French artist SIRUS HOOD has reached the point where his skills are recognized by his peers. He grew up in Paris, and from there he has transitioned to working with big name artists like SHARAM JEY, CLAUDE VONSTROKE, JUSTIN MARTIN, and AMINE EDGE & DANCE. He's already traveled the world but is just getting started in his music career as he continues to blaze a trail for himself. Sirus Hood has an upcoming release on Dirtybird and also has releases on CUFF. He was nice enough to answer a few questions for us. This is what he had to say.
Who first introduced you to electronic music?
20 years ago, when I was still a child, older friends of mine made me listen to cassettes, with recorded club sets by local DJs. It was house music, and it instantly triggered a passion within me. I wanted since then to be at these DJ's places.
Who gave you that initial push to become a DJ?
Definitely not my parents ahah. Nobody gave me that initial push to become a DJ, it was a childhood dream and I pushed myself towards it. At 15, I was using patches on my computer to be able to have two mp3 players on Winamp to make little mixes. When I was 16/17, the first DJ softwares appeared. I purchased my first vinyl turntables when I was 18 from a guy of my class. That's when it all started
Who were your favorite DJs growing up?
I discovered the French Touch, with artists like DAFT PUNK, DJ MEHDI (RIP), LAURENT GARNIER, CASSIUS, JOACHIM GARRAUD, DIDIER SINCLAIR (RIP) through the most underground radio station at the time called Radio FG. They influenced me to become a DJ.
How’s the underground scene in Paris right now? Whats the hottest party going on?
The underground scene in Paris came later than in England. Nevertheless, there is an incredible scene here in Paris nowadays. In Paris, people follow the club’s reputation more than the actual parties. The hottest clubs right now are ZigZag, Showcase, Faust, Rex, Concrete, YoYo, and Nuba rooftop in summer. But one I must say that of the best underground parties is "The Tribes".
What does your studio currently consist of? Whats your favorite gadget?
When I started producing, it was mainly a digital process, with Ableton and a bunch of plug-ins. Today, I invest a lot in machines, synthesizers, drum machines, Analog effects. My favorite gadgets are the Roland TR-8, the MFB Tanzbär, the Moog Sub-37, the Korg Minilogue, and the old Roland JUNO-106. I always use Ableton as a recorder, a sequencer, and a mixer. I plan to invest shortly into an analog mixer in order to mix/master my tracks with an analog warm sound. I also work with Barefoot MM27 speakers.
Your first release “Picture, Picture” was a collaboration with Sharam Jey. How did that come about? How long did it take you to finish the track?
I started the project in beginning of June 2013, and finished it 3 weeks later. Sharam Jey released it in August on his label Bunny Tiger. My inspiration for this track was G-Funk, HipHop, I was aiming at making the grooviest house track.
As a producer, do you prefer to collaborate or work alone?
I think there are advantages and inconveniences in both sides. With a collaboration, we will have ideas and techniques that we wouldn't have had alone, but we must compromise sometimes. Working alone is good when you want to show who you truly are and can do. Not to mention that working alone is not really working alone when you get feedback and help from others, DANCE helped me a lot in producing for example. It depends, but I like both.
How did you meet Dirtybird label boss Claude VonStroke? How soon after did you start releasing tracks for Dirtybird?
The first time I met him, I was in Miami at a Dirtybird BBQ a few years ago for the WMC. While I queuing up to get in, I heard one of my tracks playing, and I said at the door "They are playing my track, please can I get in to film !" And they were kind enough to let me in directly. I met Claude VonStroke on the stage where I introduced myself. And when I heard Justin Martin playing a second track of mine, I went up to him and told him I made the track, he got crazy and carried me in front of everybody haha. Since then, we kept contact. CUFF invited Claude VonStroke at Showcase Paris in 2015 and we played b2b. I signed shortly after my first track on Dirtybird, Paris to SF with Ardalan, and then, Babylon. My latest release with Dirtybird is called i'm House, with Roland Clark's voice.
When working on a Dirtybird track do you have to do anything special or unique in your production to get the Dirtybird sound?
What advice would you give to an aspiring producer about pitching music to a label?
No not at all. The tracks I released have nothing to do with "the Dirtybird Sound". I think my tracks worked because they were different. That was the feedback I've had from Claude Vonstroke, and other artists from the label. I love this label because it is very open, and is about high quality, good, energetic music.
The advice I would give, would be not to produce according to a sound of a specific label, or copying other artists of this label, but to be distinguished with a clear and original sound.
What's your vice? What do you spend your money on?
I spend most of my money on records, ice cream and drum machines. I have a whole collection of Jordan 6 sneakers.... and white/black long t-shirts!
What are your future tour plans and releases you have coming up this year?
I'm doing a North American tour of 16 gigs, starting beginning of February, with my friend Sacha Robotti, with whom I will release an EP. Next I will go to South Africa, then a Brazilian tour, Australian tour, and a lot of gigs in Europe.
I just released a track on Dirtybird called "I'm House", and it is in the top 100 deep house Beatport chart. I am very proud of the track that I will release in March in Ki Creighton's label "Under No Illusion". I will also release a massive EP end of April on Criminal Hype. And many projects are still in progress.