Alessandra Roncone: “If You Expect Only the Optimal Outcome, You’ll Be Disappointed a Lot”

The feats of wondrous data analysis we performed for the International Dance Music Awards placed Alessandra Roncone among the Top 5 female Trance artists. To continue our Trance streak (who doesn’t need some uplifting tunes right now?), we sat down with the Italian DJ and producer to look back at the golden age of Trance, when she first got into the genre, see what's changed since, and assess the aftermath of the age of corona.
Alessandra Roncone: Don’t Expect Only the Optimal Outcome
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Urska Jaksa

The whole world is trying to limit the harm of Covid-19 and the music industry has been massively affected. How has the outbreak affected you? Do you think the industry will be able to bounce back soon after the situation stabilizes?

This moment is really hitting everyone, the economic damage will be huge and not easy to manage. Musicians earn our living having gigs, so since all the events have stopped, none of us are making money. Even when the virus stops in your country and people can start going to work regularly, it won’t be the same for us artists. I don’t think it will be possible to travel as long as there are other high-risk countries. 

 

Even in hard times, nobody can take people’s creativity away. We’ve been seeing countless videos of “balcony concerts” coming from Italy. Did you join the initiative and play something for your neighbors?

This is something very nice in fact, to show unity sharing songs and music to others. Something to make you smile again until it’s over. I didn’t play from my balcony, because my neighbors are already doing it daily, playing Italian songs. And to be honest, because of me, they listen to Trance music at full blast all year long anyway, so I think they have enough, haha. Instead, I've done many livestreams on my page to stay close to my fans and friends during the quarantine.

 

Alessandra admits she prefers livestreams where she can directly chat with her fans while playing. She acted on that during her last set, and here’s a taste of it.

 

Getting on a big festival’s lineup is the result of hard work, and cancellations are a big blow, even though they're a must to protect public health. Should musicians always be prepared for force majeure and manage their disappointment?

We have to, because if you expect only the optimal outcome, you’ll be disappointed a lot in this industry. It’s better to enjoy everything you have, but at the same time, know that things can change. This is what I always do in life, to keep my serenity.

Alessandra at Dreamstate: “Crazy crowd, it was amazing to play there.”

Switching to lighter topics, congratulations on your IDMA nomination this year! You spin all over the world – which country has the best Electronic and specifically Trance scene?

Thank you! I can’t describe how happy I was when friends told me I was nominated. And when hard work pays off, it’s something that you can really feel proud of. I've enjoyed every party I've played, from the biggest to the smaller ones. The Trance crowds are always really amazing everywhere! But the ones that really blew my mind were at Dreamstate and EDC Mexico. Very crazy crowds, it was amazing to play there.

 

How did you get into Trance in the first place? From your own experience, what are the most important things up-and-coming DJs have to do – get a good mentor, a professional team…?

I fell into Trance in 1995 during a beach party, hearing Robert Miles’ “Children”. I had to ask what kind of music it was, because the sensation I got listening to it was something magical, and I found out it was Trance. And since that moment, I've never stopped dancing or listening to it. 

My advice to up-and-coming DJs is that if you feel the music inside, anyone who’s able to play can teach you, or you can also easily learn by watching tutorials and practicing. But when it comes to producers, a good mentor who can explain exactly what to do and teach you the right techniques is essential. 

The song that started it all: "I had to ask what kind of music it was, because the sensation I got listening to it was something magical, and I found out it was Trance. And since that moment, I've never stopped dancing or listening to it."

How do you approach making your tracks? Do you have an idea of what you want to do and then figure out how to get there, do you take some melody or sound and see where it takes you…?

It depends... I never start with a precise idea. Sometimes I start from bar 33, when you usually enter a mix, and then I add elements based on what I feel in that moment. Every track has a story to me, based on feelings, so I always try to follow them. Sometimes I spend my time just writing melodies and when I really like one, I decide to use it. I develop that first, and then I build all the rest.

 

Out of all the Electronic genres, Trance is the most centered around melodies. Which do you prefer: creating sick beats or beautiful melodies?

I love the hard, sick beats. At heart, I’m a hard Trance lover. But I also love melodies, which are essential in Trance, so I try to combine both, big melodies on groovy basslines.

Listen to “Corpi Celesti”, a collab with Japanese Trance DJ Rinaly, for a celestial uplift while reading further.

Has Trance successfully adapted to the music industry and listener characteristics of the 21st century, such as streaming, social media, shorter attention spans, etc.?

Yes, it has, and to my point of view even too much. It’s like music has lost its value compared to the 1990s and the beginning of the millennium. There’s so much music everywhere that many people listen to it at home, they've stopped raving and speaking about producers. Even if a good track hits the top of the charts, it’s going to be lost in few weeks, because there are thousands of new tracks out by then. Back in the 1990s, when a track was good, it was played for over a year, because DJs needed to buy vinyl to play it. Nowadays, a track costs less than 2€ and the majority just download it online. We spend many weeks to create a track, but the reward is not as good as it was in that golden age.

 

What's your stance on social networks in music? Are they beneficial to musicians, a necessary evil, a distraction…? 

Sadly, good marketing and socials nowadays look more important than good music. But it’s also a way to stay close to your fans, let them to discover more about yourself, your new music and where you’ll be.

 

Considering Electronic music, and Trance especially, is heavily male-dominated, what would you advise aspiring female artists trying to break through?

It’s very hard for a female to grow and to stand in this industry. Many people say that a girl needs to work twice as much as a guy to get half, and I think that in many cases, that’s very true.

 

On the subject of taking one side versus the other, that classic Trance rivalry – Armin van Buuren or Tiësto? Or do you have another champion?

I loved Tiësto when he was on Trance as much as Armin van Buren. I love everyone that makes good music, pioneers like them, Paul Van DykFerry CorstenGiuseppe OttavianiAly & FilaThrillseekersMark SherryBryan KearneyJOCAirwave and many more. The most important thing for me is that the music gives me strong emotions.

 

To wrap things up, how would you describe your music in three words?

Melody, Love, Energy.

And one of those interviews was ours 🙌

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Go play the song that got you into music in the first place, look for inspiration to do your own thing. Working hard for your vision pays off. We're here to make some of that work easier. If you're a musician, your profile, which is automatically updated with all your latest stuff, is probably already on Viberate. You can send it to promoters, talent scouts, and A&Rs, and use the time you'd otherwise spend updating your onepager on making music. 

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Urska Jaksa

Urska Jaksa

Managing Editor at Viberate
Storyteller with a nerd eye for music data. Believes in the healing power of group singing, while her ultimate cure are live shows.