Interview with OXIA [DJ and Producer]

2 months ago
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interview oxia

Hailing from Grenoble, France, OXIA is one of the most respected DJs and producers on the international house and techno circuit, with a career spanning over twenty years, countless releases and multiple world tours. On top of an impressive list of remixes and releases on respected imprints such as Bedrock, Sapiens, REDIMENSION, 8bit, Hot Creations, Saved and Knee Deep in Sound to name just a few, he also fronts his own label, Diversions Music, alongside long-time friend and label partner Nicolas Masseyeff. Following an official remix for the 100th release on POPOF’s FORM Music and a number of amazing gigs in Romania, Brasil and Mexico, we caught up with the man himself to find out what we can expect for the rest of 2022. Here’s how it went down…

Hey Olivier great to chat! How has 2022 been for you so far? Are you feeling optimistic about the year ahead?

Thank you, it’s a pleasure. So the year started slowly, because the pandemic was still very present at the beginning of the year, but since March and especially April, it’s better and better, and so I started to play again, so I’m happy that we can travel again and play in front of an audience. 

I always try to stay optimistic, but it’s hard to know what’s going to happen, but let’s keep our fingers crossed that everything goes well. 

What have been your highlights of the year so far?

As I said, the beginning of the year was quite quiet for me. But there was still the release of my remix of my friend POPOF’s track ‘Serenity’ on his label FORM. And I did some really cool gigs, notably in Bucharest, Tulum, Brazil.

Where do you feel your best environment as a DJ is? A dark club or an open air festival stage? 

Honestly I like small dark clubs as well as big clubs or open air festivals, I’m always happy to play in different configurations, it allows me to change, to play a little differently depending on the place… So I like the warmth and the closeness to people in small clubs, but I also like the big energy of festivals and playing in the open air.

Onto production — what gear do you use currently to make music? Do you use lots of hardware to create your sound?

I use a lot of software, and I work with Logic Audio on the Mac. There are so many possibilities with the plug-ins and it also allows me to work on my music outside my studio… But I still use hardware regularly, especially a Virus, Nova, I also have old machines like the SH101 or Juno106. 

How do you work when creating music, do you have an idea in your head you work towards or do you just experiment and jam and see what happens?

There are no real rules, it depends, sometimes I have a definite idea and I work on it, and sometimes I experiment, I start by making a beat and the ideas come as I go along, or I find a sound and a melody and then I work around that. And sometimes I start with the idea but in the end I change everything and it has nothing to do with the original idea.

Do you make the records you want to play in your own sets, is there a direct link like that?

Yes generally I try to make tracks that I will play in my sets, I would say the majority of the time. Except sometimes I’ve made softer tracks and I find it hard to play them in my sets in peak time, like for example the track ‘Shadows’ that I made with my friend Yannick Baudino and that was released on All Day I Dream a few months ago. But I like to do different things, and not necessarily always dance floor oriented. I’m working on a new album at the moment, and like my previous album ‘Tides Of Mind’, there will be several soft tracks that I probably won’t be able to play in my sets.

I’d like to touch on your label Diversions Music. What does the label have in store for 2022? Any cool projects you can tell us about?

Yes we are planning to release a remix EP of the track ‘Connivence’ which is one of the tracks from the first Diversions release, it’s a track from my friend and label partner Nicolas Masseyeff and me. We are still waiting a bit before to say who the remixers will be. There will also be an EP by Nicolas. Maybe I will do an EP before the end of the year. On the other hand we are still listening to new demo’s, so maybe some surprises will come in the meantime 🙂

Are you concerned with your environmental impact as a DJ, and what can you do about it if so?

Yes, of course I am concerned by this problem, it worries me. We have to fly regularly, and I know it has an impact on the environment, but to go and play at most destinations, we don’t really have a choice, and I also think that the plane will still fly, even if I decide to take another means of transport. But when I play in France or Switzerland for example, or cities not far from my home in Grenoble, I take the train to get there. But besides that I try to do other things for the environment, I sort my waste, I eat less meat and especially I eat quality meat, not industrial one, I don’t exaggerate in my purchases, if I don’t need a new device, I don’t buy if it just to have the latest version… 

Finally, what else have you got coming up in 2022 that you can tell us about?

As said before, I’m working on a new album, but I’m taking my time, so I don’t know yet if it will be released this year or early 2023. Beside that, I finished a new EP but it’s still a bit early to tell you on which label it will be released.  But I also have to work on a remix. Sorry I can’t tell you more for the moment 🙂

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