Stefano Zito

Interview with DJ / Producer: Stefano Zito

Stefano Zito was the DJ who made the two Masterpressings (MP 3301 and MP3302) in December 1981.
After making the medleys he started to be a record producer.


Here is a interview with Stefano:

-When did you start being a DJ:
I started my carere in 1973 when i was 16 years old.

How did you get interested in DJíng ?.  Were you a record collector ?:
I didn't know about djs at that time because in Roma in that time the best places for the night were night clubs with the musicists, because i left my parents house i started to work in a night club washing glasses. The owner of that place noticed that people weren’t interested anymore for the night clubs so he decided to open a discoteque and he asked me to be a dj. So i started to play records but i had still 1 player, because the idea was still like the night club, people danced because otherwise they must drink. After one year I got the second player and the mixer.
In Roma it was impossible to find imported records, so at the beginning i was working with the records of the national market, but when the real idea of the discoteques was starting i had a friend and he was a stewart of an airline company (Claudio Casalini which some years later opened the Best Record Store which was the most important imported record store of the cetral/south of italy).So he bought the  records in USA and i got the records straihgt from him.

-What kind of music did you play in te beginning:
In the beginning i was playing only the music of the italian chats, but after a while I started to play the music which came form the USA. In that time all records which came from USA through the  import had to wait two years before it came to the regular market. For example "Soul Dracula".
A friend of mine who was a dj like me had a long trip to the Swiss ( there was another record store and probaly one of the first in europa for dj’s, but i can’t remember the name) and he found only one 45 record "Soul Dracula" so he bought it and with this treasure he came back in italy and the same night he started to play that record. It was a big insuccess, no one wanted to dance to that record, so he put it away in a box. Two years after that, there was a broadcast at the national radio station."Alto gradimento" and they play many times that record so the people in the discoteque asked that record (two years later !!).
-How was it when the 12 inch came out ?:
The revolution of the 12 inch was a great thing for us, because the work with that type of records was more easy. First of all the real concept of the 12 inch was to be played in discoteques through dj’s, so there was a long intro and in the middle of the record there was the possibility for mixing. A very big revolution so we changed the work. There was also an other big change for the dj’s (not for all, but for many of us) when the mixer Galactron MK16 was introduced, a very great machine, with 5 channels stereo ( it was a pre amplefier with a big equalizer and many filters all in the same machine and always under the hand of the dj). The fader was not progressive from the beginning but only at the end so the dj had to work with one hand on the fader and the other hand when it was free from the record immediately on the masterfader that was on the center of the machine to correct the volume of the mix. Until the moment I stopped DJ’íng, the best machine was still the Galactron MK16.

-Did you lean mixing yourself ?:

Yes i learned mixing myself  like for everything i did in my life, using my free time to study and trying new mixing and starting to study the music.
I was probably the first to wrote the "bpm" on the cover of the record and that came from my music study.

At the Zen in 1979.

-In Which Disco’s did you DJ:
As Dj i started to work on 1973 to 1982 and i was in the most important discoteques in Roma like:
- Jockye'O
- Number One
- Cabala
- Charlie club
- Zen
- Studio 54
- il Tirreno
-  Penny
 - Cauge aux follie
-and others that i don't remember.

At il Tirreno.

-Did you had a special DJ name ?:
No my own name was always my DJ name.

-Can you name a few of you all time favorite disco records you played many times between 1977 and 1980?:
It's difficult to answer this question because i play all the new music of each year, and I also bought records every week so my music always changed.

-Was there also a competition at the DJ’s from different clubs ?:
If you mean about competion from dj’s like it was in the USA i have to say no, but if you mean about the competion between dj’s in working in the best disco yes, but thank God i was always out of that because i never had a problem when i worked, i had a good name and my music was appreciated from the people because they understood that i was there to make the people dancing and not to play a personal playlist. This was something that make many critics from the other dj’s but for me it was clear to be paid for make people dancing and happy so it doesn't matter if in the period of "saturday night fever" movie i was playing two records and mixing both for 45 minutes - night fever and standing alive - that was what the people wanted.

-Did you also buy bootleg mixes in your dj period:
Yes for sure and when i discovered your site it was like to have a nice trip to the past, because i played many of the bootlegs you have listed on your site, all the test pressings, the master cuba and the unforgettable Broadway 1 Disco 80.
But the best for the people was the medley of 1978.
-You also told me you opened a record store for DJ’s. can you tell me something more about it:
In 1981 a friend of mine had found a place in the center of Roma for a record store, so we decided to open one. But telling you the true i was there only 5 months. I negociated a deal with the best record store of Claudio Casalini so we called the store best record 2. I had all the import records, and my idea was to give it directly to the djs in the night. So i was working all the day in the store and when i closed the store i was running the the Roma discoteques with a bag full of records. The business was really good because all the djs had the idea to be the first to play the record (you know that every dj would like to have some records which are exclusive for him). But at the end i had no life over and after many years of work in the discoteque i started to have enough about everything. But it was a good idea and the store was going well when i sold my part. After that the people who bought the shop didn’t do what I did and in a short time the shop was closed.

-In 1981 you made two bootleg mixes, what was the reason you made one:
I was sure to be in a new way with my music, now we can say that i was playing a "progressive music" or something like that, but for in the Roma area i was the only one to make it, so i decided to mix that two records.
-Who inspired you to make the masterpressing mix:
About the inspiration it's a terrible question :-) The year before i was the winner of the "gold pick up", i really don't know if there is this award now, but at that time there was this award and i was the winner in 1980, and i was searching to make my music. I never been listen other dj to stole his ideas, i studied really much and i can say that many others were taking some ideas from me and it was nice to know it.
So i had not inspiration in Roma, i was the only one to make this music. There was another dj working in Rimini and Milano at that time his nick name was "mozart" and he had my same way of music, but i never met him and i listened some work from him but later when i stopped workin as a DJ.

Did you finance the mix yourself and how many copies were print:
I make 1000 copies each
Yes I made them with my own money (from that experience i started to be a record producer).

Stefano with Live fashion in the studio
Stefano in the colombia project with Juliet fargo and Rita Chiarelli 

How did you sell your mix ? (my copy is bought in Belgium):
The two records were in all the italian distributions for dj’s.

You told me you made records after you stopped being a DJ. Can you give me a list of records you produced:
This is the list of the records that i produced with all the lables.( I had several labels in several years):

1981 with my first lable "Moon Record Association"
-BLACKWAY - new life and on the side B was: follow me ( i was also the voice of this record).
-BLACKWAY & HELENE - music for us and on the side B was the instrumental.

1982 - 1983 with the new lable "House Of Music" with my partner Carlo Favilli i produced:
-B.W.H. - stop and on the side B: Livin up
-MANUEL: - Tango and on the side B was the instrumental
-MR. MASTER - a dog in the night - side B Instrumental
-LEASLY ASH - i remember - side B the instrumental
-CASCO - cybernetic love (this was a coproduction with Salvatore Cusato).
-DAN ELLER - Carillon

1984 - 85 I left the House Of Music and i opened my own new lable called "TOUCH RECORD"
-DAN ELLER - playtime
-TAMMIE LEE & the final selection orchestra- sky high and on the side b - night more night
-JOHNNY JUNIOR -  banck robbery rap and on the side B the DUB version made by me.
-LIVE FASHION - bicycle song - side B the DUB made by me
-INSTANT - pin ball dance on - side B the DUB version
-KAY SHAN - confusion - side B the DUB version
-PHIL MARTIN - eloise - and side B - for your love

In the 1986 i open the last my lable called TRADE RECORDS in the same time i opened also offices in England TRADE ENGLAND and in France TRADE FRANCE with the CTA of ERIC MONTANA.
With this lable i produced:
-DAN ELLER - don't say goodbye - side B - child
-TELESFORO - I do it for love - side B the DUB version
-RED JONES - twisted vision - side B -all that i go for

My last production that never came in the market was made to support le people of colombia involved in the eruption of the volcano "Nevado del Ruiz" that destroyed everything and so many people were killed from that. So in some days i had in Roma young artists from many countries of the world to sing a song that they didn't know before. It was a very special moment and i worked with so many professionists of the music of the world.

This picture is the presentation of the logo of the colombia project.
The people on the picture are:from the left to the right:
Red Jones, Pino Santamaria ( famous sound engineer ), the maestro Piero Zanco who arranged the song "dry your eyes", Massimo De Carolis, Stefano Zito and Federico Rapagnetta who played quitar in that song.

But at the end the Major who has signed the exclusive rights for the world of the project didn't respect the contract and i understood that no one was interested in the poor people of colombia, so i decided not commercialize the record, but first for the respect of all the artists that were involved in the project.
So this was Stefano's last production and the tracks were:The Cause - dry your eyes and on side B Jolly and Jocker - remember it's your life, But it never come out on the market. He pressed only 500 records .

With that record stopped with the music business and started to produce movies and this is what i still doing today.

Stefano in 1986 at the set of a video

Stefano in 2007 at the set of a movie.

In the period from 1981 - 1987 you were involved with many artists in studio for mixing their productions, can you name a few:
From the 1983 to the end i worked always in a studio in Roma called "Grop Studio"
There were realized all my records and i also help many artists but i cannot say anything because they didn't write any credits on the cover of the records so i cannot say anything about the work of other artists.


You opened a radio station in 1977, what kind of music did you play there and why did you opened it:
In the 1977 i also opened one of the first privat radio station in Roma called: TELERADIO STEREO CANALE 2.
I opened that radio station because it was the dream of everyone, to have a radio station that was playing the music for young people. At that time there was only one or two national radio stations and also in AM and not FM.

Also when we opened the FM station we were called not privat radio but pirat radio, and on that name so many stories were running in the immagination of the people. So to open a radio station was a fact of the revolution of the communication that it was starting in that age and to be involved in that it was something impossible to uderstand now. We were the pioneers of the communication, and we had a big courage (believe me) because no one of the autority was happy of that thing. The music was the classical disco, (cerrone, donna summer) the philly sound ( mfsb - the sound of philadelphia) bt express, barry white and many others. I think in all the radio there was a couple of italian records. I had two programs every day from 13 to 15 monday to friday and  the saturday night from 24 to 6 in the morning.The music of the saturday night was the same music of the discoteques. But also we had programs for the rock, for the progressive music.


Here is the translation of a newspaperadd from 1982:
Stefano Zito borns in Roma the 10 february 1957, zodiacal sign aquarius and second sign fishes. Discjockey from 13 years, he starts the carriera in Roma in the discoteque Ping Pong and after he transfered in USA working in many discoteques. In Roma he worked in the principales discoteques: Jockie'O - Number One - Cabala - Charlie Club- also 3 summer seasons in the "Tirreno" and in the last year he worked in Terni. Now he is working in the "Cage aux follies" He was the winner like best DJ for the season 79/80.

He has only one hobby: to sale records in his store "Best Record 2" in the 11 Fratte street.


Stefano has a myspace page where there all his record productions can be seen and heared:


    Stefano Zito

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