#MusicInTheAir Podcast hosts this week :
The protagonist of this week’s MusicInTheAir is Jacko, Dj & Producer born and raised in Rome, who after travelling a lot over the years and also living in NYC for some, now is based in his home town, the capital.
Sonically he represents the future of dance music, and his DJ Sets range from House to Afro-House and Afro-Tech. Jacko is also known to leap between genres, showcasing emerging and cutting edge dance/electronic music and R&B/Hip-Hop/Afrobeats.
His technical style of ‘overlaying’ and his wide range of musical genres when playing has been influenced by working for many years with house legend Tony Humphries.
He tells: “There’s definitely been an evolution of my sound over time. I always try to incorporate different influences and styles in my DJ Sets. So, today I’d say it’s a mixture of my House music roots, Afro House, Melodic House and Techno with a bit of R&B and Hip-Hop flavor. Growing up I started listening mainly to R&B and Hip-Hop at the time and then I got into Dance and House music. R&B and Hip-Hop are still one of my biggest influences and of course all electronic music from South Africa more specifically Afro House and Amapiano. I also really like Afrobeats from West Africa and Nigeria in particular”.
Jacko started buying CD’s and eventually vinyls when he was in high school: some of his first records were by Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Run DMC and Public Enemy. Still, when he takes off his DJ headphones, he enjoys listening to a lot of different genres, although he usually likes a mixture of R&B, HipHop, Jazz, Afrobeats and Amapiano.
The list of his favorite artists/djs/producers is endless. He says about it: “There’s so many but here are some of my favorite ones that inspire me so much: Black Coffee, Keinemusik, Karyendasoul, Enoo Napa, Da Capo, Sun-El Musician, Caiiro, Dr Feel, Eltonnick, Citizen Deep, Manoo, Kabza De Small, Major League Djz, Vigro Deep, Mike Dean, Kanye West – Ye (as a producer and designer ☺), Drake, Benji B, Virgil Abloh the list goes on…”.
He played in different countries and cities over the years: Contact (Tokyo), 360 (Dubai), Pacha and The Cross (London), Discoteque (NYC), Standard Hotel (LA), Cavo Paradiso (Mykonos), Djoon (Paris) and of course residencies and gigs in Rome: Circolo Degli Illuminati, Room 26, Goa just to name a few.
On the production front, he has recently worked with labels such as Ewaso Records, Claps Records, MoBlack, Madorasindahouse.
His single ‘Waves’, with American R&B Singer/Songwriter Chelsea Como from Miami, has been remixed by South African rising star Enoo Napa and was heavily played and supported by Black Coffee during his worldwide tour and at his residency at Hi in Ibiza. It’s also been supported by South African DJ/ Producers Lemon & Herb, Shimza, and Kususa. ‘Waves’ has been included in Black Coffee’s ‘Music is King 2019 Appreciation Mix’ generating a lot of hype and is currently still being played in the best clubs and festivals worldwide.
Jacko and Chelsea Como just released two new singles in October 2021 on two of the most prolific Afro-House record labels: MoBlack Records and Madorasindahouse. ‘Flames’ on MoBlack with Enoo Napa once again on Remix duties, and ‘Until Tomorrow’ on Madorasindahouse with Remixes by Da Africa Deep, DJeff and Dorian Craft. Both releases are gaining a lot of support and plays by the likes of Black Coffee, Brina Knauss, Hyenah, Kasango just to name a few.
His most recent project is a song in collab with Dr Feel featuring Zhane tited “The Phoenix” that just came out on Ewaso Records. Also a Remix he did on Claps Records for Dr Feel’s song “Zombie”.
For current projects, he is working on new music at the moment. He says: “There’s a couple new songs in the works with singer Chelsea Como and a few other collabs. Stay Tuned! ☺”.
What can you tell us specifically about your recent release with MoBlack Records? What about your experience with this label?
The song “Flames” is a song that Chelsea had previously written and produced so I’ve added my own spin to it and once again after “Waves” we gave it to Enoo Napa for the Remix versions. We always loved and respected MoBlack Records for the quality of releases and music style that they are constantly putting out so it was the first label that we thought of when we finished the project. We got in touch with Mimmo and he didn’t hesitate to sign the record which made us very happy!
What can you tell us specifically about your release “Waves” with American R&B Singer/Songwriter Chelsea Como from Miami, remixed by Enoo Napa?
Chelsea had some R&B songs already written, “Waves” was among them and we thought it was the best one so she decided to speed it up and turn it into an Afro House tune. Later on, we sent the stems to Enoo Napa for the Remix. “Waves” is definitely a milestone for us, the beautiful lyrics and interpretation by Chelsea together with the timeless Remix by Enoo made this tune absolutely magic! For us it was also truly special for the huge support that we received, especially from Black Coffee since he was one of the first ones to play the record over and over at his residency in Ibiza at club “Hi” and all over the world.
You worked for three years for the label of the legendary Tony Humphries, one of the pioneers of house music. What can you tell us about this experience?
Yeah, Tony is absolutely a House music legend! Working with him was like a dream come true for me since I admired him so much when I was growing up and starting Djing. It was such an awesome experience to learn everything about the music industry, how to create and manage a record label and how to be an excellent and diverse music selector. Going through his endless music library and being able to go on tour with him for a long time thought me pretty much everything I know about music and DJing. Living in NYC while doing that was also another dream come true for me. This was one of the experiences that I’m the most grateful of and I’ll never forget it!
How was your summer and now how is your autumn/winter? Do you have dj sets or festivals planned at the moment for the present and the future?
I’m always trying to stay busy with creating new music and planning gigs you know! There are definitely a few new tunes and collabs in the works and future gigs in a club that I really look forward to play at… But can’t disclose any details at the moment… Also don’t wanna jinx it… ☺
What do you think of the italian electronic music scene? What do you think are the differences with Europe and the rest of the world?
In Italy there’s always been a big and healthy electronic and club scene, depending on the city or area sometimes there’s more or less music culture though. The main difference with the rest of Europe and the world is the fact that we don’t have much diversity here unfortunately in terms of ethnicity, culture and race. So, in terms of how people dance and react to music it can be very very different from the rest of the world. I think things are changing but we are still a bit behind compared to other European capitals like Amsterdam or London or other big cities around the world.
What evolution do you think electronic music is experiencing on the international scene?
I really love the evolution that I’m seeing happening on a global scale in electronic music. The fact that Africa as a whole is becoming kind of like the center of it when it comes to dance and electronic music makes me really really happy and super inspired because that’s the vibes I love! Also the fact that big artists like Drake or Beyoncè decided to do Dance / Electronic albums in 2022 speaks volumes about where electronic music is heading. Definitely exciting times ahead!
What can you tell us musically about your Podcast for Villahangar?
I really hope Villahangar listeners will enjoy my sound and music selection! This podcast features some of my fav tunes at the moment plus some exclusives and some of my productions and Remixes.
01. Drake, YEBBA – Yebba’s Heartbreak (Dwson Remix) / OVO
02. Diddy, Bryson Tiller – Gotta Move On (Dr Feel Remix) / Love Records
03. DJ Weather & Vtrinity – Barena / White Label
04. Ry X & Olafur Arnalds – Colorblind (WhoMadeWho Dub Remix) / BMG
05. Dr Feel – Zombie (Jacko Remix) / Claps Records
06. Citizen Deep, Mzux Maen, Yasmin Levy – Hayii (Citizen Deep Remix) / Sound African Recordings
07. KingDonna – Rise Of Aziola (Original Mix) / Gumz Muzic
08. Karyendasoul & Ami Faku – Umthandazo / Mayonie Productions
09. Dlala Thukzin – E Samba (Remix) / Dlala Records
10. Quentin Harris, Leela James – My Joy (Mpho.Wav Cover) / White Label
11. Drake – Currents (Klement Bonelli Remix) / OVO
12. Jacko, Dr Feel Feat. Zhane – The Phoenix (Original Mix) / Ewaso Records