Home EdizioneEd. 12 Gabry Ponte: “I make music for my audience, it is their judgment I trust’.
Gabry Ponte,

Gabry Ponte: “I make music for my audience, it is their judgment I trust’.

Written by Monica Landro
Potos by Christian Della Torre e Alessandro Treves

In his long career he has collected 2 DIAMOND records, 39 PLATINUM and 22 GOLD certifications. He boasts over 3 BILLION global streams and is the number 1 Italian DJ-Producer in the world in terms of listeners on Spotify. We are talking about Gabry Ponte, and his 25 years of sparkling artistic career! Gabry Ponte is one of the very few DJ-Producers who brings Italian dance music to the world, allowing our country to always have a prominent role in the disco music industry.

How do you experience it, what emotions do you feel?
Beautiful emotions, but I would like to say that in reality the credit is absolutely not only mine. I have the luck to work with a team of fantastic guys and over these long years, starting with Bliss Corporation, a factory with which I was born artistically as a producer, and then with Eiffel 65, I have always understood that the strength is the TEAM. With Jeffrey and Maurizio we made Blue and we represented this project, but there was a lot of manpower behind it.

Also, today the DJ is managed like a brand, starting from the creation of the music, to the management of the DJ through management, promotion, live

Every guy in my team has incredible skills so I am just the tip of the iceberg and the success is not just mine.

How do you explain this change in the DJ’s role?
Today we can see what is happening on the other side of the world thanks to a Youtube video and we have references, case histories that go beyond our geographical borders. Once upon a time, on the other hand, the circle was small and the DJ was simply the human evolution of a Juxe Box: he stood in a corner in the disco, in the dark and played music. Over the years he became the one who produced the music, then he became an artist, a performer and then he became a bit of the centre of this crazy movement.

When you started playing, you had people of your age under the stage, now who is there?
There are my cohorts from that time, who bring their children! They got them used to listening to my music and they appreciate me. I also see kids at my concerts, who may have known me from the remake of Blue by David Guetta and Babe Rexha or from the new records. There are several generations under the stage.

Are you surprised?
I’m amazed every time but I love it! You realise that music has an insane transversal power and is an incredible glue that goes beyond all the artistic nonsense that we insiders get up to…

Live technology has made enormous progress. What is your ideal SET UP? Do you use computers or go analogue with cymbals?
I never use the computer but I don’t think it’s a problem to do so. In the end what counts is the connection you can make with people and what you can communicate.

 I started with dishes and with those I can manage the flow of the evening better. What counts is the atmosphere you create, the originality of what you do.

In your career you have collaborated with Italian and international artists who are different in age, genre, style… What inspires you when choosing the names you then create a production with?
It works the other way round. It never starts with the idea of wanting to collaborate with someone. It all starts with the music and every artist who has come into my project has always done it spontaneously. I mention, for example, Little Tony. I did ‘Figli di Pitagora’ with him, a song I wanted to sing with someone but I didn’t know who. Then in 2003 we went to Sanremo and Little Tony and Bobby Solo were also in the competition and we got in touch with them. Tony was a very nice person and we immediately empathised. We thought of proposing to him to sing that song, which all in all spoke of our Italian spirit, of uniting generations with music, so we proposed it to him. At first he was a bit sceptical, we did the audition in ten minutes, then he listened to it again in the car, called me and said “Gabry, it’s a bomb! Let’s do it!” That’s how things are born…

You mentioned Sanremo: would you like to compete among the bigs or would you like to return as an international guest like Meduza did in 2022?
I never put constraints on what can happen. Today I am more projected on an international path, but I have also done many things in Italian.

If one day I had a piece that I liked, in Italian, and they asked me to take it to Sanremo, why not?

Nice as a guest but also nice in the competition. They are two different things but it remains that Sanremo is a prestigious stage to which everyone aspires. One thing should not exclude the other for me.

In 2006, ‘Che ne sanno i 2000’ was born, which at the time went down a storm but is still a sort of ‘claim’ to explain to the new generations how it was better before…
I never say it was better before. “Che ne sanno i 2000” is actually a joking way of talking about something that the new generations don’t know, but not in a nostalgic way. It’s not a regret. That record there stems from the idea of wanting to tell a piece of history to those who haven’t lived it. And so I started to write the piece. It was supposed to be a piece for Eiffel, but they were not convinced and it hung there for a few years. Then one day I got a call from Danti, with whom I had already collaborated, and he told me that the hasthag #chenesannoi2000 was circulating on the net and that he thought it was a wave that should be ridden. I immediately made the connection with my song, I took it, rewrote the refrain with Che ne sanno i 2000, keeping the images of Bim Bum Bam, Festivalbar… I sent it to him and it all started. So this success was born that way! A beautiful intuition.

When you write a track in the studio, who is the first person you call to share the idea?
I don’t call anyone. My testing ground is live. I test everything in DJ sets. Every week I jot down ideas and rehearse them with people….

So your trust is placed in the reaction of the public, not in a technical ear…
Well, I make music for me, for them. So in the end it’s them who have to say what they think. It works the same way in social media.

Sometimes I drop the ideas I’m working on on TikTok and see if people respond well, if the piece goes viral: then I publish it.

To celebrate your 25-year career, you organised four shows. Milan was a success, sold out immediately …
Yes, it was wonderful. We celebrated this event together with all my hits: from ‘Blue’ to the most recent ‘Easy on my heart’. Even Turin (PalaAlpitour) on 2 March is already sold out. And I can’t wait to go to Bologna (Unipol Arena) on 6 April and Rome (Ippodromo delle Capannelle) on 15 June.

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