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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Event attendees admire the limited-edition Sprite Ginger Collection items at the Sprite drop event at Extra Butter NY, on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in New York City.
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Sprite Launches Sprite Ginger Capsule Collection In New York City

Sprite is testing out another way for you to "obey your thirst" or "thirst for yours" with its new Sprite Ginger flavor. Introduced earlier this month, the addition to the soft drink's portfolio  "brings together the classic lemon-lime taste of Sprite with a hit of ginger flavor in every sip," according to a Coca Cola press release

To celebrate the brand's "spirit of reinvention," Sprite worked with veteran streetwear designer Jeff Staple and a team of young tastemakers and artists to develop the limited-edition “Sprite Ginger Collection,” inspired by reinvention and by the facets of culture permeating hip hop, fashion, music, and art. At a private event earlier this month at New York City's Extra Butter, Sprite debuted the brand's first limited-edition creative capsule by Staple and 9 other creatives, which consists of hoodies, jackets, jewelry, tees and more.

During a panel discussion moderated by Hearst style director, Tiffany Reid, Staple alongside creatives BLUBOY, Barbara Rego and Elan Watson chatted about drop culture, how young artists can make their mark in the industry, and the importance of reinvention.

"Having a [fashion] brand for 20+ years almost requires you, necessitates you to reinvent yourself because there's no way you can do the same thing for, forget 20 years, even 3 years before you're literally dead," shared Staple. "To me, the opposite of reinvention is death because you're not moving forward. You're just completely stagnant.

"So for me, it was always me constantly trying every few seasons to figure out a way to reinvent myself. And not in a way where I needed to stay relevant. I never felt a need to stay relevant, but I wanted to actually be able to connect authentically with the next generation of creators because that is actually what inspires me."

Dapper Dan, Amara La Negra, Mack Wilds, and Sway Calloway were among the celebrities and influencers who made an appearance at the event. Harlem's own Dave East performed a couple of his records while DJ Va$htie provided sounds throughout the night while spinning on the ones and twos.

Over the next few weeks, Sprite and Staple will continue the search for up-and-coming designers and host a series of "re-workshops" Extra Butter. Scroll down to see more pictures from the event. For more info on where you get a bottle of Sprite Ginger, head over the As for where you can cop an item from the collection, follow @Sprite on Twitter and Instagram for surprise giveaways. You can also visit head over to for more Sprite swag!

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Pop Smoke's Family Calls For "Respect And Responsible Reporting" Following His Death

On Feb. 19, rising rapper Pop Smoke was killed inside a Los Angeles-based home. The Brooklyn native, born Bashar Jackson, was 20 years old. His passing ignited a wave of condolences from his peers in the music industry, friends, and family. According to Complex, the Jackson Family issued a statement on the passing, noting an investigation has yet to make strides in solving Pop Smoke's murder.

The family of Bashar 'Pop Smoke' Jackson would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone for your support. Every prayer, call, and act of kindness is deeply appreciated as we mourn the loss of our son, brother and friend.

Brooklyn knew him as Bashar. He was educated and nurtured in Brooklyn and his rise to fame all developed from the place he proudly represented. Within the last year, his extraordinary giftedness was revealed to the world, introducing Pop Smoke.

Unfortunately, there are no public details available regarding the murder of our loved one. We ask for respect and responsible reporting during this critical time. Inaccurate reports only add unnecessary pain to a grieving family.

The autopsy report states Pop Smoke died from a gunshot that punctured his torso. According to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Police Department plans to investigate all avenues of a motive since it's refraining from deeming this instance as a robbery or a premeditated murder.

"There were a couple of items that were taken, but some of the things you would think would be taken weren't even really looked for," Capt. Jonathan L. Tippet said. "So that's why we're not really saying that it was a robbery or that he was the intended target."

Before his death, Pop Smoke was on the precipice of experiencing acclaimed fame when his Meet The Woo 2 project landed at the No. 7 spot on the Billboard 200. The soundscape featuring melodies like "Get Back," "Element," and "Christopher Walking."

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Nicki Minaj Donates $25,000 To Trinidad's St. Jude's Home For Girls

During her viral return to her home of Trinidad and Tobago, Nicki Minaj gave back to one of the country's institutions that was a surprise to faculty and students alike. According to TTT News, the "Yikes" rapper donated $25,000 to the St. Jude's Home for Girls

"I want to thank you for your work with the girls. I want to thank you for giving them hope and inspiration, and they've even given me hope and inspiration being here today. And I want to donate $25,000 to help the girls." Minaj also revealed plans to build a recreational center.

The famed artist recently wrapped up her participation in the country's annual carnival. Alongside her husband Kenneth Petty, Minaj shared photos of her costume and even shared a statement on the reported disinterest look her spouse displayed throughout the festivities.


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Rappers would kill for this attention chile. Lol at night when we go to bed I say “babe u was all over the blogs today”. He be like “oh word?” 😂🤣 he rlly don’t have social media to see y’all write think pieces about him chile. ‼️♥️♥️♥️ AND AH LIKE IT LIKE IT LIKE THISSSSSSS. JUS LIKE THIS ‼️‼️‼️‼️🥰

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj) on Feb 27, 2020 at 5:52am PST


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Proud Trini 🇹🇹

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj) on Feb 25, 2020 at 2:59pm PST


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Trini to di 🦴

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj) on Feb 25, 2020 at 8:38am PST


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🇹🇹🙏🏾 meet me on Tribe truck right now 😘🥰♥️

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj) on Feb 25, 2020 at 8:29am PST

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