Born in Johannesburg, Andrea Iacopini, AKA CLASSYMENACE, has spent the better part of the past decade preparing to make his mark as a respected musician first, producer second, and third, digital deck-spinning demon whenever an invite drops.
This musician holds a degree in advanced audio from one of London’s most respected colleges, coupled with a built-in ability to make good great. CLASSYMENACE is fast making his mark as one this country’s edgiest, progressive and downright addictive producers of club-thumping tunes, one of which has already hit the Top 10 on 5FM.
But let’s take a step back to when music first became a preoccupation for him. At the tender age of 11, Iacopini was given his first producing software by his parents. “Those were my first baby steps in production,” he recalls. He discovered by taking pre-existing tracks, and modifying, sampling and layering each that he had a knack for injecting new life and possibility into songs he already knew and loved.
Fast-forward to 2007. Having completed high-school, Iacopini hopped on a plane and headed north, to London, where he immersed himself in a world that taught him every aspect of music making, from the technical and acoustic aspects right through to the business side of turning his vision into pop reality.
With all of this knowledge on board, a chance catch-up with the Goldfish crew on the Spanish dance mecca of Ibiza in 2009 gave Iacopini his first big break: he was given the opportunity to remix and re-interpret two of the collective’s biggest hits on their 2011 album Get Busy Living Remixed. “I had opened for the guys at a show in Plett two years earlier,” he recalls, “so the meeting in Ibiza was serendipitous on a multitude of levels. Not only was it great to reconnect, it also lead to the chance to tackle ‘Humbug’ and ‘Crunchy Joe’, which was beyond a bonus.” CLASSYMENACE’s remix of ‘Humbug’ went on to clinch the Number Five spot on 5FM’s chart a few weeks after its release.
And so electro-house ushered CLASSYMENACE into its fold last year – on a scale that’s still building. He has since focused his attention on turning Toya Delazy’s monster hit ‘Love Is In The Air’ into an even bigger club anthem. “My method of interpretation and hearing the real potential in the tracks I work on is what guides me,” he says.
“I don’t regurgitate, I integrate and translate my vision, often using a shared musical palette from which I look to create a new masterpiece,” CLASSYMENACE explains his partnered production invitations to date. And the name? “I can do fun, light and engaging wearing my ‘Classy’ hat, and at the flick of a fader slide, the dark underbelly of the introspective alternative as ‘Menace’. I love both equally, and because that switch exists I get to play out my Jekyll & Hyde musical personality whenever and wherever either is ushered out.”
This year CLASSYMENACE is squarely focused on composing original material from a wealth of stored ideas for his major label debut. Having now signed a recording deal with SONY Music, his talent for extending his reach beyond local dance floors is fast becoming a reality. “I can’t wait to show the two very different sides of my personality and ability on an album that’s entirely mine,” he says of the new music currently under electro-house construction.
As the year builds up to warp-speed, CLASSYMENACE is shaping a repertoire of inspired originality every club lover is happy to head out and party to. “If there’s something such as quality commercial, that’s where I’d appreciate my music slotting in,” he says of his own brand of creativity, inspired by the likes of, Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Axwell, and many others.
His freshest cut, “Movie Starr”, a teaser of a bigger picture yet to play out from CLASSYMENACE, has begun percolating and provoking just the right amount of dance-music debate. “Some will love it, and some won’t,” he comments. “I’m okay with either point of view. After all, I’m not reinventing the wheel. If anything I’m simply doing maintenance on a perpetual machine. What I have to offer is hopefully smoother and slicker than that created by those with whom I share this diverse and delightful platform.”
CLASSYMENACE says he’s keen to bring dance back to basics. “My tactic, and bigger challenge, is to create timeless and amazing soundscapes that inspires everyone who hears them to do something positive. If I get that right, escapism and entertainment will keep me busy for the indefinite future. That excites me!”