Digging Deeper with POPOF

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
August 10, 2018

Digging Deeper with POPOF

Deeperfect’s Synaptic EP is a collaboration effort from two heavy hitting producers. Form label boss, POPOF, is a bonafide legend in the underground house and techno scene. He has been pumping out hits for more than ten years on the most important and genre defining labels, such as Cocoon, Truesoul, Bedrock and Hot Creations. On the other side of this meeting of creative minds is Stefano Kosa, an up-and-coming talent from Milan who has made a big name for himself with his music on important labels like Stereo Productions, Elrow and of course POPOF’s label Form.

One of the most downloaded artists in his category, POPOF is in very high demand for his remixes and has worked for famous artists such as Depeche Mode, Chemical Brothers, Moby, Booka Shade, Vitalic, Tiga, Maetrik, Martin Solveig and many more.

We took the occasion to sit down with the Parisian to talk about the EP and the whirlwind summer he is having.

Hello mate, how is summer going?

Summer’s been great so far. I made a remix for Francesca Lombardo called “Terra”, I released my EP “BOWO” on my label Form Music, and I’ve got another release coming out now on Deeperfect. It’s a collab EP with Stefano Kosa called “Synaptic”.

In terms of gigs I’ve played in a bunch of really cool events so far this year; the Resistance stage at Ultra Music Festival in Singapore, Seoul and Beijing, Stereoparc festival, Parookaville with Cocoon, a mini Form Music showcase tour around North America and I’ve still got a few nice ones coming up soon like Resistance’s Closing party in Ibiza, Pyramid at Amnesia and Ultra Japan.

You were just in the States, how was the tour?

It was truly amazing. Firstly, because I had an awesome time with Julian Jeweil, who’s my friend and with whom I really get along musically. Also, we could really feel the trend shift in the US concerning techno music. The venues in Las Vegas, Chicago and San Francisco were all packed. Techno is getting stronger day after day in the US, which is amazing to see.

Any highlights from the gigs?

The parties was full of good vibes and I got to meet some genuine American fans who follow attentively what is happening in Europe. It was very refreshing.

How about from the cities themselves, did you get to do anything else beside travel, hotel and the clubs?

Unfortunately no! Julian and I had a really, really tight schedule because of our respective commitments outside the US, but hopefully next time.

You’ve got some exciting gigs coming up in Europe now, including some massive sets in Ibiza. Do you prefer playing these bigger gigs or smaller more intimate venues?

I honestly like doing both. I can do things in small clubs which I can’t in big venues and vice-versa. Sets in big festivals are obviously shorter so it’s a double challenge – which I like. You really need to sense the crowd’s mood and the general vibe as quickly as possible to play accordingly, and to cram everything I can in an hour or two. On the flip side, I love playing smaller venues because I have the possibility to show more, and share more.

What’s the smallest venue/crowd you’ve played to? 

It probably would be back in the days when I was a hardcore DJ with Heretik System. I would play in basements in front of ten people!

And how about the biggest?

Probably somewhere in South America, I think probably in Brazil. They have the most insane events!

Are you still based in Paris by the way? 

Yes I was born in Paris and I love this city. I bought a house there a few years ago and built in my own studio.

What benefits does Paris give you as an artist and would you ever move?

I think the atmosphere of the city helps me with the creativity to produce music, but I also have more personal reasons to stay in Paris — my close family lives there. That said, would I ever move? Why not!

You’ve got an EP coming out on Deeperfect this summer. What kind of reaction have the tracks been getting when playing them out?

Super cool. Stefano and I have been getting really good reactions so far from both our peers and our fans.

You’ve always been so consistent in the studio, why do you think that is?

What would I ever do in my spare time? Making music is what I like best. A real passion.

Your label has also been going from strength to strength. Is it taking up a lot of your time?

It has, I’m happy to say. Since I founded it in 2009 we’ve had some amazing artists – both established and lesser-known but promising talents – releasing on Form Music. It doesn’t take so much of my time because I’m lucky to have a team dedicated to the label’s management, creative orientation and communication. I make the final decisions, other than that it runs smoothly without exhausting me.

What are some of the criteria you use in reviewing tracks you may release?

None. The only condition is that I like what I hear!

Can anyone send demos for a release on FORM?

Of course ! Check out our Facebook page and send us a private message or sent it to demo@form-music.fr

Where did you last go on vacation?

Now in Ibiza !

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Lots of sports. Running, skiing, working out in general. Obviously I also love a good meal and a glass of wine and to spend time with close friends!

By the way, Congrats to France winning the World Cup! Where did you watch it and how was that experience for you?

AMAZING! I watched it home with my son then we went out to celebrate! Allez les Bleus!!!