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Letizia Pignagnoli

Luciana - The interview


by Tavi Meran


Visit Letizia Pignagnoli's Myspace

Can you make an introduction of Off limits?

Off Limits Music & Publishing was founded as a dance music production company at the beginning of the 90’s, established by Alfredo "Larry" Pignagnoli.
In the 80’s, Larry had produced
Easy Lady, Call Me, Every Girl and Boy. These tracks made Ivana Spagna (then simply known as "Spagna") famous all over the world.
Saturday night was the first song produced by Larry for Off Limits: this song went to the highest positions in world sales charts and allowed Whigfield to enter in the Guinness Book of World Records, as she was the first non-English artist to go straight to number one in the UK singles chart.
Success has continued ever since
Larry was also the producer of
Satisfaction by Benny Benassi, 2 Times (Ann Lee), Tu es foutu by In-Grid as well as Benassi Bros’ tracks Illusion and Hit my heart.
In 2004 Off Limits became an independent label. The first acts signed were Favretto, Edun, Channing, Pochill, D-Bag and Mobbing
In 2008 Off Limits produced Alle and Benny Benassi’s Grammy Award winning remix of "Bring the noise" by Public Enemy.
The recently created new labels span over the varied and multifaceted production flow: Off Limits (dance), Q-Lab (club), Flat frog (electro-funk), Minimoff (minimal), J-Digital (jazz), Labelle (international pop) and Mito (italian pop).

Could you explain us your job?

I work as manager for our artists, I promote Off Limits' brand new releases to radio and press and I also work on the publishing side.


Many I think are branding Off limits with Benny Benassi & d:vision can you explain to us how the things are ?

Off Limits was the production company for Benny Benassi's tracks (it means that all the tracks were produced by Off Limits), while d:vision was the label!


Leti, why Off Limits stopped producing CDs? Italian market is not a consumer for Off Limits'?

There were so many factors that made us to decided to stop the CDs' production. First of all, the mp3! It was a great discovery, but it has brought the piracy. It's now really easy to get the tracks for free on the web instead of getting the official release in the stores. The born of mp3 also brought a new support: the mp3 player. As you can see, the music market has changed a lot from the 90's and we have to be in the "new" market.


Is it hard nowadays to promote dance music?

I have to say that there is now a large production of tracks, there is a huge "offer" - for radio and press - of brand new releases. So, it's not so easy to emerge in the music market. But if you have good productions and a solid label behind you, it's a little bit less complicated.


To whom is addressed the music produced by Off Limits?

To all the disco boys and disco ladies! :) We mainly produce dance music, but we also have two pop sublabels (Labelle and mito) and an indie-nu disco one (called Flat Frog).

Many artists have a manager. How important is the manager ?

It's quite important: an artist needs a person you can advise him/her about the projects that are good for his/her image, someone who organizes his/her show in all the details and so on. Moreover, the manager is the person who says "no" when a project is not right for the artist.


How do you choose the artists you want to promote?

It all depends by the track(s) they submit to us. If we think that the songs are catchy and right for one of our labels, then we contact the producer(s) and we try to establish a collaboration.


How many people are usually involved in the promotion process of a release?

So many people!! Producers, PRs, Managers, web designers, graphics, licensors, promoters! All those people are important to expose the artist's activities!!


We get many requests from new artists who want to make it in music industry. Which advices could you give them?

Try to be different from all the things we see and listen!


How is a typical day of Letizia Pignagnoli?

I wake up early in the morning -_- (a shame, 'cos I love sleeping!!) and I'll try to be in the office around 8 - 8.30am... and then, I have to organize the activities for my department: manage some artists' events, promote a new release, organize the publishing paperworks and - of course - have a coffee break with Sandra from our account department :)


Do you travel a lot?

It happened some years ago, but not at those days.


Which training did you follow to learn your current job?

I learn my job thanks to Larry's and Giordano's patience. I think that no school or university can teach you all the info you need to do this job. I actually studied as a computer programmer and -for a while- I worked in this field. Then Larry asked me to join him and Giordano at Off Limits... and here we are!


Was the fact of being of Larry Pignagnoli's family a good help or a disadvantage and why?

It depends by the points of view. Of course it helped me a lot, otherwise I won't be able to work in the music field. Even more, I have to say that Larry has a huge experience in the music field and he's still teaching me so many things, always considering my point of view (even if I haven't his experience). On the other hand, we always try to keep our family matters out of our job and... it has worked! So, it seems it has been a good help being part of the Pignagnoli's family :)


Do you sometimes dream of becoming an artist yourself?

Not really! Many of you can not believe me, but the artist's life is not so simple at all!


Which is your favorite label in Off Limits and why?

I have to say that I love many of the tracks out on Off Limits' label. I'm addicted to the songs that have a melody and a strong black voice!


What are the future projects ?

We have so many projects in the yard. If you want to keep yourself updated about our new releases and activities, you should visit our website - see you there!



© January 2011 Tavi Meran - All rights reserved
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