DJ Cam interview

Seminal Hip Hop Producer DJ Cam will be performing an ultra-rare London DJ set on the 27th October at The Forum in support of a stellar line up which includes The Herbaliser, Belleruche and DJ Food. Something You Said’s 25ThC recently exchanged a few words with him:

Thanks for talking to us. A lot of people, including myself, are very excited about your forthcoming rare London DJ set. What do you have planned for the set and will you be playing any new material?
Yes , I will play some exclusive tracks, new remixes and some DJ Cam classics . My set is a mix between breaks, classic hip-hip, new disco and some soulful house .

Who else on the bill are you looking forward to checking out?
The live show of Herbaliser with the full band.

Apart from the gig, what else will you be getting up to while in London?
I will try to check some art exhibitions and some new museums and maybe some cool food shopping.

As a fellow photographer I am very interested in your landscape architecture images and find that they have a beautiful and evocative feel. Are you a digital photographer or do you still use film? And what are you working on at the moment?
No, I’m digital. I’m working on my new exibition right now. Much better. I did one in Paris last May and it was a big success. Now, I have just finish the new one. I’m working on the soundtrack for the show.

What camera/lens set-up do you currenty have?

What do you make of the current situation with film companies ceasing film production? Do you feel that film will disappear or like vinyl records have a resurgence?
I think it’s a question of time. I’m not sure that film will end completely. It’s like vinyl and digital, we will have a resurgence. But for 99% of the people, film is dead, like vinyl. We are living in a “strange” time. It’s like music; you save your music on a hard-drive now instead of real tape. What will be the future of an album recorded in 2010? Could you imagine working on an album in 2030 saved on a hard drive? I pretty sure that the hard drive will be dead by this time. So it will be a big problem.

Will your images be used as part of your DJ set in London?
I use my special slideshow during my live show, not really with my DJ set. It doesn’t fit very well with the mood of the set .

Originally from France, you have now made LA your home. How long have you lived in the US?
Ive been based in LA since 2009. I was tired with the French mood and the French vibe. I’ve got a lots of friends in LA, and you have the nature and the sea. I live in Venice beach, closed to the sea.

Is this due to there being more opportunities for working in TV and film?
Yes, my music was used in TV show and movies. LA is the best place for soundtracks. But it’s a tough world. You need to have some strong connections.

What are the best and worst things about living in LA?
Best: nature, sea, music, nice people, palm trees, sunsets, beautiful cars, yoga class…
Worst: being in your car all day, food, weather, clothes, fake people, earthquakes…

In terms of production, what is your current set-up and is it mainly software or hardware based?
Akai MPC 1000, a lot of vintage drum machines and keyboards (TR808, TR909, Moog, Juno…) and a Mac with Logic audio.

How have your methods changed since you first started producing?
Editing with a computer is much easier. But I’m still making music with MPC and real keyboards and live strings.

What tips do you have for aspiring producers?

Music these days can be made on phones and tablets and is available on the internet practically immediately from release. What affect do you feel this has on the music industry?
Albums and music are made for a duration of one month!

How does this affect you as an established artist?
I don’t give a fuck, now that I’m doing music for my pleasure and not in terms of paying my bills. I’m more free.

How do the constant difficulties of music piracy affect you, and does it alter the way you release material?
No. For 20 years I’ve been my own producer and publisher. I control 100% of my rights, so it’s different. Now you have to work four times to make the same amount of money. For example, 500,000 downloads/plays on Deezer or Spotify = 5000 euros!

Is it a war that the music industry can’t win?
They are lost. They don’t hire the good people in the music industry. It’s the same people as 20 years ago. They don’t know how to make money with music without big investment. So they have signed the wrong band or artist, because they are also disconnected from the soul of music. We need some new and fresh people. People that know the music and how the business works.

Finally, what do you have planned for the next year in terms of music, live gigs and photography?
Music: Three new projects, One under my DJ Cam name and 2 secrets projects (new name).
Photography: My first real exibition in Paris, Los Angeles and Miami: “Landscape architecture project,” visual and audio.
The opening of a restaurant in Paris.

Cool. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.
Thanks for the interview. See you on the 27th. Have a nice day, Cam.


Interview by 25ThC. For ticketing information about DJ Cam’s London show, head to the Soundcrash website.