Digging Deeper with Donatello

Donatello‘s music has received praise not only from progressive house music fans in his home country of Lithuania, but from those around the world and international DJ peers the likes of UK producer Clive Henry, who has stated “Amounts of enthusiasm and uncontrollable energy exuding from his sets remind me about beginning of my own career. He has EVERY trait needed for a DJ. I mean – an impressive DJ”

Donatello was hand picked to represent the best promoters’ agency in Lithuania, ATARI. This resulted in Donatello becoming  an unofficial resident of the ATARI ORIGINAL nights at club Galaxy, in Vilniusm, sharing the stage with Booka Shade, Maceo Plex, John Digweed and others in front of  a packed club with over 1,500 clubbers and music enthusiasts. Moreover, he has kept busy playing Kaunas’ EXIT club, awarded as the best club of Lithuania twice, all the while continuing to perfect his burning mixture of deep, tech and progressive sounds, getting play time in countries throughout Europe and the U.S.

This week he is releasing his Futura EP on Chicago’s Vested imprint, complete with Rise And Fall Remix. We took the chance to speak to him ahead of the release, which officially drops tomorrow but is available for pre-order on Beatport now.


Hi Donatas, how is December going for you?

Hi Marco, nice to meet you. Decembers are always crazy for me. Starting with the family things and finishing with the studio madness. Trying to finish loose ends before Christmas especially this year when I’m preparing my trip to the U.S., Mexico, Thailand, and India.

Oh Wow! And congratulations on the release on Vested! You’re based in Lithuania and are releasing on a label in Chicago, highlighting just how connected the world of music today is. How did you and the label link up?

About a year ago I met RJ Pickens at an event I was attending in Chicago, I remember like it was yesterday when he walked up to me and said: “Hi Donatello I’m RJ from Facebook” We had already been friends on Facebook and had a few short conversations about production, so when we met in person we immediately decided on the next release on RJ’s label.

What about Vested made it the perfect fit for you?

Vested has a clear view on the progressive house style, when you listen to this label’s productions everything becomes picture clear, including which direction they are heading in and what you can expect in the future from the imprint. I think that is the most important thing for any label to have: a great image and to conquer a place in this market.

What inspired the production of Futura?

I like deep dark basslines with some groovy stuff. I think Futura is a good example what’s going on in my mind. The middle between progressive, deep, and tech house I like this combination the most, and you can find that in most of my sets, studio mixes and production.

Generally as an artist, what do you feel gives you motivation and that artistic inspiration in the studio?

The biggest motivation is when you see people dancing, smiling, sometimes screaming, and feeling ecstasy from your music. This is the key to production, this is the key to success. I think this is like an elixir or magic substance for all DJs and producers.

Lithuania is a country I’d be willing to bet not many of our readers are too familiar with. Can you tell us a little about it?

I live in small country near Baltic sea. If you asked me this question 10 year ago I would have told you that winters are cold and summers are hot, but due to global climate change this is not the case anymore. Now it looks like that we have one very long autumn all year! But it’s alright, people are still living there, working there and they enjoy electronic music! (laughs) We are a friendly country, so don’t hesitate and visit Lithuania. We have some special dishes called Cepelinai, a potato blimp with meat, good and tasty beer and lots of amber!

How was it growing up there?

My childhood was care free just like most of everyone’s.

How is the music scene where you live and how did you discover it and get so involved?

The music scene in Lithuania is very broad, colorful and constantly transforming. Unfortunately we cant brag of our huge night club stages or world-wide known names just like the other Baltic states. I guess that’s a norm for such small countries like the Baltic states. This culture is relatively new here so you cant expect really huge leaps in the game. Long story short, electronic music is alive, events are happening, people are going out and having a great time!

Is music a full-time thing for you?

Yes, at the moment music is my full time thing. Whether I’m producing, promoting or playing either in my home country or abroad, it’s been a full time thing for more than 10 years.

What do you do on a typical afternoon when you’re not working on music?

I spend time with my lovely family. I have two little daughters and a wife. They are my first religion, music is second!

Lithuania is big on sports, are you?

In the early ’90s when I was a child I would be spending time with playing soccer, basketball or just hanging out with friends playing outdoors. As time went by all of those interests little by little got replaced by music, and by 1999 it was my main interest so sports got left behind. In other words, for the past 18 years I’ve see more sports events on tv than in real life.

2017 is now basically over, what were some important moments for you personally and professionally throughout the year?

2017 was very eventful, lots of traveling and playing in different parts of the planet. I got to go to India. Russia and the U.S. to name a few. Meeting new people and experiencing new things have been the most memorable moments for me this year. In my personal life the most exciting thing would be the fact that I took alcohol completely out of my diet, I’m more energetic than ever and ready to tackle new heights!

What is your ultimate goal with this Donatello project?

Just like every person who’s doing something, he usually wants to be the best. Everyone is reaching for recognition and acceptance, I think that is normal and human-like. I want people to understand and love my music and to make them feel happy, when those goals are reached everything else will fall in its place.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in this industry?

Hard work. You have to work very hard and put all your heart in whatever you do, and you’ll see new doors open before your eyes. Music gives me an opportunity to see the world, meet new interesting people and visit new places. Music is a huge industry with huge power or it’s a universal language that the whole world understands.

Futura EP is out Friday, December 29th, 2017 via Beatport. Pre-Order NOW

Connect with Vested: Online | SoundCloud

Connect with Donatello: Facebook | SoundCloud