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home»interviews »PHONIQUE
 

PHONIQUE

 
date: 06.04.2013
location: Blender Club
event: Comma Group presents Phonique
text/questions: Peter Kashev

CE: Can you tell us how did you choose the name – Phonique? Is there a story behind it?

Phonique: Definitely. I was looking for a good name, which is unique and you can’t find it everywhere. I was writing down a lot of names. Long time ago, I was travelling a lot to France to enjoy the Paris nightlife and the music. I felt that I should give them a little credit and figured this French sounding name, which would do it right.

In the beginning I was a little bit worried that Phonique could sound a bit female but in the end I was happy with it and it’s a good name.

CE: Do you think there is a certain sound connected to your name, a sound that people recognize and may expect from you?

Phonique: Sometimes people connect my name to warm up music with vocals and deep house music. I have been a DJ for a long time and I like different styles.

When I have a gig in Berlin at places like Panoramabar or Tresor, which are well-known in the techno scene, I play more tech house stuff and I enjoy doing it. When people hear me there, they are a little bit suprised that I am playing a different sound from what they expected.

At the same time I do a lot of deep house tracks, so it’s OK to connect me with it.

CE: Do you prefer to build more warm up or play main room, big stage DJ sets?

Phonique: I became a DJ because I enjoyed playing warm up music. On Thursday night (April 4th) I played in Berlin with a good old friend of mine from Vienna – Rodney Hunter, who has just released a new album (“Hunter Express”). I did the warm up for him and then we played together.

I enjoy to slowly build it up and find the right moments to get the people on the dancefloor moving, to build the excitement for the night.

It’s much easies to go on the big stage and start with pumping tunes but it’s more fun to get people into your groove. I love to play big floors and rock the party as well. It’s just different.

CE: A lot of DJs today connect to their audiences directly via Internet. You have a facebook page. Do you maintain it by yourself?

Phonique: Yes. I am the only one who has a password to it and manage it.

CE: Has the social networks made an impact to your career in some way?

Phonique: It’s difficult to say because I started DJing long before the social networks came up and I already had a busy schedule. Sometimes I wonder how is everything happening and why I travel to play in Japan but now I see that I have fans there and I can talk to them online.

The social networks are part of the world we are living in. They are good tools for DJs to connect with people, who love their music. I wouldn’t say fans because it sounds weird. I am also following other DJs because I am interested in what they are posting.

CE: Have you promoted the Phonique facebook page somehow or you’ve gathered “fans” along the way?

Phonique: No. I don’t see the point in buying ads or buying fans. Maybe some people are happy if they have bigger numbers on facebook but it doesn’t change anything.

I prefer to have true followers, who come to my page because they like my music and they are interested in what I am doing.

CE: Where would you like to play – in small intimate clubs or at big stage festivals?

Phonique: Generally, I prefer the small clubs. It’s fun to play on big festivals or bigger clubs. Sometimes being there I cannot do what I usually do when I DJ because it’s difficult to feel a larger crowd. It’s a big diversity of people. In small clubs I feel more connected to the people.

Recently, I played with Luciano and Afrojack on the main stage at Creamfields festival in Brazil in front of 10 000 people. It was a massive experience.

CE: Can you mention a few clubs or festivals that you played at the past months and enjoyed the most?

Phonique: Creamfields festival in Brazil was really cool. Actually, I don’t play too many festivals. I do travel a lot but mainly to DJ in clubs.

In the past month I played in Bali and Bangladesh, where I was the first electronic music DJ to feature on a party. The only other one before me was Gilles Peterson but his music is more eclectic. Besides, he played on a wedding. Now, I have played in Bangladesh twice and felt comfortable. It was a very exciting experience.

CE: Do you still go out clubbing with friends?

Phonique: Yes, whenever I have the time to do it. In Berlin it’s easy because we have so many clubs. I moved to the city in 1995 and today I know almost everyone, who is involved in Berlin’s nightlife. Going out there is like visiting friends.

I am very curios what other DJs are doing as well. When I have the chance, I go to clubs like KaterHolzig, Panoramabar and Watergate to see new DJs or people I have known for a long time.

CE: Comma Group have invited you to play in Bulgaria for a second time now. Do you remember the previous gig?

Phonique: Yes. It was in 2011 in Plovdiv. The party happened in a small club but the atmosphere was very energetic. The people were waiting to see me, they were really into the music. It was a great party and a lot of fun.

CE: You have played in other countries in South-East Europe. What do you think of the electronic music scene in the region? Is it different from the rest of the world?

Phonique: It’s difficult to say. Today everybody are connected through the Internet and have a chance to listen to good music everyday. Back in the days it was impossible.

I have visited over 50 countries as a DJ. There are always more underground crowds like the ones we have in Berlin. But you have those crowds almost everywhere. You have posh venues and established clubs. I played in many places. All over the world the mentality of the people, who are in the electronic music scene is very similar.

*Photo by Marrie Staggat
 
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18.04.2013  (CE)