Make Pizza, Not Techno
a.k.a. An interview with P. Leone about his transition from the club to the pizzeria.
When the pandemic shut the world down back in 2020, artists responded in different ways. DJs started livestreaming. Producers started making ambient music. Everyone spent way too much time on social media.
P. Leone bought a pizza oven.
Born Salvatore Carlino, the Brooklyn native—whose catalog includes records for Rekids, Work Them and his own E-Missions label—had been living in Berlin, but once COVID hit, he moved back home and took something of a break from dance music. Getting into pizza wasn’t exactly a random choice—his parents had previously run a pizzeria in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay neighborhood for more than 40 years—but it was something that he could enjoy as lockdown wore on and the clubs stayed closed. As time passed, however, what began as a lark, with friends literally coming to eat pizza in his parents’ backyard, quickly transformed into something bigger, and now he’s on the verge of opening his own brick-and-mortar shop, Lucia, in the very same neighborhood where he grew up.
Anyone who’s been following P. Leone on Twitter and / or Instagram has likely noticed that something was afoot: over the past 18 months, his feed has gradually swapped out the usual DJ fodder for a steady stream of mouth-watering pizza photos. That said, Carlino hasn’t abandoned music entirely; his debut album for Rekids is still in the works, and E-Missions also has new music on the way, but right now, it’s pizza that’s first and foremost in his mind.
Carving out some time between appointments with contractors and suppliers, Carlino hopped on a call with me last week, and spoke at length about pizza, electronic music, family and his time in Berlin. Along the way, he also opened up about the highs and lows of life as a professional DJ, and his realization that he ultimately wanted something different for himself. For now, that something is Lucia, and with the shop’s opening just a few weeks’ away, Carlino also reflected on how, despite his best efforts, he’s somehow wound up back in Sheepshead Bay—and is actually okay with that.