When FAT recently asked Michaelangelo L’Acqua what he’s been up to, the DJ/producer casually replied that he was just in London after a stint in Ibiza, about to jet off to Paris and then Asia for a few weeks before hitting Rio, Miami and then back to London and, of course, Ibiza “for DJ and vacay.”
It’s just a typical summer in the life of the beat-purveyor and Global Music Supervisor for W Hotels. A globetrotter at heart, the NYC-based L’Acqua brings a sense of exploration to all of his wide-ranging projects, whether it’s creating the music-scape to accompany Tom Ford’s collections for Gucci in ’99, keeping bodies moving on the dance floor of the respective hot spots mentioned above, or most recently compiling Symmetry, the W Hotels compilation CD including mind-bending mixes of everyone from The Gossip to Friendly Fires and Lykke Li.
The mix he’s exclusively created to help our Arcade Players ring in summer has one mission, and one mission only: to get you dancing. Appropriately titled “Up In the Air”, it’s got us feeling high.
Tell us about the inspiration behind this podcast.
I’m so tired of spinning downtempo music right now. I wanted to make a mixtape that made you get off your ass and dance.
As a lifelong music head, what was the moment when you knew you had to make music your career?
In second grade I was just about to be kicked out of a fancy private school because I’m dyslexic and they didn’t want that kind of student. Before they did I was given my first musical instrument, the violin. After six months of playing the teacher told my mother, ‘he might not be the student they want but please don’t let your son give up the violin. He was born to play music.’ My mother sent me to Manhattan School of Music to continue my education. I remember upon first touching the strings I felt complete. No matter what happened in life, music would never let me down or walk away. At seven I realized music was my destiny.
How has serving as the Global Music Director for W Hotels influenced
what you’re working on and listening to?
I try to remove my ego and approach listening to all genres of music with open ears. I apply the three basic fundamentals of music (melody, form/structure and rhythm) when judging if a track is noteworthy to offer out to the world for attention.
Being Global Music director is a delicate balance between being a part of what is cutting-edge and what listeners can adopt upon first listen. You want to educate but you need to understand the pace at which people can grow in their musical taste.
Your work touches on so many different aspects of culture. How does that fit your personality?
When I was a child I loved the stories of Ernest Hemingway. Later in life I came to realize that they weren’t just stories that he wrote but rather the tales of the many lives he lived. I guess I have modeled my own life experience and career after this philosophy. Each career path is a story that I want to find out more about. But only when they are all together do they define who I am and what my philosophy/personality and lifestyle is. Never conform, never say ‘what if?’ and believe that life is very short and we only get one shot at it this time around.
What’s got you excited about music right now?
The record labels falling apart! This excites me very much right now. Creative people are taking back music and creating creative business models. Once again music is for the people; something that the labels forgot a long time ago when they decided to call it ‘The Music Business.’
- The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “The Sun Ain’t Shining No More” (33Hz Remix)
- Crookers feat. Yelle – “Cooler Couleur” (Junkie XL Remix)
- Shy Child – “Liquid Love”
- Gorillaz – “Stylo” (Alex Metric Remix)
- Louis La Roche – “Prick Stick” (Original Mix)
- Flight Facilities – “Crave You” (Cassian Remix)
- Hurts – “Better Than Love” (Jamaica remix)
- Muscles – “Sweaty” (Shazam Remix)
- Two Door Cinema Club – “I Can Talk” (Moulinex Remix)
- Miami Horror – “Make You Mine” (Fred Falke remix)
- Fenech Soler – “Lies” (WolfChild Remix)
- Two Door Cinema Club – “Something Good Can Work” (The Twelves Remix)
- Au Revoir Simone – “Only You Can Make You Happy” (PUNCHES Remix)
- Grum – “Can’t Shake This Feeling” (Grum Club Remix)
- KILL THE NOISE – “Perfect Combination”
- Michael Jackson – “Say Say Say” (Moonchild Bootleg)
- Yuksek – “Extraball” (Breakbot Remix)
- Toecutter – “Best Party Ever” (Jordan Light Year & Jimmy 2 Sox Remix)
- Señor Stereo – “Hot Damn”
- Little Dragon – “RUNABOUT” (CRAZE’S CARRIBEAN REFIX)
- Donae’o – “Riot Music-(L’Acqua’s Roll The Alarm Mix)