Interview: Alex Di Stefano

Nina Ristivojevic

February 21st, 2024

With over two decades of experience, Alex Di Stefano is reshaping the electronic dance music scene with his unique techno-trance blend. Starting his journey in southern Italy at age 10, he quickly gained recognition for his live performances. In 1994, he achieved a breakthrough with the success of “Thinkin’ About You.”

When Alex moved to Rimini in 2002 it was a pivotal moment for him, shaping his music style. Notably, a standout performance at “Cocoricò” in 2002 boosted his status significantly. Joining “Digital Team Studio – Rimini,” he released hit records for four years.

In 2007, Alex then transitioned to a solo career, developing a distinctive tech-trance sound. His diverse productions, supported by industry leaders like Armin van Buuren, are released on renowned labels such as VII, In Trance We Trust, Subculture, Kearnage Recordings, Outburst Records, Skullduggery, and others.

Today, Alex also owns the Drum Chapel label, prioritizing techno sounds and reconnecting with his musical roots. Intrigued by this new venture, I was curious to understand the inspiration behind it. Having met Alex at Luminosity last year, I asked him about electronic music’s future, techno’s appeal, and the importance of freedom of expression. By taking a trip down memory lane I learned a lot of interesting facts about this admired artist. Keep reading if you want to learn that too.

Nina: Last year at Luminosity, your phenomenal techno set ignited a wild response from the crowd. Can we expect a similar or even heightened energy level today?

Alex: Always happy to hear that my sets are appreciated. The festival will be more techno-oriented this year by including some sounds from my new techno label Drum Chapel. It is, however, a trance festival, and I will try to combine the two genres.

Nina: You have consistently pushed the boundaries between techno and trance in your productions. I’m curious when and why you decided to go back to techno as your preferred sound again. What is that unique element that draws you to techno and sets it apart from trance?

Alex: You know, even before the pandemic I was already thinking about going back to my roots, then the outbreak of the pandemic “forced” me to make the final decision and start making the gradual change. I like techno because there are no limits, no rules, only freedom of expression, whereas in trance there are always the same patterns, leads, etc.

Nina: As someone who has always brought innovative ideas to music, do you believe you should have more creative freedom in expressing yourself?

Alex: Actually, I have always felt free to express my music so I would say I have always firmly believed in what I have done and am doing, letting passion and non-rules guide me. This has been the main key.

Nina: Furthermore, what are your thoughts on the current direction of the music scene, particularly specific genres?

Alex: I’d say there’s a lot of confusion at the moment, but as far as I’m concerned I don’t mind it at all. Speaking of techno and trance this combination of the two genres is not new to me. My experience with it began even before I arrived on the trance scene in 2014/2015, and it was already known in 2000s, and even before, as music history teaches us genres always evolve.

Nina: Speaking of… you just launched a record label focused on techno sounds, indicating a serious commitment to the genre. However, this isn’t your first venture into techno labels, is it?

Alex: Absolutely not. I have been involved in the techno scene for more than 10 years and I have worked with artists such as Umek, Spektre, Cristian Varela, Robert Babicz, and Dr. Motte, “founder of the Love Parade” to name a few. I am ready to start again where I left off.

Nina: Could you share more details about your upcoming label and the underlying concept driving it?

Alex: ‘Drum Chapel’ describes a place where you can find techno music but also a place of gathering people together. This is the true purpose! The first release will be an EP of mine consisting of four tracks ranging from peak time techno, hard techno and progressive techno and should be released in about a month. The second EP is already in the pipeline and more artists will be involved soon. It’s also worth mentioning that I’ll be launching ‘Drum Chapel’ podcasts shortly! So I invite everyone to check out my social media @drumchapelrec and visit

Nina: Throughout your almost 30-year journey in the scene, collaborating with like-minded artists in the realms of hard trance and tech trance, is there anyone specific you would like to single out as an artist, friend, or colleague who has had the greatest influence on your career?

Alex: Of course, my family played an important role in all this but I would like to mention John 00 Fleming, whose work gave me both an emotional and artistic boost and opened a big door for me into electronic music.

Nina: Could you share your thoughts on the VII crew and the pivotal moment when you joined them in 2017?

Alex: I had a great time with the group. I still remember the call from John asking me to join VII and I was very enthusiastic! From there on it’s all uphill. Satisfaction to no end and absolutely fantastic memories. I cherish few special events with them in particular. VII Manchester, VII Amsterdam, VII Unconscious, VII Tomorrowland were memorable events!

Nina: Fun fact, trance enthusiasts typically like techno sounds, but the reverse isn’t always true. When it comes to trance and techno crowds, there are distinct differences worth considering. How do you see those differences?

Alex: True, one can see how a techno crowd is much more snobbish towards those who follow the trance genre. Perhaps it is not accepted by their community, a genre that is probably closer to the mainstream. Coming from techno I could understand, but to be open to accepting a genre as long as it is done well is a gesture of open-mindedness and respect. There probably aren’t many differences between them, except to say that trancers are dreamers, apparently are more social/friendly, and techno followers, no matter how snobbish they can be, are always loyal people attentive to what the techno market has to offer.

Nina: Another fun coincidence is that your introduction to electronic music occurred at the beginning of the 90s, when I was just a kid. Techno music played a major role in shaping your musical journey during that time. Can you please explain to someone who was just born (or wasn’t even born) during that time what the electronic music scene was like?

Alex: Actually, at that time I was still breaking in, with music school, listening and making the first mix tapes. It all came gradually and my official career began at the age of 17 in 1994 exactly, with my first Italo dance vinyl single DayDream – “Thinkin’ About You” which was a great success throughout Europe. It was a commercial record, the first move to enter the market. Later I started experimenting with more aggressive sounds, combining what I was listening to, what I wanted to do and over time I managed to consolidate a sound of my own. Those were definitely other times, considering the fact that I was a teenager so I saw things enthusiastically, everything was good and everyone was happy, passion was the predominant thing. I didn’t think at all that everything I was creating would be successful in the future, I definitely let fate take its course.

Nina: Eventually, you deliberately combined your expertise with old-school elements, creating a sound that connects with the present day. Is this your personal perception of music?

Alex: I think music has no rules and that everyone can experience what they want. This is what I believed and continued to do over the years and I would recommend it to anyone to follow their instincts and not follow any rules.

Nina: Indeed, you’ve had diverse experiences and explored various aspects of the music scene. The one thing missing from your discography is a debut album. Can we anticipate the release of such an album in the near future?

Alex: It is something I will definitely do. At the moment I am busy with the new label but the time will come when I will start planning my long-awaited album.