DJ ESTEBAN: BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
Why did you decide to release this album « Pop Revenge » which seems to be like a summary of all your experiences?
I think it’s the right time for my best solo songs and duets to be released on a major label. FGL Music / New Mantra gives me this wonderful opportunity, I’m glad and thankful. I really needed an outside perspective to go further with my art. For the past 20 years, I wrote, arranged, and produced many songs for other singers, gained a lot of experience in singing, performing, writing… and “Pop Revenge” pops up like my 40 best songs! I am now ready to let it go to the mainstream music market: it sounds modern, trendy, as the 80s-90s sounds are back.
Lyrics talk about popular topics: LGBTQI+ community, diversity, spiritual evolution, the opening of consciousness, paranormal, kindness, joy, sexuality, nightlife energy. I have previously worked with the FGL team on several projects. I feel at home. They are so creative and respectful. I’m proud to be a member of the family.
Do you like the cover of “Pop Revenge” ? I love it so much !! Fabrice Trovato designed it.
A fabulous first music video for the track “Groovin’” has been made as well !!
When did you discover your love for your art and what made you realize you will devote your life to the dancefloor?
As far as I remember, I’ve always been creative and attracted by anything I can mix together. I like to do paintings, wildflowers bouquets, create perfumes (I already did 4 niche perfumes), customize objects (sold in the Parisian Antique Market), inventive cook, mix tracks as a DJ, and writing songs with the music notes and electro sounds, especially Pop Dance Music!
I took piano lessons when I was a kid, I started to compose full instrumental tunes with keyboards, I fell in love with the post-Hi-NRG touch of UK producers Stock-Aitken-Waterman, the Italian Piano-House, and US Garage style. I felt I could do similar tracks with my little piano experience and the sounds from my keyboards.
Thanks to a radio internship, followed by an experience in a famous French Dance Music label (Airplay Records), I realize this Dance Music World liked me, wanted me to be a part of it, acknowledged me, “saw me”. I started to meet more and more amazing and influential producers, artists, media, record labels, nightclubs, and got opportunities to see the global picture of this Dancefloor Show Business.
I devote my life to this ‘cos I find happiness doing it. I found my way to connect with people, to feel alive, to give them parts of me. I feel at the right place for this life.
You worked with famous people, especially Desireless. Tell us more about this experience…
I’m so lucky. I had the privilege to live outstanding music journeys with accomplished artists; Desireless is one of them. We met in the early 2000s; I had a European Top 40 at the time with the Dance Hit “Over You” (Daddy Dj), Desireless was coming back thanks to the 80s revival and working on a Best Of with Sony Music. It was love at first sight!
She asked me if I had some demos to send her. I was very impressed, but I sent her a few demos, and she liked them. Desireless taught me the art and the spiritual side of the job, she told me precious tips to know, we went on stage together all over Europe. Claudie aka Desireless gave me a hand in my early 20s, opened me the way. I like to call her my “Mum in this music business”, but she’s much more than that to me. I consider her as a soul sister.
What we’ve shared and created together changed my life: beautiful songs and shows (with Emilie Roye). Above all: she really took part in my spiritual awakening. I loved her famous SynthPop hits from the late 80s and the fact she was an international artist.
Everybody knows “Voyage, Voyage”, this timeless megahit connects to the Earth. Another major artist came into my life in the mid-2000s: Jeanne Mas.
She probably is the best French Pop seller of the 80s in France and had moved to California to get new inspirations. I had made a bootleg remix of her biggest hit “En Rouge Et Noir” and decided to send it to her Fan Club. 48 hours later, I had an email from Jeanne: she wanted us to work on a Dance Music project. During a few years, we have recorded between Los Angeles and Paris 2 albums, many singles with remixes…
Several editions were released of the successful “The Missing Flowers”. I learned how to deal with critical and popular success, media, fans… Jeanne Mas has a huge fan base, she made my work cross over a large audience.
80s Pop & 90s Dance icons trusted me as well for new projects: Katrin Quinol (from Black Box), Agathe, Abyale, Yianna Katsoulos… I had orders from the record companies of Amanda Lear, Corona, Boy George, Ysa Ferrer… to do remixes. I love to give my vision of a song: I usually only keep the vocals I like and do a brand new instrumental.
On your current project, how did you come up with this “Pop” Revenge… Is that Pop ? Is that your revenge ?
This album is definitively Pop Music! Most of the tracks have a Pop structure with Hi-NRG, House, or Dance vibes. Some songs are more downtempo. I find the Underground scene very interesting. I use some tricks from the “underworld”, but I want my songs to stay Pop! Most people love and listen to Pop Music: easy lyrics, catchy melodies, entertaining energy. So do I !!
I think everyone has inside some kind of revenge against something. I’m born this way, I need to deal with who I am and with the world around me. My atypical profile doesn’t help me in the normal life, I often feel like an alien, but I’ve found peace and harmony with the music and among other artists.
I need to shape this reality I don’t like the way it is. Being hypersensitive is not a gift for everyday life, giving sense to it in creation is a kind of revenge against the normal thinking majority. “Pop Revenge” is a love and hope banner for diversity!
What about the French Touch and Night Life in Paris ? How to become real French Dj ?
The musical trend “French Touch” represented by artists like Daft Punk, Bob Sinclar, Superfunk, Cassius… hasn’t really inspired me. It gave credit to the French Dancefloor scene which was so underrated during the 90s, despite some fantastic Dance productions (Abyale, Indra, Rozlyne Clarke…) and it helped all the French DJ-Producer to get more attention and respect;
Nightlife in Paris has changed so much: most of the big Nightclubs have closed, new city rules (tobacco, noise…) have killed the greatest parties, the dating sites and internet didn’t help as well. Nightclubbers now socialize at private parties or go dancing Bars. I personally like this more intimate nightlife: I‘m closer to the audience, I can talk with my customers between two songs, it’s very friendly!
Surprisingly, I don’t consider myself as a French DJ: I have mostly played in Paris in international spots like Le Queen, Le Banana Café, Le Dépôt… where people come from all over the world. I have this Pop Club culture and often played the UK or US Top 10 quite unknown in France without losing my audience. I recognize my Dj sets would probably be a bit too sophisticated for French countryside Clubs.
However, because a real DJ needs basic skills, I would say to become professional, you must: get a huge music culture, get a huge collection of records, CDs and/or digital files (in high quality please !!!), choose the right song for the right audience in the right place at the right time.
Above all: use your sixth sense, read people’s minds to play what they desire. I can’t count how many times I was about to start the next song when somebody asks me that specific song !! The first time it happened, I thought it was a coincidence. After a dozen times, you know it’s not, it’s something else: this is a connection, the key of a successful set.
DJ ESTEBAN “Pop Revenge”
Groovin’ by DJ Esteban