Chiara Barbarella and Davide Ragazzoni are part of the “milanese clubbing scene”
She is a DJ and performer but also a supporting pillar of Milanese nights; Davide, on the other hand, is the organising and idealising mind of “Linoleum”. Today we expose the meaning and the nature of the word “Clubbing”. We will go in depth in this way:
Hello Chiara and hello Davide, we start by asking you what Clubbing means for you, not in a literal meaning but in a literary sense.
C: For me clubbing is getting into a pause, it is an anti depressive without secondary effects which allows you to be someone else for a few hours. I have always seen this description in tightly attached to the unconditioned giving and taking, it is an occasion to transmit emotions and memories- unpersonal and- to a second individual, gifting some parts of ourselves that not even us maybe even know. At the beginning of my artistic career, being part of the clubbing scene was for me a way of being, a way of expressing the fullness of what I felt I could be or that I wanted to be. It has been a route at times cathartic and experimental, but it allowed me to connect with my own public.
D: For me clubbing means making culture through synergy among the individuals in order to create meaningful experiences.
Chiara, then we can say that clubbing has been an important part of your life, tell us a bit more the development of this route until today.
My adventure in the world of the Clubbing nightlife started absolutely by chance, let me explain, I studied at Marangoni for being a stylist but I found myself being some kind of music stylist. *giggles*
It has been very gradual and without expectations at all, as a matter of fact, my only expectation was to be happy and to be in the game. The big change that my road took was surely the collaboration with the Rocket in 2003, when they asked me to spin records on the “Cabrio Pop” party on Friday nights and from that experience on, a relationship has started and it continues until now, even though it underwent some changes.
The role that I, bit by bit, started having in the reality of Rocket was much more different of what I was used to, I started to have more responsibility and a voice- not only about putting the records on or performing-, that was a news that clearly allowed me to be more mature and define my new self.
Davide, to start a project like the one you started with your young age, carries big responsibilities but I assume also many satisfactions. Could you tell us a bit?
I am actually 31 years old, so I am not so young anymore. Yes, it convolutes a lot of responsibility and a lot of satisfactions. It is a very exhausting kind of work, but it comes rewarded by the public, by the artists and collaborators.
Which are the ingredients for the performances you propose? Where would you like to bring your audience, Chiara?
On my first period in this world, the fundamental ingredients were simultaneous rehearsals, anxiety and spontaneity: as already said, for me performing a different character every evening was a way to find myself, so I always wanted to arrive to people in a spontaneous way, without any tricks.
Now, instead, proposing a DJ set I always try to play with the styling keeping the spontaneity (and comfort) with which I was evolved, I like to create a particular atmosphere that complements the tracks that I propose.
For example, I have started wearing a tiara as a tribute to one of my all-time icons Courtney Love, martyr that has taught to all of us girls how to be fucking princesses but with balls, women how are not afraid of being women.
In short we can say that the key-words for my performances are “acceptance”; “fun”; “incessant research” and “Honestly”.
Davide, surely, from this experience, you have learned as much from the critics as from the successes that you´ve obtained. What advice would you give to those who still have the will to do something?
I would advise to be headstrong but with moderation and to embrace the haters with open arms, because this is a symptom that all is going well and it is also important to make them friends in order to learn more.
The word “Clubbing” has been used and abused in these years, arriving each time more to the concept of clubbing without a soul both in the substance and in the reality that is hidden behind a clubbing project. What do you think about it?
C: I am of the idea that is all a matter of choice: You choose the direction of your project. A project is a mix of different elements which need to be able to coexist, it is a matter of aesthetics clearness that brings as consequence a well made product visually, musically and aesthetically talking; Nothing can be left to chance, it needs research and influences.
Everything that is behind a project cannot also be left to chance, a good staff is needed in order to know how to collaborate with passion for the common goal which is to create a good party or in case of a performance, to create a human relationship.
D: I think is a big misunderstanding. The clubbing in my point of view is not the entities of public and artist separately but it is what is created from this encounter, from the union of these two realities. The audience plays a fundamental role for the Clubbing scene, they are the actors of what happens under the artists directions.
Coming back to your personal journey Chiara, you have lived two important periods of the clubbing scene, the one post generation Y and the old school one. What do you think of both?
Starting by the first, I think that by now all is much more virtual and “fast”, everyone can do everything, therefore once you have all you look for, you start demanding more. When I started, at the early 2000s, there was no Facebook; if you looked for a song, you had to have MTV in loop the whole day, and if you wanted a party to be a success you had to go up and down the Naviglio with Flyers in your hand. The only change I see is the method, the aim (to have fun and make others have fun) is still the same… it is obvious that with all these social medias it is important to know how to keep the relationship between the club and the crowd.
Milan has always been a main city of European Clubbing, how do you think is it mutating? Do you think it has lost its centrism Davide?
I think Milan keeps being an important city for the clubbing…I think that finally we are entering a phase in which is rewarded the professionalism and seriousness of it. Now who works behind a party, a place or an artist can´t allow himself to be a persona or a rockstar. It is rewarded who works best and who proves to be an expert of the branch.
How do you think will this situation evolve? Will we get into a fashionable clubbing scene without a soul?
C: Who follows instinct and passion, works and will always work, staying true to its project and its integrity. It is important to be able to follow trends but without forgetting where you come from, it would be a lie to say that clubbing and fashion don’t walk along, but this doesn’t need to self-limit their own views.
D: I do not think so. I don’t know what you intend by fashion clubbing without a soul.
There are many venues in Milan which are very interesting with much soul. I see it in progress, in shape and always present. If it has hunger for innovations and novelty, I have a very positive vision.