Creating an anthem is always a challenge, and more so when you’re a DJ spinning remixes. Yet, Swiss music producer DJ Yves Larock managed that by creating club anthem, Rise up. Three years hence, the world is still hooked on to the song on the dance-floor. On a three-city tour to India, Larock will open his spin set tonight at Hard Rock Café and he can’t wait to play to the Indian audience.
This is your first time to India. Are you excited about playing here?
In all my years DJing, I have never been exposed to the concept of India. The reason, I say this, is because I am aware of the rich culture and the colourful music, but never experienced it. I have heard my producer friends describe how Bollywood is fun to mix. I am looking forward to putting some on my console.
So will you be mixing some Hindi film songs?
I don’t think I will risk that for now (laughs) I’ll be too scared. But from what little I have heard, I think it’s extremely colourful, transitory and heavily instrumentalised with a great melody and beautiful beat format. And I love that kind of stuff, considering I have been hugely inspired by African music.
Your production style is quite eclectic using elements of house, hip-hop, R&B, reggae together quiet effectively. Where does your diverse taste in music come from?
That’s quite hard to pinpoint, but certainly being involved with a hip-hop group when I was younger has given me some direction. I guess it's down to my hugely eclectic collaborations and hours spent just exploring music over the years. I can't listen to one genre for too long.
You are part of the Africanism All Stars group that explores Africanism (related to African music) and collaborates with a lot of artistes from Africa. What has been your most rewarding collaboration?
Oh I think Zookey, one of my earlier singles was definitely a great collaboration. I worked with Roland Richards, this fabulous singer who had the right tone for the song. It was also my first major hit single, so maybe I’m biased. But I realised at that point what kind of music I enjoy spinning.
Talking about hit singles, Rise up really sealed the deal for you as an elite producer. What’s your dealmaker for 2010?
I think nobody can predict if a track will work or not. I've produced a lot of different tracks over the years. I've just polished off a single called ‘Don’t turn back’ that my label is sending to various partners worldwide. So I am hoping for good feedback from that one. It’s really up to the audience’s response; I just play in the meantime.
Is there anyone, especially someone from India, that you would like to collaborate with?
It’s difficult to say. We all have our ideals and of course I dream of collaborating with some of my old hip-hop icons. But realistically, I am always open to most collaborations purely because I just love producing music. And if the right Indian artiste comes along, why not!
VH1 Handpicked featuring Yves Larock will play at Hard Rock Café tonight, 9.30pm onwards. Entry is Rs.1000 cover. Call 022 65511209 for details.