Whether we realize it or not, who we are is grounded very much in where we are.
For French music producer, DJ and remixer JP Lantieri, that place is Malaysia. Lured by its rich culture and the place’s sense of exoticism and mysticism, as a young adult, JP moved to Asia to work, record, tour, and eventually start his own label, OM Works.
Now, he’s returned to Europe and is based out of London. His most recent work is a collaboration between him, Peter Pavlov and Ornery for his newest label venture Flemcy Music, called “Awakening”.
As a Bulgarian, Italian, and French collaboration cooked in London and Berlin, it took the trio ten different versions of the mix and six versions of the master to get it where they wanted it. After they were done, they celebrated the completion of “Awakening” in a Tex-Mex restaurant in London.
I got a chance to speak with JP Lantieri a bit more about his travels, his label, and the track.
In your more formative years as a musician, you lived in Southeast Asia for a time. How has that influenced your music?
A lot. That’s where, while I was living in Malaysia, I released my first CDs, called Lounge and Tempo, which included a lot of traditional instruments from all over Asia. But this was another era when I was not yet into dance music.
That’s also where I started DJing, which eventually drove me to produce dance music.
What opportunities do you have in London that you may not have necessarily had if you had stayed in Malaysia?
Even though life was quite nice in this sunny country where people smile more than here and where the food is excellent (a French guy saying this is quite a compliment!), I felt that I was plateauing, and that I was not progressing as much as I wanted, especially in terms of music production.
I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone and that’s why three years ago I left this lovely part of the world to relocate in one of the music capitals of the world, London.
And this energetic city gave me a boost. I met a lot of incredibly talented and driven people, many who became music collaborators and friends. Mind you, life is not easy here in London, many dreams have been crushed there! It’s hectic, fast paced, expensive, and hyper competitive.
But I certainly have progressed much faster here than if I had stayed in Asia. And I have a new music family here!
Tell me about the “Awakening” track. What inspired it? How does it build on what you’ve done in the past?
The main instigator of ‘Awakening’ is Peter Pavlov. He made the initial track on his own, during some of these nights where he used to fall asleep in the studio, but he could not find the magical touch to finish it, so he put it aside for a while.
Then, during a Darkest Before Dawn gathering in London (it’s a group of producers that the three of us are part of), Peter showed the track to Ornery and me, and both of us were thrilled. He asked us (he even begged us!) to bring our touch to make it as compelling as possible, and that’s how the three of us ended up in the studio for a few sessions.
After that, Ornery mixed and mastered it while back in his own studio in Berlin.
When you ask people to remix your tracks, what do you most look forward to hearing from their take on your track?
Originality. And their own sound. I’m really looking for them to bring in their own style, that’s why I like them and I choose them.
And I’m not afraid to ask them to drift apart from the original. I even recently had an original progressive/techno track remixed in dubstep, can’t be further apart than the original. It was so beautiful that it ended up on my label’s release.
You’re also the owner of a label. How do you balance that job with that of being a producer?
I run Flemcy Music, which I created one and a half years ago, and on which “Awakening” is already our 18th release. It takes a lot of time to run a label properly, but producing is something with which I do have withdrawal symptoms if I’m not into it for more than a few days, so I often start my day by making music, even before opening my email inbox.
Who is your musical inspiration?
It evolves with time. These days I’m inspired by rising producers like Cristoph or Enrico Sangiuliano. Otherwise, I’ve always admired Eric Prydz (one of the very rare DJs who only plays his own productions).
I also like my classics like Vivaldi, Dvorak, or Tchaikovski, who knew a thing or two about tension and release, about melody and harmony, about sweetness and drama, concepts which may have lost some of their richness in recent decades.
Who is your dream collaborator?
As I just mentionned Eric Prydz, I’d love to do something with him. He is a monster.
What are your favorite late night eats spots in London?
Lots of nice kebabs open all night long in London, and the bagel shops in Brick Lane are to die for, especially when you come out of clubbing!