As part of the Tout Feu Tout Femme-collective as well as a steady member and contributor for Friendsome Records Tatie Dee has been stirring up the House scene for a moment. And latter does not seem to slow down since she just released a classy and classic EP – her first one – called Purple Wave on Friendsome Records continuing the label’s musically taken path, namely that of releasing quality House music exploring various sub-genres it or in her own words: “This EP is the realization of everything I learned. From Acid to House, I oscillated between my two favorite styles to produce four dancefloor oriented tracks.” However, Tatie goes into detail with her musical upbringing as well as the EP, women in the French electronic music scene and many other topics in the interview with Torture the Artist and delivers a blissful hour of pure House music to go with it. Never has a reading pleasure been accompanied with such tempting sounds.

Torture the Artist: Hello, tell us something about your day.

Tatie Dee: Hi, I’m responding to your questions in the train, on my way back to Paris. It’s a rough day physically aha I was playing till late in Berlin yesterday. 

Torture the Artist: You recently released your debut EP Purple Wave on your co-run label Friendsome Records and you said the following about it: “ […] this EP is the realization of everything I learned. From Acid to House, I oscillated between my two favorite styles to produce four dancefloor oriented tracks.“ First of all, what was your learning process and who accompanied you? Second, where does your preference for those “classic“ styles come from?

Tatie Dee: Well, I learnt music at the Conservatory when I was young. I took violin classes. That gave me the theoretical basis of music. Later, I learned how to use Ableton by watching YouTube tutorials. I bought some synths, drum machines and I started producing my very firsts tracks. I was on my own, a self-made female producer as we say! My taste in music comes from my big brother. He was a DJ and he was playing and listening to a lot of House music. I grew up listening to his sets, and obviously I loved what he played. I think it had an impact on the sound I wanted to produce. 

Torture the Artist: As initially said, Purple Wave is your debut EP after having released several solo tracks on other labels. What was your personal aspiration for the EP and would you say you have succeeded or fulfilled your own demands?

Tatie Dee: I wanted to prove myself that I was capable to produce a coherent musical project from A to Z. I also wanted to let the people know that I’m not only a DJ but first I’m a musician. It’s something that really matters to me, and my next projects will even more reflect that. And of course, I wanted to make the people dance, I think I kind of succeeded in this way. The track Take Me Up is working every time in clubs or festival. 

These women were the ones who made me realize that I don’t want anything else but to live making music.

Torture the Artist: How did you come up with the EP title Purple Wave, as it a reference to your favorite IQOS heets or what is the story behind it?

Tatie Dee: Aha it’s not about IQOS, no way! It’s a reference to the feminist movement. Three years ago, I lived in Chile, and I met the most amazing women there. I have never felt more confident than when I was with these girls. These women were the ones who made me realize that I don’t want anything else but to live making music. Do you remember the performance “El violador eres tu”? I was there, and it was so intense. I discovered what the sisterhood was really about. So the title Purple Wave is really about them, about my sisters, about our daily fight against patriarchy. 

Torture the Artist: Correct me, if I am wrong, but you co-run Friendsome Records with some other Paris-based artists, namely Belaria, Michel D., Yuko Kakizawa and Matthus. Has it always been the plan to release you debut on the label or why did you choose Friendsome Records over any other alternative?

Tatie Dee: Ruben, aka Michel D., was the first person I sent my music to. He liked the demos, so we quickly met to talk about it more seriously. We spent an afternoon working at the Friendsome Lab together and few days after the session, he proposed me to release an EP on Friendsome Records. Everything happened pretty fast. There were no tracks ready yet, but I started to work on the project. I was very lucky to meet Ruben, to meet someone who believed in me from the beginning. I’m very grateful and proud to have been able to release my first EP on Friendsome Records.

Torture the Artist: Friendsome is not only a label but you operate as a collective. Is Friendsome a “friend-thing“ and developed naturally or how did you all meet and ended up working together?

Tatie Dee: It’s definitely a friend and family thing. We all met right after I met Ruben, they invited me to play to some of their parties during the summer. And then I joined them as an official member of the label-collective. It was in September 2021, three years after Friendsome Records was born.

Since the girls had to fight a lot harder to get where they are, they’ve worked a lot harder than the average male artist, and you notice the difference.

Torture the Artist: In the label’s description it is said that Friendsome stands for gender-equality, amongst other things too of course and you have also been involved with female-related topics and approaches throughout the last years. As important as it is to stand up for these things, what would you say how far Western society’s are with this topic and foremost the French electronic music scene?

Tatie Dee: The electronic scene is just a reflection of gender inequality in general. So obviously, women have never been put forward, at least for years. But I think that the Covid crisis has been good in this sense. It forced programmers to look at the local scene and at new artists. #MeToo also helped. Women pushed themselves forward more, dare more, and so we inevitably notice them more. They have been invisible for too long. I’m not saying that there weren’t any women DJs, it’s just that they weren’t talked about or they were discredited. Today, when we look at the line-ups of most of the Parisian clubs for example, well, it is parity. And it feels good. 

But every day I keep seeing outrageous line-ups. If there are women DJs booked, they are rarely the headliners. They are the opening acts, the very small names at the bottom of the line-up. And sometimes it happens to be only a male thing. The big problem are mostly the collectives. Most of them are formed by males only. The worst thing is that they all look the same, they all come from the same social background, they all make the same music, and I think it’s killing the French scene. And since the girls had to fight a lot harder to get where they are, they’ve worked a lot harder than the average male artist, and you notice the difference. Women go against conventions. And we need them to keep the French electronic scene alive. Collectives started to notice it, and they start to invite female DJs to their parties, but sometimes it just really looks like feminism washing. 

Torture the Artist: Besides the things mentioned in the label’s description, do you do anything else to support these issues or how else are you involved with the topic? Secondly, do you feel there will ever be a time when we as a society do not have to speak about equality simply because people are not discriminated because of their gender, age etc.?

Tatie Dee: Yes! For example, I had a podcast called Battements Par Meufs (Beats Per Women), it was about the gender inequality in music production. I proposed mixes with music only produced by women. Moreover, I co-founded a collective called Tout Feu Tout Femme. We organize mix workshops, parties, we have a residency on a webradio, all this with the aim of highlighting the women musicians of the Lille area. And I also wrote my thesis about this topic. I explain how gender stereotypes have led to the invisibility of women in the electronic music scene and how these stereotypes need to be deconstructed for a better gender equality.

I hope this will not even be a subject one day. We’re getting closer to it though! Last year I saw a lot of events branded “Female DJ only”. It was so unusual that they had to write it down on the flyers. I see it much less now. But it will remain a subject as long as the image of women remains a marketing asset. The day we don’t look at the genre of the DJ anymore, when we book DJs for what they play and not for what they are, then we won’t talk about it anymore. It will take time, but we are on the right track.

Torture the Artist: Coming back to Friendsome, the first release on the label came from House-icon Roy Davis Jr., while the second one from Belaria and lastly you contributed your debut to the label. For the future, can people expect a mixture EPs coming from the collective and renowned artists or would you rather keep it a family affair and the first release was more of a release to get the maximum attention when starting a label?

Tatie Dee: We planned on releasing not only the collective artists and renowned producers but also emerging artists. 

Torture the Artist: According to the press that came with your debut, you started DJing in 2018 in Lille. How did that come about and who/ what paved the way for you? Did you go through an entire schooling process, meaning you started playing in bars first before stepping behind the DJ-booth of clubs or where did you make your first steps?

Tatie Dee: I started mixing during my studies in Lille. We created an electronic music association and we mixed in bars and clubs in Lille. Quickly I wanted more, so I participated to a mix contest to play on a big place in Lille during the market on Sunday morning <laughs>. I won the contest and that was my very first gig really. I’ve  not stopped since. I canvassed bars to play. Then I went to Chile, I did the same thing, I went to the bars and clubs of Valparaíso to play. After that, the pandemic slowed down a bit, but just after all of this, I met the Friendsome team. When I moved to Paris it took on another dimension.

When I realized that my gigs could cover my rent, my food and my records, I was like “LET’S GO!“.

Torture the Artist: What was the crucial point when you started to go all in with electronic music?

Tatie Dee: When I finished my studies. The only thing I wanted to do was playing music. At first I thought about looking for a job because I didn’t have any money, when I realized that my gigs could cover my rent, my food and my records, I was like “LET’S GO!“.

Torture the Artist: Who*s your favorite DJ, the one who’s selection and technical/mixing-skills you cherish the most?

Tatie Dee: That’s a tricky one… There’s so many good DJs… I’m gonna cheat and tell you three : Jeremy Underground, Cinthie and Eris Drew. Amazing selectors and so d*mn good vinyl DJs.

Torture the Artist: After starting your DJ-career you also got involved with producing music. How did this come about and do you prefer one thing over another?

Tatie Dee: Actually, I would say I was a producer before being a DJ. Not an electronic music producer but I composed a lot of music when I was a teenager. I was the perfect cliché: writing love songs with my guitar. <laughs>  

And today, I don’t consider DJing as a separate profession from producing. I am a musician, mixing and producing are part of my music job. So I couldn’t say that I prefer one over the other. For me it’s all inseparable.

Torture the Artist: Your EP is rather club-oriented, is that the DJ in you or is it your general approach when producing music that you have the club-context in mind?

Tatie Dee: It’s definitely the DJ in me! And I wrote the EP during the pandemic, so I think I just wanted to dance and to produce joyful tracks. 

Torture the Artist: Are you more of the loner when it comes to studio work or do you like to collaborate or work with other people in the studio? Is there an artist you’d love to share your studio space with, who would that be, and what would you ask the artist right away?

Tatie Dee: I think I need time on my own and time with friends. It’s a completely different way of creating and finding inspiration. But I find it harder to work with others. It took me so long to create a set up I love and I feel comfortable with that so I don’t really like to work elsewhere. 

But a producer I really admire and who I’d love to share a studio with would definitely be Lucas Moinet, a member of the Groove Boys Project and Keraw duo. He works in the 937 studio. That’s the most underground studio you’ll find in Paris. They have it all: MPCs, synths, analog mixer & many more gears I dream of. It’s so cool to work there! And he’s a great musician so everything looks easy when you produce with him. 

Torture the Artist: What is your favorite studio gear, and what’s a studio something you’d love to own for your personal studio set-up, if you money did not play a role?

Tatie Dee: For now, that’s my MPC 1000. It’s the perfect gear to produce music. Since I bought it, my creativity expended so much. I’d love to get a 2000XL so that I have one for the drums and one for the synths. And my dream studio gear would definitely be a Moog Subsequent. ❤

Being able to live my life in Paris without paying a rent in Paris.

Torture the Artist: If you are not busy or involved with music, where do we find you and what are you doing?

Tatie Dee: You’ll find me on an athletics track! I do a lot of sport, essential to clear my head and think about something else. To relax, I love playing video games. I’m a bit of a geek, something else I owe to my brothers. And of course, I just love chilling with the ones I care about. 

Torture the Artist: What’s a super power you wish you had and how would you use it?

Tatie Dee: I wish I could teleport myself. It would be mostly to be able to spend time with my Chilean friends, my family or my girlfriend when I feel like it. And also, being able to live my life in Paris without paying a rent in Paris. It’s not as sexy as wanting to save the world I know! <laughs>

Words by Holger Breuer

Pictures by Lionel Quelennec

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