Something great is brewing between a crew of deep house and techno lovers and a Tucson artistic landmark.
Dazed and Confused are two DJ gents working hard to bring some much-needed live music diversity to this scene.
Although this is truly a collaboration between friends (photographers, DJs, designers, promoters, you name it)—Florence, Italy-native Elio Sottoscritti and Oregonian Ben Olayinka are the two hustlers at the forefront. They will talk your ear off, in a good way, about their aspirations and how they plan to get to the top of the mountain.
They are well on their way.
In just a few months since creating the Dazed and Confused brand, these two extremely friendly, humble and hard-working young guys are making waves all over town. From a permanent Wednesday night gig at Playground—known as Horseplay—to playing at La Cocina and DJing at Club Congress' Opti Club for the first time tonight for a beach-themed party they helped put together called Promised Land.
To top it all—and perhaps what'll take their passion to the next level—Dazed and Confused are dipping their toes into bringing internationally- celebrated DJs. The venue: Solar Culture.
Sottoscritti feels specially proud about this one because the SUPERNOVA guys are from his hometown and are the resident DJs at the club Sottoscritti, aka DJ Eliogold, worked for in Florence. His dad, who's a sound engineer, also has a past working with the world-traveling duo.
In January, Sottoscritti and Olayinka hit it off with Solar Culture's owner Steven Eye. They hosted a party—Dazed Til Dawn—that went on, well, until dawn. It was packed.
"[Steven] was scared in the beginning when he was talking to me because I would use words like 'club.' He has this perception of a club here...It's not about getting fucked up...that is what he has in mind for a club. The idea is definitely not that," Sottoscritti says. "We really want to expose as many people as we can to this concept of releasing tension through music and dancing and exploring different states of consciousness on the dance floor. Meeting people, letting go, the music, the atmosphere. This unique thing that you find at special festivals and happenings like Burning Man. It's big. We want to bring some of that here to Tucson and put Tucson on the map of electronic, dance music." And also put a spotlight on other artists—local, national and international.
If you go to one of the Dazed events, it's like a big family. Everyone mostly knows each other or will get to know each other at some point of the night. There's lots of hugs and lots of dancing.
"'We share the same vision, me, Steven and Ben," Sottoscritti says—an Italian accent and some Tucson-made Curly Wolf Kombucha at hand.
Seeing where things are headed makes him a little emotional. People are reacting well to something he and great friends started from the ground. When he came to Tucson to attend the UA to get his Ph.D. in education to continue his already years-long career in teaching, it wasn't in Sottoscritti's plans to be part of something this big. Meant to be?
The event with SUPERNOVA hasn't even happened yet, and the Dazed and Confused fellas are already planning the second round.
"First, you have to start the movement," he says. " I'm in a stage in my life past the phase of partaking in the party ... full on, when you're just discovering things, embracing the party, I'm over that. I still want to do it and create the opportunity for younger people to experience what I experienced, that's why I do it. For me it's not about partying. I create it for other people and that makes me feel good."
Dazed and Confused's Dazed Til Dawn featuring SUPERNOVA is happening Friday, March 11 from 11 p.m. until you can't dance anymore at Solar Culture, 31 E. Tool Ave. It's for a crowd 18 and up, and admission is $10. For more info, visit the event's Facebook page.