Filed under: Interview
Despite two years of piano lessons and 17 years of ballet lessons, it wasn’t long until a little thing called Rave culture transformed sweet dainty Caroline Herv? into the female disc-jockey with ample supplies of ‘tude that you either loathe or adore, Miss Kittin.
With the support of her friends, a collaboration that helped forge the short lived@electro clash era and just the right amount of hard work, Miss Kittin was able to claw her way out of the bedroom and onto lineups alongside artists she has long revered. Nowadays you just have to head to the biggest clubs in the biggest cities to hear this feline mistress belting out vocals over chunky electro cuts.
If you haven’t heard Miss Kittin’s libretto on ‘Silver Screen Shower Scene’ or her recent CD “Miss Kittin Live at Sonar” and you don’t know anything about this French madam, then saddle up as she reminisces about her days driving cross country in search of the perfect rave.
Interview & Introducion by Nick Lawrence (HigherFrequency)
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : Welcome to Japan, and thank you for talking to us. When you started just over ten years ago…
Miss Kittin : A little bit more actually.
HRFQ : You were buying records for the first time, and now you are playing with people like Sven Vath and Richie Hawtin. How does that feel?
Miss Kittin : It’s a very good question and no one has asked it before because they always ask about more stupid things. Well, it is simple. Every time I think about them, or see them I always remember when I use to drive miles and miles to see them. It’s a big honour, really. I should apply that to my own situation now. These people changed my life a little bit, so I should also realize that I may do the same now for other people. I never think about that but every time I see them I feel really small. It’s cool if they treat me like an equal. It is a great reward for my work.
HRFQ : But like you said, you aren’t small now, you could be doing the same thing for other people.
Miss Kittin : Yeah but they were first so it’s a whole different story. It is a big big big honour for me. Especially when you know them you see why they are so important. To know them now is great.
HRFQ : When you were driving so far to see these DJs it was very much part of the rave scene. How has everything changed now? How is the scene different?
Miss Kittin : I think the scene is more fragmented than before. I always say I used to go to parties where you could hear house music in the beginning and techno and hardcore and trance in the morning. Now you go to big raves and it is the same music all night in one room, the other room is hardcore, and the other room is trance or you go to a club and it’s a German minimal night and the whole night is the same music. I miss that [musical diversity] but on the other hand now people play more diverse in their own sets. But for me everything changed because I am now an actor in the scene and not just a customer. That’s the main difference. I never thought I would do this for a living.
HRFQ : How do you look for new music for your sets or for example when you were working at Mute?
Miss Kittin : Well I don’t work for Mute anymore. It never really officially stopped, I just didn’t have time to give them more music. But we are so connected anyway that if I hear something really good I am going to give it to them anyway.
HRFQ : They get it for free now.
Miss Kittin : Yeah, but it is fine because they don’t really need me. When I look for new music I just try to forget what I know and be as open minded as possible. I just try not to think so much and feel why something is suddenly touching you. If you go like a virgin in front of music then you have more chances to be touched by it. I don’t know, I just have a very special taste. I cannot say which style, it is a lot of different style, but at the same time I immediately know what I like and what catches my attention.
HRFQ : Tonight’s party is sponsored by Diesel-U-Music which is a competition for finding new artists. What do you think about this sort of initiative?
Miss Kittin : Well, I know things like Red Bull Academy are really amazing. Can you imagine a company like Coca Cola sponsoring festivals and paying flights and hotels for people who are just passionate about music? I think it is really good. Besides that I think there are many ways to spread your music around, like the internet. There are also many ways to stay forgotten! Does it really help? I hope it helps people to keep faith in what they do. I don’t think it brings a record contract. A big part of this job is to have enough faith in what you to do to go through all this shit, meet all these people, go to labels and give demos. That is a big part of how you have to fight for what you do, it’s important.
HRFQ : How hard was it for you fighting to get started?
Miss Kittin : That’s the weird thing. I never had to really fight because I never thought I would do this. It was just like the other around. I was picked by the hand of someone up there who said, “You will do music”. I never thought, even my parents never thought I would make music. I was so na?ve in a way. I was not expecting anything, I was just really passionate. I was just taking every opportunity to go to parties and meet people because I love this music. Then, when I started to DJ I was not expecting to be booked anywhere, I just bought records for fun. Then my friends told me I should play, and then it worked. Then I realized I was living from it. I was not expecting anything, not expecting to be famous and not expecting to sing. It was just for fun and everything was a bonus.
HRFQ : You make it sound like a dream world.
Miss Kittin : It sounds strange because everybody thinks it was really easy, but my life was not easy at all. I was a student but I had to work, fighting with my parents and all that sort of stuff. It was not like I was just sitting there and my friends said, “you have to play”. Also, when I played for the first times I wasn’t paid and I had to fight for where I played because the boys want the best spot and things like this. No it was not easy, it was very disciplined. I loved what I did and I wanted to do it well and I think that is why it worked. I am not a spoilt brat. I knew I had to be serious about it.
HRFQ : Obviously this showed through your music, that there was something strong behind it.
Miss Kittin : I just feel very bad if I don’t do what I feel. It is very simple. So, if I lie or sing against my convictions I feel like shit. If I play a set and I feel like I’m not in a good mood, I feel like shit because I’m not supposed to be in a bad mood. I’m supposed to be the girl who gives the party musical input. You have to stay true. People say I am rebellious, aggressive or a diva but I think I am just very very serious about being true. It disturbs a lot of people actually, but on the other hand it pays.
HRFQ : You were the vocals behind Felix Da Houesecat’s ‘Silver Screen Shower Scene’ and more recently you have been singing over the top of your sets. Are vocals important to dance music?
Miss Kittin : At the time when I decided to put them, yes because there were none besides house music. I think it is fun to write lyrics. I love to write lyrics but I am not elitist about lyrics. There are tracks and moments were it is better to shut up and have no lyrics at all. Apparently it is important because a lot of people like my lyrics. It’s cool, normally you listen to pop music and nobody remembers the lyrics, they remember the melody. So it is pretty cool you know, because it [the people remember the lyrics] shows it works. It is just fun to write lyrics, I don’t do it for political reasons.
HRFQ : So it is just for fun, there is nothing behind it?
Miss Kittin : Of course when you write things there is always something behind it. Sometimes you don’t know where it comes from when you write it. It is like Freud you know, you just sit on a sofa and talk shit and then ten years later you realize, “Oh yeah my mum did that to me when I was three”. You never know what is going through your mind and that is what is so exciting about it.
HRFQ : Well, thank you very much for your time.
Miss Kittin : Thank you.
End of the interview
Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment