Who is actually Donato Dozzy – DJ and producer who in recent years has been surrounded by the secrets of mystery, arousing the admiration and enthusiasm of fans and other artists?
How is that possible that he performs live extremely rarely? And how great it is that among only a few performances announced for this year, he chose Poland and Instytut Festival?
Donato Dozzy appears as one of the leading modern techno DJs. In recent years, he has created a wide group of his fans, who love his hypnotic, trppy style of playing and follow him into various clubs in the world.
In his early age Donato used to listen to italo-disco, reggae, dub and other genres of electronic music and began to learn about DJ-ing in 1983 under the care of his mentor, who was a DJ from Bari, Maurizio Laurentaci. In the end of the 80s, he discovered early techno and acid-house tracks with his friend Leo (currently producing house music as Lerosa).
Despite the huge passion for electronic music – he did not devote himself to it, but continued his political studies – probably in fear of his father’s opinion.
The paternalistic model of the family, traditionalism and petty-bourgeois values limted Donato so much, that he decided to fly away from them and went abroad.
Meanwhile, Donato completed his doctorate in political science in the doctoral degree, got successfully the so-called „decent job” and … he breathes a sigh of relief. He and his whole family are absolutely happy about it. This education, combined with his encyclopedic knowledge of music, later brought him the nickname “Professor”.
In 1999 he started a DJ-residency at the famous Brancaleone club in Rome, where he improved his skills as a DJ. In 2001, he was a member of The Kitchen Tools, who were later signed to Virgin Records and was commercially successful in Italy.
Ever since Brancaleone, he feels that music is his destiny and that he just has to dedicate his life to it. The father does not resist and even supports him in his choice – yes, he also becomes his biggest fan.
While growing up in Bari and then studying in Rome, Donato still wants something more. Searching for more possibilities, he escapes to Berlin in 2004 looking for a new way of living. As he recalls, “It became clear that I could not stay here anymore: ‘ve had enough of eating Italian, speaking Italian , going to the same Italian clubs on and on, talking to the same people – I needed to take a break, to leave the Italian mentality, start tasting the cosmopolitan way of life. And I went to Berlin with a big depression. There I met a lot of wonderful people, every few months I changed apartments, because I did not really know where I actually wanted to belong. I felt like a boat without a steersman. ”
His first friend is Dennis Anos from the German label Stereo Deluxe. He listened to his demo, discovering incredible talent and specific, individual style, of Donato.
He persuaded Dozzy to keep on recording and then they established the Orange Blue label. Soon he meets Marco Freivogel and gets an offer to play at Panorama Bar. Back in the days Donato had absolutely no idea how iconic this place was – he thought it was “a bar with a view over Berlin” (sic!) – how wrong he was!
In the years 2004-2006 Dozzy already had a regular residency in Panorama Bar, where his long closing sets at the end of the party allowed him to develop his hypnotic groove. “While playing in the daylight, I discovered for the very first time that my music works perfectly not only at night. In Italy, clubs close at five. “he said in an interview for Groove magazine.
It was at Panorama Bar Dozzy that he experienced something like a group belief about “being one tribe while dancing”. He experienced this great feeling and on his own and the dancers surrendered to the rhythm he was giving. The sense of unity on the dance floor became an important point in his further career and strengthened his sense of feeling music as a composer.
Thanks to the Berlin period, the artist’s style was polished, designed perfectly. During this time, a breakthrough came in his career – in 2007 he was invited to play at the Labyrinth rave, an outdoor electronic music festival in Japan. This was a turning point for Dozzy, who played one of the most memorable techno sets that people have ever experienced at this festival. This set was recorded and used as podcast by mnml.ssgs, and the popularity of Donato grew rapidly.
Since then, Dozzy is gaining popularity as a producer and DJ – playing in many of the world’s leading clubs, such as Berghain and Fabric. He has become popular not only thanks to his DJ-skills, but also thanks to his characteristic sound – his music just like his sets, explores the psychedelic, trippy side of acid, techno or ambient music.
Searching for more impressions, the artist jumps from extremes to extremes: from Berlin metropolis, he flies back to Italy, locating himself in San Felice Circeo – an idyllic, lonely estate of his parents. His house is filled with lots of instruments, drum machines, around the property he has a view of the beach, national park and trees. He chose nature instead of the big-city buzz. He claims – Berlin has sharpened his awareness and made him ready to stay among pure nature.
In 2011-2012, the popularity of the club – or rather the cultural center – which Brancaleone was, weakens and Donato joins the rescue and promotional activities, wanting symbolically to give the club what he once received from the it.
However, the populist atmosphere prevailing in Italy can be felt by everyone. The door of the club was soon padlocked. Donato often emphasizes how political changes in the world are spending his night’s sleep. Radical movements gain applause, politicians fight against culture and alternative movements.
Donato is seriously ill, including serious back pain that lasts over 10 years that prevents him from traveling and DJing internationally.
Looking at Dozzy musically – in 2008, after experimenting with his first label (Dozzy Records), he founded Aquaplano – a label that quickly gained popularity thanks to the high quality mixture of ambient and techno. He also published on other labels, such as Mental Groove, Curle, Time to Express, Mule, Further and Prologue.
Donato Dozzy is in no hurry: he is slowly growing, not seeking fame or media hype, he is just observing carefully those exceptional transcendental moments that can be created using electronic music.
“Music is not only a universal language. For me it is at least like therapy. It helps transform feelings and thoughts so that you do not have to cry over all those sad things in your life, ” says Donato. We are already waiting for his set at the Instytut Festival with great impatience and emotions.