Welcome to Episode 100 of THE BIRDHOUSE! We'll be doing a proper celebration for our two-year anniversary on Episode 104, but I'm so grateful to be hitting this milestone – and to have a full-hour guest mix from The Magician this week.
Not long after leaving the Balearic duo Aeroplane in 2010 to pursue a solo career, Stephen Fasano began enchanting fans with his monthly Magic Tapes. The monthly mix series has attracted a cult following and it's always a compliment when a track of yours makes it in the mix.
While his remixes and original productions veer towards the upbeat (like his European hit "Sunlight"), you never know what you'll get from a Magician live set.... which is why I was stoked to have him play my BIRDHOUSE party in Vegas a couple months ago. Check out the episode, featuring an hour of Magician goodness live, and his interview below
How did your music career get started in earnest?
Around 1995 when I did my first DJ set in a small bar in Belgium. I was very shy and I did ask to play with the crowd to my back, not in front of me. Then I turned myself around slowly to people. I played there for two years every Saturday and with my own material and sound system.
Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?
I'm half Belgian, half Italian. I grew up in the French-speaking part of Belgium in one of the poorest areas in Europe. I think the fact the life in that area was sad and depressing made an impact on my music which is actually melancholic, a bit sad but always with hope.
How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?
I never wanted or tried to quit my career. It's a young dream that is real today!
What was one piece of equipment that helped define your sound early on?
I was introduced to turntables by my uncle, a bit later I bought a sampler/sequencer but I didn't release anything at the time, that was just for fun, nothing serious. Then I felt in love with one synth, the Roland Jupiter 8. Firstly because it was used in all my favorite classic songs and also because I loved the different colored buttons!
When you were getting started, which artists did you try to emulate (both musically and careerwise)?
As a DJ, the Belgian artists Mo & Benoelie aka The Glimmers. They were my source of inspiration because they played all genres. They did the best compilation mixes at the time. I liked Jeff Mills because he mixed with three turntables and the energy was insane! Another DJ that has influenced me was Larry Levan - I loved his disco sound. I never heard him live though. Some other DJs I would like to mention are DJ Harvey, DJ Hell and I-F who introduced me to Italio disco and electro. As for more “global” artists I love and respect David Bowie, Daft Punk, Serge Gainsbourg and Drake.
When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on a track?
Just escape the place I work without emails and recharge in a quiet environment.
Where and when are you at your most content/happiest?
When I see my daughter happy. When I receive the master of a track. When I record a singer on an instrumental track. When I’m in Tokyo. When I go to a restaurant I love. My holidays in Italy.
Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?
I like to cook and I love tasting wines. My team says I have a fine pallet! I really like fashion, art galleries and just walking in a city taking pictures.
Blue is my favorite.
Dream, future, look!
Favorite guilty pleasure food?
Mortadella (Italian cured meat).
Favorite guilty pleasure song?
French and Italian pop from the '80s.
German or Detroit techno?
Festival, club or illegal warehouse?
Club with a great sound system.
Biggie or Tupac?
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Exercise or Netflix?