Locals: DJ Giovanny’s evolution hopefully sparks new creativity in Columbus

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From the October 17, 2013 edition

When one describes a DJ, we get a mental picture of what that person may look like or even sound like. Depending on location and audience, a DJ usually tries to blend in.

The son of Ecuadorian parents, Giovanny Bacigalupo (a.k.a. DJ Giovanny) isn’t your stereotypical DJ, his appearance and ethnic background being the least of his contrast.

Giovanny, who opens for Atrocity, A$AP Ferg and Just Blaze at Sugar Bar 2 on Thursday Oct. 31, is currently working on his debut EP, a culmination of years of deejaying that began from a childhood filled with numerous influences peculiar to normal.

Born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and even spending time living in Ecuador, Gio was exposed to many types of music as a child, undoubtedly bleeding into his current-day creativity.

“Growing up, my mom would listen to everything from Earth, Wind & Fire and Anita Baker to classic salsa,” he said when retracing his past. “My influence reflects in the music I play because I have the ability to adapt. I’ve had DJ residencies in all different markets.”

Sitting next to Gio in his car with the music blaring, you can hear the excitement coming from him as he describes the different drum kits and abnormal samples he uses in the original music he creates.

“I don’t know how to describe that,” he kept saying after the start of each track. “I think it’s going to throw people off and not everyone is going to get it but that’s cool ’cause I don’t want what I’m doing to be familiar.”

DJ Giovanny has been deejaying professionally since high school, holding residencies in many Columbus nightclubs and bars. He’s been fired from a Brewery District club for being too “urban” and landed the rush hour time slot on Power 107.5. He’s often ahead of the curve and fully willing to embrace something new.

“Sometimes I would get clowned because I would play Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, I would play rock music and somehow mix it with hip-hop,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to let people know that this came from somewhere and what’s next. People have to be willing to accept what’s next.”

Gio hopes to release his currently untitled EP by the end of November. If you listen to it and hear the voice samples used seven different ways in one song or jarring sonic changes from track to track and wonder to yourself, “What the hell is this?” it’s safe to say, “Mission Accomplished.”

“You may not like what I do because it’s not what everyone else does but you’re going to know that that’s me and that’s enough satisfaction for me,” Gio said.

Photo by Tim Johnson