Interview, photo: Polina Belehhova
How do you think, what impression do you create when people meet you for the very first time?
Honestly, I know for a fact that most of the people who are my friends now, thought that I was hard to get, and paradoxically not really funny – because I was very sure of what I was talking about, especially regarding the music. That’s not necessarily the truth but that’s the image that I used to reflect. I kind of liked this impression because it operated as a filter, but growing up, I try my best not to look like an asshole anymore.
Describe the world you are trying to create for people with your music.
I play a very wide range of music from disco to techno through post-punk, synth-wave and acid-house but I have a personal scope where I tend to filter all this different genres so even if it’s varied it goes in the same direction. So when I’m playing, I try to make people dive into my head, feel my own sense of aesthetic and explore its diverse nooks.
Do you still keep in mind what the audience wants?
Not to be pedantic at all, but it really depends on how responsive and/or educated the crowd is. During the first half an hour I try to test the audience to see how far I can go, how well they respond, and it gives me the first guidelines for my set. But I also don’t compromise my personal style.
Give an example you have witnessed of the strongest influence music had on someone or yourself?
When I went to Berghain for the first time 7 years ago, I clearly remember when I stepped into the room how the sound blew my head and my mind. It was precise and loud to make you feel like you’re walking into some sort of swamp. It was breaking my legs. It’s like you take MDMA for the first time. A rare moment that you don’t need to reproduce because the memory is strong enough to give you the effect just when you think about it. This is the kind of moment that acts like a once in a lifetime injection that works for the rest of it.
What’s your favourite lyrics of all time?
I have two answers at the moment, that can change of course. The first one would be this post-punk / synth-wave band called Neon. The track is called Lobotomy, and one of my all time favorites :
So you are not satisfied
So you want to expand your knowledge
We become aware of this danger
Too many people would follow your advice
Come little sciolist
Follow us into that room
Just a little cut on your skinhead
What we’re doing is just to satisfy you
We got solution to all the problems you give us
I got lobotomy for you
The other one is Ski Patrol. The lyrics is: ’Agent Orange, I’m on fire’. A capella, it doesn’t work, but in the track it goes perfectly. I find it very powerful, how those few words can actually express a lot more just by the repetition, and the combination with the music.
What’s your favourite music video?
I don’t watch that many music videos anymore, but I have a great memory of the one from Westbam – Oldschool, Baby.
What’s your own favourite music video and tell us a little about the process of making it.
It’s my first one – Through The Circles. This was my first track that I have released and we did the video with Jean-Baptiste Brégon. The track was inspired Dante’s Inferno. I gave him all clues and codes that I wanted to inject into the aesthetics of my record. He linked them with these old-school horror movies. It was 2 days of filming. I’m happy with the result because I’m very picky with my work and I tried to give my best not to have the regrets. I don’t like the idea of thinking ‘I could have done better if I have spent two more days on the production’.
Imagine you were born in Eastern Europe. What would be your name and briefly describe your alternative life.
I think I have too little knowledge of Eastern Europe to answer this question. I guess my name would have been Sasha. I assume I would still do music because I can’t see myself doing anything else.
Would you play the balalayka?
Actually I got into music playing bass-guitar.
So maybe you would play a bass-balalayka. What’s your spirit animal?
I really don’t believe in this kind of things. But, when I was in primary school the teacher would ask: ‘What would you like to be reincarnated as?’ and I would say ‘a fox’ which is super stupid. There are not too many foxes around anymore. They are hunters but also they are the hunted ones.
Where do you find comfort?
Now, I can live from music in a sustainable way but it used to be way different. At the moment I live in a comfort zone: I have my flat, my studio where I can record, I’m booked very regularly, but it’s very new. But back then, it was very different. I guess I’ve always found comfort when with myself, no matter where I am, and even if it leads to my usual “too many questions about yourself” syndrome.
Where do you find depth in life?
When I was younger I was really depressed because I was asking myself too many questions and I couldn’t find any positive answers. It was at the same time when I started to go out, get drunk, take drugs, surely in the way to escape from those questions. I was struggling with my surroundings, to make music my way of living. As I have reached the comfortable phase of my life now I’ve started asking myself new questions. I really think you should put yourself in danger to make your life worth living, even if it can sound naïve to express it this way. Not being sure makes me feel the depth of my life, at least.
What is your advice on where not to go and what not to do in Paris for someone who has never been here before?
There could many many answers to this question. I would say don’t go to Porte de la Chapelle and don’t do crack.