Interview with LSA Tutor Olmo!

December 5, 2019
Written by
Michael E. Ball
Interview with LSA Tutor Olmo!

LSA Tutor Interview: Olmo

Olmo DJ

We would like to introduce each member of our faculty, first we have Olmo!

‍Olmo is an Italian DJ and producer based in London, UK. Active in the scene since 2002, he has been spacing though different genres ever since, experimenting different styles and techniques. Specialised on vinyl, but open to any kind of support, and confident on hybrid live set\dj sets. The first contact to djing was because of a local record store in his area specialised in Reggae, Funk Soul and Hip Hop. After a few years of digging, the young DJ bought his first decks, it was 2002. The first gigs happened in the following months, in local warehouse parties and small venues. Practice was a daily routine in that period. During 2008-2009, with more experience Olmo started collaborations with various established teams. Gaining more and more reputation, in 2010-2011 he performed in a few notorious underground venues and performed his biggest gig, closing the main stage at “Live Club” Milano in front of 5k people. 2012 was a very important year, as he moved to London Uk. In the first 2 years he collaborated with Victor V from Saxon and co-founded Slam Jam, gaining residencies at North London clubs Orlean’s and Silver Bullet. 2013-2014 were very important years for his career because of the start of his transition to dance and electronic music. He also joined LSA as a tutor. Between 2014 and 2019 he performed in various London clubs like O2 Academy, Fire, Lightbox, Aquarium, Plan B, Brixton Jam, Dingwalls, Cube, Shelter. He gained residencies in clubs like Egg, Ministry of Sound, Cafe1001, Union, and got booked for international gigs in Ibiza, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Romania, Italy. Supporting Artists like Technasia, Kerri Chandler, 9999999999, Roger Sanchez, Pan Pot… In October of 2018 Olmo started his latest project: ØLMØ focused on raw techno. 

Olmo teaches all levels to our DJ courses including our Elite DJ course, click here to read more about the course.
To find out more about our other tutors here at LSA click here

Please tell us the subjects you teach at LSA and the music genres you love yourself. 

I teach all levels of the DJ course, turntablism and i'm one of only two tutors who teach the Elite DJ Course. I’m specialised in dance music and techno in particular but I have a decent knowledge of urban genres, Caribbean and 70's-80's funk and disco too!

Tell us about yourself as an artist?

I started with Hip-Hop and reggae. After many years of selecting music I finally discovered mixing. As a Hip-Hop DJ I was oriented on finding as many possible ways and tricks to mix the same two tracks. Now my focus is about layering and shaping and designing the sound of existing tracks in order to create a whole new track. After about 17 years behind the decks I believe I am quite complete as a DJ also because I managed to study different styles and techniques. As a producer I started pretty much in the same period but I can say that I began to take it seriously only around 2009-2010. I still have a lot to learn on the production side.

 

Can you give us a timeline of your biggest achievements to date? 

2002: Start
2003-2007: Warehouse parties, small venues.
2008-2012: I achieved the first milestones, playing in notorious local venues, decent collabs and a 5k people gig 
2013-2014: First London promotions, First residencies in London, Joined LSA
2016-2017: A year and a half bi-weekly residencies, about 180 gigs in a year, First dance releases, important collabs, a few international gigs
2017-2019: More international gigs, beatport top 10 with old alias, new alias and project ØLMØ



What do you love about teaching one-to-one lessons at LSA?

One to one lessons give me the possibility to understand the students and to drive them through what I believe is the best path for them to follow in order to get the best personal growth.

 

What is your favourite kind of student? What traits make a great student? 

I like variety so I don’t have one single favourite standard. I believe that variety makes my role so much more stimulating. Perhaps the worsts are the ones who aren’t willing to listen. Some students behave like they know exactly what and how to do it but they constantly seek for confirmations. They can be boring but I generally try and do my best in order to teach them as much as I can and so far I haven't found anybody that has made me give up in doing that.

 

What is your teaching style and what makes you a unique tutor? 
 

I have been obsessed with technique and I’ve learned different approaches to DJ'ing. Eventually I learned patience and how to break down and explain difficult concepts. My key is to contextualise and work on different levels: logic, mechanical steps, muscle memory, empathy, different phases of difficulty, challenge\gratification, level of understanding, music theory. 

 

How do you balance teaching and creating?

Some people have a 9-5 job away from a creative career and they confine one from another. This is what I define as an “explosive” way to be creative. Some other people, me included, have a profession in the same field of their artistic career. This is a way to practice “endurance”. I prefer never to leave music as only with a full immersion I can achieve the best from it and create at my best.

 

What methods do you use to increase creative productivity?

I consider myself as rich in inspiration. I constantly try to improve workflow, technique, equipment. When I have the right tools, I can turn my ideas into something.

 

What traits do successful students of yours have that we can share?

Success is such a subjective concept. I had students who made it in the music industry but also I had students who truly achieved happiness because of what they learned. Independently from the relevance of their success in the scene, I believe that the common traits are: Passion, patience, determination, commitment, willing to learn something new.

 

What have you learned from teaching? 

Aside from technical tips here and there I managed to understand more and more about people. A good DJ needs to have solid skills in crowd reading. In order to do so it’s important to understand people and to have empathy. Also, I believed that I trained my hearing to a very good level.

 

Is there any other wisdom you care to share with us?   

I’m patient and I learned how not to take things personally. I naturally talk a lot but I learned how to listen. I’m stubborn and heavy to digest but I believe that these qualities could have positive effects when it comes to teaching.



What are you aiming at with music? 

It took me some time to find my place and to understand what I want. I’ve been doing music for more than half of my life, so it’s part of who I am. I wish to continue and from the moment that I became discretely good with it, I worked to become a professional. In the last few years my target was oriented on economic stability through my passion and I had to shape my sound and compromise in different occasions. Only in the last year I truly understood that what I really want is to travel with my music. I understood that I have to create and do what I like, or otherwise it would never be personal enough to be something good enough. 

What do you think are the worst problems in the music industry and what are the most difficult ways for a dj in order to make it ?

The most prolific and talented artists in history have never been really socially accepted and they didn’t feel like they belonged to society. But, because of their incredible talent they used to be admired by the same society they were rejected by. In the past, art was ruled by talent and only the genuine talents could make it. Nowadays it's not that anymore. The industry is setting the standards and people are getting more and more passive and unable to be touched by talent. The path in a career of an artist has changed; nowadays it's more and more related to networking and to hidden rules. Many times it is difficult not to be frustrated and to be patient and to keep creativity going, but I personally try to turn my emotions into inputs to do better and to create. 

Our DJ & production courses are all taught one-to-one with guaranteed gigs on completion! To sign up to the course click here

If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us at hello@londonsoundacademy.com or give us a call at 0203 590 4429


You can find Olmo's artist profiles here:

https://soundcloud.com/user-972884820

https://www.facebook.com/olmosounds

https://www.beatport.com/artist/lm/760988

https://www.instagram.com/olmomusic/



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