Featured artist: Luca Saporito, Audiofly
As prolific producers, DJs, promoters and label managers, Audiofly – the duo made up of Sicilian-born Luca Saporito and Brit Anthony Middleton – have stood the test of time, with their musical partnership hitting its 12th year with no signs of slowing down. Never limited to one style of music nor driven by industry trends, the creative pair have always stayed true to their hearts and forged their own unique career path within an ever-changing industry. Luca gives us an insight into their relationship, lifestyle and views on Ibiza.
Tell us about your musical background?
I come from Sicily and when I was a kid, my first experience dabbling into music was actually in radio. I had a radio program in the afternoons on a local station that had around 2000 listeners. Then I got into electronic music by listening to dance radio stations before I went into the army. After that, I went to London, started to make some music on my own and DJ locally. I met Anthony and we had similar taste in music so we started to work together because we really gelled. The rest is history really!
What’s your working relationship like together?
I think the main secret for people to work together for this long – above and beyond the same taste in music – is to put your egos down. To be able to understand the other person when he has an issue with you or you have an issue with them. To know it’s about the bigger picture, not about this specific argument – trying to find a solution and move on. When you really put your ego down, you realise no issue is big enough to damage the relationship and the career you’ve built over this many years together.
What about your relationship as friends?
It’s important to be able to be friends and to genuinely like each other. We travel together, we party together and sometimes we get on each other’s nerves. We always say when the friendship is over, this relationship is over, and the working relationship too. But to be fair, today I think we’re more friends than ever because we know each other inside and out, we love each other’s music and how we work together. We spend a lot of time together and we still love each other!
It sounds stronger than a marriage!
Basically, Anthony is my longest relationship and I am his longest relationship and everybody knows that and they appreciate it. [Laughs] I think the fact we don’t have sex with each other really helps… that’s what always gets in the way! We’re very good friends, we don’t have any limitations as to what we have to say to each other and we always express our problems in a very candid way. We’re straight with each other, that’s why it works.
Do you get the chance to take time away from each other?
Absolutely! It’s very important. Sometimes Anthony wants to make music when I want to go on holiday – we can’t be together all the time. Now we have a good team in place giving us structure, everything runs smoothly. If one of us is missing, the boat still floats. As artists, you can be travelling around like a headless chicken and so having a structure behind you is very important.
As a creative, where do you look to for inspiration?
I know it sounds cliché, but everyday life. I find people inspiring, I find situations inspiring, I find spending a day in the countryside away from everything inspiring… everything, everybody and every experience is inspiring to me. Also typically, any piece of music I might hear somewhere that really touches my heart can inspire me to go into the studio and make something new. I always have a positive outlook on life and that inspires and motivates me. I don’t see things in a negative way. I see things happen because they need to happen and get on with it. It used to be different, but now things don’t affect me as much as they used to.
How did that change of consciousness come about?
Basically from taking care of my personal life more. Eating well. Doing yoga really helped both of us. Being a more… I don’t want to say spiritual, but being a more internal person, where you ask more questions. One of the things that really helps this outlook is to not chase things – things will come to you. Life has a way of putting things in front of you when it wants to. They only come when the time is right, when you’ve done the right things, when everything in your life is smooth enough to create the right situations.
What do you listen to when you’re not making music or in a club environment?
I like to listen to very slow, melancholic music. I like all kinds of music but another very important thing for DJs who keep listening to music all the time is silence. Silence is paramount for people like us. Of course if I’m having a dinner at my place, I love to play some Radiohead or some old folk music from the 60s in the background, but if I’m alone in the house, I like silence. I can concentrate and experience the sound life gives you. Silence is underappreciated in our industry, because we’re bombarded by sounds all the time. Sometimes silence is what gives you creativity and inspiration.
How do you describe yourself, with all these hats: DJ, producer, label manager? Is there one role that takes precedence?
When you work together as a duo, you have to divide your jobs. You need to know what your strengths are. For example, Anthony’s place is in the studio. He loves being in the studio all the time and he loves creating music. I do too, but I have my time. We’ll start tracks together and sometimes he’ll finish them. I trust him to do a great job and fly the flag for both of us. You have to be able to let go. I do well publicly creating new avenues for us, in party situations, and I love running the label. But DJing was my first passion – selecting music and finding new tracks all the time is what I really love doing. Having the kind of platform I have today to be able to find so much music that is good for us… that is really my main weapon.
How have you seen Ibiza evolve in the years you’ve been coming here?
The first time we ever came was for Steve Lawler – we used to travel a lot with him – and he gave us the amazing opportunity to become resident DJs at Space, warming up for him. We learned the art of warming up for a bigger DJ and I think this is lost today. It’s always the same set, the same music, the same sound, without applying the specific size of the club or time of night. Many people are stuck with this one-dimensional sound now and that’s not a good prerequisite for your worth.
Is this something you try to consciously avoid – sticking to one sound?
We like to show diversity. And it’s the luxury of knowing what you’re playing, where you’re playing and what kind of people you’re playing to. I’m not going to play the same thing at 6pm on a beach in Mexico what I’d play at 4am in a club in Berlin. There are a lot of copycats these days – if there’s a new trend, they’ll try and do it to the dot, you know? But this way you’ll never create your own path. We try very hard not to follow trends – we just go with our hearts and our souls and see where it leads.
What direction do you see Ibiza growing in from here?
You know, Ibiza is a really unconditional love but it’s been dictated too much by the big clubs and big line-ups. I feel like sometimes there is very little space for new names to appear. But now this seems to be changing, especially with things like WooMoon and what BEACHOUSE were doing on Sundays. They were giving a platform to more underground music and different styles of music, rather than this tech house that is all over the island. I think there is space for everyone and everything in Ibiza – that was the original spirit of the island. People are scared of progress, and when something changes they put their hands up and say ‘It’s not what it used to be!’ But everything changes, everything progresses and it’s a completely normal thing. I don’t see change as a necessarily bad thing.
Is there anywhere on the island that is particularly special to you?
Yes, but I want to keep it a secret! It’s a beautiful beach in the north of the island and it’s kind of difficult to reach but once you’re there… there’s only ever about 10 people there, even in the middle of summer.
Where do you feel your heart and soul resides musically – desert, city or beach?
In front of a beach, just at the time the sun is coming up – that’s when we feel completely at home and know exactly what to play!