Sébastien Léger has taken an unorthodox approach to his musical career resulting in a unique creative output. Over the last 20 years he has learned to adapt to the ever-changing face of Dance Music. Staying true to yourself and believing in your own abilities are the key to being able to thrive and develop over such a long period. This distinctive ability, is something only a handful of artists can call their own.
We had the chance to talk with Sébastien Léger ahead of his July gig at Montreal’s AIM Festival.
Electronic Groove: Hi Sebastien, thanks for the time to chat with us. Where are you now? And what are you up too?
Sébastien Léger: Hello, I’m home and just got back from a walk with my lovely Doberman. Today is homework for me, including that interview right now.
Electronic Groove: You are playing at AIM Festival at the All Day I Dream stage. Is this your first time playing there and/or with the All Day I Dream crew?
Sébastien Léger: Absolutely, first time with them, and I’m really excited! Lee Burridge is such a nice person and fantastic Dj, what he achieved with ADID is amazing, a place where the music is key and the vibe stands out from any other parties around.
Electronic Groove: Is there any new material you’re looking forward to testing and play at the event?
Sébastien Léger: I have been very productive the past 3 or 4 months, I made about 15 tracks at least, some of them are already signed on a new EP for All Day I Dream, that will be my second with them. So there’s some unsigned and signed music that I play a lot in my sets lately, more and more to come!
Electronic Groove: After this one, you will be joining ADID again a couple of times in the following week. How did this relationship come together?
Sébastien Léger: I did a track called ‘Love Star‘ in 2017 on Hernan Cattaneo’s label Sudbeat. Lee loved it so much that he contacted me, just to say Hello! (secretly I was dying to release something on his label but never dared to contact them). So strange things happen and perfect timing here, I discover a lovely team and great humans behind the label and the parties.
“Being busy is a great thing”
Electronic Groove: You recently released an EP on Jonas Rathsman label, Elements. What can you tell us about the production behind it?
Sébastien Léger: I made those tracks also lately, they were at some point more of some laid- back tracks to fit my smoother sets, but eventually he liked them, so I said why not? The track called ‘Tristesse’ was already signed by Jonas, but Lee wanted to have it for ADID, but it was too late!
Electronic Groove: What are your plans for the rest of the summer season?
Sébastien Léger: There are places I’ll go that I’ve never been before, such as Mongolia! An Asia tour is coming too with some gigs in Hong-Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and my favorite place in the world: Japan. Also, a couple of Middle-East gigs as well, I’m playing in that area quite often, they seem to like my vibe there. The summer is looking busy and I know there are a lot of options popping out at this moment. Being busy is a great thing, I don’t like to stay home on a free weekend really.
Electronic Groove: You have many years of producing and touring. What advice do you have for the young who are trying to make a living in the industry?
Sébastien Léger: Staying focus and being consistent is one thing. It’s certainly a very hard industry and can be extremely unfair on many levels, such as “real talent vs. social media skills” or stuff like that… Doing your own things and being original is also very important, sounding like everyone else is not going to make you last very long…
Electronic Groove: There have been a few artists that have come out to talk about the toll of touring and how the lifestyle has affected them on a personal level, even escalating into depression. Have you been confronted by this? And what tips can you give to those who go through some tough times?
Sébastien Léger: I think the depression can only come when your diary starts to slow down and the interest towards you or your music fades out. But only YOU can be responsible for such things. I had down moments, not because of the touring madness, but more because of how the industry changed and how the social network or business skills was more important than just being good at what you do. That really put me down. I can’t see why you would be depressed if you are successful in what you really love, even though the touring is insane. I personally don’t drink alcohol or do any drugs, so my mind is always in focus and nothing can disturb me. I’m a bit of a warrior on the mental level, even at the downtime of my life. I’ve always fought and believed that it will come back even stronger. Taking time off would work for some, but for me, it would make me even more down. I suggest fighting the crisis moment with even more work!
Electronic Groove: A few artists have mentioned that one of the perks of touring is having the possibility to experience worldwide gastronomy. Where and what would be your last supper?
Sébastien Léger: To be honest, I’m not one of these travelers or ‘DJ foodies’ who cares about the food. I care about the music. Eating isn’t my priority, but I really love Brazilian food or Asian food too.
Electronic Groove: Moving onto a different subject, what can you tell us about the scene in France and in your hometown? How has it evolved in comparison to other countries?
Sébastien Léger: I live in Amsterdam now, that said it really depends on the angle you look at it. Overall, the scene itself is far from being great. Paris has some good events at the moment, but it’s mostly straight banging techno, there isn’t much room for something else, or it is very very small. On the other hand, France has some of the best producers around, all genres are covered, and has a strong history with electronic music, starting from Jean Michel Jarre in the 70’s, then Daft Punk has shown us the way. Of course, Laurent Garnier is our own big brother and an example of longevity. But to be honest, France is not even close to be “that” important in my opinion, not like Germany or the UK.
“I’ve always fought and believed that it will come back even stronger”
Electronic Groove: What can we expect production wise for the rest of the year?
Sébastien Léger: As I mentioned earlier, I have a new EP on All Day I Dream after the summer. Also, one track will also be in their summer compilation, I think sometime in August. I now make my EP’s rarer and higher quality, same goes for remixes, which I officially stopped for now. There will be something ready before the end of the year too, but I can’t tell yet as I don’t want to jinx it.
Electronic Groove: What do you like to hear apart from Electronic Music?
Sébastien Léger: Silence or waves on an empty beach.
Sébastien Léger will be playing at AIM Festival on July 6-8. Grab your tickets here.
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