norman doray

Norman Doray Dishes On Working With Avicii, Music Drops, Tour Traditions

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.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”


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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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