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Deborah De Luca | Sonar Edition 2024

The soulful life of a techno maestro

  • Sergio Niño
  • 12 June 2024
Deborah De Luca | Sonar Edition 2024

In the crucible of this creative frenzy, “Hard Pop” was born—a testament to Deborah’s boundless ingenuity and her relentless pursuit of innovation. Fusing elements of pop with her signature techno sound, the album is a testament to her ever-evolving artistic vision and her refusal to be confined by genre conventions.

“Since this event was so important, I wanted to showcase a lot of new music, but I couldn’t find much that reflected me within the charts, so I started producing a lot of new music – as much as 4-5 tracks a week. I had a lot of ideas, a great desire to hear new things, but above all a lot of nervousness for that famous 7-hour set. After that evening, however, I continued to find ideas and create new tracks, often using sounds or voices from Pop music”.

To understand Deborah De Luca is to understand Naples—the city that raised her, shaped her, and infused her music with its indelible spirit. For her, Naples is more than just a backdrop; it is a muse, a mother, and a religion. Its winding streets, its breathtaking vistas, and its unmistakable rhythm pulse through her veins, infusing her compositions with a palpable sense of longing and nostalgia.

“Naples is a city so full of art that we are all born with beauty in our eyes; whether it is the landscape of Vesuvio, the neighborhoods of the city, or the sea. From frying a pizza to serving lemonade with a pushcart. Art is the way we do things. There is a lot of Naples in my album, sound and voice."

Growing up in the gritty neighborhood of Scampia, Deborah learned early on to find beauty in the most unlikely of places. In a city marked by its contrasts—beauty and decay, joy and despair—she discovered a profound appreciation for the melancholic notes that underpin her music. It is this unique perspective, born from a lifetime spent navigating Naples’ labyrinthine streets, that imbues her work with an unmistakable depth and authenticity.

“In Scampia you can see the lack of “carefreeness” and the precariousness of life... this has led me to have a predisposition for the use of melancholic notes”.


In an industry long dominated by men, Deborah stands as a a testament to the power of perseverance and the triumph of talent over adversity. Yet, for all her success, she remains acutely aware of the challenges that still confront women in the world of electronic music.

Equality between men and women will never exist in all sectors...this unfortunately will never be allowed.

Yes, the world of the night is a purely male world, made up of twenty-year friendships that prevail over music or the market (I’m not saying skills, because it’s subjective, I can find someone good who others don’t like etc...)

From unequal opportunities to the relentless scrutiny of her appearance, Deborah has faced obstacles at every turn.

“Women will always have to struggle even if many believe that we get it easier by our appearance; 90% of female DJs are forced to use their beauty to get around, it has often been our trojan horse, to get the opportunities to grow within the industry...”

Yet, rather than allowing herself to be defined by these challenges, she has risen above them, carving out a space for herself on her own terms. Her message is clear: true equality may be elusive, but it is a goal worth fighting for.

For Deborah, music is more than just a career; it is a lifeline—a source of solace, strength, and salvation in the face of life’s greatest challenges. In the darkest moments of her life—divorce, loss, illness—she has found refuge in the studio, pouring her heart and soul into her music with a fervor bordering on obsession.

“I experienced the worst moments of my life at the same time as the best moment of my career, without this last one being affected.In the last 18 months I have experienced a divorce, the death of two dogs (which are like children to me), one of which I saw wasting away for 2 months without being able to do anything, and an emergency tumor operation”.

It is this unwavering commitment to her craft that has sustained her through even the most trying of times, allowing her to emerge stronger, more resilient, and more determined than ever before. In her music, she finds not only catharsis but also purpose—a beacon of light in a world too often shrouded in darkness.

“Music and my work have always saved me. They held out their hand and forced me to stand up even when I didn’t want to. I have always lived my private life totally separate from work. I have always said that I am not “a DJ”, but I “do” DJing."

“When I come home I’m Deborah, dogs, food, beach, friends. No gala with “special” friends, only people who do very normal jobs and the only thing that they know about the night is that it’s dark. I don’t have to set boundaries, the separation between life and work is there automatically”.


For Deborah, dogs are more than just pets; they are guardians of the soul, companions in the journey of life. It is this deep personal connection that drives her to action, spurring her to take up the mantle of advocacy and lend her voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.

“Dogs are a gift of life, together with music; Perhaps more, dogs saved me from myself. I take care of many dogs, both in my shelter and in others; also in other cities and countries”.

“They deserve to be revered, and not thrown away or treated badly. Italy is not yet a fair country towards dogs. I hope there were severe penalties for those who mistreat a dog, abandon them or even kill them”. She admits.

In Italy, where the streets echo with the pitter-patter of countless stray paws, Deborah’s passion for animal welfare takes on a poignant urgency. Through her own shelter and collaborations with others, she works tirelessly to ensure that no dog is left behind, no matter how dire the circumstances.

“I have many people who help me obviously. What I do is help dogs together with other people: I put in the money, others put in their time.It makes me feel good”.

Yet, the path to animal welfare is not without its challenges. Deborah’s heart weighs heavy with the knowledge that her efforts are but a drop in the ocean—a drop amidst a sea of 500,000 stray dogs in Italy alone. The grim reality of local kennels, overflowing with forgotten souls condemned to a life of solitude and despair, serves as a stark reminder of the uphill battle that lies ahead.

But for Deborah, every challenge is met with unwavering resolve—a resolve fueled by the memory of her beloved Penelope, whose passing ignited a flame of purpose within her soul. In her memory, she presses forward, channeling her grief into action and her pain into compassion.

“The local kennels are full of dogs who will never see a stroke or a walk... they come in, become a number and die alone, condemned for life for having done nothing. But since my Penelope died I’ve been trying to help as many dogs as possible for her too”.

For every dog she saves, every life she touches, she honors Penelope’s legacy and reaffirms her commitment to making a difference in the world—one paw at a time.


As Deborah De Luca looks ahead to the future, her vision is clear: to continue pushing the boundaries of techno music, to challenge conventions, and to inspire others to do the same. Yet, for all her ambition, she remains grounded in the belief that true greatness lies not in fame or fortune but in the ability to touch hearts and change lives.

I see techno as a cake, and everyone decorates it as they want.I am, in particular, “famous” for remixes with totally opposite genres. I like contamination in that sense. But I believe that every time there is a change and we always go back to the basics.


Reflecting on Deborah De Luca’s journey, I find myself deeply moved by her profound connection to music and the world around her. Beyond her undeniable talent as an artist, Deborah exudes a warmth and sincerity that resonates deeply with those fortunate enough to encounter her work. Her music serves as a testament to her authenticity and echoes her early days in Naples —a reflection of the passion and dedication that she pours into every note. It’s clear to me that her artistry is not merely a means of self-expression, but a gift to be shared with the world.

Deborah’s forthcoming album, “Hard Pop,” is a testament to her willingness to push the boundaries of genre. In blending elements of pop with her signature techno sound, she invites listeners on a journey of exploration and discovery that transcends the constraints of conventional music.

What strikes me most about Deborah’s music is its ability to evoke a wide range of emotions, from euphoria to introspection, in a way that feels both deeply personal and universally resonant.

Yet, perhaps most inspiring of all is Deborah’s unwavering commitment to social activism and the causes that are close to her heart. From her advocacy for gender equality in the music industry to her tireless efforts on behalf of animal well being, she embodies the true spirit of compassion and empathy. In a world often marked by division and discord, Deborah’s example gives us hope—a reminder that through the power of music and collective action, we have the ability to create positive change in the world.

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