INTERNATIONAL DJ / PRODUCER / REMIXER
"If you’re in it for yourself, then the audience loses, and if you’re in it for the audience, then you lose – you constantly have to check the pulse of the dancefloor and enjoy the challenge of pushing and pleasing it.”
– Mark Picchiotti
Established, respected and busy, Chicago-based Mark Picchiotti’s been a star DJ, remixer and producer for over 20 years. He’s spun at the world's most respected nightclubs (Crobar, Ministry Of Sound, Pacha), remixed all the top girls (Rihanna, Beyonce, Mariah, Madonna), and boys (Enrique, Pet Shop, The Killers, AC/DC)—accruing over a dozen Billboard Dance Chart #1s—produced and co-written tracks for two Kylie albums (Fever, Light Years), and released numerous hit solo productions (on his Blueplate Global imprint) including the snapsational top 10 UK club hit, “I’m The Sh*t” by RuPaul’s Drag Race Winner, Bebe Zahara Benet. Summer 2010 sees Picchiotti returning for his second year as the official DJ of RuPaul’s Drag Race Winner’s Tour (sponsored by The Absolut®), immed-iately followed by a solo Russian tour, kicking off at PACHA, Moscow followed by a DJ tour of Italy.
BIO: EXTENDED VERSION
A DJ First
A DJ first, Mark cut his teeth at the legendary Starck Club (named after its designer, Phillipe Starck) in Dallas, before moving to Chicago and going on to DJ in the world's most respected nightclubs. From residencies at home (Shelter, Smart Bar, Soundbar, Berlin, Crobar) and abroad (historic UK club Hard Times) to globe-hopping gigs at venerable dance temples like Ministry Of Sound (UK), Pacha (the original, in Portugal), El Divino (Ibiza) and Crobar’s New York and Miami clubs, Picchiotti is preceded by a reputation for his roof-raising peak-hour sets.
A fluid and flexible DJ, Picchiotti is equally adept at delivering a spectrum of dance music genres and moods. From a sexy Afterhours excursion, a festive Sunday Tea Dance to a seamless Soulful House to Progressive House set, Mark Picchiotti is one of the great American DJs. Commercial clubs love him, international audiences flock to him, circuit parties demand him (he’s a 4x veteran of Chicago’s Fireball) and even the occasional celebrity taps him (Miss Jackson personally requested he DJ her Janet album release party).
Summer 2010 sees Picchiotti returning for his second year as the official DJ of RuPaul’s Drag Race Winner’s Tour (sponsored by The Absolut®). [Read last year's tour press release here.] Immediately following comes a solo Russian tour–kicking off at PACHA, Moscow–and an Italian tour featuring a rotating line-up of Blueplate Global (his label) artists including Bebe Zahara Benet, Alec Sun Drae, and Chicago House legend Ralphi Rosario.
Flashing a discography of over 200 remixes, Mark Picchiotti has remixed all the top girls (Beyonce, Rihanna, Mariah, Madonna, Kylie) and boys (Enrique, Pet Shop, The Killers, AC/DC, New Order, Erasure, Jamiroquai). He was voted one of the Top 40 Most Influential Remixers Of All Time (Blues & Soul Magazine, UK) and counts many of the world’s top DJs (Deep Dish, Danny Tenaglia, Peter Rauhofer, Pete Tong, Tony Moran) as fans.
Mark’s production career began back in 1991, when he produced the debut album for Chicago artist, LaTour, which spawned the controversial Top 40 hit “People Are Still Having Sex” (NBC’s “Nightline” did an episode on it). The follow-up, “Blue,” was used in the steamy nightclub scenes in the Sharon Stone movie, “Basic Instinct.”
Godfather Of Gospel House
Since then, Mark has moved deftly between producing pop and club tracks. In 1995 he produced “Love Breakdown” by Streetlife featuring Dana Divine (Tribal America). He quickly followed with “There Will Come A Day” by The Absolute featuring Suzanne Palmer (at left, also on Tribal). BBC Radio 1’s Pete Tong, host of The Essential Selection (BBC)–the #1 dance music show on the planet–named it his “Essential New Tune” for an unheard-of four consecutive weeks, bringing Mark Picchiotti worldwide attention. The follow-up, “I Believe” (AM:PM), was also championed by Pete Tong. UK DJ magazines gave Picchiotti the late-Nineties mantle “Godfather Of Gospel House,” crediting him for single-handedly modernizing the once lumbering genre of dance music.
1998 saw the launch of Mark’s imprint, Blueplate Records on which he had two big singles right out of the box, both his own productions. The first was the club and pop radio (UK) hit "Runnin" by Basstoy featuring Dana Divine and the second was the underground hit "The Return of Nothing" by Sandstorm. Both got play by boldface names like Paul Oakenfold, Dave Seaman, Deep Dish, Danny Tenaglia, and Carl Cox.
In 2000 Mark produced “Butterfly” for Kylie Minogue’s comeback album, Light Years. Two years later he produced and co-wrote a second single, “Give It To Me” for her 8x-Platinum Fever album. The pond hopping continued, as Mark the intercontinental songwriter commuted between Chicago and London to work with a variety UK-based pop hopefuls, several of which have since been released on Blueplate Global. Overseas artists are continually added to Picchiotti’s rapidly expanding remix discography, including UK singer Heather Small, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, Lighthouse Family, The Shapeshifters, Jamiroquai, Prodigy and Booka Shade.
In 2008, accelerated by a new studio, Picchiotti produced “Turn It Up” featuring Dana Divine under the alias Basstoy, which was not only a dance chart #1 in the US (Billboard) and UK (Music Week), but the #3 dance track of 2008 (Billboard). He also scored #1 Billboard Dance Chart remixes for The Killers, Beyonce and Michelle Williams.
2009 saw the release of artist Mark Picchotti singles "Feel Like Singing” featuring Alec Sun Drae,“So Sweet” featuring Dana Divine and the 2008 remixes of “There Will Come A Day,” by The Absolute (another alias) featuring Suzanne Palmer. The same year Picchiotti signed the following projects to Blueplate Global: “Everybody Shake It” by Ralphi Rosario featuring Shawn Christopher (Rosario’s first solo single in over ten years), Eric Kupper vs. Peyton “Here I Am” and “Rise” by Deep Influence featuring Zelma Davis. All were released on Picchiotti’s Blueplate Global Records (formerly Blueplate Records), a joint venture with the venerable NYC dance label, Strictly Rhythm.
Beats For Bebe
The most sensational 2009 release has to be the top ten UK club hit, “I’m The Sh*t,” produced by Mark Picchiotti for RuPaul’s Drag Race winner, American’s Next Drag Superstar, Bebe Zahara Benet. Having met and bonded with Benet while crisscrossing the US as the 2009 DJ for Rupaul’s Drag Race Winner’s Tour, the inevitable deal was struck and Picchiotti signed the former choir director from Cameroon to his Blueplate Global imprint. Over a period of four months the duo recorded eight songs. The fierce first single, “I’m The Sh*t,” was released November 2009. The video made its MTV/Logo debut on the NewNowNext episode hosted by Lady Gaga and a clean version (“I’m The It”) was immediately added to daytime rotation on VH1. As of Spring 2010, “I’m The Sh*t” has tallied up 50,000+ YouTube views and sales remain brisk for the single, remixes and video, available on iTunes worldwide. Picchiotti will release Bebe’s follow-up single this June, accompanied by a “spectacular” video.
Current and forthcoming 2010 remixes include Rihanna "Rock Star 101," Lolene "Rich (Fake It Til You Make It)," VV Brown "Shark in the Water," Booka Shade “Bad Love” and Temper Trap "Sweet Temptation," the song featured in a current Coca Cola commercial. New Blueplate Global singles include Mark Picchiotti’s follow-up to “Feel Like Singing,” “Let The Music Guide You” with Alec Sun Drea, a new Suzanne Palmer single, a third Basstoy single and the new Ralphi Rosario & Abel single, “C’mon Get Funky” featuring TaMara Wallace.
Bookings, tour dates, new releases + jukebox: hits, remixes and the 22-minute Mark Picchiotti Hit Megamix! •
Gay Chicago Magazine
Gloss (San Francisco)
FXpansion.com (Mark Picchiotti sponsor website interview)
Just Circuit feature
NewNowNext.com (Mark & Bebe in the studio)
Next Magazine (NYC)
PinkBananaWorld.com (news posting/content provider site)
Wire (South Beach)