Prior to Norman Doray’s Cielo premier, I was able to sit down with him and chat about his rising star status in the US. He also was able to make me instill jealous in me about his time in Ibiza and the constant warmth of his adopted city, Barcelona. A true lover of his craft, Doray debuted his new Strictly Records album Strictly Ibiza to Amsterdam last night, despite the dreary rain, bringing an element of sunshine to our (occasionally fair) city.
What have been your musical inspirations?
I was always influenced by disco and funk; I grew up with my parents listening to it so that was always my biggest inspiration. It was like, music just made something click for me; I knew that I wanted to do it. I can’t describe it, it just made sense and I went from there. I always knew that I wanted to work with music.
How did you get started in the scene?
I spent a lot of time playing in small clubs in Paris, where people don’t really care about the music you are playing. Then, I knew that I had to start producing my own music; that is the key. So I started to make my own stuff and that really brought things to the next level, where I was able to play for crowds who loved the music.
Did the French house scene also influence you?
Yes, of course! Daft Punk exploded onto the scene at that point, Europe was just exploding with music, even like Ace of Base and that sort of thing. There was a lot of inspiration.
How did your new album, Strictly Ibiza to Amsterdam.
Strictly [Records] asked me to do a compilation and they wanted me to do something a bit personal. Like I said, funk and disco have always been influences for me, so I did sort of two kinds of tracks, ones that you can vibe out to during the day, like a party in Ibiza, and big house tracks that you can play by night in a club.
Now that you’re touring so much, how do you balance production?
I used to be able to produce between shows, but now it’s more like, 3 months of touring and a month straight of producing. Of course I bring my laptop on the road for me, so I can tweak songs based upon how the crowd reacts to it. You sometimes see people not feeling a long intro, so I can go back and then cut it shorter and go straight to the middle. Also, I recently moved to Barcelona because I needed a change from the more dreary French weather; I am heavily influenced by weather and the sun has made it so I can produce like, three times as fast as I used to be able to.
Do you prefer small clubs vs. big clubs, or festivals?
To be honest, I prefer the smaller clubs, something like 500-1000 people, 2000 is also ok. Then you can really connect with the partiers, it’s a great thing.
Do you have any favorite venues?
This year, definitely my favorite party was at Ushuaia, with the Swedish House Mafia in Ibiza. The crowd there has changed in the past 10 years; 10 years ago it was something like 90% Spaniards. Now you see the best partiers from Tokyo, New York, Spain, Miami in Ibiza. It’s something special. It’s outside, under the stars, with beautiful women and men, all partying all night. I love it there. For a festival, Tommorowland as nuts; there are some crazy things going on there…
How do you feel about the recent popularity of house music in the US?
The U.S. is a great place now. I was here two years ago, and it was a little bit more difficult, people were way more into the top 40 sort of music so it was hard to get them engaged in the music. But now, it’s totally different, the crowds here are totally crazy. I love it here. Maybe I’ll have to move to the States soon, the main bulk of my touring is here now. Miami is great, but I think that San Diego is the best place. I recently played at Voyeur; it’s a lovely city, great weather, fun people. I really like it.
How do you like New York?
It’s a great city, I have been here 5 or 6 times, but it seems like every time I come here its bad weather! But last night I went to The Standard, it has the greatest view and I have to say, really awesome bathrooms (Eater agrees).
Check out Norman Doray