Jean Vayat is a DJ producer based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He started his DJ career in early 2000. Since that time his passion for music lead him to perform at numerous venues and Festivals such as White Nights festival in Kyiv in 2018 and 2019, De Sad River Rave, Heaven Club, Kvartira 54 and many others.
The desire to evolve and produce has gradually transformed into the writing of his own tracks. It was not difficult to find the perfect sound, as Jean was always drawn to oriental motifs. So in 2018, he had his first release on Sol Selectas. This was followed by releases on Katermukke, Harabe Records, Shango Records, Dear Deer, Art Vibes, Go Deeva, and others. A unique way of combining house music and oriental sounds has become the artist’s trademark. His exceptional sense for oriental tunes and ability to combine them with dynamic rhythms will surely spin your head around in this magical, ethereal experience.
EG caught up with Jean Vayat to learn more about his recent relocation, the release of ‘My Soul’, his future endeavors, and more.
EG: Hi Jean! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you based right now?
Jean Vayat: Thank you, guys! The pleasure is all mine! This is a very difficult period in my life and a lot of changes. After Russia invaded Ukraine I was forced to leave Kyiv and at this moment I am in Los Angeles.
EG: Apart from the invasion, was the move inspired by music? What are you searching for in Los Angeles? How does it compare to where you were living previously?
Jean Vayat: Honestly, I’ve wanted to move here since 2019, but certainly not under these circumstances. It’s more of a forced measure than my wish now and certainly not an inspiration, unfortunately. On the one hand, relocating to Los Angeles is a challenge for me. On the other, it is an opportunity to take a break from the shelling, bombing, and constant sounds of air alarms and look into the peaceful sky. Los Angeles is totally different than Kyiv! But I have some friends from Ukraine here and hope to find new ones.
EG: So sorry to hear about it. We hope Peace comes sooner than later. Moving into your music, congratulations on the release of your collaborative EP with Evelynka, ‘My Soul’! What has the reception been like?
Jean Vayat: Thanks a lot! I am very pleased and surprised with how warmly this release was met. I am very grateful to Evelynka for this beautiful vocal, to Artaria and Yamil for the great remixes, and to the fans for their support. Special thanks to the guys from Art Vibes for their promo work. The track is still in the Top 10 in the organic house charts for almost two months now.
EG: What was the recording process like? Were you expecting it to do so well?
Jean Vayat: Like many times before, Evelynka sent me the vocals and I locked myself in the studio. This one came super easy, it was made in just four hours. And to be honest, I expected that it was going to be a hit!
“I am very pleased and surprised with how warmly this release was met. I am very grateful to Evelynka for this beautiful vocal, to Artaria and Yamil for the great remixes, and to the fans for their support.”
EG: How did your interest in Oriental motifs come about? Was it a household thing?
Jean Vayat: This happened in 2015 when I worked for the Decadence House team and we opened the legendary CHI club. The concept of the club was supported by amazing oriental music, which really caught my ear and inspired me.
EG: And when did you first come in contact with DJing? How would you describe the evolution of your sound?
Jean Vayat: It was in late 2000s. I was finishing high school and I met this guy who taught me how to mix tracks. I loved it so much that I couldn’t get away from the DJ gear. I was trembling at every mix! At that point, I realized this is what I wanted to do in life. For a long time, I played house music until I started to attend after-parties. Then I fell into trance music, I had my own radio show, which was called SKYLINE. In the end, I returned to house music. As soon as I learned Ableton, I immediately began to experiment and try other genres. So at this point, I dedicate all my time to writing organic music under Jean Vayat and experimenting with melodic techno that will be under the AFTERTHAT project. This is something new and very exciting, as it is a collab with my good friend Artaria and we already have great releases on the way.
EG: Where do you think “organic house” will go next? What does the future of the genre look like to you?
Jean Vayat: Any genre, any sound lives about 3-4 years. Then comes the artist who changes everything. And I want to become that artist for the organic house genre. After Beatport created this genre and stuffed it with big labels from deep house, it was a mess… I believe that this genre has outlived its present form, it has become too monotonous, and the downtempo genre is destroyed, although it is very interesting and energetic music! I think downtempo and organic house are separate genres. And organic house will evolve into something more energetic, closer to melodic techno, with electronic notes.
EG: Can you tell us something about yourself that only a few people know about?
Jean Vayat: I am an open person and I have nothing to hide. But when I toured around the world, everyone thought I was from France or from the Middle East, so probably not a lot of people know that I am from Ukraine.
“I pray in 2023 war will end with a complete victory for Ukraine and that all talented Ukrainian artists will be able to share their art with the world.”
EG: How do you keep entertained when not in the studio? Have you checked out any good movies, series, books, or albums you’d recommend?
Jean Vayat: I love to watch a good movie. One of the best from last year, in my opinion, is ‘Gentleman’s’, and I was very impressed with Ukrainian production with the films ‘I work at the cemetery’ and ‘Maxim Osa’.
EG: What’s next for Jean Vayat? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to this 2023? Where can your fans catch you next?
Jean Vayat: Because of the war in my country, it was almost impossible for me to travel, and for the next year I mostly can be heard in the United States. I pray in 2023 war will end with a complete victory for Ukraine and that all talented Ukrainian artists will be able to share their art with the world. I’m planning to concentrate on new stuff for Jean Vayat and AFTERTHAT projects, lots of studio time is waiting for me!
EG: Thank you so much for your time, Jean! We wish you all the best for the future.
Jean Vayat: Thank You, guys! It was a big pleasure.
Jean Vayat & Evelinka’s ‘My Soul’ is out now via Art Vibes. Purchase your copy here.
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