Mario De Ragnio
DJ & Producer

Story & idea by Alexander Kaiser

Sound by Mario Da Ragnio

Shot & art direction by Alexander Kaiser & Jeppe Hove

Color grading by Isabel Jankowski

All rights reserved OOONO A/S

From the studio to the roads and back. We met up with music producer and DJ, Mario Da Ragnio from Düsseldorf. To him, driving is his sanctuary: a place where he finds himself alone and able to reflect—both personally and professionally.

During the week, Mario is typically to be found at his studio tuned in on creating mesmerising melodies, meaning long days at the office in front of the computer and mixing console. Often, he arrives in the morning after dropping off his kid at daycare and does not leave until sunset. In contrast to working at the studio, he performs in front of thousands of energised people on weekends.

Long nights
Lonely drives

Whenever Mario has a gig on the weekends, it typically involves quite some travelling. He primarily performs in Germany and occasionally in neighbouring countries like France and Switzerland. Gig time always equals travel time. But that is no problem for the German DJ.

It is such a liberating feeling getting behind the wheel and hitting the roads. For some, travel is the hardest part. I have never really understood why. I have always enjoyed going places. For work or for pleasure. Nowadays, it is mainly for work - and it is almost always during the weekends. It has become a way of life. Whenever I perform, it typically starts at 10pm, meaning long nights and lonely drives, Mario says.

Driving can often be associated with a sense of freedom. It’s the possibility of getting from one destination to another without worrying too much. For many, it is a way of getting around. For Mario, it is a way of living. Driving alone on the empty roads at night is not an easy task. But it is the name of the game. Working as a DJ, business and pleasure are not separate entities—they become one.

"It is a cliché, yet it is true. Being a DJ is a lifestyle that requires working odd hours, often far from home. But I am okay with that. It has been like that for years. I am not sure how long I will be able to keep going. For now, travelling is a big part of my life. I really like being able to get from a to b without thinking too much about the details. The long drives are my sanctuary: I get to reflect on things for more than 10 minutes at a time."

From backstage
to back home

When it gets late, and the show no longer goes on, Mario’s thinking shifts from music to family - his kid. When having a kid, travelling is not as easy as it used to be. Mario often finds himself in a sort of mind-wandering state with his hands on the steering wheel and his thoughts somewhere else.

"I try to drive when driving. But I cannot lie. Sometimes, when it is late, and I am alone on the autobahn, my mind wanders. And when I get back home, I sometimes cannot remember which route I took. Dangerous? You bet it is."

As music is a big part of Mario’s life, the stereo is always on - and it is never the radio playing. It does not matter if he is at the studio or in the car, the beat is constant. When driving, sometimes, a subtle *beep* comes from the speakers. It is simply just a reminder that we are all human. Sometimes, we miss essential things right in front of us.

We applaud people like Mario, who are passionate and DRIVEN. However, their lives also confirm that our journey matters. We are all human, and to us, it’s natural to reflect and process our daily encounters. The CO-DRIVER is just there to support you along the way.