Exclusive interview with American DJ Producer Kenny Carpenter (Studio 54 / Paradise Garage) last May 2020 to see what he was up to during the lockdown in Italy.
1. What have you been up to while in lockdown and are you still working on music projects?
KC: I have been working on a cover version of a famous disco song originally recorded by the SOS Band but I’ll keep the title under wraps for now. I am also finishing up a mix for disco legend Leroy Burgess.
2. What do you think about healthy diet plans and fitness and what have you been cooking/eating recently in the light of a healthy lifestyle?
KC: I think that dieting is so critical during this pandemic because we can’t get out and exercise like we used to. I have been eating lots of fruits and vegetables and cutting out most carbs from my meals. most of the people that know me say that I’m a good cook and for me that’s one of my blessings. I stay away from red meat and fish is on the menu at least five times a week.
3. Who would you like to collaborate with next and why?
KC: I would love to collaborate with The Shapeshifters because I just love the work that they’ve been doing over the last few years. They use many live musicians in their productions and that’s important for me because it gives the music a unique flavor that can’t be duplicated. you can only go so far with a keyboard, eventually, the music will sound repetitive. Live recordings have a longer shelf life than digital ones.
4. What is your fondest or craziest memory at Studio 54 and why?
KC: In 1980 Larry Levan produced a song called “Heartbeat” by Tanya Gardner and that was one of his best selling and most requested songs at The Paradise Garage. I was working at Studio 54 when the song was released and we had her perform live and the club. It was crazy because the club capacity was 2500 but we had 4000 people that night. The audience went ballistic when she sang the song and that was surely one of my favorite nights at the club.
5. What is your advice to up and coming DJs who want to follow your success in the industry?
KC: I would advise any up and coming DJ to diversify your assets and make sure that you have a side job that you can retire with because you can see what situation we’re in because of this pandemic. I will also say don’t try to be so perfect. remember that the selection is always more important than the mix.
6. How did you get into music?
KC: I was a Light Technician man for seven years before I became a DJ. I collected music all of my life but I never dreamed that I would have the great opportunities that came my way. in 1980 I was working the lights at a club in NYC called The Inferno. The DJ wanted a break and asked me to cover for him. after he left the promoters from Studio 54 walked in. I somehow felt that I was being auditioned and I play my ass off for 45 minutes. They approached me and said that they loved my set and they asked me if I’d be interested in working at Studio every Saturday night. Of course, I said yes and the rest is history.
Let this be a message to you DJ’s. Don’t go to the toilet because when you come back you’ll be fired. 🙂