Tony Lionni
Tony Lionni

Across London, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Tokyo and many other major cities on Zagreb’s Sljeme finally comes Tony Lionni, producer and DJ from Liverpool with releases on labels such as Ostgut Ton, Freerange and Mulemusiq. More in an interview below!

Tony Lionni will be the main guest of the first Unreal party which will be held on September 23rd in the restaurant “Pilana Bliznec” beginning at 6 p.m. Besides Tony, there will also perform Eddy Ramich, Darko Kustura, Phillip, Oberkuul and Okor. 

Below we bring you an interview with Lionni, DJ and producer whose excellent music, which has roots in Detroit and Chicago, released on labels such as Wave records, Freerange records, Ostgut tons, Defected Records, Madhouse records, Aesthetic Audio, Mule music, Versatile records. Find out what he said on the eve of hosting!

UES: You come from a very diverse musical background – in what way has it influenced your music, if it has?

TL: It has opened my mind to different sounds and ways of expressing yourself through music and to the different Dynamics each music genre has.

UES: It could be said that your career as a producer started later than usual. What do you think is the reason behind that? Was it a conscious decision or is it just how things happened?

TL: I started producing music 27 years ago or rather playing around with electronic equipment. it was only when Home studios consisted of being a macbook, monitors and keyboard that i could work at home as a solo artist without distraction to allow me time to develop the craft of music production.

UES: What have you been up to before going into music more seriously? What kind of a period were you going through musically between your career as an electronic music producer and your hip-hop, b-boy phase?

TL: Music has always been a serious thing in my life along with clothes and art, all 3 things are very important to me.Before I began producing I was exposed to all forms of what we used to call Black music at home from my fathers record collection, I then as a teenager started to buy records, American import dance music records.

UES: What is your approach to producing music? Do you prefer analogue or digital equipment? Are you a planner or more of a spur-of-the-moment kind of guy?

TL: Totally spur of the moment, kind of difficult to plan a record, just have to work at it until something good comes out of it. Analogue gear makes your life a lot easier sound wise, though I work all digital and sample based.

UES: And what about digging? Do you like to swim through crates in some shady basement-type shops or do you like the music to find its way to you? What is your approach to DJ sets in general?

TL: Yeah, I still love to go looking for records though have slowed down a little compared to my teenage years. My approach to Dj sets on general is to have an Idea where to start and where to end up at the end of the night, has to be a bit of a journey. I use only digital in my sets now just because its more reliable in the club.

UES: I noticed that you haven’t been so active with the production as before… Do you focus on something else in the music scene nowadays?

TL: I am still writing music just not as much nowadays as there is no money in it and there arent really any Major electronic music labels left anymore since the rapid decline 3 years ago when it all became an exchange of record label offers a deal to any one with a passable track in exchange for a Gig !. Ive released on many labels while they were maintained as High end Major record labels, which was quite an achievement sadly promoters today don´t appreciate or understand yesterdays successes so time has to be spent on social media networks instead of studio time to try and survive financially.

UES: What are your plans for the upcoming year? 

TL: Quite impossible to plan at the moment music production wise I try not to think too far ahead. Got a remix coming out for Brothers vybe which Iam proud of as a lot my early influences of Ron Trent, Larry Heard have gone into it, also maybe release a 3 track EP around March.

-Interviewed by: Tvrtko Bolčić-