We had the privilege of catching up with budding DJ star Leo Lauretti. Stay tuned as he is set to release an exclusive 30-minute mix with us in the near future!
Hey Leo! First of all let me ask you how you got into the electronic music scene and DJing in general. Are you self taught?
I remember being 11 years old and my brother was listening to “Twisted,” by Infected Mushroom, and it was the first electronic song that brought this interest in electronic music.
When I turned 13 I saw one of my friends Djing for fun at a party with his computer and I fell in love with it. I was so connected with it that I decided to shift my attention from soccer to it. After that I started learning by myself how to use everything, but a lot of my friends helped me over the years with tips for my career and my skills.
Continuing, the same friend, four years later, invited me to my “first party” at my condominium. One year later, another friend invited me to my first nightclub. After that, there was no turning back. The feeling of making people happy makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.
Who in the genre do you most idolize and why?
I love Progressive-House! That’s what I normally play and produce because it is the genre I feel more connected with; that’s what drives my passion and that’s what started this journey. It all started when one of my friends showed me “Contact” from Deadmau5. Since then it was a personal goal to make one song like that, even if I knew I would never be able to play it… It was something I had to do and that I was able to achieve during my stay in Chicago.
Do you only have a passion for electronic music or do you also love other genres?
I used to love Punk Rock, than I started to like Ompa, a traditional Scandinavian genre. After that, I started listening Ska. I can keep going for a while… In the EDM scene, I’ve been into Soulful House, Chicago House, Deep House, Trance, Full on and some others. I believe that helps me not only expanding my cultural knowledge, but also expanding my creativity.
I know that you went to university in Chicago but are originally from Brazil. Which do you prefer and why?
I went for an exchange program at UIC during the Spring 2013 semester and I came back to Brazil in June. Talking about my career, UIC gave me more time to produce my tracks and also brought me a culture of entrepreneurship that really helped me motivate myself to pursue my dream; However, the universities in Brazil help me with my other passion: Djing. Both have pros and cons! The perfect match would be a mix of both of them.
Recently you’ve played at some pretty huge venues like The Mid in Chicago. What was that like?
It was indescribable. It was my first time djing in Chicago and the crowd is so amazing, different from what I got in other nightclubs in Sao Paulo.
When I came to Chicago, I had a personal goal for my exchange program that was djing in the US, which was achieved with 5 other clubs, 4 of them in NY. So, it felt like I gave my second step on the way to my dream.
You’re a bit of a mashup wizard. How do you decide which songs to mash? Do you think to yourself that they may work well together or do you just find ways to combine songs that you like?
Haha thanks! It was the way I found to make myself a little different from the others in the beginning of my career. When I started doing them, it was all about feeling of songs that mashed with others. Then, I got some tools that helped me take this “project” to a weekly thing.
I have at least 10 gb of acapellas in my HD so it’s pretty much picking a song you like and trying to find the perfect match to it. Sometimes there are acapellas that match completely with other acapellas; sometimes you have to work hard to find them; sometimes my friends give me an idea. It’s all about hard work.
Recently you’ve been releasing mashups every Monday! Tell us about the hard work that must go into keeping that up.
Yes! They started in July, 2012, but back then I used to post them as soon as I finished. Since August I’ve been releasing every Monday publicly, but I privately share them to my followers days before I make them public as a “thank you for following me.”
It’s been hard. My last mashup took me 4 hours to finish it. And while I’m doing that, I can’t focus on my own production, so it has been tough for me. However, they help my sets so I don’t plan to stop doing them.
What are the plans for the future for you?
Original tracks. You can expect at least two songs in the next few months. I had a goal to create two tracks since July, and I did five. Now I have a goal to create an “anthem” until July 2014, and I know that if I believe I can do that and work hard for it, it will come.
If you could play any one venue in the world, which one would it be and why?
Sometimes I picture the wall in my studio as the crowd of UMF’s main stage. I don’t know if that is THE goal, but when I watch videos from Hardwell, Tiesto or Armin playing in a stadium full of people dancing, it makes me wanna be them.
I can say that any club that the crowd went that night to watch me, Leo Lauretti, play my songs live would be the club I’m looking for
If possible, I’d like to thank all my friends that helped or are helping me follow my dream. I’d like to thank you guys for this interview because It motivates me even more to follow this dream. I’ll be dropping an exclusive 30-min mix soon so stay tuned!