We talk disco, Defected and Sabajaq
Having been chipping away at his trade in the UK for the past twenty years, Italy-born Severino started his DJ career while barely into his teens, gaining valuable experience by working for Italian record shop Disco Inn. It was meeting Horse Meat Disco co-founder Jim Stanton, however, that secured him a residency at the Sunday night Vauxhall institution and showcased his deep musical knowledge.
More recently he's become a member of both the Defected and the Classic Records families opening up his equal mastery of house and techno, while appearing on the Ibiza circuit and putting out productions both solo and alongside the likes of Hifi Sean (as Up Yours) and Nico De Ceglia (as Hyena Stomp). A South London resident, he's also part of Peckham's Balamii internet radio station where he's been joined on his show by guests from Basement Jaxx to The 2 Bears.
Severino headlines the house and disco room of Sabajaq on Saturday June 17th, joining Hifi Sean, Josh Caffe and Joe Roberts. With DJ Hell heading up the techno room, alongside Wax Wings and residents Warboy, Maze & Masters and Kyle E, Choronzon, Venice Calypso and Dahc Dermur VIII keep it dark down in the Basement.
We spoke to Severino to find out more about his past, his summer plans and what to expect from his Sabajaq set...
Where are you right now and what will you be doing after answering these questions?
I'm still at home checking tons of emails with music. It's good but there's lots of crap and boring stuff around too. Then I'm off to DJ at Sexy Fish in Mayfair later on.
Can you tell us about your roots in disco and dance music. Do they go back to growing up in Italy? We read you started DJing aged 10.
Well, I guess I discovered I want to be a DJ at seven because of my sister’s records. I officially started in a club when I was 16 in North Italy playing disco-afro-electro-funky, then house came a bit later.
When did you move to the UK and what brought you over here?
I've been here since 1997. Italy is a beautiful country but it doesn't have many roots in dance and international music. Clubbing has always been better here.
Can you tell us a bit about Disco Inn?
It was amazing record shop until the 80s, one of the most important ones in the country. I was a promo vinyl buyer for them when I moved here.
How did you get involved with Horse Meat Disco?
Me and Jim Stanton met through the Jockey Slut/Sleaze Nation magazines. He started booking me at Crash club, then when him and James Hillard decided to start Horse Meat Disco they asked me and Luke Howard to become residents, which was fab!
You're now part of the Classic Records family. How far do you and Luke go back? Has it helped to take you to a different housier audience?
When I used to buy promos for Disco Inn I met Jonny Rock (from Freaks) and the people at IDEAL distribution. They were giving me Classic promos, so I was happy! Luke is great, he has a good ear, so I was really happy for him moving in with the Defected family a few years ago. They are very professional.
In the last few years you've played quite a bit in Ibiza. Are you back again this summer?
Yes, we are going to be back doing Glitterbox five times at new club Hï (which used to be Space). I'm also going to do a guest spot for Disclosure's night Wild Life at DC10. The first time I'll be playing there is the 11th of August. Ibiza is still beautiful, it needs to get back to its roots though.
What's coming up on the production front, if anything? Is your Up Yours project with Hifi Sean, who is playing alongside you at Sabajaq, still in operation?
Pretty much yeah. There are some edits maybe and obviously a new track for Classic. I’m excited, I've found a good singer. And, of course, there's a Horse Meat Disco single featuring Roy Inc. We are happy about that
Name three tracks that sum up what you're likely to play at Sabajaq.
Athlete Whippet 'Friend of mine (Severino remix)'
Arthur Baker & Alan Vega – 'Angel of Hell (Paranoid London remix)'
Tell us something interesting about yourself that isn't currently public knowledge...