Birdee is the relatively new guise of scene stalwart Marcello De Angelis, who – throughout nearly a decade of activity in dance music – has toured the world from Australia to China, played the most prestigious venues and festivals in the UK and Europe, collected support from the world’s biggest players, and picked up an award for best breakthrough DJ in 2008.
Since the inception of the Birdee project, he has been snapped up by Fatboy Slim’s Southern Fried Records, has remixed Vato Gonzalez, The Whip, Herve’, Malente, Louis La Roche and Mason – and has had his music supported by a veritable who’s who of dance music: Fatboy Slim, Oliver Heldens, Laidback Luke, Vanilla Ace, Punks Jump Up, Solidisco and The Aston Shuffle have all been regularly spinning Birdee tracks, while BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM, Capital Radio and KCRW have also shown their love.
Following several well-received releases, including music on Nervous Music, Re-Loved and Big Love Music, we caught up with Birdee as he becomes the next artist to join us for an Inside Five feature:
What inspired you to pursue a career in Disco music, and how did you get started in the industry?
Well, I didn’t really start with Disco- although it was always my first love since I was a kid. But before that, I played in bands and had another project producing breakbeat – it was with that project that I actually started releasing records. I was lucky to catch the tail end of vinyl when things were very different in terms of sales and – well – everything, really. In 2011 the breaks scene got a little stale, and the transition into disco was pretty natural – I experimented for a couple of years, and then I finally found my sound.
Your music is often described as having a nostalgic feel. What draws you to this sound, and how do you balance nostalgia with innovation in your music?
Hmm, nostalgia for me really only means that I am nostalgic about the way disco was made – with live instruments and orchestras. I very much believe in looking forward more than looking back, which is why I hardly use known samples and don’t do any re-edits. The disco scene needs new songs that have a similar production style to the old ones but are made with modern production techniques. So I hope I answered the question right there.
Can you walk us through your creative process when producing a track? How do you develop ideas, and what tools do you use to bring your vision to life?
It really varies; sometimes, I will get an idea while I am walking around and hum it into my phone, sometimes I’ll start playing a keyboard riff, and sometimes I will look into my folders until I find a sample that inspires me. Or sometimes I will just noodle around with a riff that doesn’t quite sound right for ages until, after a while, I will get an idea that totally turns it around – there is definitely some magic involved every single time, although, of course, it helps to know your tools inside out. Speaking of which, I use Ableton Live, an Apollo Twin soundcard, Roland Juno 106, Roland SH 101, and Dynaudio BM6A monitors – a pretty basic setup, but it works!
Your music has been a hit on dance floors around the world. How do you approach creating music that not only sounds great on headphones but also gets people moving on the dance floor?
That’s actually a really good question; I’m always wary of my music needing to have that “x” factor that makes people dance. I’ve definitely played out tracks which I personally love but, for some reason, never seem to get a great reaction on the floor – again, some magic involved, I suppose. I think the only way is to test the tracks out a LOT and fine-tune them in the studio after you’ve played them out – it’s a system that DJ/producers have been using forever, and it still seems to be the only one that can totally guarantee a good result on the dancefloor.
In the age of streaming, how do you see the future of Disco music, and what role do you see yourself playing in shaping its evolution?
I think Disco, more than any other genre, can work very well in the streaming era since it’s mostly “traditional” songs written with a verse/chorus structure. It’s a fact that people listen to Spotify while doing other things (a sad but true fact, one could say) – so I’d imagine one would prefer to listen to some songs than to nosebleed techno while cleaning the house or working out. Then maybe not, lol. I am, however, very hopeful and streaming numbers have been good – all I can do is continue to make the music I love and not worry too much about it!
Connect With Birdee:
Birdee is represented by MN2S – https://mn2s.com