Bands to Watch 2014 DJ set: DJ Giovanny

  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
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From the January 23, 2014 edition

Growing up, DJ Giovanny, born Giovanny Bacigalupo 27 years ago, had rock star ambitions.

“[Guns N’ Roses guitarist] Slash was my idol,” the DJ said over coffee in an early January interview. “Appetite for Destruction was a real eye opener for me, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how these sounds were made with a guitar.”

It wasn’t until Giovanny first encountered Common’s “The Light,” which builds around a sample of Bobby Caldwell’s “Open Your Eyes,” that he started to consider the sonic possibilities turntables offered. The same night, he dreamt of a record slowly spinning round and round, and he awoke determined to master the then-mysterious instrument.

More than a decade later, the DJ has emerged as one of the best turntablists on the local scene, spinning everything from hip-hop to acid-jazz to salsa (he was born in Brooklyn to Ecuadorian parents, and the country’s musical culture has clearly left an imprint) in diverse sets that never fail to attract club-goers to the dance floor.

“A lot of people think of me as a hip-hop DJ, so they’re thrown off when I’m playing all this different music,” Giovanny said. “My deejaying is different because I’ve just been exposed to so much music from an early age. I believe there’s a lane for everything.”