10 Questions with ... Michael Calfan
October 6, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/michaelcalfan
- Twitter: twitter.com/michaelcalfan
- Instagram: instagram.com/michaelcalfan
- Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/michaelcalfan
1) You are from Paris, France; what's the difference you see from visiting New York City and being back home in Paris?
In Paris the food is better [laughs], no, I mean the food is very different, but I love the mind of the United States, because your minds are very open and it's super-nice. It's nice to meet other cultures and to visit all around.
2) When did it all begin for you?
I wanted to be a DJ when I was 15, but it was a little too early, because when you are 15 nobody wants you to play in the clubs. So I thought I want to be a DJ; maybe I should make some music. I saw Martin Solveig and Bob Sinclar and all those guys, so I started to make music on the MacBook of my mother and on Garage Band, the free program, when I was 16, and from that, step by step I started to release some tracks on a label. In 2008, I had my first release and in 2011, I had my success with "Resurrection" on Axwell's label, and from that I started to do remix after remix and track after track ... then I had "Prelude" and "Treasured Soul. It was a very step-by-step profile for me.
3) You mention Martin Solveig and David Guetta; were those some of your early inspirations?
Maybe not in the music, but in the image; they were so famous in France. For example, you guys know David Guetta since maybe the Black Eyed Peas started, but for us he's been famous since 2002 ... Bob Sinclar and Martin Solveig, too. So they were like big three DJs for us, and when I was watching them it made me realize it was possible to be a DJ.
4) In this past year you've had two major songs on Spinnin' -- "Prelude" and "Treasured Soul." How did these come about?
It's so nice when you make a track in your room and after so many people listen to it and so many DJs play it, you never know how it's going to work because when you make the track you are like, "This is an amazing track," but sometimes it doesn't work, but it can happen. Or sometimes you're like, "This is cool," and it becomes a real hit. This is what I like in music and I'm super-happy to work with Spinnin'. They are super-nice and it's very cool.
5) What are you working on now; is there a new single?
I just did two remixes -- "Powerful" by Major Lazer and "Ocean Drive" by Duke Dumont -- and now I have a new original one that is coming at the end of October for ADE. After that I will have a new one in December, another original one and after that one and then I will have another new one for WMC in Miami, which will be a super-nice track for DJs. After that I will release a track for the Summer, but I haven't made it yet.
6) You mentioned that you just did a remix for Major Lazer and a remix for Duke Dumont. You've done remixes in the past for Shaggy, Bob Sinclar, David Guetta, Afojack and Oliver Heldens; is there a favorite mix that you've done?
I feel it's the Major Lazer one, I feel it's my best one.
7) I heard that you are a big fan of Duke Dumont; how did you end up hooking up with Duke to do the remix on "Ocean Drive"?
Actually I've never met him. I'm a big fan and I was thinking about working with or remixing a song of his for a long time. I thought how much I'd love to work with him and a received a request from his management, so I was so happy to remix "Ocean Drive" because the track is very nice and it's very different from my style. It's very down-tempo. It was a real pleasure to put it in my, I love this one.
8) Are you currently touring, or just doing some one off dates?
I've been doing 20 gigs a month since June, at the end of August I had done about 60 gigs and then I came for one more here in the States from September to October for 15 gigs. It's been very cool because I've had a few days off in L.A., in N.Y. and San Francisco, so it's very cool and refreshing to the mind when creating music. For example, when I made "Prelude" I was in Montreal, but I was in all this L.A. vibe because I have a very good friend who lives in L.A. -- and when I was in L.A. in his car, he showed me a lot of music. When you are in Europe you don't make the same music that you make when you are in the U.S.
9) You just played at TomorrowWorld and you're playing at Pacha in N.Y. Do you prefer festivals over clubs?
I need both to be happy, because TomorrowWorld was very amazing and the vibe was very nice and the people were crazy there, but it's nice sometimes to return to a club and to have the real club feeling. It's so nice because I feel with my music, I can play in a very small club in Italy or a big festival in the U.S.A., so it's very nice and you can't be boring when you do that.
10) Is there a favorite venue that you like to play at?
Pacha Ibiza is amazing, because it was my dream to play there when I a kid. So it is my favorite club in the world. Also when I did Pacha, NY about six months ago with Oliver Heldens, it was amazing. The vibe is very nice and the room is very cool and the sound is very big, so super-happy to play there again.
I noticed on your Facebook page that there's a picture of you standing outside a building in NY and you're trying to find wi-fi. What made you post the photo?
I was in NY the last time about a week ago; when I had some days off and with my French phone I needed to find wi-fi, so it was a mission for me to do that and I saw so many people standing in front of a Starbucks, so I thought everyone must be here because the wi-fi is free, so it's my new house there [laughs].
How often do you interact with your fans on social media?
I love to answer on direct message on Instagram. I think it's fun to do and on Twitter as well. Every time someone sends me something nice I will answer.
With all the traveling that you do what's the one must have travel item?
I just bought a neck pillow and it changed my life.
You mentioned earlier that Paris, France is known for its food?
Yes that's true, but I also love American food. I love to eat a cheeseburger and chicken wings. I love all that stuff and you have bagels and cream cheese in the morning so that is very nice, but I'm happy to be going back to France in a few weeks and eat at home.