Besides Prezzo, Stefano Miele (Riva Starr) is probably East London's most popular Italian import – among dance heads at least – it's easy to see why. As well as launch of his residency at Basing House, Shoreditch, last month, he's remained prolific, switching up at every juncture, retaining the love of dance music's most fun-loving and frivolous, while picking up a flock of new followers along the way.
2011 saw him flirt with gypsy house like a Tequila-swigging Lothario on peyote with his 'Latin America Trip EP' for Snatch, a label he set up in 2010 preferred by big-room filling DJs who favour the unpretentious rumble of tech-house over stripped-back austerity.
More recently, however, he dropped his latest single 'Absence' featuring Rssll (out now) ahead of his sophomore album 'Hand In Hand' due this summer. Revealing his poppier, less dance-y side, the track merges whimsical Basque folk with elements of warm house to create something you'd more likely expect to hear on the credits of the next Bond film (an unusually Balearic one) than a thumping soundsystem.
Still, that doesn't mean this man has turned his back on the rocking dancefloors completely. In truth, it's anyone's guess where goes next as he refuses to stand still for a second. The only certainty is that whatever it is will beam ear-to-ear with all the charisma of his infectious personality – but more than anything it'll be spilling with mirth. Hence, we had a batch of questions to ask him...
First ever rave experience?
“Last week! I did the birthday party for my three years old son with 30 more kids. We brought a handmade soundsystem that we use when we do parties in the summer in the parks around London… birthday invitations were yellow smiles. That has been pretty hardcore as you may imagine!”
Most crucial dance record of all-time?
“On a big scale, I think Donna Summer 'I Feel Love' really set a milestone. The impact this record had on the market has been incredible, bringin' the club world to the masses big time. And Moroder's production was just unbelievable. I still have the extended version on vinyl where you could spot the way they were doing the cut and paste of the music parts with tapes and scissors!”
Three tunes that never leave your bag?
“KC White 'NO, NO, NO'. I come from a hip hop and reggae background and this is one of those tunes that belong to my early DJing experience.
“Manu Chao 'Clandestino'. Manu Chao has been a huge inspiration for me over the last years, his approach to music and the good vibes he spreads are immense.
“Warren G feat Nate Dogg 'Regulate'. “There are certainly bigger tunes than this but back in the days, when I used to play it, I managed to hook up with a lot of girls thanks to this so…”
What's your lights-up, end-of-the-night tune?
“My re-edit of The Doors 'The End', I made it a few years ago but it's still the best tune for me to finish my extended set. Got support from all the big guns on this!”
If you could meet anyone – alive or dead – who would it be?
“My parents always told me great of my grandad. I was too little to really appreciate him. He's one I'd really like to catch up with. Great man.”
Imagine the world is going to end tomorrow. What you gonna do tonight?
“I think I'd try and finish my last tune! (laughs) Nah, I'd surely stay with my family and friends having a last big party all together. Who would care about the next day hangover then?”
Three words to describe clubbing in the Y3K…
“DAZ FUCKING AWESOME!”
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