Anthony Pappa: Decades of DJing Fueled by Passion

Lauren Krieger

Since the early 90’s, Anthony Pappa has been using the turntables as a means to express his deeply rooted passion for dance music; his innate understanding of the sound as the fuel which has driven his decades of success in the electronic music world. Known as “The DJ’s DJ”, Anthony Pappa is renowned for pushing the boundaries of the role, adapting to every environment and creating seamless mixes and marathon sets filled with synchronistic melodies and structures. As a classically trained musician, his perspective on electronic music comes from years of studying and exploring, and is reflected in his curated selections and sounds.

Moving from his home in Australia to the UK in the mid-90’s, Anthony Pappa firmly established himself as one of the key players in the rapidly growing underground electronic music scene.  His sound became an influential and essential part of the shaping the future, with globally released albums on legendary series such as Renaissance, Global Underground Nubreed, and Balance, introducing his style to fans around the globe. This worldwide recognition and appreciation for what he was doing meant a growing international popularity, and he has since spent decades traversing the planet to bring his sought after energy to dance floors everywhere.

Anthony Pappa is still following his passion, traveling and sharing the music that moves him. He continues to produce and mix with an ear to what’s fresh, following the guidance of the music which he has become intertwined with for so many years. I was happy to catch up with him, and I look forward to hearing what comes next.

We will get a sneak peek into what’s new, with Anthony Pappa’s Artist of the Week mix, airing at 2PM EST [convert timezone] on FRISKY. You can also listen on-demand anytime after with a Premium Subscription – join now.

Get ready by getting to know more about Anthony Pappa:

First of all, how are you? What is currently going on in your world?

I’m very well thank you. I have moved back to Australia after living in the UK for 20 years. Still DJing and producing and enjoying life.

Have you always had an inclination towards playing and working with music?

Yes l have. My father is a musician and played keyboards in a band so l was bought up in a very musical house. I started playing the drums from the age of 4 and then later got into DJing. Started buying records when l was 11 and bought my first set of Technics 1200’s when l was 13.

Do you feel that DJing came naturally to you?

Absolutely, especially with my drumming background and knowledge of music.

What elements of dance music first drew you in & what inspired you to pursue it as a career?

When l started listening to dance music in the mid 80’s l listened to soul, funk and disco then house music. I had a passion for the music and then wanted to be able to mix my records together. It started as a passion and as something that l would enjoy doing for fun. I enjoyed it so much that l decided that this is what l wanted to do for my career.

I’d love to hear about the mid 90’s scene when you first moved to the UK – what was the energy and feeling like at that time? Do you have any favorite memories you could share?

OK so going back a few more years early 90’s l was DJing at all the major clubs in Melbourne and doing interstate gigs around Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth). After doing this for 3 or 4 years l felt like l was doing all l could do in Australia and l needed more of a challenge. I decided to make the move to the UK in May 1995 to pursue my dream and follow my heart and take my DJ career to the next level. In 1994 Mixmag Magazine ran a worldwide competition in conjunction with London super club Ministry Of Sound. The competition was to send in a set and they would select their favorite. The prize was a DJ set at the Ministry Of Sound. Well l did that and won the competition, so in October 1994 l found myself in the main room of the Ministry standing in the DJ booth and playing. Well after that experience l went back to Australia and packed my bags and made the decision to move to the UK. That gig at the Ministry Of Sound was a great memory to share. 3 of my best friends who are also DJ’s from Australia came with me to that gig and it was amazing.

That sounds amazing. 🙂 What has been your favorite part of being a DJ and producer?

Being able to do what l love as a career and getting to travel the world and meet amazing people and make them happy by sharing and playing my music.

What do you think is the most challenging or difficult part?

It used to be the brutal schedule and travel. Especially when you are doing 3 or 4 gigs a week in different cities and sometimes different countries. Doing that after performing till the early hours of the morning in a club then with little rest having to get up and go to the airport to do it all over again. Very taxing on the body.

If you could be known for one thing, what would it be?

For just being me. Nothing more nothing less.

What do you consider the most valuable things that we can experience through electronic music?

Through music you can experience magical moments. You can listen to music and let it take you away from your day to day routine. Also you can have great memories with music. You will hear a song and it will remind you of a time in your life or a place where you were, and when you heard that song.

What motivates and excites you about the music today?

It’s always about new music and fresh sounds that l hear in tracks. l find it inspiring to hear the music and then to also to create through producing.

Thank you so much for your time, thoughts, and music! 🙂

Anthony Pappa’s FRISKY Artist of the Week set will air August 28th @ 2PM EST [convert timezone]. Tune in LIVE or listen ON-DEMAND with FRISKY Premium & on FRISKY Mobile Apps.