A Sit Down With DJ Oxia

11:59 Apr/21/2018


Oxia is one France’s most respected DJs and producers, with a career spanning over twenty years and intensive touring on all continents. With an impressive list of remixes and releases on famous imprints (8bit, Hot Creations, Saved, Knee Deep in Sound…) in addition to his own label, Diversions Music, and a string of collaborations with high-profile artists such as Agoria or Miss Kittin. The year 2017 is particularly promising, as illustrated with the re-release success, ‘Domino remixes’, of his worldwide classic smash hit on Agoria’s label, Sapiens and by his recent remix of Moby’s classic ‘Why does my Heart Feel so bad’.

 

"We don’t necessarily have a long-term vision; we just feel like releasing music we like, in which we believe…"



 

You are considered today as one of the big names in the international electronic scene. What are your wildest fantasies still unfulfilled? Festivals or collaborations you dream of? 

If we are talking about fantasies, then it would be to collaborate with artists with whom I will certainly never work. Like Radiohead, Prince or jazz artists for example, so not necessarily electronic music artists, because I like a lot of other music. But there are many artists in electronic music with whom I would like to collaborate, it would be a bit long to mention them all, and also several festivals in which I would like to play, such as Coachella or Burning Man for example.

What are some early memories of your career that you look back on fondly?

I’m always moved when I think of our first release in ’95. We were two in the beginning and it was really enormous to release a record and see your name on the vinyl, and getting played by all those DJ’s you admire. Of course there are many other souvenirs that followed: my first album “24 Heures” (2004), Carl Cox asking me to release tracks on Intec.

Apart from music, what makes you vibrate? What do you find sweet in life? 

My life is mostly music-driven, it takes me a lot of time, but I also like movies a lot, many movies upset, moved, made me laugh or even inspired. I also like spending time with my friends, even if we do nothing special, we have great conversations, and we laugh a lot especially.

What are your thoughts on Marco Carola as an artist? Has he influenced your career or work at all?

I’ve known Marco for a very long time now, both personally and as an artist, and I’ve always been a fan of his work, especially as a producer. I’ve played many of his productions, which were numerous during the 2000’s and even afterwards, and so in a certain manner, he probably did influence me unconsciously. He’s such a fantastic DJ. He’s technically so good, and he gets the dance floor. This said, I still cannot understand how he manages to play such long sets! My longest lasted for seven hours, while he can go on for more than 20, that’s crazy!

Your song to sleep...

There is not really or it would be something that I do not like, which bores me, so it could be anything. It's not very flattering for an artist to say that his music makes you sleep, even if sometimes it happens to me when I'm super tired and listening to things super quiet.

The eternal dilemma of the underground or popularity...

At the time, it was also the price to pay. Either it was underground with all the problems we had at the beginning, the evenings when the cops landed; either it became more popular and we lost that side, which also makes its charm. I am not at all of those who say "it was better before ", it was different. We lived something in the 90s. It was the beginning, and something super strong. Today it's just different and it's not necessarily a good month. We're always there, so that means we're always enjoying ourselves.
Regarding your musical evolution, you seem to have a little neglected the techno sounds Detroit way to the advantage of melodies, keyboards, and a groove a bit melancholy. These are your own inspirations that made you want to evolve like that or perhaps the desire to stand out from an electronic scene increasingly saturated and without surprises?


Yes indeed since my 24 Hours albumwhich was very influenced by Detroit techno , it has changed a bit, evolved over time. Obviously this is always part of my influences, but it is much less present. It is that with the years one changes, one evolves, one listens to other things, and the side big techno me a little tired, and I am thus little by little income with what I listened at the beginning, of the house. I think  Tides Of Mind  is really a mix of my old influences, funk , soul and more recent things, obvious in electronic music. But not only, because I listen a lot of jazz , classical music, of folk , and all that influences me inevitably, even if it is not always obvious when one listens to my music. When I produce a track, I do not say "I'm going to do this or that style", I'm guided by my inspiration of the moment. After all we want to stand out a little from each other, but also it is not always obvious. So I think it's best to stay honest and do what you feel.

 

What is your process when making a track? Do you have a specific scenario or vibe in mind?

That depends. It’s often at feeling. Generally I have an idea in my head, I start with a beat, I go search for sounds, and mostly by looking for certain sounds I come across others and they give me other ideas. It happens very often I remake a whole track because I suddenly came across a specific sound, or I continue making a different track around something I came across during my search. The process is different each time!

About your new release, the ‘Secret Point’ EP. A collection of three new tracks, all with their own flavour. Can you tell us a little bit about the EP?

‘Secret Point’ offers three tracks which are all quite different. Nicolas and I had done this on our first release, ‘Connivence’ EP, too and we thought that bringing diverse tracks, not all belonging to the same “genre”, could be a kind of signature of the label. I don’t know if we’ll keep doing this in the future because we’d like to sign new artists too, so we may have to tone it down a bit. As I was previously saying, I like to diversify what I do and not stay stuck in one genre; I wanted this EP to reflect this approach. I felt like making a melodic track that still has a groovy beat, and this resulted in ‘Secret’. But I also wanted to come up with something more techno than what I’ve done these last years – a bit like what I used to do in the early 2000’s – and ‘Consequence’was born. ‘Point of View’, the third track of the EP, is very groovy and housier than the other two. I guess I did give this EP a bit more thought than usual, in order to respect the label’s spirit, to follow its philosophy.

https://soundcloud.com/oxia-official/sets/tracks-remixes



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