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Interview

David Guetta proteges Daddy's Groove strike the pop-dance balance

By Dan Carter
DaddysGroove

Italian dream team Daddy’s Groove may not reign from a sovereign state in electronic music, but their sound would have the world think otherwise. Having worked under such monikers as Spit and Black Raw for Size Records and holding remix duties for the likes of Whitney Houston to Louie Vega, the Naples-based trio—lesser known as Gianni Romano, Carlo Grieco, and Peppe Folliero—found themselves within earshot of French icon David Guetta, who has ceaselessly matched their studio aptitude with his own guidance and collaborative efforts.

In the same vein as their heavyweight mentor, pop music and modern club fuel have both been fair game in terms of Daddy’s Groove’s output. With contrasting crowd-pleasers “Stellar” and “Vertigo” now out, Beatport News checked in with Grieco to scope Daddy’s Groove uncharted reign over the middle grounds of modern dance music.

Italy doesn’t seem to have done so badly in terms of its output of producers compared to some of its European neighbors. How do you guys perceive your homeland’s scene?

If we are honest, Italy it is not having a great moment in time where dance music is concerned. There are not so many artists pushing forward but there are some very good guys like Benny Benassi and Congorock and our own Cyrogenics. However, it feels like it is growing up and there is bound to be a surge of enthusiasm. The club scene is a little dry—mainly people posing and fist pumping—but I hope that will change with time as we remember fond times and see a world of opportunity for the scene out here.


Daddy’s Groove has become synonymous with quality production. With the balance of commercial and club-oriented tracks, does the creative process shift?

Every track is different for us. As you said, our output is split between two key factors, so usually we will either start from a song or a good vocal, or perhaps a melody as a blueprint. The best collaborations tend to come from us receiving a good idea and then enhancing it with our own production values and grooves. I believe we work best when someone gives us a simple melody, as we love to watch these transform into full-bodied tracks.

How did you first come to meet David Guetta, and how have you found the experience of working alongside him?

We ended up meeting David at Pacha Ibiza two years ago. We had got in touch to arrange to give him a CD, but little did we know he was with Sebastian Ingrosso. This wasn’t long after we had remixed “Leave The World Behind,” and so just before we called him, David had asked Sebastian who he should get to remix for him. Luckily, he recommended us. It felt very fated and everyone was very excited to proceed, so our collaborations started from here. It has been a great experience working alongside him for Nothing But the Beat, and we have learned to work our socks off for what we love through him. The guy works 20 hours a day and is an all-around nice guy and positive thinker. At first the whole thing felt intimidating, but he is so cool that after a while he is just David, not some big-shot music producer.

Pop and dance music have become pretty comfortable bedfellows of late, and you guys haven’t been afraid to embrace it. How do you feel about the skepticism some have towards this merging of genres?

To our mind it has been a very positive thing. The quality of the music is indisputably getting better, and despite the skepticism, we feel like the union of DJs and pop artists can produce really good music, whatever you want to call it. I see no negativity, just the opportunity to reach many more people with a constantly evolving sound. Dance music generally can be very similar these days, so the label isn’t as important as the physical product you throw at the industry. You make a track that stands out from the crowd in this generation and it will be unstoppable. There is a definite universal love going on.

Looking at two of your more recent singles, “Stellar” and latest offering “Vertigo” alongside Cyrogenics, your sound remains pretty diverse. Is Daddy’s Groove a constant balance between these two elements?

As you can probably tell, we don’t care a lot about the sound or the box it is put in; we just make the music we love. Some days, emotive vocal offerings such as “Stellar” inspire us, whilst other days, big-room club tracks like “Vertigo” are what we are hungry for. We love the music and the constant contrasts from each of these forms of music. The fact is that “Stellar” is a great song for the radio, which we loved from the very first demo, and “Vertigo” is an all-out club outing that we needed to emphasize our ability to make big, peak-time-sounding records.

With two strong singles already to your name at the outset of 2013, what can we expect from you for the remainder of the year?

In Miami we will play with David Guetta at F*** Me I’m Famous and a few surprise shows as well. After that, we tour Asia, the US, and some European clubs. On top of this we have five or six tracks to drop between now and the summer. We are also incredibly happy to be confirmed back at Ushuaia and Pacha Ibiza for F**k Me I’m Famous, and have some productions alongside David, Benny Benassi, and Nicky Romero to come, as well as the new single with Cyrogenics, so we are really excited for the year ahead.