Paolo Mojo

When people hear Paolo Mojo play, they get excited. It’s as simple as that. He’s quick to play down such talk; but the fact is he’s one of a select group of new breed DJs who have thrown the rule book out of the window, ignored what they are told is trendy and play it straight from the heart… mashing up genres and styles, cherry picking the best house and techno and all points in between and he does it with such panache it’s hard to resist.

As the scene has come full circle, diverse and creative DJing has become the watchword again, with crowds no longer willing to settle for hours of restricted, pigeon holed, boring music. Paolo instinctively understands this; listen to him and you hear disco, techno, funk, breaks, electro, soul, progressive house, techno, vocal garage. Whatever basically.

“I’ve never understood this ‘genre’ thing” he says. “To me the best DJs always select the best bits from a wide range of sounds and put them together in a way that just makes sense to people.”

It’s certainly making sense to lots of people at the moment. His genuinely innovative programming combined with a mesmeric technical ability see him move effortlessly through the entire house spectrum in his sets. And it’s marking him out as a genuine star for 2006 and beyond.

Snapped up by Sasha’s Excession agency at the start of 2005, on the back of some innovative productions and remixes, and one of the best essential mix debuts ever, he has seen his gig diary and name recognition go through the roof over the past 12 months.

He quickly became the man like’s chosen warm up DJ, touring with him across North America and Europe throughout 2005. As the year progressed, the warm up sets progressed to the occasional back to back set… in Scotland, Spain, Belgium and Morocco, a sure sign of the faith placed in his talent.

But he’s equally at home headlining in his own right; and its here he has really made his mark, destroying clubs the world over on the back of a relentless touring schedule throughout 2005. Rave reviews have followed him round everywhere he goes, leading to him being signed up to compile the latest instalment of the acclaimed ‘Balance’: EQ’s award winning mix series.

Featuring DJs such as James Holden, Desyn Masiello and Chris Fortier, Balance has become recognised as the de facto standard for emerging world class DJs. The latest instalment (Desyn Masiello 008) has won compilation of the year in both IDJ and M8 Magazines. Tom Pandzic, EQ’s main man commented:

“We’re delighted to have someone of Paolo’s talent and stature on board and we’re very excited about his contribution. He fits exactly the profile of the kind of artist we want to build the Balance series around.”

High praise indeed. The announcement of Balance 009 has already led to a huge world tour between April and August 2006 with wide scale press activity to go along with it.

Although the last two years have been the most productive for Paolo, he’s been working hard at what he does for many years. No Mojo story is complete without mentioning his infamous ‘Music Is Freedom’ demo CD. A mix that caused such a sensation in industry circles, it completely rewrote the rules for aspiring DJs everywhere, claiming an easy victory in Muzik Magazine’s Bedroom Bedlam competition, and a runaway win in Sony Erikkson’s Homelands DJ competition in 2001. Danny Tenaglia was a huge fan of the mix, calling Paolo personally to congratulate him… and combined with the way the mix caught on rapidly over the internet, it wasn’t long before Paolo was winning plaudits (and gig bookings) the world over.

But it’s not only behind the decks that he stands out. Much of his current success has been built solidly on the back of strong productions and remixes… something he went to great effort to achieve in his own right.

“I got to a point where I’d become quite well known for DJing, but I hadn’t released any music and it was frustrating for me. I wanted to take the next step. I basically took a year out to learn ‘the studio’ and I think that was the right decision.”

You’d be hard pushed to find anyone who would disagree. Since late 2003, Paolo’s productions have regularly found favour with Djs the world over, released on labels such as Alternative Route, Sensei, Tenax, Honchos, Toolroom, CR2 Trax, Saved, Music Is Freedom, and Sabotage.

 

He’s spent time recently preparing his new digital label – Oosh. The concept behind Oosh is simple – each release will showcase a new track of his coupled with a re-interpretation of the same track from an artist he respects. The first release ‘Everybody’, with a Cass and Mangan remix is set to be launched in the spring of 2006.

Eagerly awaited projects in association with Eric Prydz’ Pryda label are set to drop also. Paolo’s storming techno remake of Pryda’s ‘Aftermath’ and his own instant Italo classic ‘1983’ will both be released very soon with Eric himself remixing 1983… two releases that are guaranteed to kick his production career into another gear. Incidentally, Paolo is the only non Swede to be involved with Pryda, alongside Henrik B, Stefano Ingrosso, Steve Agnello, Axwell and Eric himself….

As Eric put it, “yeah… he’s the honorary member of the Swedish mafia!”

Tipped by DJ Magazine as one of the stars of 2005, and nominated as a star of 2004 by IDJ Magazine, Paolo remains modest of his achievements. His debut Radio 1 Essential Mix was among Pete Tong’s favourites; not least because of its longevity (Paolo smartly resisted the urge to pack it full of promos and CDRs). He’s slated for a quick return with a second EM to be confirmed later in 2006.

Through all this Paolo simply shrugs, nothing fazes him. And his talent – which has taken him from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires via regular gigs at Fabric – is all that really matters. Would the best newcomer of ‘2005’ please stand up and take his place amongst the DJ elite…

© 2012 Sweetchilli