Cecille Records welcomes the return of Leon to the imprint this June with his ‘Sissy’ EP, accompanied by a remix from UK trio Mason Collective. You can pre-order it here: https://fanlink.to/CEC049.
Cécille has a long-standing history with Leon dating back to 2009 when he released his second career track. His mesmerising production ‘Rain in Rio’ claimed the Nr.1 spot on Beatport in 2009 and earned esteemed recognition from Mixmag as one of the best tracks of the season. Since then, Leon has held prestigious residencies at iconic venues, like Marco Carola’s Music On Ibiza, a residency he has maintained since its inception in 2012. Additionally, he has captivated audiences at Cocoricò, renowned as the most-awarded club in Italy. Leon’s talent and presence have left an enduring impact on the global music scene.
To mark yet another momentous outing on Cécille, we caught up with Leon for an interesting chat:
Hi Leon, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Your new EP ‘Sissy’ is coming soon via Nick Curly’s Cécille label; for those yet to hear it could you tell us a little about this EP and your relationship with Nick, which now dates back many years.
Hello, it’s a pleasure for me to be here; I have worked in the past with Cecille, Nico and Marc, making some important releases, and today after more than ten years, to come back with another vinyl and digital EP beautiful, and I have prepared something special, they are two very different originals, one has all the influence of new york house and something Detroit while the second has what I think is more tech house for a bigger type of dancefloor, even festivals. Cecille is one of my fav labels ever, and it’s a big honour for me to be back in this amazing family; the release also includes a remix by Mason Collective.
You’re from Teramo, near Rome in Italy. Could you share a little about your hometown, how you began to discover electronic music, and later how you started to DJ and produce music coming out of this city?
Exactly, I’m from Teramo, it’s a very small city near Rome, but it’s very beautiful because we have the sea and the mountains, a bit like California, for this reason, it’s a fantastic place, it’s all very peaceful, I love it, I inspire with the music I make, with its culture and its genuine people, but the club arrived here very late, for me it was difficult to be able to get the people of my city used to what I liked to do because in 2000 it was transgressive and it wasn’t part of the culture, but step by step I succeeded, today when I have my parties in my city, thousands of peoples come to dance, it’s fantastic, I started DJing in 1995, but I left and went to Riccione to hear the strong and international djs in clubs like Cocoricò where today I am a resident dj, I made many sacrifices, but they helped, to get to European clubs the only way was to produce music and create connections with international labels and djs.
You have an extensive catalogue of material dating back to 2009, when you started on Steve Lawler’s much revered Viva Music, and later Cécille, Hot Creations, Crosstown Rebels and more. Could you tell us a little about your process when you make music and where you find influence?
Steve Lawler, during the WMC in Miami in 2009, contacted me to tell me if I wanted to start working with him because my tracks were among the strongest in Miami, and everyone was playing them, especially when Pete Tong live from Miami on his radio show on BBC radio1 put “in da factory” as “essential new tune” that is the strongest record of the conference!!! My first track on VIVA MUSIC is history, and it revolutionised the way of making music; house samples returned, hip-pop vocals, scratches, there was a lot of NY house in that stuff, there was a lot of ghettoes, a lot of streets, I frequent New York exactly since 2001, my second home! DJ MAG said that “In da Factory” was one of the tracks of the year, and it changed the tide on the table. Many went back to house music and moved away from minimal; you can imagine how all this changed my life in a very short time! Then there were releases on Cecille, Cocoon, Saved, Defected, Soma, Hot Creations, Crosstown Rebels and more; I am inspired by my daily life, my family, my son, Alice, my girlfriend, my friends, my travels, books, I read but also the inner silence in my soul, I can feel it.
Where do you make your music? Do you work from home or in a studio? What are the dominant pieces of equipment you’re using to produce; are they in the box with software predominantly, or are you also collecting synthesisers, drum machines and other outboard gear?
I made my music with my laptop with Ableton and VST like Korg, Arturia, Rob Papen, and Roland drum machines …. Everything from a home studio is very simple; for me, what matters is the idea that is then developed; I have some friends who sound engineers who help me mix and master and make the track perfect.
How is the summer of 2023 looking for you? Are there any notable plans, key shows or releases you have planned that you’d like to highlight?
This 2023 is going very well; my calendar is full of dates, and many are in Italy, but at 40, after 15 years of flying around the world on planes, I can afford a break and dedicate more time to Italian clubs, even if there are gigs in London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Ibiza, Zurich, marseille and more .one of the most important news is this residency at cocoricò club in Riccione which is the symbolic club of Italy and is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and then there are great releases like Cecille, and I’m preparing an album.
Lastly, could you tell us of something outside of music that’s been inspiring you lately? It could be a place, a book, a restaurant, a recipe or anything else that’s a major influence in your life right now.
What influences my life are my boys, Isaiah and Sofia. I like to see what they do, how they behave, what they think and how they see the future of their life and of this world, I like to play sports, which I had abandoned in the last 15 years and it relaxes me a lot to have a nice dinner with my girlfriend, I am a very simple person, I have lived many experiences, they don’t want to ask for much more from life, many times with music and during my tours I have met devils and angels :)
Leon's 'Sissy' EP (Incl. Mason Collective Remix) is available via Cécille Records from 23rd June 2023.