Djebali Interview

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Hi Djebali and welcome to Different Grooves

Hi there! Thanks for having me.

5 years are gone after the first release on your ( djebali ) label: tell us about this 5 year journey and what we must expect for the next 5 years?

What can I say, this whole experience has been totally unexpected! When I started ( djebali ), it was more of a personal project than a label. I created it just to be able to release my own music, and avoid the long delays which often occurred within the release schedules of labels I liked. No big deal, it’s just happens that way. It’s had a lot of support from vinyl lovers so I’ve been able to really push it forward and make it the success it has become. I feel very lucky. So, naturally, due to this success I decided to put out remixes and release other artists’ music as well.  It’s been a fantastic five-year journey. Everything works from gut feeling, I don’t have the pressure of release schedules or whatever. I release stuff when I feel it and when I think it’s the right time. Simple as that. You’ll see that there are a lot of releases on my labels right now because I’ve got a lot to say. But there are also quiet moments, when things slow down… it’s really dependent on the moment.

Expect the same thing during the next few years: I’ll only be releasing things I find interesting. If I feel less inspired, I can disappear from the production side for a moment if I want to. In the near future, you can also expect my first album.

Please tell to our readers how the sub labels are organizined, expeciallly your 4th ( djebali ) digi with latest release called ‘Ideal Juice Compil” that we just noticed on Different Grooves?

I actually have a cleaning syndrome… seriously! I could have just had one name for all releases but I am need to be organised. It’s quite simple: ( djebali ) is my first project. I use it to release my productions exclusively, no one else’s music – that’s why it carries my name – The next one is coming soon, it’s ( djebali 10 ).

Then there’s ( djebali ) reworks: as the name says, it features remixes of my back catalogue from other well-known producers, close friends usuallu. I ‘ve just released ( djebali ) reworks 04 with remixes from Tuccillo and Mandar and the next one features Cab Drivers and Alci.

Then you’ve got ( djebali ) presents: the main goal here is to push the new scene so I release only new producers or new projects. And when you start in this business what you need the most is a strong network. I have a rule for this sub-label: each artist who releases an EP has to do a remix of the next artist. This way they are in touch with each other and start to create their own network.

Finally there’s ( djebali ) extra, where I release everything that doesn’t fit with the other sub-labels. For example, you can find my collaborations with other producers, some remixes by me or unreleased versions of tracks or remixes.

Finally I have ( djebali ) digi to allow digital customers to have access to some of my music, too. I launched it with a compilation of 10 tracks that have already been released on ( djebali ), as vinyl-only cuts. The difference is each track is a shorter edit of the existing one available on vinyl. That way I’ve made sure the vinyl versions are still exclusive but people who can’t afford to buy vinyl can now have access to my music. And to be honest, I’ve never been one to focus on trends and being ‘in fashion’ – so since vinyl is trendy nowadays, I’m going in the opposite direction.

If you have one, which is your preferred release in your fantastic discography?

That’s a tough one. I would probably choose ( djebali 04 ) with “Thugs On The Corner” and “Hunting Back”. When you listen back your discography, you always think about how you could have changed the track, made it better, different edits or sounds or whatever… I guess this one is the one where I have the least to criticise!

We were told you graduated top of your class at the prestigious SAE Institute of Paris: is that true? tell us about it.

That’s totally true. I studied at SAE Institute of Paris from 2005 till 2007. Usually when I start something, I am very dedicated to it. That was the case with SAE: I was 200% studying and digging into the deepest techniques. I had the chance to work on superb equipment like the mighty Neve console… The thing is that you have only few hours of theory each week and you have access to their studios to practice. The school closed only for a few hours each night so I was there from 8am until 12am every single day…  and I did my first release for Jay Haze on Tuning Spork just after I finished the school.

 Moving to your djing side: tell us something about your residency with ‘Ideal Juice’ at Rex club?

I’ve been running my party called Ideal Juice in Rex Club for just over two years now. There is one edition every two months, more or less. I am more than happy to be a resident of this legendary club… they’ve repped 26 years of pure underground music. It’s a honour to be part of it. Everything is amazing there: the sound, the team, the energy of the crowd. I am always hyped to play there because I can invite who ever I want – Rex Club have given me total freedom regarding my guests so I can invite all the many artists I love. So far we’ve had DJs like Delano Smith, Nastia, Dorian Paic and MCDE and live acts such as Premiesku, Point G, Cobblestone Jazz or Christian Burkhardt. The last party was with Cab Drivers Live (one of the best live I saw recently) with Enzo Siragusa from Fuse and the next one will take place in April with two of my good friends: The Mole and Tuccillo. That will be a killer.

 Talking about the French scene, how you can describe it? Ying and Yang sides?

The French scene is literally burning these days. It started with Paris and it was quickly followed by others cities in France. I remember a few years back, there were absolutely no parties outside Paris for our music. And now we see a lot of crews in different cities who are doing some amazing stuff : production-wise and party-wise. The energy is great. In Paris a lot of parties rep different kinds of sounds (techno, house, deep…) and each one will be packed. A lot of talent has emerged from this energy. The only negative point I see in it is maybe it’s hard to invite an artist you like that hasn’t played already in the last few months, it’s really going off that much that it seems like everyone passes through the city. I truly think that it’s good for the scene in general to have so many parties: it pushes you to do your best.

Could you reveal to us your business relationship with French artists like Apollonia, Jay Haze, Point G and Freak n’ Chic posse?

My relation with Jay Haze (who s not french) is simple: I jreleased my first EP in his label Tuning Spork. I met him once but he moved to South America and we didn’t stay in touch. With the guys from Apollonia it’s more of a family thing : I ‘ve known them for about 15 years now and we’ve lived together for the last four seasons in Ibiza. Point G, I was introduced to him throught Lionel Marciano who ran Real Tone with Franck Roger for many years. We became friends and I really wanted to have a remix from him… in the end he remixed my track ‘Reputation’. All the crew from Freak’n’Chic is the same story as Apollonia, I know them from the days when I started to hang out in Paris at the parties they used to do. Way back when!

Thank you, it was a pleasure spend quality time with you!

It was a pleasure for me too! Thanks so much.


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