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When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by?

So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out. During this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from France, the Marseille-based electronic talent Anoraak (aka Frédéric Rivière).

Anoraak, Marseille, France, Endless Summer

What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend most of your time? I live in Marseille, the beautiful, second-biggest city in France, on the Mediterranean Sea. We’ve been locked down several times with ever-changing rules, depending on the epidemic situation. I’m lucky enough to have my studio at home, and to be a few minutes away from the sea. So, I didn’t experience the very worst lockdown, to be honest. 

Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? I lost a few gigs, for sure; some other were postponed – like every other musician or DJ on the planet, I guess. I also lost production opportunities, as many projects have been either cancelled or pushed away to later. However, being the optimistic kind, I see this whole situation as a good challenge and an opportunity to focus on the important things.   

Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? I never stopped producing during the pandemic, and I actually released new music, which eventually lead to new income. Also, in France, we have a real safety net and we had – and still have – a lot of financial support.

What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? My latest releases are my remix for Pongo’s “Quero Mais,” “Between Love” featuring Marika Uzor, and “Karma” featuring Sarah Maison. Having no other choice than being in the studio made me way-more productive than usual. So I released “Rush” on Yuksek’s label Partyfine, the “Fire Inside” EP on Paper Disco, several singles, and many remixes for other artists (Patawawa, Kimchii, Quentyn, etc.) 

In the studio, what’s your set-up? I use Logic Pro as DAW and many plug-ins, for sure – my favorite being Arturia’s Clavinet because I don’t own the real one [laughs]. I also have many synthesizers like [Sequential Circuits] Pro One, [Korg] Polysix, [Roland] JX-3P, plus guitars, basses, percussions….

What’s your creation process in the studio? I don’t have a typical way. I can start from a synth sound, a drum pattern, a piano melody, or just write a song on the guitar. Then I record, produce, structure it and voilà!

What’s your typical DJ set-up? Very usual. I carry my playlists on a USB drive and play on Pioneer CDJs because I don’t like to play with a laptop – tried it, hated it. And my headphones are Sony MDR-7506 with custom earpads.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? That I could cook delicious bread – like half the earth’s population!

What have you done online? Well, I did record a few live-stream DJ sets, on Facebook mostly, and it was fun at the beginning. Then, it started to be the new normal and the networks were submerged. So I decided to do it only when necessary, for a release celebration, for instance, or if I get to do it in a very special place. The last Mozambo video is a good example of that. 

Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? I Feel Alive” by TOPS.

Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Wash your hands, wear the mask, get vaxxed, and when you’re down listen to Jorge Ben.

To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.

DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2021 by DJ Publishing, Inc.