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Interview || Temple Of Lions With Sébastien Léger

Exclusive Interview With Sébastien Léger Ahead Of His 2014 South Africa Tour 

Sébastien Léger has been one of the most unique and captivating producers the techno scene has brought forward over the past decade. His steadily rising career is proof of where hard graft, dedication, passion, consistency and originality can take a producer to. His prolific work rate belies the thought and effort that he pours into each production, setting him out as the antithesis to lazy contemporaries who churn out unimaginative production line formulas. We had the honor of chatting to ahead of his South Africa tour this December.

Sébastien Léger

Hello, Seb & thank you for taking time out to do this interview with us.

It is a huge pleasure :)

If you could be any animal in the world what would you be and why?

A dog. That's my favourite animal - it's sweet, cute & faithful.

How has being classically trained influenced your approach to producing music?

It just trained my ear for complex melodies or harmonies, even if I don't use these skills to their full potential as I'm just making house music or techno. But I could probably do any sort of style of music if I wanted to, with a computer of course, as I'm not able to play any instruments properly anymore.

You were first and foremost a DJ before you started producing your own material. Do you find that this allowed you to have a deeper understanding of what works on the dance floor?

Not really. When I produce, I do not search for instant impact or results for a dancefloor. I focus more on originality & creativity first, then I'll try to manage to make this at least danceable, and eventually if needed, at the very end of the process I'll decide if I go further in terms of effectiveness for the dancefloor. My DJ style and production style are not so similar.

A lot of producers swear by the use of hardware for production as it allows for a more human touch, what's your take on that concept?

I sold all my hardware equipment few years ago because I felt I could make music without it, which I did. But only recently (3 months ago) I started to buy synthesizers again, I bought 3 actually, and I've never been so productive and creative. It's not so much of a human touch or the sound that could be better, it's more about a certain feeling and workflow in the studio, and being surrounded by real instruments that make me want to create music. It’s also a lot more instinctive to turn real knobs or play keys, instead of just clicking a mouse.

Starting a label seems to be a natural progression for most DJs and producers, having started your own, now established Mistakes Music, what are some of the pitfalls you faced in that process?

When your label is having it’s time in the sun, you almost want all your releases to be successful, and eventually you start losing track of the most important element, which is releasing the music you really want to show to the world, instead of trying to achieve chart success. I'm launching a new label called Temple Of Lions, and I will be completely free to release some music that is maybe less dancefloor orientated, but 10 times more timeless and soulful.

Sébastien Léger

The Chicago and Tech House sound has really blown up over the last two years, do you find that even after over a two decades in the industry you're only now getting a lot of recognition?

It's up and down, I got my years of success then I also had some years where I struggled. More important than being constant and relevant, is being true to your art and yourself. It sounds like a cliché but you can smell the producers that follow trends and change their style over when the new sound is in town. I'm just doing my thing, and even though I’ve evolved my sound many times because I cannot stick with one sound forever, I always stay true to my roots which are funk, groove, melodies and little bit of craziness sometimes.

You've played countless sets over the years, which track in your arsenal is always guaranteed to get a venue going no matter where you're playing?

I guess Plastikman “Spastik” is a 100% winner every time...

You’ve played in South Africa before what have been some highlights from previous shows?

The main highlights for me are actually the nice people there, honestly.

What are you looking forward to on your forthcoming South Africa tour?

Sunshine :)

What are some of your expectations about playing in South Africa again?

I don't know what's hot right now over there? I hope they are open for some deeper grooves, slower BPM and good vibe music!

Do you have a message for your fans over here?

See you on the dancefloor, with a smile on your face, without a phone in your hand!

Sébastien Léger bali deep

Sébastien Léger – Bali Deep / Elixir (Temple Of Lions) TOL01
Release: 22nd December 2014

Sébastien Léger toby, no biting

Sébastien Léger – Funkalaga / Toby, No Biting (Mistakes Music) MIS051
Release: 12th January 2015

Watch out for news about the Sébastien Léger “20 Years” compilation album coming soon…

Sébastien Léger “20 Years” Video Interview:

Further Information:

Catch Sébastien Léger playing in South Africa this December '14

SATURDAY 27 DEC - Origin, Durban, South Africa
MONDAY 29 DEC - Hello Techno, Cape Town, South Africa

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