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When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by?

So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out. During this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from Europe, the London-based, Italian electronic talent Riva Starr (aka Stefano Miele).

Riva Starr, London, U.K., Snatch! Records

What’s it been like where you’re living? I spent the first lockdown in London – the weather was actually pretty nice through spring, so that made it more bearable. I spent time homeschooling and making beats.

What important gigs did you lose? Like everyone, I lost all touring income – festivals and the whole Ibiza season.

Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income?  Have you learned anything in the downtime? I have always produced a lot of music and the lockdown has only increased that. I learned how to make a proper pizza in the downtime and was finally able to catch up with some TV series I’ve been wanting to watch for a long time.

Any releases during this period? I make music and releases all the time, so that hasn’t changed. Recently, I’ve released “Ride This Sound” featuring Imaginary Cities on Club Sweat. Other new releases include a remix for “Down” by The Vision featuring Dames Brown on Defected and “Beat Freak,” a collab with Chris Lake featuring Lau.Ra on Black Book Records.

In the studio, what’s your set-up? I use Ableton Live and mix everything through analog outboard and mixer. I love my Distressor, SSL compressors, and my synths, of course – Roland SH 101, OB-6, Juno 106, Yamaha DX-7 are my faves right now. I use a lot the iZotope plug-ins.

What’s your creation process in the studio? I get to the studio, switch machines on, eat a tangerine and start rolling with whatever idea I have in mind. Could be a beat or a vocal or a synth/bass line. No rules. No routine.

What’s your typical DJ set-up & why do you choose that route? Three Pioneer CDJ-2000s and the Roland TR-8S drum machine, I love to dress the music with some extra layers of beats!

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? That I can spend months together with my partner without getting into arguments [laughs].

Have you done anything online recently? Yep, I’ve done some selected live-streams for Mr. Afterparty, Defected (also on Twitch), and I’m going to do a very special virtual stream @ Tobacco Dock with LWE in April… pretty dope if you ask me.

Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Hate to be self-referential, but my latest one, “Ride This Sound,” is the perfect tune for the actual situation – a tune about love and resilience.

Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Yeah, just read the news every couple of days – not every five minutes.

To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.

DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2021 by DJ Publishing, Inc.