Salut Olivier! It’s great to have you with us today at Techno Mood – thank you for speaking with us!
Hi! It’s a pleasure, thank you.
Where are you based right now and how has the year been for you so far given the global situation?
I live in my hometown, Grenoble in France. The year had started well but then the virus arrived and hit us all hard. It was brutal for everyone and unfortunately the situation did not really get better. During the summer there were a few small open air parties but now we’re back to not being able to play. It’s sad but in the meantime I’m taking care of things at home and I’m taking advantage of producing more music.
Have you managed to play any shows since everything kicked off earlier this year?
The first three months of the year I played a lot. My last gig was at SXM and by the time I returned, the lockdown had started and all gigs got cancelled or rescheduled. There was the exception of a few open air parties during July and August. It’s not easy. It’s the first time in my entire career I am not able to play. I really miss getting out there!
Do you think that the whole scene will be able to survive?
I don’t know if the whole scene will be able to survive. Once this is behind us, there will also be a lot of after-effects. Some will have it harder than others and it also depends from country to country. In some countries there is more support / help than in others. Even though it will be difficult, I think we will recover, but it will certainly take time.
How are you personally dealing with all of this changes?
At this moment I try to stay positive and tell myself that things will get back to ’normal’ at one point. I really don’t know if and how things will change. It’s very difficult to say but we will have to adapt to those changes.
We’re very intrigued about how you got into electronic music, and the early rave scene in Grenoble. What was it like growing up there?
People are often intrigued how the electronic scene got shaped in a little city like Grenoble. In the early 90s the first raves were organised and even though I was still very young I went to those raves, which were often secret or even illegal. I was actually already listening to the first house music by the late 80s and then I gradually moved towards techno. I had been hosting a radio show dedicated to funk music for a while already and I also started mixing techno music and shortly after became resident DJ in the techno room of a club in Grenoble. We were also already making some music, though at that time it was Funk, Acid Jazz oriented. But we very quickly started producing techno music and released a first EP in ’95 on Ozone Records — the label created together with Kiko. It was also during that time I met the people who grew to become close friends, including Kiko, Miss Kittin and The Hacker (with whom we created GoodLife in 98)
Can you tell us about your first clubbing experience?
I think I was about 17 when I first visited a club. I don’t have a very precise memory because it’s a very long time ago 🙂 but I do remember being amazed. I was feeling in my element and felt home at a club ever since !
And then the first time you were the other side of the booth?
It’s the same, I was very young, because I started mixing at student parties around the age of 16 or 17, and it may seem surprising but I don’t really remember the first time. Maybe as if it was so natural, that I felt like I had always done it 🙂
Let’s talk about your label, Diversions Music. Are there any artists you’ve discovered recently that you could share with us?
We have recently discovered a French artist named GVRL. A common friend send us her music and we signed the tracks immediately. The EP was released only few weeks ago, at the beginning of October. The other releases of 2020 are by artists we already know: Airbas, Yannick Baudino who is an old friend from Grenoble and the next release is by Spanish producer Bizen Lopez who previously already remixed a track for us. This EP will be released in December and holds a remix by myself.
Do you think your role as a label head has impacted your creative process in any way?
I actually never asked myself this question … but … I don’t think so. Or maybe with exception for my own productions on the label. I feel more free.
If you could offer one piece of advice to an aspiring artist, what would it be?
Do what you love to do. Believe in yourself and in what you do. Know there will always be people who criticise your work because you just can’t please everyone.
And stay honest. It’s important as an artist to be honest.
What do you like to do when you’re not making music or touring the world?
I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I also like to listen to music, not only electronic but also a lot of funk, jazz, classical and pop.
And I really love cinema too.
What’s the nicest thing you’ve cooked / eaten this year?
Unfortunately I’m a very bad cook. I don’t really know how to make complex dishes so I stick to easy-to-make food. In spite of that I do keep a fairly balanced diet. Nevertheless I do like cooking together with friends. For ex when I’m with Nicolas Masseyeff we joke and pretend to be part of a cooking TV show. But even then I am just the assistant cook 🙂
It has been a difficult year globally but hopefully things can begin to improve soon. What are you most looking forward to doing when some level of normality returns?
The year has been difficult and unprecedented. I hope this situation comes to an end as soon as possible. Even though we know there will be, I hope there won’t be too much damage both on an economic and social level. I hope we can restart life soon and get back to normal. And I hope we can get back into the club, listen and dance together to good music, and for me this also means going back to DJ in front of a real crowd.
And finally, what can you tell us about your future? Any new projects, releases?
In December there’s the remix I did for Bizen Lopez, coming out on Diversions Music. I also did a remix for for Joseph Capriati, one of his album tracks and this will be released soon. I have finished tracks which are being send to a few labels so it’s just a bit too early to say much more about this. I would also like to make an album again … I’ve been thinking and talking about it for a while now 🙂