Etienne de Crecy: Exclusive Interview

Etienne de Crecy confided revelations about the recent release of Super Discount 3 and his take on the French Touch Music market.

Considered one of the founding fathers of French Touch, Etienne de Crecy started his Electronic music career in the early 90’s in a duo with CassiusPhilippe Zdar, with the release of the album Motorbass. Since then, the DJ and producer released 7 albums that have changed the shape of French Electronic Music and revolutionized live shows with the Beats ‘N’ Cube concept.

I met Etienne de Crecy to discuss his last album Super Discount 3, the French Electronic Music market, and his 20+ year music career…

1. Super Discount 3, a surprising production process

I wrote and produced Super Discount 3 following the exact same process that I did for the first two. It was a last minute job. For those three albums, I started the promotion before any of the tracks were written or even on a piece of paper. With my music label, we agreed on a promo schedule to define the release dates of the first singles and of the album. When I realized that the release date was only a few days ahead, I thought it was time for me to get to work and produce the album.

While Super Discount 1 was written and produced in three weeks, Super Discount 3 took a little bit longer because of the voice recordings and the featuring. But it didn’t take more than an month. I like to work under time pressure. It seems that this is the best way for me to produce better tracks. And it worked for Super Discount 1 and 2. So why would I have changed the recipe?

I am very proud of this new album, and the track “Hashtag My Ass” is probably of one the best and one of my favorite tracks that I have ever produced.

2. French Touch is still in a golden age

Even though I consider that French Electronic Music is stil recognized around the World and exports well, I think there is a major shift on the music scene going on right now. I don’t know if I’m right but I noticed that the Music markets are becoming more and more national. What I mean by  national is that French artists will mostly perform in France, Germans in Germany, etc… Of course there are exceptions. But this is what I noticed regarding new artists. Their network and their promotion is mostly done online and through social networks. It is easier to reach a natural market based on where you’re from and to create a fan base this way.

I believe that the French Electronic Music scene is having a renewal right now. I really appreciate the new French G-House scene and the band Amine Edge and Dance. I also think that the French Beatmaker scene is currently very productive and will have a successful future. Superpose and Stwo are among my favorite French bands. I can also mention Jabberwocky, who arrived two years ago with a new sound and a new French Touch signature. But there are so many other talented French producers.

Even though it is very exciting to have so many talented artists in France and to know that they contribute to making our national music scene shine around the world, I have to admit that I am terribly jealous of them. It is sort of a competition between music producers. This is a least how I consider my work: an ongoing competition. I am constantly analyzing and comparing my work to others. But in the end, only the audience decides what’s good or not.

3. The new business model of the music industry

The music industry has totally changed since I started. I hear many professionals and artists complaining about the new business model of the music industry. Artists have to understand that it is impossible to make as much money today compared to 20 years ago.

We all have to understand that the cost of producing an album has been divided by 100. Before, you had to pay musicians, a sound engineer, the mastering, the distribution and the promotion. Today, anyone can produce an amazing track and release it worldwide at a limited cost. I consider this new model an opportunity. Music streaming is the new way to consume music and that’s great. Producers now earn money every time someone listens to one of their tracks, even if it is a 10-year old production. In the past, artists and music labels didn’t make any money in the second-hand music market. Income only came when the CD was first released. Today, you make can make money over many years.

4. Alex Gopher, a French Touch friendship

Alex Gopher is probably the person I most enjoy working with to produce music. He is a real friend. I’m glad he joined me to produce the track “Smile” on Super Discount 3. The result of this track is just great with an old school French Touch vibe.

Speaking of Alex Gopher, I can tell that he has 2 albums already produced and ready to be released. He is just hesitant as he is such a perfectionist. So, I’d like to tell him, again: Alex, release your albums!

This interview was performed on 2/21/15 at Mezzanine San Francisco. In addition to Etienne de Crecy, I’d like to thank Mathieu Couturier, Alexandra Greenberg and Vanessa Lovett for making this interview possible.