opinion, it's important to keep playing records. Having said that, I also respect live sets if they're really well made.
What was the first record you ever bought and which is the most precious record you own both in terms of financial and sentimental value?
Ha, good question. To tell you the truth, I don't remember because it was such a long time ago. One of the records I own that I'm most fond of is a double LP from Drexciya called Grava 4.
Where do you see yourself in the future: headlining the biggest festivals in Europe and making tons of money or being a prominent figure in the underground scene, maybe running a label and enriching the culture by promoting new and upcoming artists like yourself?
Right now, I just see myself playing here in the various clubs that I like. I'm not really interested in playing big festivals because I'm not doing this for the fame or the money. All I want is to play good music and have fun.
2014 is almost at the end now, what do you have in store for the remaining 3 months? Anything special going on for NYE?
Well, I've got nothing planned yet but I'm sure something will be organised soon!
So what about 2015, any plans laid out for next year? Are you planning an album or is it too early for that?
This Winter I'm planning hard work on the productions. I've got some new records coming out, releases with Slow Life and Batti Batti.
Thank you very much and best of luck in your career!