Mr. Sam is one of the hottest producers of electronic dance music in France. Signed to Tiesto’s label “Black Hole”, he has produced many high class records, like the mega hit “Lyteo”.
His mixcompilation “Opus Tertio” was also a big success, and soon he will hit the stores again with his artist album “Pop Model”. Mr. Sam is known for his powerful crossover sound, so he will rock Talla’s birthdayparty for sure!
Interview: Miles Schmidt-Scheuber / René Schwarz
Technoclub: You are making your Technoclub debut in March 2010. How thrilled are you to be able to play at the legendary Technoclub?
Mr. Sam: Yes indeed. Technoclub debut and for Talla’s Birthday. What else? I’m extremely motivated to burn the roof there. Nothing less than that. I’ll be in London the day before and will go straight to Frankfurt… No matter the hours of Sleep, I’ll bring some fire over there. Get ready boys & girls!
Technoclub: Where was the first meeting that you ever had with Talla 2XLC? What did you find unique with him as a person?
Mr. Sam: We first met in Romania last summer for the House Parade Party and we directly had a good contact and had fun all night. We didn’t finish the night together be sure but we came back via Frankfurt the day after as well so let’s say we spent the weekend all together… He’s a funny buddy and a good DJ.
Technoclub: When was the first time that you remember hearing a Talla 2XLC record?
Mr. Sam: A few trance classics in the 90s on Sony Music etc… Some good old times!
Technoclub: How important has Talla 2XLC been for the world dance scene?
Mr. Sam: Well, he’s one of the pioneers in Germany, with Paul van Dyk and Jam & Spoon. For the rest I’m not sure if I’m the best one to judge it. The number of fans he got is maybe a better explanation for it, isn’t it? And he’s still there nowadays so it says it all!!
Technoclub: When you were growing up in the 90s, what was your impression of the German dance scene? What artists inspired you?
Mr. Sam: Of course, like many DJs at the time, as I was playing in the 90s already, we all mostly got influenced by the German trance scene. So many good DJs & Acts were born there. As I said, for example Paul Van Dyk, Jam & Spoon, Talla and so many others. In Belgium, we were so close to it that we go infected of course, even if I think that we started trance before in Belgium to be honest. However, the scene at the time was huge and it was a revolution. Nothing to do with what is happening nowadays with radio, TV, internet etc.. It was underground and you really had the impression to be part of a special group of people when you were listening to this music and going to underground parties. It will sound funny or surprising for many nowadays but trance was the underground music of that time. Private and illegal trance parties were taking place and it was a privilege to get there.
All big DJs from today started with trance, even if they’re all denying it now. I think that trance is for music what weed is for drugs, everybody tastes it at least once! From Sven Väth to Paul Van Dyk and so so many others! Why being ashamed? If you look well on Youtube, you can even find a video of Sven Väth playing psytrance in the studio and he seemed to love it more than everything. The goold old times!
Trance is not a cheesy word for me to be honest! Some big DJs are afraid of using it and thats not right for me. As soon as you play a track with a bassline, some pads, a main riff, many percussions and big breakdown.. that’s trance! Nothing else. So some of them want to give it another name. I don’t get the reason. If someone can tell me why, I’ll be happy.
My favourite dance band ever is without a shadow of a doubt Jam & Spoon. They were genius. RIP Marc Spoon. Simply listen now, in 2010, to their album “Tripomatic Fairytales” released in the early 90s on R&S records and you’ll understand what I mean.
Technoclub: How would you describe a three hour DJ set from you?
Mr. Sam: A trip around the world without moving. Thousands of footsteps, hundreds of smiles and many times with your hands up in the air, dozen of screams and having a good time. I hope a few drinks to get more in the mood and leaving with a nice girl at the end of the night! What else…?
I forgot, maybe a signed pic in the end, but for the girls only! Haha!
The rest is bla bla DJ thing… about the style of music etc.. not my thing. Simply come with a good state of mind, have fun, look around you and see all these happy people, share with them.. have a good time and let yourself go! And come back next time!!
Technoclub: What kind of DJ set can we await from you? Will it be like from your Opus compilations?
Mr. Sam: Not at all, OPUS Music style is strictly reserved to my OPUS mix album. This is not what I’m playing in clubs. You can hear it in my club singles like “Dominator”, “Lyteo”, “Cygnes”, “Anasthasia”, “Rydem Koba”, “Tantra” etc…
I love rocking the floors everywhere I go so for this I do put all chances by my side. I like strong and beautiful music at the same time. I can’t play a track which is not giving goosebumps or moving my feet. I never forget that I’m there to make the people dance first of all, for the rest no matter how you do it.. the most important thing is to succeed.
Technoclub: How much has your sound developed and changed since “Lyteo” in 2006? One can´t really classify you as a trance artist…
Mr. Sam: Well, my sound did change a lot but it has been growing up, that’s true. I’m doing less trance even if I like it but I find it less and less interesting lately. The last track I did was “Cygnes” and it was number 1 at Beatport for weeks and weeks and became a classic for many DJs. People are asking me for that track wherever I go to play in the world. Amazing, isn’t it?
It’s also true that I’m doing more & more techno tracks like “Dominator”, “Anasthasia”, “Rydem Koba”, “Menkayo” or “Tantra”… that’s in my roots and I love producing energetic records with full power on it! I saw that there are less and less big room records on the market lately. “Rydem Koba” has been played till death by so many DJs including Markus Schulz, they love this sound. It’s not trance, it’s not techno … it’s just working so well in the clubs. It’s a nice formula which fits into my DJ sets as well.
Technoclub: You played with Robert Miles back in the days. How much did “Children” influence your sound?
Mr. Sam: Like millions of people I love this track. I was the first one to book him outside of Italy in 1995. I guess. It was awesome to share a night with him, especially at that moment!
The track inspired a generation of DJs and producers, of course, but I don’t remember I did any trance piano track at all. I’m maybe wrong but I didn’t use a piano in any of my tracks in 10 years. Not that I don’t like it but it’s not my thing.
Technoclub: People are usually amazed when they find out that you are french. Why is it so difficult for people to realize that you are french? Does your sound just not sound french? I would presume you would say that your sound is global.
Mr. Sam: Seriously I don’t think they are. I think most of the people know I’m french, even if there is nothing special about being french. Music has no nationality or colour. Talking about the french sound, it’s mostly house & electro. I’m the first trance DJ and producer in France and I’ve been doing this for so long. Now, there are a lot of new trance producers in France who are contacting me for advices etc… They’re always welcome and I’m helping them where I’m able to.
I’ve different roots as well, and living abroad now, Im french for the good stuff and international for the good stuff as well. I feel like being a citizen of the world. I never used anywhere the fact that I’m french… why should I? I’m proud of my country, of course, but nothing else.
Technoclub: How has the feedback been regarding your current release, the “Opus Tertio” compilation?
Mr. Sam: Awesome, as always. People love this compilation album as much as I do. It’s a year rendez vous between me and my fans all over the places. I do understand that this is not a standard mix album and that it’s not as mainstream as many are expecting but I do have a strong believe into it and I know what I want to do and what I don’t want. For me OPUS is extremely important in my career and development as an artist. This is my baby. Nobody will change my mind on it. Art before business. First rule. After I do understand the business rules as well. I think we’ve to stop thinking that people are stupid and only buying mainstream projects with a girl with big boobs on the cover… got me? Everybody is a DJ now… yes, everybody is a DJ now! How many people are buying tracks on Beatport and doing their own mixes themselves? So how can they buy a mix album from DJ A or DJ B with tracks they know, or have or can download on the net? Simply because the DJ puts his face on the cover?
Come on lets be serious for a second…and stop fooling people about it.
Im working not less than a full year on each OPUS to find unreleased tracks coming from unknown producers who are most of the time more talented than some big ones. I’m working now on my new OPUS 4 and it’s shaping nicely… More infos soon!
Technoclub: How much fun was it making “Tantra”? The arrangement is really very nice plus a breathtaking vocal. How difficult was it making this track?
Tantra is a techno monster track. The only vocal you can find is someone joking on the track so I can’t call it a breathtaking vocal. Whatever . I love techno monsters and “Tantra” is doing the job in all clubs I’m playing.
Technoclub: You made a special remix for the rave classic “Anastasia” from 1999. How did you come about making your own special mix for this? Where would you rate this track back in the early 90s?
Mr. Sam: I did it because I love the original so much and I know the guy who made it. So that made sense. I had fun to rework a classic I bought and played when I was a teen. I made a more modern and rocking version. Like an updated mix. It worked really good and has been played a lot in the hard dance scene… Got some booking demands there but refused them of course.
Technoclub: You are releasing a new album in 2010? When will it be released and what secrets can you reveal?
Mr. Sam: Yes, my new solo artist album “Pop Model” will be released around April 2010. I’ve been working a lot on it to come up with something different from what I did with “Lyteo”, but at the same time keep the “Mr. Sam” style as well. The album will contain 20-21 tracks, I kept the “Mr. Sam Sound” on the club tracks such as “Cygnes” or “Dominator”, but I did lots of singles for the radio as well. I always loved house music and started DJing this style years ago. So I did some house tracks with great singers like Amanda Wilson from The Freemasons, for example, among many others as well. I wanted this album to be a real playground for me. No pressure. I simply wanted to have fun and produce all kinds of music I like without thinking about what people are going to think about it. Free as a bird! So you’ll be able to find the typical club sound of my tracks but also some more crossover songs on it which I’m particularly proud of. It’s a complete different way of producing music. You’ve to focus on the melody, the hook, the arrangement etc… Another great challenge for me! Working with true songwriters, pop singers, gave me a great feeling and pushed me to exceed myself too. All I can say is that you’ll be surprised by many tracks, that’s a promise!
You’ll be even able to find a ballad on it feat Kirsty Hawkshaw and some ambient track as well. “Pop Model” is a true melting pot of music without any boundaries at all. The only goal was to compose strong music for the club, nice one for the radios, beautiful one for home listening etc… in other terms, for each specific music, a specific goal. I love all kinds of music, so why should I only produce one style?
Doing an album is for me like a true playground. I’m having fun composing music instead of doing tracks for the clubs. But I always love doing some innovative and efficient techno or trance singles for the clubs… i like to see the people becoming wild on some pumping tunes. I never knew why I am interested in so many kinds of music. I can’t express or explain it. I’ve to deal with it.
I’m sure that many will appreciate the album for what it is. In the end it’s better than buying an album with 20 tracks of the same style, right? It’s an album of 20 tracks + 1 bonus track, and they are edited. I don’t like listening to club tracks on a CD in my car etc .. with the 2 min beats etc.. it’s boring. So I decided to edit them all, it’s more friendly and for the ones who want the extended mix, we’ll release them as a single with remixes for download so it’s all fine.
You can expect some collabs with BT, Solarstone, Andy Duguid, Amanda Wilson, Disco International and many many more, including the classic “Cygnes”, “Dominator”, “Anasthasia” or even “Rydem Koba”, “Tantra”, “Menkayo” etc… I worked extremely hard to come up with a quality album so I hope that everybody will have as much fun as I had while making it!
Technoclub: How would a 2010 Talla 2XLC/ Mr. Sam production sound like? What would you give sound wise to the production?
Mr. Sam: Only God knows it. No idea. This is not something you can plan in advance, right? It must come with the flow to be good, with the feeling of the day 🙂 so let’s see!
Technoclub: If you played your last DJ set ever, what would you spin as the last record?
Mr. Sam: Very good question. I already thought about it as well. Its hard to answer for a single reason: It all depends on when this last party will take place… if it’s in 10 years then I’ll probably play something different than now. You know what… I’ll invite you for my last gig ever when I’ll be 79 years old and we’ll choose together.. and let’s hope we’ll still be able to hear something then!!
Technoclub: Thanks Sam for the chat! We are looking forward to see you at Technoclub!
Mr. Sam: My pleasure, see you there and let’s have fun together!