Interview with Jay Sebag "Voice of Martin Solveig" & DJ Sugarstarr

by City Moments Thursday 17 November 2011
Jay sebag 101

Formally known as Jerome (Jay) Sebag, the multi-talented French singer, songwriter, arranger and piano player from Paris started off his music career at a young age, venturing into USA to seek new inspirations for his music. Jay has worked with many famous producers and artists such as DJ Yass, and percussionist & producer Arno Lucas, who has worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder & Gladys Knight. 

Jay Sebag has also been nicknamed "The Voice of Martin Solveig". Together, they have produced one of the most rockin' and upbeat tunes that shot to fame almost instantly. "C'est La Vie", "Something Better" & "Rejection", amongst many other tracks. 

When being interviewed, Jay Sebag displayed such passion & joy for his work:


CM: You have worked with many different DJs and artists. Is there any particular DJ/artist you look up to and would like to work with?

Jay: My schedule is so hot that i'm happy with it right now!! but i do like the work of Fedde Le Grand for his Phat sound and his funkyness. Bob Sinclar for his crazy ideas too!


CM: I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you that you have a very unique singing voice. When and how did you realize you could sing like that?

Jay: Thanks a lot still! I started when i was 19 but it's a long process to find your own style and to develop your skills...i'd say 10 years!


CM: You’ve been known famously as “The Voice of Martin Solveig”, but now you have ventured out into collaborations with other DJs, do you still stay in close contact with Martin? What was it like working together?

Jay: We're still friends of course but we're both busy so it's been a while we haven't hung. All the sessions, tv shows, touring, clubbing, were a lot of fun. He's a very serious and organized dj-producer-businessman , but when it's time to play, perform, it can turn to the craziest kindergarten with this guy!!!


CM: Most artists have known that they wanted to be in the music industry at a very young age. Have you always wanted to be a singer? If so, who inspired you to purchase this field and genre of music? If not, what were your other aspirations?

Jay: Well i was a bit more late than that...I wanted to be a veterinary!!! Even when i started my first gigs at the age of 19, i was still a student so i was seeing it as a job on the side...but at that point it shortly became clear that i was meant for music. That's when i got deeper in soul music, with the master of all time Stevie Wonder.


CM: After performing in so many places, do you still remember the craziest fan experience you ever had?

Jay: Hard to tell: crazy girls trying to touch my feet while on stage, others willing to take me home....nothing to brag about!


CM: Your latest hit with Syke n Sugarstarr, ‘Like That Sound’, was an amazing track that rose very quickly on the UK charts. How did you guys get together, since you are in different countries? Was it difficult working together due to the distance?

Jay: The clubbing scene is n international business , that's the magic. First, we heard from each other thru a common belgian agent, then we played together in Moscow...we liked each other's sound, obviously, so i flew to Hambourg, only 1:30 from Paris... simple, easy! It's possible to work from Paris to Japan or to Australia (i've done it, i can testify), but the vibes, the exchange of energy and therefore the result at the end is so much better, more better when we get together in person and share a magic moment of music.


CM: Have you ever had the fear of a lukewarm spirited crowd or a bad turnout? What do you do in such situation?

Jay: Indeed i do fear this...and it did happen more than once!! Most of the time, we're having a great time with the audience though. I learnt to accept that when the audience is cold, it has nothing to do with me: i'm doing my job which is to give 100% energy, spread out Love, feeling happy so i can make them feel happy; if they don't want to take it, because they're stuck up, because it's an upscale club, because of the local culture-whatever-, it's not my problem.......but you still can't help but hurt a little!!!!!!


CM: After performing in so many different cities, which city do you think has left you with the best impression of its party crowd & ambience?

Jay: Sydney, Australia was really cool, but as far as the dedication of my audience, i'd place eastern Europe first (Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine)...not all the time, but some were memorable because they're really into singers over there. I can't wait to play in China: new experience with a new public which i heard is amazing!


CM: After working with so many different artists, I am sure you must have encountered situations where both parties don’t agree. How do you usually deal with such occurrences?

Jay: Always! But it's only on details matters: structure, chords...we're still managed to think thru, give our arguments, and decide who's closer to the truth; in the bottom, if we're here together, it means that we have a vision in common so we work it out.


CM: Thanks for taking your time out for this interview, Jay. Do you have any word of advice for your fans out there?

Jay: Listen to all kinds of music, don't get specialized in one thing, that's the first step of narrow-mindedness. Work hard on your shit, it's not gonna happen in 2 weeks. Believe in your originality, don't let yourself tempted by copying an artist you love or a stream: it's already out there we don't need one more!


With Jay's talent & rising fame in the music industry, it was only a matter of time that the fantastic duo DJ Syke n Sugarstarr and Jay Sebag decided to work together. Hitting it off, the partners created new songs such as  "Like That Sound", which rose very quickly in the UK charts. 
DJs Syke n Sugarstarr are a unique DJ duo from Germany, and you can be guaranteed that they only bring the most freshest tunes to the dancefloor. They have produced so many successful hits over the years such as "No Love Lost" and "Ticket 2 Ride" which were included in their recent album "Best of" album from 2010. Having such great hits, the duo have performed in over 30 countries all over the world, doing 90 over performances in the previous year alone. The DJs also have a radio show, "Do The Hip!", that has been going on for the past few years, being aired globally in over 65FMs. 
However, despite their busy schedules, Sugarstarr managed to squeeze in a little time for us...
CM: After so many collaborations with other artists, are you looking to work with any particular artists in the near future?
Sugarstarr: There are definitely some names in the music-biz we’d love to work with. But instead of collaborating with other DJ-artists we are more into working together with vocalists and musicians such as Lenny Kravitz or this kind of caliber. ;-)  After there’s no more R&B artist left we could imagine to work with we have to look out for something big in other genres. ;-)  But to be honest we surely have something in the pipeline for the next months. We’ll do more tracks with Jay Sebag, CeCe Rogers, Rasmus Faber as well as with Catraz, a british Hip-Hop artist who’s massively hyped by BBC at the moment.  
CM: ‘Sugarstarr’ is a very interesting name for DJ, what inspired such a name? 
Sugarstarr: When I was DJing in the local area of Hamburg in the mid 90s somebody was calling me Sugardaddy….but as I was not feeling that old,  I  slightly modified the name… ;-)  
CM: You have performed in many cities before, have you performed in Shanghai before? What have you heard about Shanghai so far that you would be most keen on checking out while you are here? 
Sugarstarr: It’s my very first time in China…I was just performing in Hongkong some time ago. I heard Shanghai is a massive city with a huge international crowd and ready for having the best party ever. But I also wanna enjoy the city in general and will def do some sightseeing and stuff. Can’t wait to see the colourful life Shanghai has to offer. 
CM: It is always ‘Syke n Sugarstarr’, but what are you guys like individually? Who’s the more serious one of the two? 
Sugarstarr: It’s still Syke’n’Sugarstarr. But as my partner Syke is more the guy in the studio and I’m more the DJ-part of the duo it’s me touring most of the time. And - as you can imagine - the DJ is always the one who’s a bit less serious. But – I’m also able to read a book or eat with knife and fork….lol

CM: After performing countless times, which performance has been the most memorable for you? (Crowd spirit and ambience) Do you remember having any crazy encounters with fanatics? 
Sugarstarr: I always love to get back into one story that happened a couple of years ago. We have been performing in Zagreb, the capitol city of Croatia. An hour before the gig the promoter was telling us that we’ll be flying in by a helicopter directly infront of the club which happened so… What we didn’t know – that the police stopped the whole traffic in the surrounding streets. 50 press-people with cameras were waiting for us and 20 security guards  escorted us to the DJ-booth…I was just thinking: “Hey we are not the Stones…”…crazy Croatians… ;-)
CM: Having started at such a young age, have you ever gotten tired of the music industry and felt like you wanted to try something else instead? 
Sugarstarr: Never. When I started DJing back in 1988 it was like a big dream come true and it lasts until now. Due to the musical change that happened during all the years it never gets boring. And when I don’t like the current sound I have always the chance to step back in time and listen to some real classics. 
CM: You also have a radio show, “Do The Hip!” right? Is it stressful having to need to create new music all the time and concurrently come up with new materials for your weekly radio show? 
Sugarstarr: Sometimes it’s hard to select some fresh and qualitative stuff every week to keep up the quality of the show, but in the end I found a way to combine the hottest new bits with some recent tunes. And the reactions are brillant . 
CM: What is it like working with Jay Sebag? He has a very unique singing voice; did that affect the way you created your music? 

Sugarstarr: Yeah. Due to the fact that Jay is not a typical Housemusic-Vocalist he brings us back to funky and jazzy music which is a very positive thing. When hanging out with him in the studio it’s always creating some “real” music. As he’s also an excellent piano-player combined with our skills of programming the music it’s a very fruitful  creative process that’s going on. 
CM: What are your plans for your music for next year? Do you think you will venture towards another direction in this industry anytime soon? 
Sugarstarr: We def wanna touch other styles as well while coming out under various new monikers. A kind of channelizing that we’re planning. But - our main project Syke’n’Sugarstarr will still tend to the more commercial Bigroom-Sound as it is known for many years now. 
CM: Thank you for taking time off your busy schedule for this interview. Just one last quick question, will there be any new and upcoming fresh tracks at Zeal this time round for our Shanghai crowd?
Sugarstarr: Not just only one. I have a bunch of brandnew tunes that I’ll play at the Zeal for the first time. So the Shanghai crowd can witness what Syke’n’Sugarstarr will release in 2012. ;-) Watch out !!!
Be sure to catch the fun filled and exciting performance at Zeal next Friday, 25th November!!

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Interviews ,
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Interview with DJ Martin Eyerer

by City Moments Tuesday 16 August 2011
Martin eyerer_tlw_03

City Moments and Zeal are bringing DJ Martin Eyerer (Germany) to perform at ZEAL Club on the 19th of August.

We had the chance to have a little chat before he arrives and here is what came out....


Martin, you are playing in clubs all around the world. Is there a place which you prefer most?

The question for the ultimate event is often asked. I always say and this is the truth – there are so many good parties, small or big, which are amazing at the end that it would be unfair to name just one or even 5. Sure there a re highlights like the big love parade in 2000 or also playing one of the first mayday raves in Germany

City wise I must say it’s definitely China and some places In Southamerica I like going most.
Are there big differences between your performances in Germany and your international performances regarding music and party-feeling?
Yes sure there is a logical difference as in Germany we have a developed electronic music scene for more than 25 years. I some countries and also china it’s not that old. On the one hand people here are very familiar with the specific tracks and set, in those other countries of course there are people like that as well but not everyone – on the other hand people in china are more hungry for international dj’s coming there. Over here in Europe sometimes people are a bit “overloaded” already as there’s every week guest djs in many clubs even in the same city.
In Latin America the mentality of the people is different. They are more emotional and put more focus in having a great night than in other values. But this doesn’t  mean that parties in other countries are worse or something. No it’s just a different way sometimes.
Where do you get your inspiration for your music?
This can be anything. Like music I hear – and I am not only talking about dance music – places I visit, people I talk to, movies I see, countries I see…everything can give you an inspiration for doing a track
Your album “Word of Mouth” was released in 2008 by Great Stuff Records. When can we expect your next album?
I just this year released my album tiny little widgets on blu fin which did very well. Also a big remix package was released with the album ,ike mixes from Kaiserdisco, Tigerskin, Gel ABril, Thomas Schumacher, Sasse, Namito, Tom Clark, Nicole Moudaber and many more. Also a single feat Kosheen was on the album which was pretty success…
You have your own record label Kling Klong. What lead to the cooperation between you and Great Stuff Records?
The cooperation those days was logical: They are and were a successful record company and I worked close with them. So I asked them to take care of the marketing and business side of my label. This worked out pretty successful and well the last years until they decided to focus more on their own exclusive artists and business and we decided to split up. Since one year I work with Rainer Weichhold who also worked for GSr the last years.
Serato or Traktor/ Final Scratch?
Definitely Traktor. Much more functionality, more performance, more possibilities of advanced deejaying.
You have a wife and two kids, how can you manage being a successful DJ touring the world and a husband/father at the same time
Every successful guy has to handle this in a way. Because when you are successful means you work a lot. The secret is to schedule the time pretty well. When I am in my city I spend time with the family and e.g go back to my studio at night when they sleep. Also when I travel abroad I don’t stay just for sightseeing another 4 days more. These things make it work.
Can you tell us a something about your craziest story that happened during your career as a DJ?
Too many stories guys . This I will better tell you on a nice Vodka on the rocks :)
During you stay in China did you get to know some Chinese DJ’s?
I am pretty well friends with Yang Bing from Beijing, a great producer and DJ. And yes there’s always excellent local guys warming up my set or playing after me!
Will we hear some new music from you this time at ZEAL?
Yes sure I always have new stuff on me. From my both labels and also from myself but also from friends of mine who give me their latest music.
What or who had the biggest influence on your music?
This is again a question where you can’t just name three names and this is it. All my musical development from the eighties until now is and was influencing me. I listen to any kind of music and that’s what I did all my life.
You are the owner of two record labels, Kling Klong and Session Deluxe under which roof many new upcoming DJ’s are housing. Any secret tip on the rising star beneath them?
Hard question . Just signed a 4 track e.p. from German Daniel Pscheid who I think will be causing some more attention in the future. Generally signing young artists is pretty risky. They always sell less even if its great tracks. But there’s just too much music coming out so people just look for names. Though we do sign new and fresh talents and don’t stop to believe in them!
When you travel what do you carry in your suitcase? Maybe a bit too personal :)
For sure always 1 or 2 books – depending how long will my travel be. Also sometimes my traveler guitar, in the hotel rooms I have time to practice. Then I have my Ipad and never forget my camera!
What can we expect from you on the 19th at ZEAL?
A great party with a top motivated Martin Eyerer! I will spin some unreleased music from my labels and myself! So make sure you come out there! 
Thanks a lot for the interview Martin and we are looking forward to a great event with you at ZEAL this Friday!

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Michael (Antidote) on MIDI

by City Moments Wednesday 27 April 2011

CM: First of all, could you introduce yourself, and tell us how you've been involved in Shanghai's music scene ?

Hi, I'm Michael Antidote, I've been involved in the local music scene for about 7 years now, doing everything from hip hop shows to rock bands to all sorts of electronic music.  Mostly I'm a promoter, but I also have a bar, DADA, and a record label, PAUSE:MUSIC.  The Antidote is our party name, we have a monthly event at the Shelter, and we do tours around China and Asia under that name also.  We also work with festivals around China, we're doing Nanjing International Music Festival and MIDI Shanghai in the same week!
CM: What challenges did you encounter, being part of the first MIDI Festival in Shanghai ?

Oh so so many!  But that's part of the reason I'm here doing what I do -- I live for these challenges.   Most people have no idea all the work and risk that goes into organizing a music festival.  It takes a nearly a full year of planning for a 3 day event, with uncertainties over your head the whole time.

CM: Which artists should we especially be looking out for this time ?

On the main stage:
Boys Climbing Ropes - local indie rock stars finally on their home town big stage
Free The Birds (aka Ziyo) - singer Helen from Pet Conspiracy leads this electro rock band from Beijing -- lots of energy and fun
Top Floor Circus - Shanghai's notorious and controversial comedy rock act

Antidote stage:
Caliph8 - we're flying him in because we think he's one of the best talents in Asia now.  Live electronic set.
CM: How did you select the different artists who will perform on the electronic stage, and are they all Shanghai based ?

Originally we wanted a line up featuring more international and out of town acts, but there were complications with the permit process and of course the budget.   But we feel we've put together a super solid line up of mostly local talents -- there's a great variety of music styles, and even some of the most familiar names on the line up are planning something special for the festival. 
CM: Shall we expect classic DJ sets or will there be some live sets, performances or VJing involved ?

All the above -- live sets, VJing, MCs -- mixed in with the DJ sets.  I'm reminding the DJs that it's an outdoor festival in the day time, not just another night out at the club.
CM: Since the Festival ends every day before 10pm.. where are the after-parties ??

I believe Mao Livehouse is doing a rock-focused after-party with MIDI, and we're doing an after thing at DADA bar for sure.

People -- try to come out early for the MIDI festival, we start maybe even before 2pm each afternoon, and some of the early set acts you don't want to miss.   Also -- dress up for this festival !!!  We've got people coming as giant bunnies and a group of wacky guys and girls wearing matching pyjamas, another group dressing like sea creatures -- it's going to be a freaking zoo out there!

CM: Thank you for your time and see you under the sun !

More info on the event: Midi Festival Shanghai 2011

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BOYS NOIZE in Shanghai Interview

by Lin Li Tuesday 26 October 2010

A few hours before his show organized by the M agency, City Moments got together with Boys Noize for a last-minute interview in Jia Hotel.

One of the most relaxed and coolest celebrity we've interviewed so far..



Interview by Lee Lam and special guests "Schluck Den Druck" , live Electro Act from Berlin, in town for their crazy shows at the MIDI Festival and the Expo..




You are basically all the time on the road, right now for example Shanghai and other destinations in China. Is there any time left for you to do some sightseeing and get to know these locations?



Well, of course I am trying to get to know as much as possible. Today for example we visited the EXPO, which was super interesting.

We went to the Saudi-Arabia avilion and tried to get into the China-pavilion as well, but unfortunately got too late, since we had to get there until 2:30pm. After all we got to visit the German and English pavilion, too.



Full program! Without queuing we suppose?



(smiles) Of course. But still, the amount of visitors was impressive. Then yesterday I walked around the city for a while and last weekend I played in Taipei with an overstay of 4 days. Tomorrow it goes on to Beijing where a trip to the Great Wall is planned.



When you get to play in other places such as Shanghai, do you try to meet up with local artists? Do you keep up contact with any chinese artists?



Well, the only one I know who lives here in Shanghai is Teknazia, a legend from the old days. Unfortunately I know too little about electronic artists here, but if there would be someone I really like, I probably would meet up with them.



Apropos electronic producers. You also produced the new album from Gonzalez. He for example went on a very surprising tour with Helge Schneider {a German comedian and Jazz musician}, who we idolize.

Could you imagining yourself to produce somewhat alike as well?



Definitely, even though I have no idea what it would sound like  (smiles).



How about your fans. Is it still possible for you to keep up direct contact with them, for example walking around a festival.



Yes of course. Usually it is quite easy.



There is a nice story about you at the Berlin Festival this year. Some shows had to be relocated, due to organisational problems. Yours for example was moved to the Weekend Club. Some people didn´t get in the club then, even though they had festival tickets, and posted that on twitter, whereupon you twittered back that they shouldn´t get worried, you are going to pick them up. Is that true?



Yepp that is true. It was agreed to let everyone with a Berlin ticket in. Then, when all these crazy ,young, colourfull people, with their „wasted german youth" t-shirts wanted to get in, the bouncers decided different.  So when they wrote on twitter that they are sad and upset, I told them to come back and I brought them in.



From all the fans that approached you during your career, is there any case where you still keep up contact or even developed a friendship?



Actually there are two Japanese who I met during my first gig in Tokyo at Yellow in 2005. They were extremely friendly and offered to show me around. Everytime I am in Tokyo know I hang out with them, and even invited them to my last show in Taipei.



You recently had your 50th release. On there are the two songs „Yeah“, a  wonderful sample work, and 1010, where you follow the more analogue acid sound. What do you think about this digital development in music?



I think it is great. There are always new plug-ins to modify the sound, but in general I prefer the old analogue machines. 10 10 for example is basically made with a Roland 707 and 303. So basically it is a live session, which I think is definitely a lot better than this delusional automatism and you can simply here the diference in sound when using  a real synthesizer. It simply has got more character.



Talking about you as a producer. Have you ever had this magical moment where you thought, now I reached the top, I can´t do it any better!?



Yes of course, after almost every album. Every time you think that this is your sound, you finally found it, now you are even better and learned so much more . But you realize that you think the same thing after almost each track you produce. Maybe also because I never really learned sound-engineering in a way that I could see I know exactly what I´m doing.



What where the most emotional magical moments for you this year?



This year it was definitely the Berlin Festival, since I have never seen something like that in Berlin, and the Electric Daisies Festival in LA where I played in front of 80.000 people.



One last question. You played here already two years ago and you said that this show was really special since it felt like no-one had ever heard that kind of sound before. Is that going to influence the set you are going to play tonight ?



I wouldn´t say so, because of course there are always certain tracks I know I am going to play, but then I really go for the vibe. So I probably am going to play some of my tracks and some new stuff, but I wouldn´t say that particularly that last experience is going to change or influence my set tonight.



CM : Sounds good ! Thank you for your time, and see you tonight on the other side of the stage !!




Note: Boys Noize performed later on in front of a fully packed electric Mao Live House, check out the pictures ! Boys Noize @ Mao Livehouse



Special thanks to the M Agency who made this possible, Schluck Den druck for their help and Fender Hsu for the pictures..




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