As with every Red Bull Elektropedia Awards show, we like to put upcoming talent in the spotlight. The Most Promising Artist Award is given to acts that are deemed to be on the verge of breaking through. Whether it’s making beats, spitting bars or singing melodies, these artists have one thing in common: a promising potential to make it big in the music scene.
Every now and then, new Belgian techno artists rise above the crowds with such vigorous speed, it dazzles you to realize they have yet to make an official debut EP. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a DJ who’s been going harder at such an early stage in his career than Gianmarco Cellini (who goes by just his last name). He is supported by Amelie Lens, one of the biggest techno ambassadors in Belgium and has been given his own night at Fuse, the most iconic techno club in the country. In just one year, he has played all there is to play: Kompass, Ampere, Pukkelpop, Dour Festival, Tomorrowland, Extrema Outdoor, etc. That said, the praise this young DJ-producer from Maasmechelen has been getting over the last 12 months is absolutely well-deserved. Supplied with a large dose of humbling humility and a refreshing vision on what he can add to the techno scene, Cellini is most definitely a star in the making that deserves your attention.
You've been going HARD in 2018, harder than any other DJ we believe. Are you doing ok?
Yes, I’m doing great! This may sound cliché but I’m really living my dream at the moment. It may be stressful some days, but I’m enjoying it a lot.
How do you deal with such a sudden busy schedule?
There have been a lot of changes lately. For example, it became a lot more difficult to combine my music career with my studies. I just wasn’t getting the results anymore, so I decided to quit school and put my focus solely on music. Since I made that decision, I noticed I gained a lot of clarity in my head and my creativity has only increased.
Which have been some of the best gigs for you so far? Why?
Pukkelpop was definitely one of the best gigs. It had everything: the setting was awesome, I had a strong connection with the crowd and the energy was just right. Additionally, many of my family and friends were there to support me, so it felt like coming home.
Techno is currently bigger than ever, yet it deals with a lot of criticism (mostly for being to monotonous). What's your take on that?
I can understand that for people who listen to techno for the first time, it may not always be the most convincing music. It may take some time to get used to it. But I really love that hypnotic and monotonous atmosphere that looms over this genre. To me, it’s more of a feeling. You just need to look inside a bit deeper and connect with the message of the artist.
Which is the most important lesson you apply to your artistry on a regular basis?
The power of simplicity.
You went to Nepal for a field recording trip if we're not mistaken? Did this help to decide what kind of artists you want to be? Do you have plans to make a new trip?
Without a doubt! My trip to Nepal didn’t only inspire me musically, but it also changed me as a person. I became more conscience about life around me in general: I realized that I didn’t always need to make music with a certain goal in mind. I just started to make music for the sake of it. From then on it all started to flow by itself, it started to live its own life.
What do you use to make your music (technically)?
I produce with Logic and I love to record my own percussions. It gives me the feeling that the tracks are alive and the imperfections of a recording adds a kind of human touch to it. I’m not that much of a synth freak to be honest.
What do you hope to achieve within, like, 5 years from now?
Combining my two biggest and most important passions: travelling the world while making music.
Finally, what’s next for you in the coming months?
I’m glad to announce that I’m releasing my very first EP very soon. I’ve been waiting for this moment a long time! On the other hand, the international bookings are coming in more often, so I’m super excited about that too! I’m really looking forward to the future.
The 2018 Red Bull Elektropedia Awards will be held at Flagey (Brussels) on Tuesday, November 13.