Having an obsession with Sushi, Toto Chiavetta does not only have an exquisite taste in quality dishes, but also has a hand for tasty electronic music. With an album on Osunlade‘s label Yoruba Soul as well as an EP at the end of last year on Innervisions the full time musician has shortly moved into the scene‘s spotlight. Torture the Artist had a little chat with the ‘intergalactic Backgammon champion‘ due his upcoming track ‘Monkey Mind‘ on Adriatique‘s SIAMESE.
Guess who is the intergalactic champion now?!
Torture the Artist: You have released on imprints such as Innervisions and Yoruba Records. How did this come about and what is your relationship to Osunlade?
Toto Chiavetta: First of all ciao everybody. Regarding Innervisions: I got in touch with the label through social media in July 2015 – actually on my birthday July 25th. After few conversations, I began to submit music for a potential EP and 4 of the tracks submitted turned into ‘The Silence Has Come EP‘. I must say that Innervisions, and especially Dixon, gave me a very significant input and offered me new perpectives on how to develop my music and sound.
Regarding Yoruba: I met Osunlade eight years ago at one of his parties in a city close to where I live. Since then I‘ve kept sending him my music. In 2013 I wrote him a specific email, submitting 3 tracks, which the morning after were signed as and led to the ‘Become One EP‘. Since then Osunlade and I got closer and closer. Osunlade was the first to give me opportunities in this business and to show me how the system works. I forgot to mention that he taught me how to play Backgammon, which we almost play together on a daily basis on our iPhones. Guess who is the intergalactic champion now?!
Torture the Artist: It is rather unusal for a person not directly being involved in this issue – even though we live in a globalized world – that an Italian producer comes up with an African influenced sound like you. Where does this influence in your music come from?
Toto Chiavetta: Honestly speaking, I have no idea or at least, so far, I did not explore myself in these terms to go into this musical direction. Let me put it this way: I love warm sounds and bouncing vibes. Further, I tend to like more music, which has no snare/clap or anything similar or having the same musical function of a clap and/or a snare on the second beat. Simple. I tend to like music which has no straight open hi hat on the upbeat. Simple. It’s good with me if the very high frequencies of a given track/song are created with any sort of shakers (African, Latin or whatsoever) or closed hi hats. Are those the African influences? That being said, my true and most relevant concern is that when I produce a track my brain gets colored all around and all the way back (spinning colors) and this happens thanks to the frequencies my ears perceive.
I tend not to give definitions.
Torture the Artist: You are about to release a track on Adriatique‘s imprint SIAMESE and you said that you are musically changing your style a little. Is this the new Toto Chiavetta we can hear on SIAMESE?
Toto Chiavetta: That is a difficult question to answer, because this implies me to define first my old and my new style accordingly. And definitions are so complicated to be given and/or created so that I tend not to give definitions – by the way, one of my new tracks for 2017 is about definitions on psychedelic substances.
Let me ask you, are you the same person as yesterday, as a month ago or of one year ago? Will you be the same person tomorrow or in one year or 10? Toto is still Toto, but at the same time I am a different Toto. My music is still my music, but at the same time it is a different music. That being said, my most honest and best reply is: I made that track in a moment when I felt the desire to change and the process was just starting.
Torture the Artist: What triggered you to change your style?
Toto Chiavetta: Another good question, but again so difficult to answer. So my answer is: I like pasta, fish and pizza! Just kidding. I do not know how to answer and by this I mean that I would not be able to fully assume the paternity of my words. Let’s simply say that I would like people to dance more and trip more, at the same time, with my music. So maybe this was the trigger.
Torture the Artist: What else can you reveal in terms of music for 2017 from your side?
Toto Chiavetta: Not much and this is because of the immense and spontaneous respect I have towards the people I work with as they invest their energy, time and money in releasing my music. I have enough evidence to affirm that it should be a positive year.
A few years ago it felt very strange and annoying in a way. I now realize that this is how the music business works.
Torture the Artist: Most of the music being released now or later on in 2017 is sort of ‘old‘ for producers like you. How do you feel about this as an artist and at the moment when the track or EP is being released?
Toto Chiavetta: A few years ago it felt very strange and annoying in a way. I now realize that this is how the music business works and that all the producers experience the same situation and subsequent feelings. I then learnt how to find positive aspects: I can play fresh and unreleased music during my gigs.
Torture the Artist: As an uprising artist in the scene you get to play more clubs in different countries. What and where has been the most striking night for you so far and why?
Toto Chiavetta: I will not mention any party or club specifically. I am thankful for every single place I have been to. What I can say is that I had some parties during the last year which were amazing, because all the necessary ingredients were there: the sound system; the right light; the possibility to be able to play what I really felt and my best tracks at that moment caused quite a reaction in the crowd. And of course, all those sets were longer than four hours.
I do emphasize on fashion, because it is surely a way to express my personality.
Torture the Artist: House music and electronic music is strongly connected to fashion. Do you emphasize on fashion and who is favorite designer/ brand?
Toto Chiavetta: I do emphasize on fashion, because it is surely a way to express my personality, even though sometimes I do not care that much and walk around like a zombie. Actually I choose my clothes while listening to music. I have not one specific favourite designer or brand. Let’s put it this way I feel very comfortable, when I am at the right place and wear Dolce & Gabbana and Etro.
Torture the Artist: How much does the life you lead now come close to your ideal conception?
Toto Chiavetta: I honestly never think terms like that, because I think I do not have something like an ideal conception. I would say that I am happy with 7 out of 10 days.
Torture the Artist: Name three places where you can be found, if you do not DJ or produce music!
Toto Chiavetta: On my couch watching Formula 1, on a tennis court, at a Sushi restaurant.
Interview by Holger Breuer
Toto Chiavetta’s top10
- Musumeci ‘Vali’ [unknown]
- Rampa ‘The Touch’ [Keinemusik]
- Frankey & Sandrino ‘Wega’ [Innervisions]
- Trikk ‘Kunu’ [Innervisions]
- Lehar & Olderic ‘Il Sole’ [SIAMESE]
- Osunlade ‘Same Same (Toto Chiavetta Remix)’ [Yoruba Soul]
- Eagles & Butterflies ‘Experiment H’ [Art Imitating Life]
- Pastaboys feat. Osunlade ‘Deep Musique (Rampa Remix) [unknown]
- Ekz ‘Silver Cage’ [Engrave Ltd]
- Fabio Montana ‘Ortygia (Love Over Entropy Rappaterning Remix)’ [microCastle]