'Finding A New Way To Work It Out'
Emmanuel Santarromana's second studio album Fab4Ever is far more than a cover album. Created with sweet melodies, robot-pop, Irish folk and southern ecstasy, "Fab 4 Ever" is a great way to revisit those classic songs from John, Paul, George and Ringo.
"Fab 4 Ever" features collaborations with many new musicians and singers: the Australian female singer Déah (“Paperback Writer”), female choreographer Blanca Li (“Sun King”) – creator of the famous Daft Punk Around The World video choreography –, French actress and composer Marie Payen (“Blackbird”, “Day Tripper”), Zita Lotis-Faure (“Come Together”), Newton (“Tomorrow Never Knows”) and Constance Verluca (“Across The Universe”).
Before earning a reputation as a DJ and through his electronic mixes, Santarromana’s influences ranged from The Stray Cats, The Stranglers and Dr. Feelgood (his mother dated the bass player of this famous English band, giving Sanatarromana a chance to travel with the group in his youth). With a classical background, having spent a number of years with the Rouen Opera Choir, and also performing as a percussionist, he produced his first studio album entitled "Metropolitain" (2002).
Santarromana re-recorded his original version of 'We Can Work It Out' (his original mix appeared on his compilation Barbara Bui: Whisper and Soul), alongside 'Strawberry Fields Forever,' 'Back In the USSR' and 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away,' which are reminiscent of Nick Drake, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon or even Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman.
Covering the Beatles is quite a task--although "Yesterday" is the most covered song in music history apprently--how do you feel when you cover a song? Do you worry about what the Beatles think about it or a sacreligious aspect to covering the Beatles? Being a DJ, do you feel this way when you're at clubs? "At the beginning, I was not so sure I should do it. I really wanted to do it but I was a little bit afraid of doing it wrong. But if you think about it, the Beatles where a band playing covers at the beginning.”
You've got a pretty good mix of number one hits and other lesser known Beatles songs on your 'Fab' album. How did you choose which songs to cover? "The answer is in the question: I tried to choose a different track from different period and also tracks lesser-known than others.”
What is the best part about being a DJ? Do you ever feel the pressure to do or be certain things for the crowd...like I don't know, let's say a client booked you not knowing exactly what type of music to play but just knowing that you're a good DJ and it turns out the audience isn't feeling the general type of music you play...how to adapt to situations like that? Or does that not usually happen? "As I like to say to people who ask me this question: The client chooses the type of music, my job is to play the good ones in this style. Especially when I play for special events or fashion shows. In clubs, I try to play the best club music.”
It seems that commonplace for DJ's is battling with copyright lawsuits and legal battles. Does this concern you? It seems like DJ's obtain notoriety this way (like DangerMouse for example) but it may be an Amazon situation where he is still losing money--you know what I mean? Is copyright something that worries you as you constantly mix? "Of course I'm really concerned about copyrights: But the thing is the club scene is a good place for promoting your music. Also, Dj's and music producers are most of the time the same people. I think now, with all this internet thing, producers makes more money promoting their music by playing than selling records.”
What would you say the goal is as a DJ? For musicians you have to create music from scratch to create a song, but DJ's create music from samples and other songs already created to make their own song...how do you know if a mix is a good mix? Seamlessness? Choice of music? "When you see people get crazy, you can be sure it's a good mix.”
How is your love life? Does that affect your work (either being single or in a relationship)? How so or why not? "I'm in a relationship with a Chemist Engineer but also a hard clubber. It's always dificult to work when you feel alone (except for Boy George who specializes in loneliness...)!”
Standard Question - What is your favorite remix/mash-up? "It changes every single day. At the moment, one is always in my bag: it's the Francois Kevorkian's remix of 'Personal Jesus'.”
I would imagine working a club is a completely different experience that putting out an album in a studio...does that affect your performance and feeling of an album? "It feels like being a little bit schizo . The experience is so different. Also because the music I play in club and the music I produce are so different.”
At what age did you decide to be a DJ and how did that happen? "I was 23 and I was druming in club with several DJ's and, one day, because I'm a f**king egomaniac, I wanted to be at the right place. It's called the Iznogood syndrome!”
What are your future plans? "I'm working on an electro-pop album. The sound will be really close to 'Blackbird' ... one of my favorite tracks on this 'Fab4' album.”
If you could cover any '80s (possibly cheesy!) pop song, which one would it be ... and why?! "I found a really cheesy one ... 'Forever Young'!" [Editor - Alphaville] "Just because I really like to sing it when I get down late on the morning (No comment...)”
Lastly, Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... do you?! "I've tested a lot of diferent sex experiences, but not this one!”
Interviewed by Brian J. Hong
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Emmanuel's new CD, just answer this easy question: Which person is featured on the single 'Come Together'?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before December 1st with your answer and the subject title 'CONTEST: EMMANUEL SANTARROMANA CDs' to: email@example.com
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