MUSIC

Locals: Versatile producer/DJ Giovanny hopes to create music that is everlasting

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

For years, DJ Giovanny struggled to find his lane in music, balancing his daytime gig as a Radio One DJ and a rotating circuit of club gigs (he still helms the hip-hop dance party Get Right) with a desire to craft his own, original compositions. Recently, however, the musician, born Giovanny Bacigalupo, hit on exactly what he’s supposed to be doing in his career: everything.

“I don't need to be just this or just that; what I want to do is everything,” said Giovanny, who recently dropped a pair of new tunes, including one original composition (“You Should Know,” a warped, trippy affair constructed around a vocal loop borrowed from Fly Union) and a remix of Sevyn’s “Don’t Kill the Fun” that has one foot in Chicago’s house music past and the other in a far hazier future. “I can do radio; I can do production; I can do the Ohio State thing (the producer deejayed sporting events at the Schottenstein Center and Ohio Stadium in 2014 — a far cry from his earliest days spinning records in the basement of his parent’s home). I don't need to stick to one area. It's cool to be eclectic.”

Giovanny’s current, multi-branched path was shaped in large part by his childhood. Growing up in Queens, New York, the youngster absorbed a diverse array of musical forms and styles (at home his mother listened to everything from Celia Cruz and Led Zeppelin to Tupac), embracing an all-inclusive approach reflected in his current output.

“My upbringing was a little odd and pretty diverse, and the music I make is kind of like that,” he said. “It's influenced by trap drums, but also Miami bass. Then I also like the simplicity of ’90s dance music. It's weird how it's all cultivated into what I'm doing now.”

Most recently, Giovanny has started exploring a previously untapped skillset, remixing tracks for everyone from Wiz Khalifa to British electro-pop singer Charli XCX — a career direction given a significant boost when his remix of Khalifa’s “We Dem Boyz” exploded online. In just under a year the song has received more than 2-million plays on YouTube, and nearly another 500,000 on SoundCloud.

“The day I released it I thought something was wrong with SoundCloud because every 20 minutes or so it was an extra thousand or 1,500 [plays],” Giovanny said. “I genuinely didn't think it was accurate, like, ‘Don't get your hopes up. This isn't real.’ But for some reason it kind of went viral. I think it was just the right remix at the right time.”

As for what’s next? Expect the unexpected from Giovanny, whose lone fear when it comes to music is falling into repetition.

“I could make a reggae song next. Who knows? I just want to do something that hasn't been done,” he said. “What matters to me at the end of the day is the music. I want to put original stuff out. I want to produce for bigger artists. I want to make something that's everlasting.”

Photo by Meghan Ralston