Jickow’s an artist who’s been very active in what has been a tough and uncertain year for everyone connected to the music industry. Releases on DHB and now on Natura Viva with ‘Lost In Anxiety’, are now cementing and setting the foundations for a launch pad into a hopefully more sustained and joyous year.
How are you, how has the year been so far?
Hello guys, I’m great, thanks. It has been a tough year for everyone, no doubt about it, but I did my best to go through this weird period. It was a useful year. Especially in music. During the lockdown, as a lot of other producers, I worked a lot on production and processes of making new music, but I also took time to do all the things I always say to myself I never had the time to. So, I try to see 2020 as an intermediate year to recalibrate yourself and put us into the right direction for years to come.
How, when and where did you first get into dance music in France? How different is the scene and sound there now?
I think everything started when I was 7/8 years old, listening to various artists’ compilations from the techno/club CD of my older sister. I’ve decided to start to mix to create my own compilation, then, starting to work in the summer to buy my first turntables and vinyl and this is how everything started. I never had in mind the fact to play in a club or having my tracks played by heavyweights of techno music. It just happened by accident or similar.
The main difference between 15 years ago and now, it’s the maturity of the public and how connoisseur they are now. Throughout all these years, thanks to the internet and the wonderful works of promoters and art directors, they refine their taste; they are more demanding. I live between South of France, Belgium and Spain now and the big difference is about the sound that shaped us. In the south of France, it was more all the minimal vibes from Germany in the 2000s. Some of them are pure classic hit from where I come (Marseille/Montpellier), but sound like a gold-digger for some other areas. Especially in Belgium who was more New-Beat oriented back in the days.
Do you think DJs playing parties again now are irresponsible and harming the scene’s return for all of us?
Tough question. It’s hard to spit on my colleagues’ faces saying they are not right to do that because they accept to play again. I’m no one to judge someone irresponsible or saying that they harm the potential scene’s return. We have to see the big picture in this COVID story.
A virus is outside, and we have to be careful, but we cannot live in fear of a hypothetical second wave or another lockdown decided by politicians who don’t care about people. They only care about their election. Clubbing life and cultural life is just a minority for them, so why would they even bother to find a solution while helping the scene to go back on their feet doesn’t nourish their ambitions? I can say we have to be patient but it’s more than 6 months now and we don’t have any exit windows before April 2021. Everything is a non-sense while other decisions are just the opposite they ask to the cultural scene. So, the cause is not DJ who wants to play again or promoters who want to help people to go through this situation with music and party, but our politicians who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions.
Tell us about your new EP Lost in Anxiety – what inspired it?
These two tracks (Anxiety Disorder and Lost in Ermitage) were produced one year ago, in mid-October. In June 2019, I was sick, I went through a lot of symptoms and we finally discovered everything, but my mind was ok. I had what we call “Anxiety Disorder” and still today, I still don’t know the root cause of that pain.
I started to work on Anxiety Disorder when I was in the plane to Saint Petersburg. I saw this beautiful cloud sea and heard that melody in my mind and it came naturally. Once I came back from that Russian weekend, I had a big panic attack in the plane, but also some during my trip and I decided to produce a track that calms me when this attack happens.
“Lost in Ermitage” appears in my mind while visiting the beautiful Ermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. If you have one museum to visit here, that’s the one but you need nearly two days to visit it entirely! I almost lost myself in that museum and I was playing that bassline in my head while walking around for the exit…
Hey folks,It's been a while I did not share with you my recent production works.Here we are with that new gem I can share with you since it will be released soon on Natura Viva Music.I produced that track right after one of my trip in Saint-Petersburg when I visited the most magnificent (and enormous) Ermitage museum.While walking into the museum, I feel completely lost with that few notes in my head… And voilà, this is how everything started.For the story, I recorded that video on my way back to Brussels on that specific weekend. Hope you will enjoy that one.
Gepostet von Jickow am Freitag, 21. Februar 2020
How do you deal with your anxiety and how does it manifest itself in your life?
I don’t have the perfect recipe for that. Even if the crises are less and less present, it still happens one a month or every two months. Meditation and mindfulness helped a lot. Having a good hygiene of life: no alcohol, eating well and organic help a lot. I also go to see a psychotherapist and acupuncture to calm my mind. The key is to find the root cause of why someone has these anxiety issues. This is the only way to face those crises and move forward, otherwise, they will always come back to a way or another to put you down.
It manifests in my life with physical pain, and especially pain in my chest with tachycardia, like a heart attack; once my mind is trapped into that, it’s like Russian mountain.
How do you feel about how social and political dance music has become? Is that good or bad?
It’s good, definitely a good thing. Dance music has always been social & political since its roots, so it’s normal that movements like BLM or MeToo or any fight for social rights find links with dance music. Perhaps, for the most youngers, this seems a bit odd, but this is also our duty, from people involved in the scene for 20/30/40 years to educate them about these social and political fights to see that movement continue years after years.
Do you have a process in the studio you go through when making music? Any rituals to get you in the mood?
I have to confess something, even if I start to enjoy producing music, I’m not a producer, I’m a DJ who’s trying to be a producer than a producer who’s trying to be a DJ. This is two completely opposite jobs and I’m more confident and better as a DJ that I am as a producer. But we are in 2020 and producing music is now part of the DJ work. I have no ritual at all, I can spend months without producing music, and one day, I’ll open Logic Pro X and make music for the next 6 months.
Are you someone who works there for set work hours or only when the inspiration takes you?
Not at all, when I DJ, I never prepare anything, even for a podcast. I’m doing a long work of selector prior, class all the music by genre, key and energy then I let the inspiration come. I just put myself behind the desks and see how it’s going. A few times, it happened that one minute or less before the end of the track, I still don’t know what to play, but this is also why DJ is so exciting, you let inspiration and your mood drive you with people in the room. And when everyone is connected, this is where magic happens.
Do you have go-to bits of gear or software when making you tunes that really define your sounds?
I currently love using Native Instruments Massive & Omnisphere 2.
What’s next for you? What are you doing after this interview?
Some other releases are coming for Area Verde and Tres14. I’m also working on new tracks right now. AS you know, no clubbing for a while and since I’ve a full set-up at home, I’ll launch a videocast every week with friends from Belgium. I’m also working on a side project called “brthrs” with my best friend. And right after this afternoon, it’s holidays! I’ll spend two weeks in Gran Canaria. It’s my first day off since nearly one year, so I’m quite happy to do… NOTHING ☺
Thanks for the interview guys, take care and stay safe and healthy ☺
More from Jickow including his upcoming release on Natura Viva: https://www.beatport.com/artist/jickow/644499
Jickow on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jickow