Tuesday 25th Oct, 2016
Alex Neri
Alex Neri
Interview posted the 06/04/04 read more
From an early age I felt music inside me. Everyone can play music, it is inside everybody. My father was aDJ and I was growing up with funky beats and in an environment which never restricted my personal artistic freedom. I started playing piano at age of 9, went to music school, was classically trained but by the age of 12 started DJ-ing, using my father's records.... soon after I dropped out of music school. Being a DJ was much more fun but I still love playing classical music.

I met Marco Baroni when I was 15 and we became friends, we both understood each other and music was our life. We made our first record in 1987 and all the money that we made went into the studio which we were building (a small place just outside Florence). There was not much to do apart from playing music and I started playing in the small clubs, getting paid 50 a night. Those times were different, now days DJs are becoming instrumental in breaking the new music, representing a powerful network in the music business.

I always believed that you need to understand and get to know the music in order to be able to make it. Music of the 80s was the way I liked it, rock, pop, latin, world, so many other categories . I never really wanted to belong to any one category which is one of the reasons why I'm part of Planet Funk. We just can't be be categorised. For me it is really important that I never lost my innocence in the music and still feel completely free to express myself through music without compromise.

Spending 2 years in national service really messed up my head I came out completely lost, couldn't find my way and I took lots of drugs. Although it helped me to understand what people who listen to my music feel, I soon realised that what I was doing was really stupid and would not help me to get where I wanted to be. So I decided to go back to music with a clear mind. Music was the first step to understand that life is not just things which we see around us and I had a message to send out and I started communicating using different frequencies in music. I then started to understand and know myself.

And then a beautiful thing happened to me. My son was born. It was little bit scary in the beginning but then it became the most natural thing, my instincts were to protect and care for this child, selflessly. At this point I started to learn how to compromise and my life changed, for the better.

Since I knew myself better I started understanding the people around me better. I believe that you meet people for a reason, different energies coming together and I started feeling people, learning how to respect yourself first and respect others. The most important thing in life is to try to find yourself, find out what you want to do and be patient, take your time and have a positive outlook and good and beautiful things will come to you. Success was never my main focus. Everywhere that I wanted to play my music, I ended up DJing in.

I met the Planet Funk guys in London in 1998, and we were hanging out together at the Winter Music Conference in Miami, talking about things that friends talk about. We decided to do something together, for fun. And the music which came out has a part of each of us in it. It is a collection of all of us in it. We all came together in the music.

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