Let’s begin this feature with a short trip down memory lane… it’s 10am on 26th May and Hï Ibiza is nearing the closing stages of a triumphant 2018 opening – a celebration which certainly excelled the standards set last summer.
Armed with a mind-blowing, luminous lighting display and a brand new L-Acoustics rig state-of-the-art sound system, Ibiza’s latest clubbing institution remained as impressive as ever. However, it was the back-to-back-to-back finale between Black Coffee, BLOND:ISH and Salome that really caught our attention.
The fusing together of atmospheric Afro-house alongside the spiritual resplendence of a vagabond presence soaked the congregation left remaining in the Theatre leaving many star-struck.
On a personal note though, we were particularly fascinated with the appearance of Salome behind the decks at the party’s finale. Back for her second summer at Black Coffee’s Saturday night residency, such rewarding scenes only illustrated the resilience and persistence of the young Parisian selector and were finally paying dividends.
Starting her musical career as an event planner and curator, Salome’s transition into becoming a DJ proved to be a very natural progression. Now based over in New York, her ascension up the electronic music ladder is in full swing having played everywhere from Ibiza to Burning Man.
We caught up with the French tastemaker and discussed how Paris influenced her musical taste, the inspiration behind her move to New York and her regular appearances at Hï Ibiza alongside Black Coffee.
First of all Salome, when and how did you first discover electronic music? We hear that you have been a music devotee for most of your life…
I discovered electronic music through my mother. From when I was born through to my teenager years, everyday, there was always a point when we were watching music channels. I remember in the early 90’s, I was watching the videos of Inner City and Technotronic, and later on, discovered Daft Punk. I loved their videos. ‘Homework’ is the first electronic music album I bought in 1997.
We were also spending a lot of our weekends in record shops too. I feel very lucky having the opportunity to have started my music collection this young.
Who were your earliest influences and how have they helped shape your present sound?
I was mostly listening to hip hop, soul, disco and R&B. You will always find in my sound some kind of funkiness. I love using samples from the 80’s and the 90’s, from vocals to gimmick. Some of my favourite artists are 2Pac, Janet Jackson and Nina Simone. You will sometimes find some references in my mixes.
You were born and raised in Paris. How has this beautiful city influenced your musical taste?
Paris is a multi-cultured city. You can hear every kind of music in the streets, from classical to N’dombolo (afro beat). It gives you a lot of resources to play with and helps you to be more curious and creative. I think what you listen from 11 to 15 is somehow building what you are going to listen to later on. At my school, most of the students were listening to French and US hip hop. Like I said, previously rap was a huge influence in my music. Even though you may think it’s kind of far from electronic music, it’s actually not.
Were there any nights you regularly attended to gain inspiration from?
I used to work every weekend for a club called Cirque Bonheur in Paris. We booked many great artists such as Jamie Jones, Maya Jane Coles and Audiofly. Everyone had to wear a costume, at every single event. I loved the vibe there! Seven years later I am still missing it!
What is the most thriving aspect of the Paris underground scene at the moment?
Currently, you are based over in New York. What inspired the move to the Big Apple and what was the most difficult phase of making the transition there?
I just wanted to live somewhere new, have an experience on my own, live abroad once in my life and push my limits. I needed a challenge and New York is a really tough city to live in. The hardest was the lack of comfort. If you’re not part of the wealthy, you can forget it. I will always remember the first apartments I used to live in. This was intense!
What do you feel New York had to offer that Paris was lacking for you on a personal level?
Energy and thinking that everything is possible.
Speaking of leading nightlife destinations, you have a number of dates over in Ibiza this summer, one being regular appearances at Hï Ibiza alongside Black Coffee. How did this booking originally come about?
I first met Black Coffee when I booked him for a party I used to work for in NYC called Babël three years ago. We always stayed in touch. I also became very close to his manager, Lionel Marciano. We are now very good friends. Both of them were keeping an eye on what I was doing. I was lucky enough to be part of the crew.
What have been your biggest highlights performing at Hï Ibiza and why?
Having the opportunity to play twice with Nathi back-to-back! I will never forget this. Playing with him in front of thousands of people. His energy and technic are unique. Feels like piloting an airplane!
Outside of Ibiza, your summer is looking pretty busy with dates locked in at the likes of Burning Man, Italy, Marbella and more. In the midst of a busy summer touring schedule, what keeps you motivated? Do you have any go-to routines to keep you healthy whilst travelling?
To discover new places and meet new people. Even if you’re tired, you’re always finding this new energy. I try to stay healthy, go to the gym, eat well and stay away from alcohol.
What tips do you have for catching up on sleep whilst on the road?
Fall asleep anywhere you can in every condition… of course, this is easier said then done.
What about getting creative? What inspires you when it comes to production when in between gigs? Do you feel you produce better music this way or when you are locked in your studio?
To be productive, I have to be locked in somewhere. I need to be focus and alone. Unfortunately, I can’t produce between the gigs and the travel. It takes a lot of energy out of me.
What can we expect from you this summer in terms of releases? Is there anything you can exclusively reveal to us?
Concerning the releases, I am preparing something for fall!
Salome will next play for Black Coffee at Hï Ibiza on Saturday 11th August, you can purchase tickets here. You can also listen to her set from the 2018 Hï Ibiza Opening Party below.