ERA creator Giovanni Agusta - Interview

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ERA creator Giovanni Agusta - Interview

Thu 07 August 2014

As we begin the final stages leading up to the opening of something grand and new for the Cape Town and South African music scenes alike, we take moment to chat to ERA’s director and creator Giovanni Agusta to get to know the man behind the vision and dig deeper into what’s coming our way as this new in ERA electronic music takes shape!

Where did you grow up and how did you land up in sunny South Africa?

I was Born In Washington DC and moved to Monaco at the age of 2, where I spent most of my childhood till the age of 14. I then moved to Lugano in Switzerland where I spent two years in an American boarding school before moving to South Africa and finishing Matric here in Cape Town.

What made South Africa your ultimate home?

I fell in love with South Africa from the first moment I stepped foot in it at the age of 6, when my parents decided to take us for our first safari.
After that trip my father decided to buy a wine farm and move here.
At that age I already felt attracted to South Africa and I remember thinking to my self that one day I would be living here right next to him.
I have always been a nature lover. The beauty that is this country made it even easier for me to make my ultimate decision of leaving everything behind in Europe and make South Africa my home.
Cape Town became the perfect location for me to set up camp and start growing my roots!
The scenery, the laid back life style of amazing people and the inspiration that I got from the incredible unexpected talent that Cape Town has to offer convinced me to finally call SA my home.

What keeps you busy outside of ERA?

I was always fascinated by images. After finishing matric I moved to London to study cinematography and photography. I then ended up working for an NGO (Non Government Organization) called World Wildlife Fund.
Those were some of my happiest times surrounded by nature capturing its breathtaking imagery.
I also have a huge passion for cooking as well. Since I was a little boy my Grandmother always taught me the best recipes in her books. And I fell in love with the art of good food.
But my deepest love is and will always be for music.
Since I was old enough to enjoy the sound of music, I knew it was a massive part of me and ever since then I’ve always feel it deep within my soul.

Describe the sounds we will be indulging in at ERA

I have an obsession with sound. I always had a dream to try an create a space where you would be able to experience sound in it's purest form possible. This is what I tried to achieve with ERA. The day I discovered the Funktion-One sound system was the day that my life changed! I realized that my dream could actually become more of a reality with this genius sound design. Having worked tirelessly with my dedicated team to work out and create a perfectly treated acoustic space to ensure that people would be able to enjoy an experience with music they have never heard, or more importantly felt before.
I wanted to create something even more intense to accompany this sonic experience, resulting in you not only being able to hear the sound… but literally feel it! Having the wooden floor suspended on top of a neoprene layer, it creates a floating floor creating the sensation where you feel the vibrations of the sound from the floor right through your body… and into your soul!
 
Wow! That literally sounds breathtaking, aside from the audio experience, ERA has been designed to be somewhat of a visual affair as well, tell us more about this?

What is your outlook on the style of music that people can expect to hear at ERA?

I wanted to create a music appreciation center for music lovers. ERA is for everybody. From the one who enjoys listening to electronic music to the producer DJ  that loves to create and play it out, ERA was made for this. People and artists alike will be able to come and enjoy cocktails accompanied  by wholesome meal while downloading their next set of tunes or their favourite artists latest release. Helping people achieve their dreams has always held a special place in my heart because of how much South Africa has helped me grow as an individual and as a human being, I wanted to contribute in helping people that truly deserve a chance to grow in their own way. I came across an NGO called Bridges For Music, created by my dear friend Valentino Barrioseta it is a program dedicated to changing the world through music, giving underprivileged children the chance to learn music in ways that were never before possible. I immediately felt a connection to this. I started sponsoring this amazing cause and finally managed to create a platform for talented musicians who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity, to expand and explore there dreams to their fullest capacity. ERA is here for them as much as it is for all the rest of the musicians that work hard to achieve their dreams because of the one thing that we all share in common: the love for music

Tell us more about your views on the Cape Town Electronic Music culture?

I Think that in the last couple of years the scene has grown in a massive way. I strongly believe that our standard today is beginning to match the European standard and that the artists here are playing some music that I have never heard anywhere else in the world.  I also believe that that if all the industry leaders would work together we would have a solid industry that could be a turning point to put SA on the world map as one of the leading destinations for Electronic Music.  

What inspired you to embark of the journey that has become ERA?

Music has been my strongest inspiration. I wanted to create a place that could reunite all kinds of people that all share a strong passion for music. Not just a club or a restaurant or even a lounge, but more of a lifestyle for music lovers. My friends and the industry itself led me to create ERA.
My father had also a big role to play. I remember my father taking me out  in Europe when a was younger and introducing me to electronic music. from that day on I always had a dream of one day creating some thing similar even though I wanted to create more of a community sharing amazing music with one another then just opening a nightclub.

What does ERA mean to you?

Seeing ERA grow slowly day by day has been such an incredible experience. I want it to be able to expand and bring people along in its growth.
Giving the opportunity to hard working musicians to be listened to in one of the best possible ways, brings me ultimate joy, because everybody deserves a chance to believe in there dreams and make them come to life.

Explain more about what the name ERA means or stands for?

I believe that for me personally, ERA signifies a never ending cycle of life. The end of one thing and the birth of something new. Infinity, because it can be the end of an era but the beginning of a new one too. I picture in my mind, right at the beginning of humanity, the stone age, that was an era in itself. then the steel age and so forth and finally today we are working with technology moving our communication with each other forward and bettering our loves in every aspect especially in music! So to me this is the ‘beginning of a new ERA’.

In one  sentence to describe the ERA experience?

A place that brings people together in harmony interacting with one another, interacting with ERA

Thank you for your time and insight, the level of excitement is tangible after reading some of the sneak peeks into the innovation that is ERA!

Be sure to register at our website for membership as we build the ERA community and take on this journey through the celebration South African music together! Be there for the opening night on Saturday 30 August… as we light up the Cape Town Electronic Music Scene.