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There’s no limit to the number of lives you can live in music. Jedsa Soundorom knows this more than most – from his early love affair with hip hop to his wild ride through the 90s house scene, the Paris-based DJ and producer has sampled more sides of the music game than most. He first saw the light at parties in London before holding down a high-level residency at Les Bains in Paris, only to end up spinning records in the rush of New York’s house circuit at The Limelight, Cielo, Pacha and more. After the intensity of the Big Apple, time spent as a DJ in Costa Rica with the sand under his feet was the perfect antidote, indulging his musical obsession in a pressure-free environment.
We caught up with Jedsa Soundorom to talk about his debut LP ‘The Album’, travels, inspirations, and future projects.
Electronic Groove: Hi Jedsa, how are you doing? We’re really excited to have you here with us. What a year it’s been, right? How have you coped with the pandemic? Picked up any new skills?
Jedsa Soundorom: Hello, thank you for having me. Yes indeed, this year has been tricky, but I feel blessed. My wife, son, and all my close family and friends have been safe and in good health, so I cannot complain. I’ve been in my studio a lot working on a new project.
EG: Let’s dive a bit into your background…what were your first contacts with music and the electronic scene in general like? Do you remember what it was that got you into this particular type of music?
Jedsa Soundorom: Back in 1995, I was a hip hop lover, dancing a lot, and followed a girl I met in Paris to Hitchin, a little town between Cambridge and London. One of my friends took me to a party in London and there I found my first love for house music. I was so amazed by the vibe… black, white, gay, all together…everyone was on fire, I will never forget that moment. I was hooked. Then after a year or so, I came back to Paris and I met David Guetta at Les Bains Douches where he was inviting a lot of artists from the house scene across the world. One particular night, DJ Freddy was playing at a party called SCREAM. I looked up and it became clear to me that I wanted to play house music. My brother Dyed and I had a residency at Les Bains Douches for 2 years.
EG: Nice story. Where are you based right now? We know you’re quite the globetrotter. How did that come about? …the chance to move around like that, I mean.
Jedsa Soundorom: Back in 2002, I needed to find my sound. One of my best friends wanted to take me to New York, so I left everything except 2 bags of records and flew. I stayed there for 3 years. It was hard in the beginning but soon enough I started to play everywhere. I learned so much about myself and about the energy I wanted to put into my performances. After those 3 fantastic years, I was proposed to take care of a local club in Jaco, Costa Rica where I created the house room for international tourists. I stayed almost 2 years. I feel lucky that a lot of people I met there and in NY have booked me in a lot of countries: Mexico, Bangkok, ibiza, Belgium, England, among others.
I was in Paris in 2008 and met my now wife, my love, Pauline. She’s a professional horse rider and owns a horse stable business in Soisy Sur Seine, a town close to Paris, where we live today with our son Emile.
EG: Now you’re promoting your debut LP, ‘The Album’. Have you ever attempted to pull off something as big as this? Did you have some kind of blueprint for it? Or did you just go with the flow?
Jedsa Soundorom: Honestly, I’ve always wanted to make an album. It took me almost a year to finish the 11th track. I had no blueprint and just tried to put everything I had into each track. It’s an accumulation of all the experiences I’ve had over the years in my music career.
“I was so amazed by the vibe… black, white, gay, all together…everyone was on fire, I will never forget that moment”
EG: Could you tell us more about the inspiration behind this album? Why now? What’s the story to tell?
Jedsa Soundorom: In 2012, Pauline was pregnant and I stopped everything linked to DJing, clubs, and parties. I thought it would not be compatible with my new life, so I took care of her and my son. For me, the music scene was over for about 3 years. In 2015, for my birthday, she organized a big surprise party and I received the first pieces of my upcoming studio: 2 speakers, a great microphone, and a Korg MS20. I was back in the game and hungry to produce.
‘Amazing Pauline’ and ‘Riding With The Gods’ came to me first, when I finished those, I knew my album was on. ‘Mirage’, ‘Dancing Snake’ and ‘Illusion’ came shortly after.
For a couple of months, I couldn’t find any inspiration and life got busy with other things, so I just let it go for a while. Then I met Eric Moung at a party and we felt connected immediately. He came to the studio with a positive vibe and his energy breathed new life into the journey of the album. I had ‘Cry On Stage’ and ‘Looking For Freedom’ almost done but I needed something more … We finished those in one weekend. After that everything came together fluently.
EG: Diving into the studio…Can you describe your workflow for us? Is it the same for every track, o do each track require a different process and starting point? Is there any software or hardware that you discovered throughout the course of the ‘The Album’ sessions?
Jedsa Soundorom: Usually, I work with the flow, one sound at a time, and I carefully choose each element not rushing the process. Each sound has to be finished before I start the next. I’ve been working with Ableton for 7 years now and I’m still learning something new every day which influences my music. I really like that DAW and I also use SH101 from Roland for the basslines. I really love it, for the drum I used the TR09 and TR8.
EG: You collaborate with different artists on the album. What was the process for that like? Were you able to record with some of them on location? Or was it all online due to the pandemic?
Jedsa Soundorom: I discovered Darren through a remix I did with a very close friend (KONIX). I loved the way he was singing but since he lives in Canada, it was difficult to meet. I sent him a track and he just sang on it. When I listened, I felt it didn’t match the track but I loved the singing, so I removed it from the original track and I made ‘Amazing Pauline’.
Eric (Moung) and Gauthier (DM) live in Paris, we spent a lot of time together during the lockdown, the flow came easily and we are really on the same page. With my brother Thomas (Roland) who lives in Palma, I wanted him on my album. We lived together in Paris between 2006 and 2008 we are very close, so when I sent him the loop it was clear that we had something together. I love the way he produces even if it was difficult to meet in person the flow was there… I really like ‘MASQUERADE’.
With MOIG, we met through social media. He is a young, talented producer from Caracas. In the beginning, we just wanted to produce something together and ‘Disco Kiss’ was born. I really enjoyed working with him.
EG: How did you connect with Thibaut Corsant’s imprint Zingiber Audio? What is the relationship there?
Jedsa Soundorom: My man Thibault! We met in 2002 at Tapis Rouge in NYC, a club in the East Village where I was playing. I started talking to this young lad and he told me he was a DJ. I told him come tomorrow with your records and let’s play together and that’s how it all started. We stayed friends from that moment. When I told him I had my first track for the album, he said to me: ‘Jedsa, finish your album, and I will sign you’. I was very touched by it and he played a big part in the process, always pushing me, even though sometimes I was down and didn’t think I was going to finish. I can’t thank him enough for trusting my work. I’m very proud of the way he is managing his label. He is very honest and a true lover of house music.
“Back in 2002, I needed to find my sound. One of my best friends wanted to take me to New York, so I left everything
except 2 bags of records and flew”
Electronic Groove: So, what’s in store for Jedsa Soundorom for the rest of the year? What can we expect from you moving forward? Will there be live performances of ‘The Album’ further down the line?
Jedsa Soundorom: I’m working on a streaming live performance for the album.ßß I’m working as well on a new project called Jedsa & Moung and we have an upcoming EP coming out before the summer. It’s a completely new format for me where I play and Eric sings, adapting himself to the track. We really love it and cannot wait to be performing live. We already did some streaming for a local network.
Electronic Groove: Thank you for your time today Jedsa! We wish you all the best!
Jedsa Soundorom: Thank you very much. It’s been great to reflect on so many souvenirs. To all the producers out there, keep it real and never give up!
Jedsa Soundorom’s ‘The Album’ is now available via Zingiber Audio. Stream and buy here.