13 Dec Reload: Seb Zito
You don’t need us to tell you about the musical legacy of Chicago. It’s the birthplace of house, the homestead of Dance Mania and is where DJ Rashad built the high-energy foundations of footwork through his label Teklife. The is also ingrained within the music of Seb Zito, a Chicago native whose take on mid-90s era house, techno and US garage has seen him welcomed by some of dance music’s biggest labels, from Off and Monique to FUSE, where he boasts a longstanding residency.
Most DJs can trace back through the years to find that one track that started it all for them, and Seb Zito is no different, falling in love with dance music from the tender age of 13 with 24 Hour Experience – Allnighter. But what was it about this record that turned Seb Zito from a kid in the American midwest into the globetrotting DJ and producer he is today? Well, here, we find out.
What is the one record that changed your life and why?
24 Hour Experience – Allnighter
Up until this point I was pretty much listening to music my parents listened to like Prince, Jimmy Hendrix, Rolling stones and Bob Marley. All the old greats. So you can imagine when I first heard this it was something so fresh and different from anything I’ve ever listened to. I’m getting goosebumps now just thinking about it.
No lie this track changed my life. I was obsessed with this sound, which back then was classed as house and garage. Obviously, as I was like 13 at the time, clubbing was way out of reach so pirate radio and mix tapes were my go to for this style of music. Even today this sound is very much my go to when making music and forever will be.
Where were you when you first heard it? Were you along, with friends, family, on a night out?
I was at home listening to Chicago FM, which later become the popular Mission FM. I remember having to move the aerial around my bedroom to try and get a good reception, spending countless hours trying to find that perfect spot, and I even made my little brother stand in the corner on top of the chest of drawers to hold up the aerial whilst a show was on.
Where did you find it?
On the radio and then later on I bought the record from Uptown Records, which used to be off Berwick Street.
Why was it so different to you at the time?
It was so deep but had an energy which was uplifting. Like I said, I’d never listened to anything before at that tempo that had so much soul.
What memories do you have of first listening to it? And what came after?
Wow, I was just blown away and had this overwhelming feeling of amazement, goosebumps, the lot. I had the show recorded so I listened back to it countless times, I’d also have the radio on 24/7 and began discovering other radio stations. I’d share it with my friends, which nobody was interested in at the time except one of my close friends Tony Churchill. Later on, he borrowed a set of Soundlabs and that right there was the start of my journey as a DJ.
How has it influenced what you do today?
It’s pretty much been my inspiration from the go. Even today this style is the backbone of who I am as a DJ. It’s been my way of life since that moment, from following and supporting my favourite DJs at raves to performing and playing all over the world today. I’d like to think that I can inspire a new generation now just like how I was inspired back then, and to me, that’s the whole point of doing this. To pass on whatever I can and keep the sound alive for generations to come.
Can you name a few other tracks that this one introduced you too?
Anything on Nice N Ripe, New Horizon- Put your Mouth (On me), Todd Edwards – FOT, Tuff & Jam Experience – Experience, Dem 2- Reach
Seb threw down a huge opening set at the Fuse 10th Anniversary show at The Marble Factory, and we look forward to his inevitable return in the near future.