Dimitri from Paris Dimitri from Paris has everyone jealous right now because of his DJ deal with Playboy. Check out this interview as he discussing his relationship with hip-hop legends Stetsasonic and Tommy Boy Records as well as his new album “Live at the Playboy Mansion”.
By William Hernandez
WHO?MAG: Talk to me about your new CD “Live at the Playboy Mansion”? DIMITRI FROM PARIS: It’s the third CD I’m doing with Playboy concept. The first one came out 8 years ago. It’s a double mix CD. One has a mix of Disco and House and the second CD is a lot of downtempo stuff with a lot of ballads and love songs. I actually think it’s the first DJ mix with that blend of sexy and downtempo stuff, so I’m pretty happy with the fact that I actually did that.
WHO?MAG: Why did you choose to go that route? DIMITRI FROM PARIS:Well because no one else does it. I’m really tired of being stuck with upbeat four four tracks and I think it’s good to offer people a little bit of a variety for a change.
WHO?MAG: How did you develop this relationship with Playboy? DIMITRI FROM PARIS:It started here in Miami. The first CD came out in 1998 or 1999. We were playing at Groove Jet and they were sponsoring their party. We ended up talking and said why don’t we do a record together.
WHO?MAG: How did you get into DJing? DIMITRI FROM PARIS: Well I was just buying music 25-26 years ago. I wanted to make some money off all the records I was buying. To some how recoup. I started doing gigs. I got my first gig at a club, then I started doing radio. It started paying for my records and just started climbing up the ladder really.
WHO?MAG: As far as equipment-wise what do you use? DIMITRI FROM PARIS: I use CDs. I digitized vinyl that I’ve had for years. I buy my own CDs and I use CDJs and I use a Roland mixer.
WHO?MAG: I know you did a remix for Stetsasonic’s “Talking all that Jazz”. What’s the story behind that song? DIMITRI FROM PARIS: I met Tom Silverman, the owner of Tommy Boy Records, quite a few times. He comes from a DJ background so he understands about DJing and remixing better than a lot of other people. We have friendship going on and he asked me if I wanted to remix something out of the Tommy Boy catalog. I said well if there’s one song that I would really touch up, it would be that one. He said “well, you can have it!” He gave me the budget. That gave me the chance to get a whole live band into the studio and have them play music. It’s the first track I did with nothing electronic or computer programmed. I used a five piece band and used the vocals of the original song.
WHO?MAG: How do you approach remixing a song? DIMITRI FROM PARIS: My first approach is “do I like the song”? If I like it, I’ll take it. If I don’t, I’ll turn it down. Second, if I like it. It’s something that I like and I want to keep pretty much as much from the original as I can. I don’t believe in getting an a capella and remaking the whole thing. If I remake the whole thing, I will remake it as it was, but with a different sound and with a different texture because I’m not here to just change what’s been done. I’m here to make it specific to the club market or to the DJ thing. I don’t like to take an a capella and change everything over because that’s not what I call a remix. It’s their own idea of what the song should be. My ethics is to keep the original track as much as I can.
WHO?MAG: What are your thoughts on vinyl going down and everything going digital? DIMITRI FROM PARIS: Well, it’s sad but you have to go with the times. If no one wants to use it, you can’t force people with a gun to use it. As a traveling DJ, I prefer digital to vinyl for two reasons. The first reason is that for the same amount of space and weight, I can have so many more actual songs. With records, I can only bring 100 records, but with CDs, I bring 500 CDs. Each CD can contain 10 tracks. That was the first thing that made me move to CD. You don’t have to worry about people losing your luggage. If I lose my CDs I can replace them. It’ll take me a couple of weeks, but I can replace them. If it’s records, if it’s gone, that’s it. Again, the records wear out. If you play them every night and if it’s a classic, when it’s gone it’s gone. I just started transferring all my house classics to CD and I’m much more happier now. It’s doesn’t matter what medium you choose, but what music you play and how you play it.