Pony Montana is a DJ by profession, but also a restaurateur. Two professions that have a lot in common because they make you feel good, experiment and keep tradition and innovation together. Pony, many years ago he left the Langa for London and there he transformed into Pony Montana, «a nickname born because they said I resembled Al Pacino. Toni Montana is her Scarface character.” However, he then returned to the Langa, «because when you are lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, you have to take advantage of it». He has not abandoned records and consoles, but has joined them with work at La Terrazza da Renza, in Castiglione Feletto. Where Renza is none other than the mother of Fabrizio Cavalli, indeed Pony, since everyone really calls him that. There you can drink (well) wine (almost exclusively from the Langhe) and eat the typical cold appetizers. Not stuff for jocks, but for people who know how to enjoy life with simplicity. And good taste: «The Terrace is home for me, the Langa is home. This is a nice place to live and to come back to. It is a place that has been able to react to poverty, to ruin, to emigration».
“I have a double identity – says Pony, 48 years old -. I am the son of restaurateurs. I grew up in this world and I’m in it up to my neck. Because when you grow up in the Langhe, you are immersed in food and wine. Food, wine, music, events have a common denominator: feeling good. It is therefore no coincidence that my recording project is called FeelgoodProduction. It has always been convenient for me to experience these two roles and associate them. They use the same positive frequencies with a pleasurable matrix». The coexistence of the two worlds was a discovery for Pony: «When you grow up in the Langa you know you live in a nice place but you miss the entertainment part. And so as kids we said to ourselves, “Aren’t there any parties? Let’s do them”. Then when I started going to England and lived there, I came into contact with the world of entertainment on a professional level. There the desire to produce records and organize events was born. The food part has always gone hand in hand». The dj producer from Alba explains this traveling together in more detail: «I come from a musical background linked to folk and ethnic. In London I met multiculturalism, with influences coming mainly from Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh. I found myself learning about music and food from various parts of the world. The next step was that of the so-called “global beat”, in which music is associated with art, cooking, cinema…».
Contamination is therefore the keyword. In the Langhe, however, it is above all tradition that wins, at least in the kitchen. «But it is also the same in the rest of the world – Pony observes again -. In London there were the Punjabi Parties, where you ate traditional foods, listened to their music, saw their cinema, got to know their dances and customs. There was the tradition. I also had to deal with Balkan music, then with goulash, with Eastern Europe… The result is what I called “spicy music”. Thus we have a vision of global contamination, which is manifested in food through the fusion cuisine». This cultural and culinary contamination has not remained confined to the metropolis and has also reached the provinces: «Even in the Langa you can now eat dumplings next to plin».
Cured meats, cheeses, Barolo and a breathtaking view: the luxurious and accessible Langhe of Terrazza Renza
«Since I returned here, my world is divided equally between restaurants and music. The part in the Langa is very seasonal, in winter I travel and dedicate myself to music production: I’ve just made a record that will be released in a couple of months. It’s called “Two visions of cocconuts funk” and there are collaborations that come from India, Tobago, the Caribbean, the USA, South America, Morocco, etc.».
Once again this year Pony Montana played records (every day!) at the legendary Glastonbury Festival, one of the most important musical events in Europe: «In an event like this, all the cuisines, music and cultures of the world are represented . It is a melting pot that generates exchanges and new realities: this has been the common denominator of my 25 years in music. How can I combine a chant of the Atlas Mountains with a Brazilian percussion? Here is the tradition that returns and its reinterpretation of the second generation of immigrants. It’s a very free world, just like the kitchen should be».
Alba, the luxurious taste of a new capital
by Luca Ferrua
«Galstonbury is a moment of sharing like the table can be – continues Pony -. We all drink from glasses and eat with cutlery, we are all the same, as is the case with the public at a concert or a DJ set. I was faced with the Beckham, Lars from Metallica, Bradley CooperI played with Skrillexall muddy from head to toe like me».
«In this Festival – concludes the DJ from Langhe – there are no superstars, it’s a democratic place, everyone stays in tents or campers and if it rains even the VIPs get wet. There is no red carpet there. Live the experience, just like when you’re at the table».