Parisian artist POPOF is one of the most widely recognized names within the world of techno and house music. He has worked with some of the most respected labels within the scene, from early work on Turbo, Cr2 and Mistakes to the launch of his own label Form Music in 2009, Sven Väth’s infamous Cocoon outlet, or most recently Kerri Chandler’s Kaoz Theory and Jamie Jones’ Hot Creations imprint. Now he’s one of the most downloaded artists in his category.
POPOF is preparing a series of Resistance shows. We caught up with him to talk about the upcoming South America dates.
Electronic Groove: Hi POPOF, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Resistance in South America is one week away and you’re playing 4 dates in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Santa Cruz, and Medellin. Tell us about the expectations around this tour?
POPOF: Hi there! Thank you for having me. Well, I know I’m going to have an incredible time performing in such an iconic festival, surrounded by amazing artists and facing some of the best crowds on the planet, so I’m very excited.
EG: Have you played before in South America? If so, how does it compare to Europe and North America?
POPOF: South America, and especially Argentina, is my second home. I fell in love with the Latin continent many years ago – for so many reasons: the beauty of each country I visited, their incredible respective culture and gastronomy, and the people. I have met some of the most passionate, knowledgeable, enthusiastic fans there. In comparison to Europe and North America, I’d say South America is a universe of its own.
EG: As an experienced artist with Resistance, what makes it such a special event? And how does it differentiate from other gatherings?
POPOF: For me, Resistance are always special events everywhere in the world because of their amazing shows and structure, in addition to huge lineups and artists!
Electronic Groove: Do you have anything personal to say to the attendees in those 4 cities?
POPOF: I will play for you with all my heart, amigos.
Electronic Groove: Have you done any back-to-back with any of them? If yes, can you elaborate on the experience?
POPOF: Resistance Buenos Aires features Julian Jeweil, who’s a very good friend and member of my Form Music family, so yes, we’ve played a couple of back-to-backs together. The most notable one was at Carl Cox’s Space Ibiza closing – its very last night before Space shut down for good. It was very emotional.
EG: Talking about music production, you recently released on Paco Osuna’s Mindshake Records. Tell us about how the release came together and what was the inspiration behind it?
POPOF: Paco is a producer I respect a lot, and I had some fresh music I thought he’d dig. It all happened quite naturally, really.
EG: You also have new releases on your label FORM Music. Can you elaborate on Dok&Martin & Dr.Needles EP?
POPOF: Yes, our new Form 86 is just out! ‘Reported’ EP is a techno bomb by Spanish artists Dok & Martin & Dr. Needles, with a remix by Colombiant trailblazers Celic & Juan DDD. As you can see, it’s quite Hispanic-oriented. It’s available on Beatport, check it out because it’s really good.
EG: Label wise or personally, do you have anything new coming for the winter season?
POPOF: I made a remix for Hot Chip that should be out before the end of the year, and another remix for Simina Grigoriu on my label Form Music. Also, I have a couple of things going on as well. As for Form Music, the label is celebrating its ten years so we might have a few surprises happening at some point – I can’t tell you more now but stay tuned!
EG: Moving into more personal things, what other music do you like to hear aside from dance music? Any special albums that you can share with our readers?
POPOF: I’m a huge vocal Jazz fan initially, but I also like rock music, metal, and so many other genres. Spans from Billie Holiday to Rage Against the Machine, really. Perhaps one album I could recommend is Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Want You’. The lyrics are so sensual, you can really feel his passion.
“Don’t try to sound trendy, just do what your heart dictates”
EG: In your extensive career what has been the hardest obstacles to overcome?
POPOF: Without hesitation, I’d say being forcefully labeled as belonging to a certain genre (or sub-genre for the matter) whereas anyone who knows me, even remotely, knows how much I hate labels and being put in “Category” boxes. It is so mentally limiting to do that. I faced this challenge a few years ago (and I still face it even today) when I released my album ‘Love Somebody’ on Hot Creations. It was a more housey album with some vocals on top. You cannot believe the shit I got from some people for venturing outside of minimal techno. If they only knew, for some of them, that I was initially known by hardcore and hard techno fans for being part of Heretik (Cult French illegal rave collective)! If I want to do a Death metal or hip hop album next, then no-one’s going to tell me otherwise.
EG: Times have changed and the music industry has grown and evolved exponentially. What advice can you give to those who are venturing into DJing and music production?
POPOF: In a day and age where anyone can produce an EP and upload it for the world to see, my only advice would be to stay authentic and be who you really are. Don’t try to sound trendy, just do what your heart dictates.
EG: What young artists have caught your eye lately?
POPOF: There are countless talented young artists nowadays, I think we’re very lucky. I’d say Mandana, who’s this young, brilliant female DJ from Belgium. She’s one those really, really passionate people who can spend hours analyzing music and comparing vinyls. Keep an eye on this one!
EG: Digging into your record box, can you share with us 3 tracks that are an essential part of who you are as a DJ?
POPOF: 3 is absolutely not enough but I could try with these:
1. Nathan Fake – The Sky Was Pink (James Holden Remix)
2. Popof – Toxic love
3. Aphex twin – window licker
EG: Good luck in South America!
POPOF: Thank you very much, guys!