Interview with Roman Kouder

Fresh from France, this young DJ and artist is slowly, but certainly building his name in the European electronic music scene and wider. Taking best from various genres (hip-hop, pop, indie, ambient, funk), mixing those sounds with a pinch of the nostalgic sound from the previous two decades is Romans expertise. In this interview he reveals a bit more about himself and how his music came to be.

Q: Where did you grow up and how did your upbringing affect your music?

I lived in Paris’ suburb until I was 12 years old. My father was working as a journalist in the music industry, so I had the chance to listen to a lot of different music back then.

Q: Which artists influenced your sound?

First, I would say I’ve been influenced by the 90’s music culture, mostly Hip Hop music (The Roots, Notorious BIG, DJ Premier).

Then, I discovered electronic music around 2010 with Soulwax, Boys Noize, Daft Punk and all Ed Bangers Records crew. At that time I started playing music as DJ, mostly in party houses.

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25. 📷: @romainbjames – 👕: @victoria.rastello

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Q: What are you currently listening to?

I’m currently listening to this new kind of pop: Goldlink, SZA, Haute, Honne, Syd, Majid Jordan, IAMDDB, and many more. However, these are not songs I play as a DJ.

Q: This summer you played for the first time in front of a big audience on Calvi on the Rocks electronic music festival in Corsica. How was your first experience being on the big stage?

It was amazing and people were on fire during all the show. Very pleasant memory, and I hope to do it again next year!

Q: What are the things you like and dislike the most about working in music industry?

What I like the most is the freedom to organize my time. I can wake up at 1pm and work till 4am if I want.

There aren’t many things I dislike, but playing every weekends (sometime during the week as well), and being in studio during the week can be pretty exhausting. Also, I don’t have a lot of time to see my family and my friends.

Q: How does the Paris music scene look now?

We’ve seen the techno scene growing up past years in Paris. Nevertheless, I think people got tired of it for some reasons. I see the Hip-Hop scene growing a lot these days, which is nice because that’s what I like. I think a DJ doesn’t stick to one kind of music now, and prefers playing a lot of different music.

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🙏 . . . . . . 📸 Adrien Combes

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There are also a lot of indie live bands on the rise, such as Blow, L’impératrice, Polo&Pan, Le Crayon, etc. I hope to see more live bands in the next few years in Paris.

Q: Can we expect some new releases from you soon?

A new single “Rush” this month, and a debut album expected this winter.

Q: Do you go out and if you do, what kind of places do you visit?

I don’t go out often but when I do, I don’t go to a proper nightclub. I prefer small club like Prescription (Paris 6) and Ball Room (Paris 1). Great drinks and great music.

Q: What was the last book/series/movie you read/saw that inspired you in some way?

I watch a lot of series before going to sleep. Recently, my favorites are The 100, Westworld, Altered Carbon, Mindhunter, Legion. I am currently watching OZARK season 2.

Q: Which of your travels left the biggest impression on you and why?

Without doubt, I’d say Ibiza. I’ve played to Experimental Beach in Ibiza this summer, and it was mind blowing. This island is a real paradise. When you play during sunset, it is so beautiful that you want to stay there forever.

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Right place, right moment, right people.

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Q: What is the most important thing you’ve learnt in life, until now at least?

No one will do the work for you: the more you work, the more you can expect for your dream to come true.