DJ Tennis is Manfredi Romano, born in the 70’s and raised between New Jersey, Sicily and Parma in a family who paid just a passing attention to music. No relatives played any musical instruments, nor were there any around the home – music was never given any special amount of love in the Romano household. But despite this, and perhaps as a direct result of this, Romano’s creative and artistic attitude has always centred around music: singing, creating and collecting weird and noisy musical instruments at every turn.
In 1988 before embarking on computer science studies at the University of Pisa to please his grandfather, he was already playing and singing in college bands and had an indie rock radio show on a local radio station in Palermo.
Recording with bands, organising events and DJing at the local tennis club where he used to play semi-professionally (his DJ moniker comes from his passion for the sport) became his way to support the costs of his studies, though when he graduated he never imagined he would turn that hobby into his fully-fledged career. Whilst starting out as a DJ he began focusing on promoting new underground music in his country, founding and developing some of the most important Italian underground musical events such as the Elita festival in Milan and the Dissonanze festival in Rome – at the same time creating forward-thinking new promotional concepts around the Italian clubbing scene.
In the early 90s Romano also started producing music for theatre, movie soundtracks and TV commercials, his production skills always taking inspiration from the psychedelic, dark and melancholic sounds of the 60’s, thru to early 2000’s IDM. The range of influences paint a picture of his musical worldview: The Beach Boys, The Who, Talk Talk, Ultravox, XTC, Fugazi, June of 44, Suicide, Radiohead, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and Plastikman – into every musical project he poured elements, sounds & feelings from all of these artists and many more.
In 2010, after growing tired of the the more overtly generic output of the contemporary scene he decided to collect all of his musical works and, along with Thugfucker’s Greg Oreck, started a new techno and pop label called Life and Death. The name of the label has a specific meaning, inspired by the socratic method of the maieutic process to turn ‘dead’ elements into a new life, and referring to the hypnotic power of music used in the mesmeric processes for brain therapy. Life And Death was alive.
Romano bases himself in Berlin where he also shares the label experience and a studio with the innovative deep electronic duo Tale Of Us, whilst he working hard to create a crew of young and inspired musicians like Clockwork and Esperanza, amongst others. On top of all of this he still maintains his main job is still being a Promoter and a Booking agent in 2012. He may go by the name Tennis, but Manfredi Romano continues to be a hugely talented all-rounder.