Interview: Giuseppe Ottaviani

We had the honor to interview the Italian trance maestro Giuseppe Ottaviani at ASOT950 at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht a couple of hours before he was going to premiere his 3.0 liveset as the closing set at the Mainstage. So, of course we discussed that live-set, but that’s not all! Check out the full interview below!

Hi Giuseppe, thanks for taking the time to chat with us tonight, how do you feel, are you excited for your closing set? And did you get your set back after it was stolen?

No problem, yeah, I’m really excited for it! Haha, regarding the stealing that was some good marketing, right? I got everything here anyway so I’m ready for it!

Yeah, we felt the video could have been a part of a Matrix movie actually. So, what’s actually the big difference between the 2.0 and the 3.0, which you’ll be premiering tonight?

The main thing is that it’s way more stressful for me haha. I mean the 3.0 is all about the performance. While the 2.0 was focused on creating new music while performing, so putting new ideas into practice while being on stage. I’ve made a lot of new music this month, but at the 3.0 I’m performing music that I made a while ago in a different way at every set. I’m finally able to play all the melodies, the 3.0 involves 2 keyboards, there’s a drum-machine which I can program while being on stage. In conclusion the 3.0 is more about the unique way of playing your music, rather than creating new ideas. It’ll be more creative freedom for me as well as a different way of satisfaction than what the 2.0 was all about. This also means that no 3.0 liveset will be the same, so there’s always that element of surprise for the crowd, which I really like.

Cool, so how much time did you spend on this to get it ‘perfect’ for ASOT950?

It’s definitely not perfect! It’ll be the premiere so that’s impossible and I feel that it may be close to perfect in a year from now. I’ve started on this project in September 2019. I had to find a company who could build a transportation case, as obviously the 3.0 liveset involves a lot more tools than the 2.0, and we had to figure out how this in terms of dimensions and weight could be transported from Italy to wherever I need to perform. That was quite the logistical challenge. Tonight, will be great for sure, but I’ll run into some small issues for sure and I’ll be able to fix that on the next 3.0 shows. But the fact that it’s all live is the magic of this!

We really love the concept actually as you’re writing your musical story on stage, completely live.

Yeah that’s the point, people won’t really care if something doesn’t go smoothly as I’m dealing with a lot of technology here of which some tools, I’m only getting comfortable with recently. But I’m obviously aiming to deliver a great performance for them. My nerves are fine actually, if I could jump on stage right now, I’d do it!

Sounds great! So, last year you released your album ‘Evolver’ we really liked it, you recently dropped a new track on Armada, is there more new music coming up soon?

First of all, I won’t be dropping a new album this year. That was a lot of work, so I’m taking a break for a while from that. But I’ll be releasing a lot of singles on different labels this year. I don’t want to make too many plans though, because for me it works like this: I’m performing, I get inspired, I get into the studio and create the track and after that I’d like to release it straight away. So I just try to plan ahead for the next few months, but not for the entire year.

Makes sense, there’s always a lot of factors involved obviously. Well, we’ve seen you performing before, it’s very clear that you’re super passionate about this music. How do you make sure that your private life doesn’t suffer from it or in other words, how do you make sure to have some balance?

Well I try to not perform every single weekend. Sometimes that’s possible and sometimes it’s not. I don’t like to be travelling all the time on the weekends. I usually take January off, uhh usually, it didn’t happen this year haha. The fact that my studio is placed in my house means that I get to see my family every day. For them I’m just away during the weekend and that makes a really big difference. Especially for my kids it’s sometimes a bit difficult to understand, since everybody is free on the weekend and daddy has to work, meanwhile during the week-time they’re not home, since they have to work somewhere/go to school. So far so good though, we found the right balance. It obviously is super important for your mental health as well to have a good balance, fortunately my management is really understanding as well, if I ask for 2 weekends off that’s no problem.

That’s great that you found a balance! What do you do to really relax when you’re not performing or in the studio?

I live in Italy on the beach near a big lake, so I usually shut down my phone and shut down my music while walking on the beach for an hour or two. Actually, this is pretty funny, while walking on the beach I wear earplugs without actually listening to music, but to make sure I don’t have to talk to people during the walk.

Haha that’s awesome. So, you’re DJ’ing and producing obviously, but you’re also head of GO Music. Could you name an artist that’s signed there that we should be keeping an eye on?

For sure, 2 actually! Starpicker is doing really well and I’ll be playing his new release tonight during my 3.0 liveset. I also gotta mention Hypaton, whose sound is like a mix of trance & EDM, which probably sounds bad for the trance purists, but it is amazing as it brings a mainstage flavor to his trance tracks and in addition to that I love the lyrics of his tracks very much.

Okay, cool, nowadays there are so many sub-genres in trance that it becomes difficult to distinguish what it actually ‘’real trance’’ anymore and what’s more ‘’EDM’’. In your view, which sub-genre of trance will be most popular in 2020?

I honestly have no idea and I definitely don’t focus on that either. I mean, I want to walk my own musical path without being stuck in the 90s. So, for one part I’ll get some parts of what’s hot these days and incorporate it in my music, but most of all, I want to play what I really enjoy. The crowd is what inspires me. I like U2 and Coldplay, but that’s background music for me.

Thanks very much for your time & best of luck on stage tonight, we’ll be watching!


Check Giuseppe’s 3.0 liveset on YouTube here:


Interviewers: Alexander Bouten & Geraldine Costello