You know there's a change in the music industry, when people start listening to tracks by DJs almost as much as the ones by the artists themselves. Names like Guetta and Tiesto have become household names. Gone are the days when people purchased records by a single artist. Today, the music crowd is looking for something different, unique and unexpected.
That's where the DJs come in. They'll take your favorite track, break it down and remix it into a sound you never knew existed. Is it any wonder why some of the best chart toppers in the past couple of years were remixed tunes? And yet this is only the beginning…
Riding on this musically enhanced wave is French DJ Sylvain Armand who is fast becoming one of the biggest names in house music. Only 28 years old, DJ Armand started his career a little less than 6 years ago but in that short period managed to collaborate with artists like Bob Sinclar and Jean-Roch.
We chatted with DJ Armand about his music, breaking into the industry and his keen fashion sense…
Tell us a little bit about yourself..
I grew up in the South of France. My father’s side of the family is Asian, from Vietnam so I am a bit of a mix, half Asian half French. I studied and worked in real estate for a while but I quickly decided to really concentrate on my music and deejaying full-time. At the age of 23 I left France to move to London…
How did you first get into the music industry?
As a teenager, when I started going out to clubs I found myself being fascinated by the music and the DJs and not really the partying… I started meeting and becoming friends with DJs and one day I got a proposal from a club in the South of France to do the warm-ups for their resident DJ and that's really how it all started.
When did you realize that your path of choice could turn into a success?
When I arrived in London and when I started to get requests from clubs and artists around the world to work with them.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Mainly travelling, meeting new people, seeing new places…
What is your favorite music to listen to?
I listen to everything, that’s what makes a good DJ!
What about your favorite music artists?
There are so many, I can’t and don’t want to chose actually!
Which artists have you collaborated with in the past?
I've been lucky to have collaborated and worked with many amazing artists already. In the summer of 2010 I collaborated with Bob Sinclar and he released a remix I did with my two production partners of the song "I WANNA" from the album "Made in Jamaica" which was nominated for a Grammy this year 2011.
I have also collaborated with Jean-Roch VIP ROOM, and my remix of his hugely successful song "My Love Is Over" was released at the end of last year. (Listen to it on YouTube)
Together with my 2 production partners I have also just finished a remix of Danny Tanaglia’s "Music is the answer" which will shortly be released on Twisted Records. (Listen to it on YouTube)
In addition to musical co-operations, I have deejayed at some amazing VIP Parties around the world: Jay-Z’s private VIP Party in London in 2010, New Year's Eve in St Barth with Beyonce on Nikki Beach. And at other VIP Parties around the world with Rihanna, Black Eyed Peas, Dita von Tees, Paris Hilton to mention but a few.
What is the best and worst thing about working in the music industry?
Honestly, to me there is no “worst” with doing my job. It’s such a luck to be able to live off my passion!
If you had the chance to work with any artist in the music industry, who would you like to collaborate with?
It’s difficult to choose one artist, there are so many… my top 3 artist that I would like to (or would have liked to) collaborate with are: Prince, Bob Marley, Daft Punk.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
When I saw my remix of "I Wanna" released on vinyl – that was an amazing feeling.
Name 3 of your favorite venues to perform at:
Beirut, Ibiza, Dubai
Moving on to fashion… What influences your fashion style?
So many different things! People I meet, places I go to, things I see in the street or in magazines, music I listen to… anything and everything!
What would you describe your style as?
My personal style is very diverse; I dress very much depending on my mood. Sometimes I wear baggy jeans and sneakers and other days I feel like wearing a suit. I am fortunate to be able to wear pretty much anything I want when I go to work.
What are your favorite…
I love Dsquared and Marc Jacobs. I also love ROCKSTAR Jeans which is a brand I am in partnership with and I just did an amazing photo shoot for their new collection.
SNEAKERS!!! I have a huge collection, probably about 100 pairs that I regularly wear. My favorite brands are Adidas and Supra.
I love to shop when I travel, because I find unique pieces that I know not many others will wear. I just had a gig in Stockholm actually and I had time to do some shopping there. It’s a very trendy and cool city and when it comes to shopping there are so many nice things for guys from small unknown Swedish brands, so that was cool.
Where do you go to chill and relax when you're not working?
My parents' place.
What are your upcoming projects and performances in the Middle East?
I love coming to the Middle East to work and my next gig is on March 25th at SENSATION in Dubai!! Everyone who’s in Dubai that day should come and see me and listen to my set. It will be amazing!!
Finally, what are your plans for the upcoming years?
I don’t see it as that or plan, I take every day as it comes and for me right now every day means work…
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