French house DJ/producer extraordinaire Sébastien Léger is currently celebrating two decades as a globetrotting mixmaster via an ongoing world tour. During the past 20 years Léger has remixed and produced tracks for choice labels including his Mistakes Music, 1605, 100% Pure, Intec and Ovum, regularly playing some of the finest clubs in the world.
In May Léger, who recently released his Funky Tech House sample pack for Loopmasters, played his first-ever pair of DJ dates in Mumbai and Delhi. Much has been made of the country’s growing club and festival scene, so we asked Léger if we should believe the hype.
You’re just back from playing India for the first time. How did you go about preparing to play in India? Did you do any research on the dance-music scene?
Sébastien Léger: I do not prepare anything before any tour or any gig. I prefer to see and improvise on the fly once I’m in the club/festival/party. If you do prepare something that doesn’t work, then you urgently need to change your plan and that results in a confusing selection.
What were your first impressions of the country when you got there? Did you get to see any sights?
It was hot and humid. I met some very nice people there. I had not enough time to do any visit apart from the usual airport/hotel/club tour. To be honest, I was shocked about the poverty of the thousands of people sleeping in the street day and night. India is not as rich as people want to think.
“It seems that India is not there yet. Far from it. The people who were at my gigs were great crowd though — responsive and overwhelming — but those were not the gigs of my life.”
You played Blue Frog in Mumbai and Delhi. What were the clubs like? How was the sound? How did the gigs go?
It seems that psy trance is hugely popular in India. Unfortunately this is not much my sound as you may know: I’m more into the original roots of house and techno with the vibe and technology of today. After many discussions with locals in the market, it seems that India is not there yet. Far from it. The people who were at my gigs were great crowd though — responsive and overwhelming — but those were not the gigs of my life.
Did any tracks go over especially well?
What worked best for me were the more loopy, dance-floor friendly tracks, more than some of the kind of groovy or melodic experimental stuff.
Traveling can be extremely educational. What did you learn about India and yourself during your brief trip?
See my first answer. It’s a bit of an eye-opener.
Do you think this excursion will influence any upcoming music?
It’s very rare that I get influenced by touring. In fact, I think this never happen before.
What was your best meal you had in India?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask about your Loopmasters sample pack. How long did it take for you to create it? How do you look back on the project?
It took me a while to make it. Creating from scratch or readjusting some previous work to make it functional in one big pack was lots of work. I might use some of my own loops/sounds I created for one of my future tracks, ah-ha!
Summer is almost here. What are your personal and professional plans?
I’m in the middle of a world tour to celebrate my 20 years of DJing this year. So I’m traveling lot more than normal, especially to visit new countries I’ve never been before (such as India). I’d like to cross Japan on my way on this tour to chill out there and make a bit of shopping and play arcade video game there whenever it’s possible.