This is Clyde “Hollywood” Hogan with FromDJs4DJs.com, last week we caught up with DJ Norman Doray, as he finished up his third US tour. Norman has been on the Electronic Dance Music scene for the past seven years, putting out popular summer tracks like “Kalifornia,” and “Champagne,” which has made him quite the rising star. When it comes to EDM Norman pulls most of his inspiration from disco. Yes, I am talking about thick mustaches and “The Hustle.” He also cites Daft Punk and French disco legend Cerrone as other influencers.
With Electro House and Dubstep dominating most of the EDM scene in the US, Norman wants to resurrect the long forgotten sounds of disco. As a DJ, Norman understands that it is his job to keep the audience engaged and excited, so he will give the audience what they want. He understands that the demand for disco is small, but that does not stop him from “spiking” a set or two with it. So to all those domestic disco lovers out there, hope is on the way.
Norman ended his tour in my hometown of Los Angeles, CA, where he performed at the Greystone Manor. The venue could not have been a better choice for Norman to go out with a bang, giving a full club of EDM junkies a taste of what is sure to be a bright future in his EDM career.
C: So why disco and what about it influenced you?
N: Mainly it’s because of my family. Everyone in my family is into this music, so for me it was logical. It’s in my blood. I decided to get into the music, because these guys called Daft Punk, came with out with a sound like disco, but faster and with a bigger kick. It was still disco, but a bit different and for me it was the slap in my face when I heard it at first. I was like “whoa, these guys are bringing it to another level.” And that’s why every time I’m playing in the club or doing production, I am always trying to get that groove that you find in a disco track.
C: Here in America, when one says disco, we think of big afros, funky clothes, and John Travolta, so what is the perception of disco in Europe versus America?
N: In France it’s a bit different, we had a guy in the 70s who became really big in disco, called Cerrone. This guy was really big in the US at the time, even bigger than France. So when he came back to France with that type of music, first people thought he was silly, but as his popularity increased, more artists followed his lead, and it has stayed that way since.
C: What type of reception do you get from the audience, when you play disco?
N: That’s a good question, because sometimes it’s a bit weird when I am trying to play this kind of stuff in front of 21-22 year olds when they just want to hear dubstep. I can’t force my music every time I try to play for the people. My main job as a DJ, if you look at the definition, it is to keep the people on the dance floor and to keep the night perfect until the end for the promoter and the people who paid you to come. I am trying to please the people with tracks they want and more commercial hits, but I can’t do that forever, I still need to love what I’m doing.
C: So what do you prefer the most, working in the studio or on stage?
N: I think it’s half and half, because it’s really important to be in studio to do your own tracks. When you’re there, you’re alone there is no problem. You can stay working hours or even days on a track and no one will bother you. When you go into the club, you’re playing in front of a crowd and you want to be with a lot of people and want to share that with a lot of people. They both go together because you are doing tracks for the people and to try them on the people, so everything is linked. It’s the opposite, but it’s linked.
C: Seems like a little bit of give and take, but in the end you’re doing for the people.
C: Some people are under the assumption that EDM in the U.S. is just the next fad, where as fans in Europe respect and understand and appreciate the music, what do you think?
N: It is completely different, the main crowd in the US is a young crowd, between 18-20, to 30 year olds. In Europe, we have house music, electronic music for 15 years already, now these people are maybe 40-45. The US crowd is raging, jumping, and crazy, they want harder stuff it’s harder than in Europe. In Europe, there are a lot of melodies, a lot of vocals, and a groovy feeling. Here, it’s about how hard the track is, how amazing the hook is, and straight to the point. This is good because when you play both, you can be perfect. You can play your stuff and harder stuff here and play the more groovy ones in Europe, especially Ibiza.
C: Ibiza is definitely on my bucket list.
C: It seems like EDM has gotten more popular, since DJs started working with pop artists, do you see yourself doing something similar?
N: To be honest, I never thought about that. For me the DJ/producer world and work was just an introduction to the music to produce instrumental tracks…But I’m changing, you can find good top lines from indie singers, that can match your tracks perfectly and this is what I want to do next. I want vocals that will give me goose bumps; I want vocals that will take my track to the next level.
C: When will you be coming back to the U.S.?
N: I’ll be back at the end August at Governor’s Island in New York, Vegas again, then I’ll be back in September for another tour.
C: Well, hopefully when you make it back out here, I can hear some of that disco.
N: Yeah, one day, I would like to do my own special small 100 capacity shows with only disco lovers. This would be my dream.
C: Any words for your fans?
N: Yeah, just thanks for supporting my job. You are reason why I am doing the music. I am doing it because you are here listening to my sound and support my stuff. So, since the people will be there, I will still be there, trying bring better things.