Growing up in Canada how did you first encounter Dance Music and who were your initial influences?
Initially, I first encountered dance music over the radio but only really got into it when I started going out to clubs, spinning tunes and digging in record stores. In general, I have always had many influences when it came to music. When talking specifically about House, I would say Kerri Chandler, Masters at Work, DJ Gregory and Daft Punk were among the first big ones.
Your new Compilation album for Get Physical: Ibiza 2014 begins with an emotional sequence ambient of sounds. How important is setting a mood when you DJ?
For me it’s the difference between actually being a DJ and not. Walking into a room prime time and banging out whatever people want to hear is not being a DJ, it’s being a jukebox. I find a lot of times that the importance of how to properly open up a space and bring people in and onto a journey is often missed, it’s not something that should be rushed into or taken lightly. I personally love opening up rooms and, more often than not, enjoy opening up for myself when I can. There is a lot of really cool music you can play during an opening set that you would not be able to play later on.
How do you see the album reflecting the Ibiza of the title, and do you think the Island is as important to Dance music as it once was in light of the music’s now global popularity?
The album for me was about putting together a journey which is essentially what the Ibiza vibe is all about. Ibiza is detached from the rest of the world and once you walk into a party there you’re pretty much ready to stay the whole night right into the next morning without worrying about what you have to do or where you have to be – unless of course you have a flight to catch the next day. This is also why the compilation is longer than usual; I really wanted it to reflect the different moods you can get through an extended set. It opens up smoothly, then moves on to something bumpy which is then picked up with some heavier grooves; it is then closed off with a classic / nostalgic type tip. Aside from that reflection, it’s also how I like to build my sets in terms of mood traveling, I don’t always like sticking to just one mood. In terms of the importance of the island itself for Dance music globally, I think it will always be there as long as the people who run the club scene stay there. As the popularity of Dance music rises everywhere the tales of Ibiza’s euphoria grows with it.
The album also features some of your own productions like, ‘Caution You’ and Jay London collaboration, ‘Lost Tourist’. Can you talk us through the process of you producing a track – any particular favourite instruments/ software?
Me and Jay are good friends and work on several projects together even outside of producing music and DJing. The tracks we collaborate on usually happen out of the blue and we both have a day off messing around in the studio, sometimes it turns to something. We don’t sit down and decide today we are going to do this specifically, we just get together and jam here and there and when something happens it happens. When it comes to my solo productions I usually separate them with two focuses: making a single / music with a message type record; or tracky, hypnotic, groove type record that I can include in my DJ sets. The dub of Caution You is kind of the tracky interpretation of the vocal mix. Something I myself can use as a DJ.
How important is it for DJ’s to produce music as a means of helping to promote themselves these days, what advice would you give to someone starting out in 2014?
It’s important until it’s not important anymore. I think making music as a means to help self-promotion is a bad idea. If that’s the focus and heart of your music it’s going to be missing some soul and I can say that because I’ll admit that I have been there. At first I started making music in hopes to one day tour as a DJ, however that message was transcended to my music and it all sounded cookie cutter and rushed. The day I sat down and just started making whatever I felt without thinking too much about it people started becoming interested in what I was doing and what I had to say. I guess the only advice I would have is to make sure you focus on the process of production itself and make sure you enjoy that process, work that process and don’t focus so much on the results. Results will come on their own and producing without a result based focus will keep your music human and relatable.
Can you tell us about your involvement with Bauhaus Collective (and why that name was chosen) plus the RAW Moments parties?
Well the “Bauhaus Collective” is still in its beta form. The name came from “Staatliches Bauhaus” which is an art school in Germany that combines crafts and the fine arts. It’s an agency type lifestyle blog collective thingy all in one concept that we’re working on (confusing eh). Until we launch it officially it’s just a collective of artists whom support and help each other’s brand and work on collaborative projects – RAW Moments being one of those projects. It’s a party that we started doing in Montreal, all the talent we feature at these parties are home grown and the family grows with every event we throw. Each party also comes with a recap video that is put together by one of our friends Anthony William.
Where are you looking forward to playing most this summer?
I’m currently enjoying my residency at StereoBar & Stereo Afterhours here in Montreal more and more as the weeks go by. I’m very lucky to have a place in my city to call home where I can express myself and test out a bunch of new music. Besides that I’m on the road looking at being back in Europe come October around ADE.
Thank you so much!
* Paolo Rocco photo credit Monsiieur