Eleonora Cutaia – Exclusive Interview
Written by Michael
September 27, 2010 9:01 am
We love a good entrepreneur, especially in the tough, no-nonsense and famously no-mercy world of the music industry. And they don’t come much more passionate, talented or tenacious as Eleonora Cutaia. Not only is Eleonora herself an accomplished DJ and Producer, she owns her own PR label “Ahead PR”, which works to promote the talented productions of underground talent across many genres – some of which you’ll have seen featured here on Maxumi. She also has setup and runs her own record label, Stilnovo, and works as one of the faces of Pioneer Pro DJ. With clubnights, an expansion of her record label and the ever demanding work that goes on behind Ahead PR in the pipeline, Eleonora is proof that hard graft and a skill for the diverse can help you make it your own in the music world.
We decided it was about time for a chat…
You grew up in Italy, but moved to London. What made you move? What on earth would posses someone to give up the Italian beauty and glorious weather for cold, grey London? ;)
Music! I have been listening to British and American music since I was 6 years old – I was literally obsessed with MTV throughout my childhood and teens. Back then there wasn’t a local MTV so I would be watching the UK one. When I was was in high school, I would go buy Blues & Soul or Vibe before attending class and I had a clear vision of moving to London to start a career in the music industry as soon as I could.
I first came to the UK when I was 16 to attend a summer English school and I was absolutely blown away by the music scene…the time I had off from school I would spend in record shops, and in the evening I would try sneak into the clubs! I got away with it a few times and I remember my ears ringing so bad afterwards! Shortly after finishing my studies I moved over permanently…that was almost 8 years ago.
This obviously came with a price as I wish I had my family and childhood friends closer. And the weather as you say is not the best! I try to go to Italy often though.
You’ve clearly pursued many different careers with DJ’ing, production work, advertising, writing/journalism and other work all under your belt – but where does your heart really lie?
I first thought I was still finding my way but I have come to the realisation that I really need variety in my life to keep me inspired. Music is my first love and of course tends to be a strong presence in everything I do, but as long as it’s something creative or artistic, I love to challenge myself in different areas.
You cite King Britt as an early influence on your career after he asked you to perform for the opening of his night at Fabric – what was your first performance there like? And how would you describe King Britt and his influence on your career now?
Opening for King at Fabric was one of my most memorable moments in my DJ career. I was truly honoured about that and it really was a fantastic party.
King’s musical versatility has always inspired me and today he is still very much pushing the boundaries! He is now working on this experimental project called Saturn Never Sleeps, which is very interesting. I too feel like I need to evolve with my music and not get stuck behind a label.
You’re also currently now the face of Pioneer Pro DJ. Can you tell us a little more about what Pro DJ is specifically, and what your role involves?
I have been presenting the new Pioneer CDJ 2000 and 900 for a series on video showcases and tutorials in Italian. For the launch of their new products Pioneer wanted to connect with the local markets via international DJs so I’m glad I could represent for Italy!
You’ve got your own label and PR Company, Stilnovo and Ahead, how are both of these going for you? They must both take a huge amount of work to run?
At first yes, I had put a lot of work into them, but it’s definitely been worth it. Now I can manage my workload quite easily. It really is something I enjoy doing though so I don’t mind putting my energy into it! It’s also different everyday and allows me to come across talent I’d never know about otherwise so that keeps it very fresh.
What is important in becoming successful in the music industry for you?
To me it is important to keep enjoying what I do, and being able to share my work with people over the world. The travelling part in particular, is a very culturally enriching experience – one of the things I love the most.
You clearly live an almost ridiculously hectic lifestyle! What do you like to do to relax and take things down a notch?
Haha I know! The truth is I love being productive! I have of course moments when I feel uninspired and that’s when I take time off. Sometimes I go to Italy for even a month. Spending time with my family, friends, my dog. It is truly regenerating and I always come back to London with some great ideas!
Back to DJ’ing – how would you describe your style? What equipment do you usually use?
The equipment I prefer to use are the Pioneer CDJ 2000 or 900 alongside a Pioneer mixer, normally the DJM800. I am addicted to the USB function and the new loop features of the CDJs!
Any up and coming gigs we should know about? Other plans in the pipeline for you?
Madrid and Istanbul should be coming up shortly, though next up is my birthday bash at The Player in London! I am looking forward to taking it back to Soul for this one! Jaidene Veda will be flying in from Canada for her international debut on the mic – she’s one of my favourite singers at the moment. And joining me on the decks will be mr Stretch Taylor and the Cellar Door fam. Should be a memorable party!
As far as other plans, the next thing I’d like to do is to set up a charity project. I feel very strong about animal rights, and I was devastated by the recent European revision on vivisection. Have you read about it?*
I would like to use music and art as a mean to make people more aware of what’s going on around them. Everyone is contributing to vivisection without knowing it, by buying certain brands thus funding useless and horrific experiments.
I am going to join forces with other artists who feel the same about it, so hopefully we are going to shake a few souls!