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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 Grenoble-based house-music maker OXIA (aka Olivier Raymond).

OXIA, Grenoble, France, Diversions Music

What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend your lockdown time? I live in France, in the city center of Grenoble. It’s not a big city, you can basically do a lot by foot. The city is surrounded by mountains. Yes, we were locked up for several weeks; from March 2020, then again in 2021, and had a curfew for several months. To be honest, at first, it felt good to pause from touring, even though it wasn’t for a cool reason. But I was able to take some time for myself, no stress, and taking care of things I had left aside due to lack of time. And I made more music, watched TV, watched a lot of movies …
What important gigs did you lose? I had quite a few good gigs coming up when the pandemic stopped everything. And my agent was finalizing the 2020 summer: Ibiza season, the festivals, etc.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? I have finished many tracks that will be released in the next few months. And I’ve started working on a new album, but it’ll be a while before it’s completely finished. I realized that even things that seemed impossible can happen and that you have to enjoy life and your loved ones even more.  

What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? I didn’t get much released during this period, as we preferred to wait for the re-start. But I did do a few remixes… one for Joseph Capriati (“Beautiful Morning”) that came out last April, and some others last year… for Agoria (“All Over You”) on his label Sapiens, then Bizen Lopez (“The Little Details”) and Yannick Baudino (“Are You Sure”) on my label Diversions Music. There is one track, “Shadows,” that was released in August on All Day I Dream Summer Sampler. I did an EP which will be released by the end of the year on Diversions, and also a remix for POPOF.  

In the studio, what’s your set-up? I use Logic Pro on Mac, and a lot of different plug-ins for FX from Arturia, Waves, UAD… I also still have hardware like the Juno 106, Virus, SH-101, Nova, etc.

What’s your creation process in the studio? I don’t really have a well-defined process. Sometimes I start by making a rhythm and I add the sounds afterwards. Sometimes I find a melody and I build my track around it. It depends on my inspiration and my mood.
Your typical DJ set-up? My DJ set-up is a Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 and three CDJ-2000NXS player and an RMX-1000 [Remix Station]. I use these because I feel comfortable with it. I use three CD players because I like to be able to go pretty fast in my mixes, and it allows me to put in a third track to replace the second… and I also like to use effects to bring a more personal touch. 
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during the lockdown period? I don’t know – maybe I realized how hard it was not to be able to hug your loved ones and that we absolutely need that… although this wasn’t really a big surprise for me.
What have you done online? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? My last stream was in January. Since then, I’ve only done podcasts. You can listen to some of them on my Soundcloud or on my Mixcloud page. And you can watch the stream I did a year ago, which I’m very proud of since it was at the top of my city. To be honest, I didn’t listen/watch many streams, or it must have been when I was with friends. But I didn’t focus enough on the music to tell you more.

Any advice on how one might stay sane & relatively positive through this situation? It’s not always easy staying sane in this kind of period, but I think one has to stay close to family and friends, and think about them even when you can’t see them. Or maybe watch some funny movies and series, something positive.

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

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