Chez Damier is one of those artists who contributed to the creation of house and techno, but who also continues to evolve them today. He answered a few questions as part of his participation in the 15th anniversary of Electro News !
Hi Chez, let’s start with a bit of history ! While attending college in Detroit, you met Derrick May and Alton Miller. Did you know back then that you were part of something that would leave such a big impact ?
No, I had no idea on the impact it would have on the world, but there was something going on when we started to get different people for the UK and Germany who would visit us in Detroit.
You’ve been behind many of the labels, venues and collectives that have marked the electronic music history. Is it important to you to keep this musical genre alive beyond the artistic contribution?
Yes it’s very important to keep this alive. It would be the first time in history that we would not be owned and controlled by corporate companies who had been the owner of artist and genre for decades.
You’ve been part of the house and techno movement since the 80s. What significant changes have you seen on the electronic scene over the years?
I’ve seen a lot of changes, but I believe EDM was created to take the title of all of the forms of House, Techno, ect. I think this would be the way major corporations would once again control our music and creativity.
You’ve been involved in music since you were a teenager. After all these years, does it still thrill you as much as it did 40 years ago?
I must say these are the best years of my life as an artist. I now really get a chance to enjoy it at such a different level, no hype, no chasing and no proving that you can. What a wonderful way to send up as an artist.
You’re known as a very human and approachable person. Is it important for you to create an almost intimate bond with your audience and the people you meet?
Your pseudonym, Chez Damier, includes two very French words that mean “at” and “checkerboard”. Did you know this anecdote?
I did not know at the time the name came to my head, but I later found out after spending time in Paris. My life is the board and everyone else are the pieces so I get to make the moves (laughs) !
By the way, what do you think of the current french house music scene ?
The French house music scene has always been a part of my growth as an artist and DJ, so I think it’s a natural evolution that changes from each generation. I’m just very happy I’ve been able to entertain three generations.
On January 26, you’ll be playing in Paris with Kerri Chandler and DJ Deep : what’s your relationship with the French audience?
So far it’s been amazing – most shows have always sold out and I think they know I’m a different kind of artist who cares for the people.
A last word for Electro News 15th birthday ?
It’s is also my birthday !
Thank you for your time and your answers !
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