As French powerhouse producer, Norman Doray, prepares to drop off his new single "Filtré" via Avicii's record label 'Le7els' (July 8), he takes a moment to sit down with VIBE, discussing new musical endeavors, travel traditions, the secrets to success and getting on the level with Avicii:
VIBE: You’re going to be quite the globetrotter this season, making appearances at festivals across the world. Any particular city/country you’re looking forward to visiting/playing at? Which ones and why?
Norman Doray: Yeah, as an international DJ I'm a nonstop globetrotter for sure. I'm gonna play in a lot of places that I like, but I'm really looking forward to be back in Las Vegas for my residency at XS, and I'm also really excited to play at Creamfields in the UK again this year. That place is so unique.
Which area of the world would you say has the most energetic fans?
Probably places like India, UK and US…there are also other places but these three stand out to me.
Do you have any unique traditions or rituals when you land in a city or before you perform a show?
I used to go out and visit every single city I was going to. I was really taking the chance to travel and discover new people and cultures, but sometimes I just need to sleep. I guess sleep is now my only ritual.
In your career, you’ve caught the attention (and had the chance to work with) a lot of your genre’s top players. Including Nervo, Steve Angello, and Avicii. Who would you say has made the greatest impact on you, and was the most significant piece of advice they gave?
I don't know to be honest. We are all friends, and we always share good times together. We are all different though, which is a good thing. I really appreciate the fact that they are all positive energy people, and when you work together, for sure you get touched by this…same for the talent!
Going back to Avicii, you’re actually releasing some new material on his label LE7ELS. Can you give us a sneak peek on what we can expect from "Filtré"?
"Filtré" is a complete different track from me. I did it for fun as I wanted to do something like "Roulé" from Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter or crydamoure. These labels inspired me so much during years, that I wanted to get away from the big room sound to something more groovy, funky, and above all, for fun! Then "Levels" asked for it as they are really open to change things - you can see this with Tim and his new single - but also with the others artists that they are signing. I thank them for that.
The cover art looks similar to something you would see on a ‘James Bond’ movie poster. Do you happen to be a fan of the man with a shaken martini, or was it just coincidence?
I guess its a coincidence, as I wanted something more summer with an old car and sunset cover, but I really like this one - really classy and kinda old fashioned! Le7els did a good job!
Since it’s going to be released on his label, did Avicii assist in the making of your new single?
Nope, not really, but we talked a lot in the past about this French touch sound and the groove in the track. We have the same roots, so I know he likes this. A few years ago I released a single called "Kalifornia", which was already in that direction. Tim did an edit of it, but never came out…damn!
No doubt, the actual song ‘Levels’ was a huge milestone in electronic dance music history - what are your thoughts on the producer’s breakout hit? What did you take from it?
Really happy for Tim. Actually there is a whole story behind it. When i was with Tim creating "Tweet it" in the studio, he actually played me "Levels", which was named "Good Feeling" at that time. There was something special to it for sure but never thought it will become such a hit. He is a nice and talented guy, so I'm really glad for his success.
Are you working on any collaborations at the moment? Would you ever consider collaborating with a hip-hop artist in the future?
Yeah, I'm done with my solo stuff. I have three or four singles ready for now, so I'm starting again to work with my buddy Arno Cost on new music. Something different I guess - more like what we were doing in 2008 or 2009. The groove needs to come back…people and even DJs are tired to play the same music every time. Concerning hip-hop artists, I don't know. I'm always open, if it's from jazz to rock or hip hop…I just need to feel it!
What do you think is the one thing a producer-DJ needs in order to be a success in today’s music industry?
I really want to tell you GOOD MUSIC, but it's not necessarily the truth, so I guess…support! Nowdays people are only attracted by the big guy. If you have a support from a big guy, tweeting that you are amazing 20 times a day, you will have success really soon, no worries.