INTERVIEW: Nari and Milani (2013)

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When you talk to an Italian DJ/producer, you can feel their passion and love for the music.  Italian duo Antonio Romeo and Maurizio Zoffoli started working together in 1996 under different pseudonyms.  Back in 2003, they launched the Nari and Milani name and have achieved success with hit singles (“Let it Rain” and “I Got You”), remixes, and a solid DJ touring schedule.  Their weekly radio program “I’ll House You” is available on their Soundcloud page and is definitely worth subscribing to.

RS: How did the two of you meet up?
Nari: We met at a radio show, Ronni was a host and so was I. We both lived in the same city and had the same passion for music. Years later we found that we worked well together and decided to create and produce music.

RS: You worked with R3hab and MYNC on the new “Miami” track, how did that come about?
Nari: At the time that we decided to make the track we were in Europe, R3hab was on tour in Australia, and MYNC was on tour in America so we connected on Skype. We made the track, MYNC made the melody, and R3hab rebuilt the track and it was finished in 21 days.

RS: Do you guys normally work with people over the internet?
Nari: Yes, and of course we use the social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Skype a lot. Right now it is the easiest way for us to work since everyone travels and is spread all over the world, if we want to do collaborations we have to do it this way.

RS: Do you work with Logic or Protools?
Nari: We have worked on Cubase for a long time; it works the best for us.

RS: Does everyone else work in the same software?
Nari: We have a studio that we work in and when we are touring we work with a laptop.

RS: Was the “Unbelievable” track that you did with Robbie Rivera and Maurizio Gubellini a similar collaboration?
Nari: No, we made the track for Juicy Records with our partner Maurizio Gubellini and last year it was released only on Robbie Rivera’s label.

RS: Do you mainly work with Juicy or do you work with any other labels?
Nari: We work with a different label now; we have a deal with Size Records and we recently released a track on Spinnin’ Records called “Vago” with Maurizio Gubellini. In May we will release the next single on Size records and we are working on other collaborations right now.

RS:  There are a lot of tracks of Cristian Marchi and Nari & Milani, how did he enter the equation?
Nari: Cristian plays a very different style of music than us and we found a way to collaborate. For example, he helped with “I Got My Eye On You” and “I Got You” with Marchi and Max C., who is a very good vocalist and MC .

RS: How was it remixing a classic like “Get Get Down?”
Nari: To have the opportunity to make a remix for such a classic, historic track and one that we danced to is incredible. When you listen to the original voice without the bass, you get to feel and taste the story.

RS: I also love what you did with “Mas Que Nada.”
Nari: Oh yes!  There was a period of house music and in 1999 we released “Sunshine & Happiness” with Darryl Pandy doing the vocals. It was #1 on the Billboards Charts and the European Dance charts for two weeks.  “Mas Que Nada” is a story, but it’s our story.

RS: Do you approach pop remixes such as Icona Pop’s music differently, and how do you put your flavor on it?
Nari: We have a lot of requests for pop music, but we have listen to the tracks well to see if we like them. The first time that we heard Icona Pop we thought it was amazing.  We were on tour and worked on the mix from the laptop.

RS: How many gigs did you do during WMC week?
Nari: We have done seven parties at Nikki Beach, Arkadia, and Space, and played at Ultra. It has been incredible. We have been coming to the WMC for the last five years just to listen to the other DJs. This is the first time that we are here to play, it has been a dream come true.

RS: What new DJ have you heard since you have been here that has caught your attention?
Nari: Zedd is one of them, he is incredible.  Great productions.
Milani: Swanky Tunes as well.

RS: How do you find the music for you radio show “I’ll House U”?
Nari: We usually spend about 4 days working on it and we download about 60-70 tracks to play on our show every week. It is important for DJs to be broadcasted on the radio or internet, especially here in America.

RS: I have noticed that Italian producers love the big female vocals, whereas the Dutch and British don’t really like that as much. Why do you think that the Italians worship someone like Barbara Tucker or Inaya Day?
Nari: For about five years the music stayed the same, but now the main vocalists are women. We don’t use vocals in our tracks because it is not easy to put vocals into our tracks and make it a good song. It is better if someone makes a bootleg of our track and adds the vocals themselves.

RS: What song did you hear this week that is like your conference track, what song really blew your mind?
Nari: I don’t know, tonight is really the first night that we aren’t working and are able to go out. For the moment we haven’t heard anything in Miami, we have toured for about 15 days and have spent so much time in hotels to find the tracks for Miami in the blogs.

RS: How are American crowds different than the European crowds?
Nari: They are completely different, at festivals all around the world they are usually the same but in the clubs it changes. The American crowds understand your story and your music and in Italy the people don’t appreciate our music like they do in America. The Italians don’t care about the DJ – just the champagne and the women.  The music in Italy has changed and normally the people prefer the progressive, tech house, electro music, and right now we have changed a little towards that direction.

RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Nari: This is all a dream come true, we work hard every day for moments like these. It is all that we want to do in our lives. I don’t know what my life would be without music.  I can’t imagine. Thank you to all of our fans, we are thankful for all of your support and big love.
Milani: Thank you very much!

Interview conducted during Winter Music Conference 2013.

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