From: Rome, Italy
DJ style: “Hardstyle/hard dance.”
Best known for: “‘My Life’, ‘Sunlight’, ‘Rumble In The Jungle’.”
What’s the next new big track? “Yellow Claw & San Holo ‘New Days’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Marshmello.”
Following the release of his debut full-length last year, titled ‘New World Order’, it seemed a big ask for Italian hardstyle goliath Zatox to follow up with a stronger 2016. But through the release of his big room smash ‘Indigo’, as well as dominating hard dance charts with tracks like ‘W.T.F.’ and Villain collaboration ‘Warning’, he has certainly managed to.
“This year has been really interesting for me musically,” Zatox, real name Gerardo Roschini, tells DJ Mag. “I’ve always loved to produce freely, but I’ve also had the chance to collaborate with big artists.”
These include Krewella, W&W and Le Shuuk, with Roschini also seeing his material released through Sony and Armada Music. “This is all pretty new to me,” he enthuses.
As well as being a huge year personally for Roschini, the Italian has also seen hardstyle continue to grow globally. “Because it’s expanding so much, I’ve had the chance to play a lot more internationally where this style is something new, and the energy is amazing,” he explains. “Hardstyle isn’t just underground anymore.”
What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“I’ve always been free-minded about my productions, but this year I decided to experiment and play with sounds influencing hardstyle from other genres, evolving my music in a new and fresh way.”
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“It’s finally big enough for there to be a huge community of people that love it and put effort into developing it. I don’t know if everyone considers it art, but it’s definitely a lifestyle that is changing the world and connecting people.”
What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“The best thing about technology in music production right now is the fact that there’s no limits.”
If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“I don’t think I’m going to be switching genre. Hardstyle is really meaningful to me; it’s something that has changed my life deeply.”
As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“The best way to get to see the DJs you love is definitely at festivals. Some may be a little expensive, but you pay for the whole experience, which can be unforgettable.”
What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“Educating youngsters and inspiring them through music. We, as influencers, have a big responsibility in sending a positive message and making them understand that it’s not about the drugs, but the music.”
How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“Mixing music genres and fighting the way of thinking that if you experiment and don’t follow the trends, you’re going be cut out. Those that create something new change music history and create the trends.”
WORDS: ROB McCALLUM