Oxia has established himself as one of the leaders in the French House and Techno movement. With over 15 years in the music industry, he’s always an artist to look for.
Recently Oxia and Nicolas Masseyeff launched Diversions Music label and we caught on with him to talk about this special achievement.
Electronic Groove: Hello Oxia, thank you for speaking with us today. You recently launched your own label – Diversions Music – together with Nicolas Masseyeff, kicking it off with a collaboration EP from the both of you. With your rich history in the scene, why now did you feel it was time to launch a label and what are the future plans for the imprint?
Oxia: Thanks guys for inviting me. A few months ago, Nicolas and I decided to launch our own label, Diversions Music. We wanted to be able to release music at our own pace and to control everything from A to Z.
I’ve previously worked with labels so I have the experience. In 1995 I founded a label named Ozone Records, on which Kiko and me released our first music – we ended the label around 2001. Afterwards there was Goodlife in 1998, which I co-founded with The Hacker and Alexandre Reynaud. My first album ’24 Heures’ (2004) was released on this label. By 2009 we decided to end it because we weren’t on the same musical page anymore.
Electronic Groove: You’ve known Nicolas for a number of years now. How did the working relationship first come about?
Oxia: Nicolas and I have known each other for twenty years, we met in 1996. He invite me to play near Cannes , France, where he lives. I used to regularly visit this area, which is about 400 kilometers from my hometown. Nicolas had one of the best record shops of France over there. In the end I started going more often to his home to buy records and we gradually became friends.
Nicolas had been DJ’ing for a while but didn’t produce music yet. We all encouraged him to do so, he finally started and the results were immediately stunning. A few years later we found the time to work together in the studio. Our first collaboration was a remix for Stephan Bodzin and Marc Romboy on Systematic in 2009. A few more have followed.
Electronic Groove: Your last artist album ‘Tides of Mind’ saw you present a body of work with a deeper and more housier sound. The new ’Secret Point’ EP sees you back on a melodic, techier and dare I say it ‘bigger’ sound’. Was this an intentional move back to the style of your earlier productions (pre-Tides of Mind) or is it simply driven by your current creative flow and feeling?
Oxia: When I decided to start working on my previous album ‘Tides of Mind’, released in 2012, I wanted to do things differently and less ‘dancefloor’. I wanted to be able to listen to my music in the car, at home, etc. Even though there are a couple of dancefloor tracks, this album is globally more intimate than my previous EP’s, which were specifically made for the dancefloor. There are some downtempo tracks and ones with vocals, for example ‘Housewife’ with Miss Kittin.
After ‘Tides of Mind’ I stepped back to dancefloor releases and remixes. This year I’ve already had releases on 8bit, Saved, Hot Creations and Knee Deep in Sound. The EP on DIVERSIONS Music by Nicolas Masseyeff and myself (released in July) also follows this trend.
When I’m in the studio, I let my imagination and feelings take over. Sometimes I come up with music that is either housier, more Techno-oriented, groovier, or more melodic. It really depends on my mood, that’s pretty much it.
Electronic Groove: For many the mention of Oxia will undoubtedly bring the response of ‘Domino’, a track that over the last couple of years has had a second (or is it third, fourth or even fifth) wind. A true ‘classic’, in that it never sounds old. Tell us, what are the feelings for an artist, both positive and negative, who has created such a timeless record.
Oxia: Yes, that’s true, it’s still getting played. I’ve heard it this summer also again regularly, especially in Ibiza. So, as you said, yes it’s had a few second lives since 2006, the year it was released. So many positive things happen in the aftermath of making a ‘classic’ like this one. Many different generations have danced on it. So many 25 years-old come up to me and tell me they started listening to electronic music thanks to ‘Domino’, and that when they listen to it today it brings back memories. I am very proud to have come up with such a widely popular tune that is still played today.
The downside is that a lot of people only know me through ‘Domino’; it can be frustrating sometimes, the feeling like I’ve done this and nothing else. Thankfully this is happening less and less. But yeah, I’m always asked to play it, it can be a bit tiring after all these years, but I’m happy to have this problem.
Electronic Groove: About your new release, the ‘Secret Point’ EP. A collection of three new tracks, all with their own flavour. Can you tell us a little bit about the EP?
Oxia: ‘Secret Point’ offers three tracks which are all quite different. Nicolas and I had done this on our first release, ‘Connivence’ EP, too and we thought that bringing diverse tracks, not all belonging to the same “genre”, could be a kind of signature of the label. I don’t know if we’ll keep doing this in the future because we’d like to sign new artists too, so we may have to tone it down a bit.
As I was previously saying, I like to diversify what I do and not stay stuck in one genre; I wanted this EP to reflect this approach. I felt like making a melodic track that still has a groovy beat, and this resulted in ‘Secret’. But I also wanted to come up with something more techno than what I’ve done these last years – a bit like what I used to do in the early 2000’s – and ‘Consequence’ was born. ‘Point of View’, the third track of the EP, is very groovy and housier than the other two.
I guess I did give this EP a bit more thought than usual, in order to respect the label’s spirit, to follow its philosophy.
Electronic Groove: Finally, what can we expect from Oxia in the final months of 2016?
Oxia: After the release of ‘Secret Point’ in October, another ongoing project should be ready by the end of the year, although I can’t talk about it yet. Next year I want to start working on a new album and hopefully release it before the end of the year too