World renowned Parisian producer POPOF can be described as both the unstoppable force and the immovable object. The Form Music boss has been tearing dancefloors apart with finely crafted mixes and igniting the aural synapses of fans worldwide with his engrossing techno records; working with some of the greatest names to ever grace the underground.
The knowledge POPOF has accumulated from working with the likes of Carl Cox and Maetrik is certainly there for all to hear, now we get the opportunity to see what it’s really like working alongside such legendary names. Ahead of an exciting summer for POPOF, we had the absolute pleasure of grabbing a chat and gaining some valuable insight into the mind and work of an artist at the top of his game.
Hi, thank you very much for chatting with us! How are you?
Hi! Very well, thank you. And super-duper busy right now, as I’m simultaneously preparing for Ultra Festival Miami, my label Form Music’s new release by Animal & Me, our Form party night at Nikki Beach, my next EP’s release on Adam Beyer’s Truesoul imprint, and a bunch of gigs and Form events shortly after.
You’ve had a fairly busy winter playing across France and parts of South America. Was there a real highlight moment throughout the winter tour dates?
I really like playing in France, I feel at home. And going to South America is a highlight itself. Performing at, for example, Ultra festival Brazil brings another dimension to the thing. South America is the place for gigantic, passionate, crazy crowds!
Do you have to adapt your sound when touring across countries with varying cultural backgrounds? Or do you find your sound is very universal?
Actually, I make tracks depending on a specific mood, the place where I am, the weather, so many factors. So, my music is actually quite varied, from initially hardcore techno with (French cult collective) Heretik System to minimal techno later, to House music in 2015, to techno again today. Depending on the country, the background, and most importantly the crowd’s vibe, I always adapt my sets – but not in terms of genre, more in terms of what energy I want to convey.
How important do you think underground music is in bringing different cultures together throughout the world?
Underground music has always brought different cultures together. Music is a universal language because it allows us to escape our reality for a while, to have unforgettable moments with our friends, to forget our problems and so on. It’s therefore natural and logical that music should bring cultures together throughout the world.
Paris is, of course, renowned as one of the world hot spots for house and techno music. What do you think it is about the Parisian underground which makes it so special?
The fact it’s constantly evolving and innovating. New, interesting venues open all the time, with top-notch sound systems and amazing artists invited. Initiatives are taken as well: Club Concrete was the very first club in France to be awarded a 24-hour operating licence.
Let’s talk a little about your recent debut release on Mood Records ‘Confusion’. Has it been a long-term goal of yours to release on Mood?
I’ve always respected Nicole Moudaber as a person and as an artist. You must be one hell of a badass, strong and hardworking woman to succeed in this male-dominated business. Releasing on Mood Records was definitely a very cool experience.
Mood Records is, obviously, one of the most recognizable names in the industry. What do you think makes Mood so recognizable and consistent?
Obviously Mood is at Nicole’s image: no concessions, liking to take risks, and infallible musical taste.
I’ve learned a lot working with so many labels, it is true. And I’ve learned from my past mistakes as well. It’s been almost ten years since Form Music was founded – “Serenity” EP was out in 2009! Most importantly, Form Music is now led by a fully-dedicated team, which wasn’t the case for a long time.
Do you have any big plans in 2018 for Form Music that you could exclusively share with us? And are there any up and coming artists you are really excited about?
Animal & Me’s “Pareidolia” EP (Form75) is out soon on March 16th, and I’m very excited. I’m also planning to release my own EP on Form, later during the year. Many Form showcases are due to take place everywhere around the globe – the next one will take place on March 21stat Nikki Beach Miami with special guests Lauren Lane, M.A.N.D.Y and more.
Your next release is due to land on Truesoul on 9th April. What vibes and style can we expect from this release?
It will not be very different from my last release on Mood Records. More techno and more powerful tracks with the sole purpose of setting the dancefloor on fire!
Obviously, the dream for pretty much every artist of every craft, is to make it to the top, to play the big gigs and be signed by the big labels. What is the dream once those things have been achieved?
I’m very happy and grateful to have accomplished all those things, obviously. But my dream was always to make interesting music, and so it’s perpetually in motion. I’ve worked with Soul & Funk bands, Rock bands, Hip-Hop bands. I have experimented so much, that I would like, today still, to work with bands and experience more and get richer knowledge while pursuing my electronic music career.
Thank you very much for chatting with us today, it was an absolute pleasure! All the best in 2018, anything to add?
You’re most welcome, same for me! Thank you very much and… Party Hard!
POPOF’s ‘Enforced’ EP is out on Truesoul on the 9th April