“Breakfast in Ibiza, lunch in Paris, dinner in Marseille” Djebali wrote in a grateful message to his fans on social media last week. The producer has leapt head first in touring life right now with plenty to be thankful for, having gone from a regular fixture on Parisian dance floors as an eager clubber in the early noughties, to one of the city’s most influential electronic artists, creating his own dance floors and shaping the sound of the Parisian underground.
Now a familiar face on the balearic white isle, Djebali represents on the international stage, part of the new wave of tech house DJ/producers who are reminding the world what French electronica has to offer. Though continually grateful to those who inspired and encouraged him, Djebali looks to the future with fierce independence, having released on his own self titled label since 2011 and expanded his industry influence with multiple sub-labels in the years since. He also runs his own Ideal Juice parties at the Parisian clubbing mecca, Rex, and released his first album last year, with a follow up already on his mind.
We caught up with Djebali about his home in Paris, his home-away-from-home in Ibiza, and the bright future of dance music worldwide.
You played both DC10 opening and HÏ opening this summer - what was the highlight of each?
DC10 is always magical. I've been playing there for 6 years now and each time is a new strong experience. The whole party is the highlight: you can’t beat the vibe! Regarding Hï Ibiza, there was a lot of expectation about it and it didn’t fail! I was amazed by the lights show, everything is greatly done to make the experience a whole journey.
Do you think it will take some time for Hï to establish a unique character and loyal following like the original superclubs?
They rebuilt the club but the location is the same as space; this is an important point I think. People are used to going there. They also have strong line-ups, with also some underground DJs playing. All the ingredients are gathered for Hï to be a major club in Ibiza with loyal followers in a short period of time.
Why is Ibiza important to you?
I’ve been doing the season for 6 years now, Ibiza has a huge place in my life - I‘m inspired there. It's the only place on earth where you can meet all the DJs, promoters from all around the world etc… combine it with fun, party… and it lasts for 6 months! You also have the relaxing side of the island like the reverse of a coin: beautiful beaches, yummy restaurants, a healthier life if you wish.
Back home in Paris, the clubbing scene is enjoying a renaissance after a comparatively quiet decade. Where do you think this new energy and success is coming from? And why now?
This energy comes from the youngsters! The new generation is more into house and techno music than ever, I mean it has reached more people recently and they are keeping the scene alive!
Are the young Parisian clubbers who are discovering fresh house and techno also looking back to the Parisian legends of the previous generation?
Well if they don’t they should... Legends making History is what brings us here; never minimise the heritage of the elders.
Who are your biggest local inspirations? Old or new…
So many! Though let's focus on the Parisian DJs who gave me the envy in the late nineties to become one of them: Dan Ghenacia, D’julz, Jef K, Cyril K would be the main inspirations to me…
How do you feel about your debut album now that’s it’s had some breathing time? Do you feel about this work differently compared to your EP releases?
I am quite happy about it! Now It gave me the desire to make more of them - I’ve so much more to say one shall not be enough! This first album shows only a small part of the way to produce. I worked this album in a different way than EPs. It’s not a bunch of tracks put together, I scenarized a story, with common elements between all the tracks. I was working on the 12 tracks simultaneously from the beginning till the end of the 5 months period locked in the studio; I built them all together!
Describe one of the best night’s you’ve ever had at Rex…
One of the best memories is the party I run called Ideal Juice with MCDE sharing the bill with me. It went totally crazy with people still queuing at 5AM in the morning! Another episode I did with Praslea and Reda Dare was also a wicked night. And I bet the next Ideal Juice I will hold at rex club on July 1st with Andres is going to go off the hook 😉
What’s the longest amount of time you’ve lost yourself in record store crate digging? Do you find this a calming process?
I could spend an entire day digging if only there’s more than one record store around. Indeed, I usually can’t stay more than 2 hours in the same shop: I prefer to leave and come back the following day to look after more second hand or back catalogue vinyl, but when it comes to new stuff, as I am visiting my local store every week I can easily check everything quite quickly. But it’s not really a calming process to me! A calming process would be when I am back home listening to the records I’ve brought back.
When you come home after a long tour, what’s the first thing you like to do (after the obvious ones like shower and sleep)?
I usually put the track I am working on because I am fresh from the weekend touring vibe and still got in me the energy of the people I've met: this allows me to feel straight if I am going towards the right direction with it or not!
Do you feel confident about the future of the global dance music scene? Why/why not?
Confident! Everywhere I've had the chance to go, I can see the electronic/underground music scene growing bigger and bigger. I have also travelled to places where it was impossible to play a few years ago. Around the world loads of producers, DJs, promoters, clubs, festivals, party goers… all are pushing the scene to the next level! As a matter of fact the followers are getting deeper into the scene! Long live electronic music!