Without a formal music education, London-based DJ and producer Molinaro sees family as the catalyst for his development. “My uncle and dad were heavily into sound, which shaped my ear growing up”, he tells us. With easy access to his father’s collection of jazz, funk, soul and boogie, he spent his teens surrounding himself with “the right music from early”, learning how to mix on a pair of belt drives gifted by his uncle. The latter’s influence was also in a more technical capacity, teaching Moli “how different frequencies work in the physical sense”, as he watched him build speaker boxes for subs. “The rest”, he says “has been self discovery”, filtered through over a decade of patient work in the booth and studio. A chance meeting with FunkinEven in 2012 started a process that resulted in a debut EP on Apron five years later, while his activity as part of the Touching Bass family has been a big elevator. All joined together, it’s easy to see why he’s recently been signed to the Sounds Familiar agency alongside some esteemed names like Kai Alcé, Ge-ology, Sadar Bahar and Dego.
As part of a series profiling the 2018 recruits for Dimensions Festival’s DJ Directory, we speak to Molinaro about what’s moving and motivating him, alongside a first listen to an outstanding new mix. For more info on last year’s Directory DJ’s check our Frequently Asked Questions feature.
There’s an obsession with pigeonholing producers and DJs into a certain sound, which can be an awkward self-reflective process so we won’t go there! Instead, are there any key principles or philosophies that drive you as a music creative?
I remember reading about putting 10,000 hours into something to become a master of it. Makes sense. Just trying to reach that level through practice. I would also say that being honest is key and letting things happen naturally.
Have there been any people or collectives who have empowered you or helped you find your feet as a DJ and producer?
My family, friends, Apron crew, Touching Bass, NTS. I’m lucky to be surrounded by very gifted people who support.
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a DJ and producer?
Dealing with this online thing, social media use and not getting distracted by it. It’s important to stay working hard and remain focused on creating the music first. Sadly it feels like people are getting booked off of likes instead. Unfortunately social media has been put on a pedestal within DJ culture.
What’s your greatest achievement to date?
My Apron EP.
What goals have you set yourself this year?
To share some more music. I’m interested in all styles so I’d like to put out some of my slower beats first, maybe on a 7” or cassette we’ll see, but also to work with some singers and learn that side.
What’s your favourite party?
Touching Bass, they’re called dances for a reason.
Congrats on just signing to Sounds Familiar. Why did you feel they were a good fit for your DJing exploits?
Thanks. SF reached out after a chat with my friend Ruby Savage. I linked with Ornella and felt that we shared the same values, which I think is important for anyone who is going to be representing you. She also looks after a lot of artists I look up to so naturally it fits.
And finally, turning back the clock, what advice would you give to your younger self before you started pursuing music properly?
Maybe learn an instrument like piano.