An Exclusive Interview With Riccardo Di Benedetto (Dechard)

To kick off our interview, I’d like to address your early beginnings in your hometown. You began work as a disc jockey at age sixteen. What kind of music were you spinning and creating then? How does that compare to the evolution of your craft since then?

You know, music has always been present in my life since back in the day. I started dj'ing at the age of sixteen in my hometown, spinning electronic music like progressive, trance, and house music at many clubs and different situations. When I turned eighteen, I realized that I really wanted to produce and play music.

You usually work in ‘modular sounds’ and you describe your sound as ‘vintage yet modern.’ For my readers, can you elaborate on what exactly modular sounds are?

Modular/Granular is a processing of the sound of my main instrument in the studio: the Virus TI Polar. I love the fact I can control all the automations I make with an analog controller like in the 80s.

Furthermore, why is your music, or vibe as you put it, vintage yet modern? What vintage elements and what contemporary elements culminate into your sound?

I always look for fresh and experimental sounds, but the great tunes of the past inspire me a lot when it comes to production.

You’ve experienced both the heart of the European music scene and now the American music scene since you moved to Los Angeles. What has that change been like? What are the major differences between the two scenes?

To make a long story short, Europe electronic scene is about clubbing while America is a fertile place for chill and experimental vibes.

You touch on the fact that you worked on a soundtrack for a Fox television series. Can you elaborate on that project?

It was my first year in LA and I was looking for a new collaboration with my coworker Jeroosalem. We remixed a song together for the singer Alex Vargas and it was very good. Vago Agency contacted us, asking to make a soundtrack for the TV series "Dos Lunas." So I thought, "why not?" I only can say it was and outstanding experience and I look forward to working again on a soundtrack!

Much of your career has involved remixing other artists’ work. What process do you go through to remix an existing song? Did your time at Essex University contribute beneficially to your production abilities?

Yes, and there's so many artists I would love to collaborate with. As a DJ, I had the opportunity to remix artists like Alex Vargas, EDX, Bob Sinclar, Sabrina Petrini, and many more.. My remixing process is always different.. I think it depends on the original song and its influences.

Your follow-up to 2013’s ‘Amazing’ is your upcoming EP's called ‘Three Gems'  and 'Balloons.' How are these project different and what do they entail? 

After releasing 'Amazing,' that is all about progressive house and stuff, I started focusing on a mood more than a genre. So, I created my studio in Italy with my homie, Deja. We have been working on new vibes such as cinematic atmospheres, deep, tropical-house, and future-funk. You can listen to our collaboration, 'Three Gems Ep,' that was released last week under license of Irma Records, one of the coolest Italian labels. Check it out on Beatport and iTunes!

You must pull from both contemporary and classic influences. What kind of music do you pull inspiration from?

There are no direct influences on my music, but I admire and get inspiration from many artists and producers from the 70s to now.

In particular, I love asking my interviewees what kind of music they personally listen to - it gives incredibly insight to them not only as a music creator, but a consumer. If we were to que up your iPod or Spotify, what five songs might appear?

I listen to all kinds of music. Seriously, it's hard for me to pick up just five songs from my playlist. However, these tunes are always played on my iPod:
1) Queen - Bohemian Rapsody
2) Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal
3) Deadmau5 - Strobe
4) Carbon Based Lifeforms - World Of Sleppers
5) Exmag - Proportions

Finally, your most recent release is ‘F*cking in Love,’ a track you’re featured on from Sabrina Petrini. Talk a bit about this new release. What was your role in the new track?

I'm producing the debut album of Sabrina, a popular singer from the American band, KingQueen. She's very talented, so I think she'll bring her art to the next level in no time. Her new video is out on VEVO, an acoustic version of 'F*cking in Love.' Check it on YouTube!

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