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Jamie Lamberski

Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella Discusses His Rave Roots [VIDEO]

REVOLT, the multi-platform TV Network founded by Sean Combs, recently aired a special 43-minute documentary on Pasquale Rotella, the CEO of Insomniac and one of the most successful and influential businessmen in electronic dance music.

Rotella takes viewers on a tour as he recounts the history of Insomniac and his own rave roots, which began with parties he would throw in warehouses and banquet halls 23 years ago.

As Rotella recounts his earliest days throwing parties, he points out the differences in rave culture then and now.

"We'd have a wall of speakers... back then, people didn't look at the DJ. They would be praising the speakers... they were praising the beats."

The speaker stacks, Rotella said, "that is the temple."

Some of Insomniac's first parties featured DJs like DJ Dan, R.A.W., and Demigod.

"I was a raver before I was a DJ, and that's how I fell in love with the scene," Demigod said. "I would go with my big Dr. Seuss hat, and I would just rave all night. Through that sense of acceptance and community, I just wanted to become more and more involved in it... how else can I become involved in this greatness that's just starting to bloom and hatch."

Rotella talks about his first underground and the magic of the free expression and individuality it brought out. Then we hear him explain why he really starting throwing parties, and it wasn't because he wanted to work in live events.

"There wasn't a lot of people that were even into what we were doing at the time. Insomniac actually started after the first generation of underground raving began. That was short lived and died, and fizzled out. We were the ones on the dance floor during the first parties that were going on. And when it ended, 2-3 years after it started, we found each other. We created the parties again. That's why Insomniac started. I never wanted to organize events. I just wanted to go to them. They weren't happening so that's why I really put it together."

Watch the full documentary REVOLT Presents: Rave in the Rearview below.

"There was a scene but it was a cracked out, tweaker, dark after hours scene. We wanted the color back. We wanted the breakbeats back. We wanted the positive vibes back," Rotella said. "What it took to make those parties happen... so much sacrifice."

Cover photo by John Lamparski/WireImage

Tags Insomniac Pasquale Rotella
Jamie Lamberski Senior Editor

I'm a storyteller at heart, and music makes my world go round.

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