Providing the pumping jungle-esque soundtrack to our new Mash Up undies interactive video, we couldn’t resist the chance to interview producer/DJ, Ribongia. Born in Italy and based in Sydney, Ribongia (real name: Antonio Rosselli Del Turco) talked us through how he came up with his stage name, which means “chaos or disarray” in Italian slang, and where his love of music first began.
Does the name Ribongia stand for anything? How did you come up it?
Back home in Florence, as a teenage boy, in summer I used to do fruit picking for the wineries in Tuscany. There used to be an old cranky man driving the tractor through the vines who would complain about the pace of our work. He was a bit of a pain, actually. He would use this word we’d never heard before to complain about how messy and disorganised we were – ‘Ribongia!’ My friend Giovanni picked up on the word and started using it all the time. Fast forward a few months and the whole of Florence was using this long lost Tuscan slang word. Giovanni managed to re-introduce the word Ribongia in the colloquial vocabulary and I thought it was brilliant. So I decided to take it as my own.
What was it like growing up in Florence?
I grew up in a small town outside of Florence, in the Tuscan hills. I didn’t move to Florence till I was 15. As a young kid it was great living in the country.
How old were you when you moved to Australia?
I was 22. I moved from Florence to Berlin when I was 18, then to London for year and then Sydney.
What was it like moving so far from home?
My mother is from Australia so it was nice to know that I had family on her side if I got into trouble. I really miss my friends and my sister but moving away from home gave me the opportunity to build a career for myself. For some reason when I’m at home I get a lot more complacent – living in Sydney makes me wanna hustle.
How did your love for music first begin?
I owe my love of music to my father. Even as a toddler I was exposed to so much music. We lived in the bush so there was definitely no noise complaints there! My dad had built a really good sound system and he would blast records out into the valley. He loved music, he really did.
What or who inspires your music?
Oh man, so many things. Too many to list here…
Collaboration is a huge part of your work. What do you gain from working with other artists?
Every time it’s like being schooled. All of the singers I’ve worked with have shown me how they intimately connect to music. As a producer, I often work with very sterile machines. Vocalists are organic, dynamic and emotional.
What’s next on the cards for you?
I’m currently on Réunion Island off the coast of Madagascar (poolside, I might add!). I’m doing a few shows with Ngaiire. After that, I come back to Sydney to work on my collaboration with EGO and do some club DJ sets around Oz before prepping my new show to celebrate the release of my debut album later in the year!
+ Find out more about Ribongia’s music via his Facebook page.
+ Check out his work in our Mash Up campaign video here.