Since beginning DJing at 14 years old and releasing his first record over a decade ago, Marco Faraone has continued to push his music career further every year. And with widespread gigs and a frequent flow of productions, his virtually non-stop schedule turned 2019 into his biggest year yet.
Gigs in locations like Dubai, London, Milan, Croatia, France, Portugal, Romania, Miami and more took his established mix of house and techno around the world, while he called Ibiza home during the Summer playing at renowned clubs Amnesia and Pacha. While he’s not slowing down at the end of the year with gigs set in Ibiza, Italy, Colombia, and Greece, as well as an all-night long New Year’s Eve event at Pacha in Barcelona, Marco caught up with 5 Mag to reminisce on the accomplishments of the past year and to give insight on how he continues to make an impact on the House and Techno scene.
His excitement for the way this past year had unfolded certainly came through in his opening words: “Wow, what can I say… it’s definitely been a year to remember with so many highlights. And definitely been my biggest year to date…!”
With a year’s worth of memories from behind the decks and around the world, I knew it would be a near impossible task to ask for just one favorite moment, and Marco obliged by taking us through several of those standout experiences which have stuck with him over time.
“Ibiza of course was absolutely sensational,” he says “playing so many great gigs in Amnesia with Pyramid and the Do Not Sleep crew. I also discovered many new places around the world where I’d never been before, most recently in Mumbai. And, of course, my Italian gigs which are always really special deserve a mention too. ADE was another highlight, where I was involved with a load of panels.
“…My US tour back in May was something that will stay with me for a long time. I played in Miami, San Francisco and New York, and bringing my music over there ahead of the Ibiza summer was really great. But equally, playing in places like Slovenia, Romania and all my shows in Spain and South America were also really great.
“Honestly, it’s hard to pick just one highlight but a big thank you must go to all the dancers and promoters who followed and supported me on this journey over the past twelve months. I am forever thankful to them all! And also, playing alongside my idols, people like Chris Liebing, Richie Hawtin and Ben Klock… it doesn’t get much better!”
With that long list of marquee moments, it’s not surprising to hear that his theme for 2019 was “non-stop”:
“If there was one theme, it’s that it’s been non-stop with the traveling! Also, release-wise I’ve been busy with releases for the likes of my Uncage label, as well as finishing an album which I’ll be putting out soon via Rekids, so crazy busy yes but also really rewarding.”
Constant traveling combined with the pressures of pushing a career can often take a toll on artists, especially when missing time with family and a sense of home. Include on top of that the need to write music and manage a label and it’s an easy recipe for burnout. I had to find out from Marco: How are you able to keep everything balanced and on schedule? Is there any advice you can give?
“Yes… don’t party too much when you are traveling! Of course there are times when I let my hair down too, but as I spend so much time traveling and making music as I go, it’s important that I keep a clear head also. This is something I’ve probably learnt the hard way over the years! I guess the longer I’ve been in the scene the more I realize this, but for guys who are up and coming it’s obviously a bit more difficult at the start. But yes, it’s all about balance. And sleeping when you can, of course.”
When I try to host an Uncage label night at home (often trying to give a chance to some new talents) nobody wants to do it, even if some of them play amazing music but are unknown and new to the scene.
Even in the midst of the madness it’s Marco’s Uncage label which brings him back to the feeling of home base, a label which he says is his “finest achievement.” Established in 2015, Florence based Uncage has been releasing house and techno for the dance floor, but with attention to soundscapes and an appreciation for groove. His latest EP “Matter of Perspective” offers a variety of styles, from the hard hitting original to the deep and hypnotic remixes of Mark Broom, Efdemin, and Mike Huckaby.
Marco’s personal musical preferences and passions which impact Uncage’s sound come from a long line of influences, not only from his family (his grandfather was a folk-singer and musician and his father was a DJ working for a local radio station), but from a diverse background of musical tastes including hip-hop, drum & bass, and ’90s house.
“I came up listening to hip-hop, which greatly influenced how I learnt to mix etc. Indeed, my first gig was as a hip-hop DJ, and that feels like a long time ago now. But of course from there I became involved in house and techno and never looked back. Guys like Masters At Work, and how they melt R&B sounds with house sensibilities, they were a huge influence. And like I said, the groove is central to what I do.”
It’s this appreciation which influences how he runs his label and Marco provides some solid advice to any artist who is looking to be a part of the Uncage family: “For me, a track should really make you want to move but also give you something to remember it by” as well as “it’s great to put your name to a techno banger, but it’s equally important to showcase your more subtle side.”
Alongside the blend of music, he also aims for his imprint to represent a mixture of some of the industry’s big names alongside talented up-and-comers, something that he would like to do with label showcases in order to help push new artists to the forefront of his local scene.
“While there is so much talent coming out of the country, there is also a problem with ‘underground’ events, which tend to focus more on big names rather than up-and-coming ones too. With my label Uncage for example, I try to balance things out so it is a mixture of both, but when I try to host a label night at home (often trying to give a chance to some new talents) nobody wants to do it, even if some of them play amazing music but they are unknown and new to the scene.”
2019 may have been Marco Faraone’s biggest year yet, but it may only be the beginning for what is already gearing up to be an even bigger 2020. As he shares, “2019 was incredible and a year I’m incredibly proud of where I feel I achieved a lot, but I also feel like I’m just warming up: 2020 is sure to be just — if not even more! — sensational. So watch out… I’ll definitely have a few tricks up my sleeve!”
Even with all that fire for the future, when I asked, “Is there anything you’d like to do more of next year?” I wasn’t so surprised to hear the answer, although it may just be laying the groundwork for what will be another non-stop year: “Sleep, relax, go on holiday. But I’m sure I said this 12 months ago too!”