Artist InterviewsInterviews

Sébastien Léger

When French house DJ/producer Sébastien Léger came to Boston, we couldn’t wait to ask for his thoughts on the electronic music scene in the States. With his 20 (and counting) years of experience, it was also cool to find out where his best gigs have been and advice for the up-and-coming. Sébastien even told us what his upcoming album will be like.

Did you first start DJ’ing or producing?
DJ’ing. I started 20 years ago when very, very few guys were producing. Then I started to produce eight years later.

From when you started to now, how would you say you’ve changed and what has helped you along the way?
Everything has changed upside-down. I’d say it’s all about how great your PR and marketing are today more or less. If you’re just a DJ today, I think it’s going to be complicated to make it through. Even if you produce, it’s complicated as well because there are so many people in the market.

What’s the best advice you can offer to somebody in the industry?
You need a bit of luck, you need to be talented and money to spend on PR and marketing. Just do it because today, that’s one of the keys to help you shine. If you’re just a DJ today, I think it’s going to be complicated to make it through. Even if you produce, it’s complicated as well because there are so many people in the market.

Have you played in the US a lot?
Recently, I’ve been playing here two or three times a year.

From your experience here, what can you say about the electronic music scene in the US?
We all know [in the US] the EDM thing is big, but it seems the underground is getting bigger in general. That’s why I’m here and it’s cool.

Do you prefer playing to a small crowd or a large festival-size audience?
I do prefer playing small clubs like [Rise], definitely, because they’re more intimate and there’s always a better vibe. But, when a big show goes really well, it’s really amazing when you see 10,000 people jumping all together at the same time. There’s also different music to play. I play more relaxed at clubs like this; in big rooms, I’ll play with a bit more energy.

Can you pick out a point in time when you realized this was going to be your career?
The first day I started. I never did anything else and never thought of doing anything else. Obviously it took years to get to a professional level and play every weekend. In my 20 years of DJ’ing so far, probably 10 years ago, I was like “this is what I’m doing for real.”

What would you do with a week off?
Stay home and do nothing. I have a game room in my apartment. It’s underground – not like Call Of Duty – I play arcade Shoot ’em Up. It’s relaxing for me.

What are some favorite tracks of your own?
One I really like, is called “Le Moustique,” which means mosquito in English. It’s not the biggest I’ve done, but it’s one of my favorites because it was so spontaneous and it works really great every time I play it.


Do you have any favorite producers right now?
Most of the producers I like are not known at all; they’re really underground. I don’t even know their names sometimes because they’ll make two or three good tracks and then they’re gone.

Are you currently working on anything you can talk about?
I’m working on an album, an LP, finally. I’ve recently taken a studio break for a few months on purpose because I’ve been doing music every day for years, so I had my break. Now I’m back after a year of no studio because every year I say I’m going to do an album, and this year I’m doing it for real. I gave myself a deadline, so around this spring it will be out for sure. I’m really happy; I’ve been playing a few of the new tracks already and it’s going really good. I’m doing a “back to the roots” sort of vibe with more rolling melodies than the past few years with a freaky, funky groove as well. It’s going to be really cool, and called Back To Basics, which means everything. If people like the Planets album, they’re really going to like this.

Where have some of your favorite bookings been?
Womb in Tokyo and Watergate in Berlin. Igloofest in Montreal was one of the top three best gigs I’ve had in my life; it’s just incredible – the energy, the vibe, the atmosphere, the -20 degrees. It’s brilliant, it’s crazy, it’s an amazing feeling.

Is there anywhere you would love to play, but haven’t yet?
I’d love to play Warung in Brazil.