ARNO COST & NORMAN DORAY: “BE ‘STRONG’ LIKE AVICII” | DJMag.com Skip to main content

ARNO COST & NORMAN DORAY: “BE ‘STRONG’ LIKE AVICII”

The French pair talk taking drugs the right way, cheaters, cake hate and more  

Previously finding that studio je ne sais croix on collaborative release, “Apocalypse 2014,” Arno Cost and Norman Doray hook up once again, this time to flex their sonic muscles to the max.The French countrymen have unleashed the neoteric house anthem “Strong” (out now on Size).

The sizable part, however, is the below music video for “Strong” from Cost and Doray, who play characters that can aptly be described as Martin Solveig (a la headbands) meets The Dude (a la Big Lebowski).

DJ Mag plugs both DJs to get some harsh truths about cheaters, drug-abusing and having balls "like Avicii," they later explain Lace your bowling shoes up tight, because the speed of “Strong” is about to bitch smack you down.

What was your goal when you first set out to create “Strong?”

Norman: “When we began, we wanted there to be a strong message and not just about partying like so many other DJs videos.” 

Arno: “Norman and I watched Rush. The film was about two Formula 1 competitors; two guys with different personalities, but friends. Their relationship is kind of like ours. We wanted to make something in the same way, but with a different sport. That’s why we thought of bowling, since everyone in America knows about it and likes bowling. Norman is the healthy guy who doesn’t cheat. He trains, works hard, runs on the beach to succeed in what he’s doing. Me, I’m drinking and am with chicks all the time. It’s two completely different characters. After we came up with this idea, we shot the video in LA a few months after. And that’s the story.” 

What’s the main message?

Arno: “We tried to focus on those who cheat, such as [athletes that] take drugs to win the competition. We were first thinking about cycling. All these guys who use drugs to win the Tour de France. It was like a mix between Rush and the Lance Armstrong cycling scandal. Cycling is harder to do in a video and we wanted to focus more on the cheating aspect, not necessarily the sport itself. At the same time, we didn’t want to make drugs the central focus, but rather suggest it.” 

Norman: You only see Arno taking drugs for a little bit in the video. We wanted viewers to see someone taking drugs to get better, without letting that image outweigh the overall message of the video. Drugs themselves aren’t necessarily the focus at all, but rather a representation of cheating as a whole. 

Arno: “There are many different routes DJs and producers choose to [cheat with] these days. Like, we’ve seen some guys ghost producing with five other people in the studio. That’s what some DJs do today. People aren’t being artists. Being a producer is being an artist. You learn the music, how to create that feeling, the groove of it all. The core of it all is showing that taking drugs to win a bowling competition is like cheating, and cheating is the biggest subject in our business right now. Even if people don’t want to talk about it, we all still see it." 

How do you change this? 

Norman: "We’re not here to find solutions. We’re producers and DJs dealing with it, and trying to do our thing like we always have. So many fans just want to see DJs at the biggest festivals like some sort of a spectacle. This is not a circus this is a job. This is art, this is music. You can bring monkeys and lions to your set if you want, but that’s just a secondary thing. It’s not about throwing cakes and C02 cannons. People go see EDM DJs [and] it’s CO2, cakes and champagne. This is where we are?”

What does it mean to be strong?

Arno: "Be like Avicii for example. To be honest, we have really positive feedback for him. [It doesn’t matter] if it’s commercial, he’s taking risks. He has balls for what he did. A 23-year-old in front of Ultra’s Mainstage crowd. Doing what he did, you’ve got balls. More than most of the DJs for example. Why don’t people take any risks?" 

If you’re in Cali, see Norman Doray live at Control tomorrow (Friday, Oct 10) at Avalon Hollywood

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